I found this handmade brooch at the Oxfam in Richmond, complete with a standard safety pin cleverly embedded in the back - a nice touch. It reminds me of back-to-school; that time of year when colours go from green to flaming orange, signalling not death, but for me, a new wardrobe. I went to school in a small American town where uniforms were not required but new clothes were; corduroys, turtle neck sweaters, an itchy wool skirt, knee socks and packs of panties were the norm. In August, the tome that was the J C Penney catalog would arrive in the post. My sister and I would thumb the girls clothing section, wearing the pages thin. With the start of school just a week away, off we'd go to the shop itself. We'd parade around the department store for hours trying to find the right bits and pieces. 'Let's put together outfits' mom would say. We argued, laughed, talked at pace and eventually settled on the clothes I hoped would transform me from tall weed to stylish flower. Inevitably the first day of school was still sweltering with summer and the new turtle neck I insisted on wearing left me a wilted dandelion. This brooch at just £2.99 is a perfect autumn accessory regardless of the weather and will look perfect on my beautiful wool jacket from The Rose Online (CLICK). Can't wait to wear both!