Classic Woman + Rituals: My Fall Traditions

Sponsored by Banana Republic.

My partner always refers to me as a classic lady. One day I asked: what does that mean to you? He shared that I have a classic, timeless face and energy. I’ll take it. And when I look at portraits of my Grandmother and my Great-Grandmother at my age, I see it.

To be classic is to be outstanding. To exude a remarkability that stands the test of time and yet simultaneously exists outside of it. Like so many powerful black women I know.

During fall — my favorite season although I seem to always forget it — I have a collection of practices and traditions that I now realize are classic. Remarkable and outstanding rituals, routines, and go-to’s that bring tremendous meaning and value to my lifestyle and that keep me afloat during a time of enormous transition. Here’s my list. What’s classic for you?

Wearing black.

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Overstated in places like NYC, and understated in places like LA, black is undeniably classic. The look you see here features Banana Republic pieces that all provide the perfect foundation for any autumnal party. From the silk cashmere v-neck and the Demi Penny loafer, to the vegan suede Devon Ankle leggings, I can mix and match any of these pieces a thousand ways.

Sipping matcha. Ceremonially rooted in Japan, a culture that contains so many rich traditions that I love which the brilliant Candice Kumai shares with us so beautifully in our Black Girl In Om podcast, it is a wonderful, natural non-jittery energy alternative to coffee. Autumn is a time to breathe deeper, not to feel manic. Growing in popularity, try an almond or oat milk matcha latte at your local independent cafe the next time you long for espresso and really get mindful about how you feel after you drink it. Tweet me your barista art @HelloLaurenAsh.

Keeping warm.

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I grew up in Minnesota with traditions like bonfires and fireplaces, locally sourced apple cider, and layering like Lenny Kravitz was second-nature to me. I honestly think that fall-haters just don’t know how to dress. Let me tell you: a good trench, like my Utility Trench from Banana Republic for the daytime, thick, wool socks for the evening, and some quality boots for when the elements show themselves in full force will keep you at a comfortable temperature. Let me know how you stay warm in the comments below.

Quality time.

My love language is tied at words of affirmation and quality time. Living in the Midwest for my entire life, the reality of hibernation past November and lasting sometimes through...May (I know, it’s sad) is REAL. Spending all the time I can connecting over meaningful meals, conversations, and experiences with my loved ones during the coziest months of the year means so much to me. Especially this year as I am on the verge of one of the biggest transitions of my life and career yet.

Staying true to my intentions.

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This time of year, the inbox gets a bit wilder, my phone blows up a bit more, and calendar invites to social and career related experiences flood through at full force. It’s not that deep, ya’ll. We make it deep. Go back to your purpose, or get crystal clear about what it is. Now. Before you get distracted by seemingly good opportunities that really aren’t. Who you are and why you are here will keep you grounded in what really matters.

May you all stay classic and true to you and yours this fall.

With love, Lauren Ash.

Lauren Ash