honoring seasonal change

The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Getting Hyped for Fall

Pic of you
Pic of you Photo: HEX/Corbis

In Town & Country, behold a story on — you guessed it, how did you know? — chinoiserie pumpkins, titled “Everyone Is Turning Their Pumpkins Into Chinoiserie Pieces of Art.” The concept is simple, but the results are divine. Take a white pumpkin and decorate it appropriately with chinoiserie illustrations, like those you may have spotted on your pillows or drapes. All you need is a blue Sharpie and a fuckload of time on your hands — as well as a severe, almost maniacal attention to detail — and without question, you will become queen bitch of fall! Throw a couple of these on your stoop, brew up a batch of spiked apple cider, and invite over the PSL squad. You’re ready for autumn solstice, girl. Infinity-scarf season!!

Or here’s another idea: Take it easy. The lazy girl of fall, the girl without a Pinterest in the world, still loves the crisp, clean season just as much as her crafty counterpart — just with about half the enthusiasm, half the energy, and half the budget. Always wanted to show that you ride hard for autumn without pumping pumpkin spice syrup into your veins and driving two hours upstate to pick and nibble on mealy apples? There is an answer for you. It’s called Chilling Out.

Be a PSL buzzkill.
It’s been years since the Pumpkin Spice Latte first spilled its sugar-sweet juice into the small crevices of our brains and wallets, threatening to rob us of all of our hard-earned babysitting cash in exchange for an overdose of sugar. Seasonal novelty indulgences can be fun — say, when frozen rum-and-Cokes come back to the summer shack — but Pumpkin Spice Lattes have hardly ever been worth the trouble or cash. This fall, take back your right to a cheap caffeine high by being the fall PSL buzzkill the world has been waiting for.

Order up a latte, any old regular latte at any old coffee shop. Upon receiving said latte, remove its lid and loudly announce to anyone in listening distance, “I’m going to make my latte a Pumpkin Spice Latte.” From your purse, pull out a Ziploc bag prefilled with the following spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Sprinkle liberally on top, make a “mm-mm-mm” face to your rapt audience, and remember forever how you bucked the system. You are the hero of fall.

Fill out your sweater.
Fall means sweaters for the lazy girl, and not the twee kind with an owl or a fox embroidered on the front. For the lazy girl, big ol’ turtlenecks, oversize men’s cableknits, loose-hanging merinos, and the occasional crew-neck sweatshirt constitute a fall wardrobe, and buying them extra large gives you a chance to really fill them out by March. Best practices include acquiring a fall overcoat that has deep pockets so you can munch on candy corn when you’re on the run, and buying dark colors so less laundry needs doing when it’s too hard to embrace the cold trek to the laundromat. Also, a good baggy sweater transitions very well from day to night if you always make sure to carry a tube of lipstick with you. Day look: baggy sweater, old jeans, shit-kickers. Night look: baggy sweater, old jeans, shit-kickers, and a pop of color. Voilà. The Sweater Body is the Caftan Body of fall and winter.

Flannel for Days (and Nights)
Time to change your sheets, you filthy animal, and here’s the current chic look. Flannel button-down in the streets, flannel duvet cover in the sheets. The ‘90s revival hasn’t quite ended yet, so take advantage of wearing baggy Kurt flannels under even baggier leather jackets or sweater-weather sweaters. Then come home early from the party (10 p.m. latest) and get right between those flannel sheets. Success is not achieved until you have thoroughly blended in beyond the point of visibility.

Netflix and literally chill.
The month between the beginning of fall and when New York landlords actually turn the heat on can be brutal for apartment dwellers, especially the kind who are wont to stay inside. Give real meaning to the arbitrary term Netflix and chill: Stack up your blankets on top of you, but leave space for your laptop beneath them. All of the benefits of Netflix and chill without any of the mess.

Become one with your body hair.
When people talk about fall, they are often inclined to bring up bounty. The bounty of apples we’ve collected at this orchard, the bounty of pumpkins we have decorated in the chinoiserie style, the bounty of gluten-free pies we have baked to bring to our friend who does not seem too happy about this bounty. Bounty is not often a word applied to one’s body hair, but the lazy girl is an innovator. Come the first day of fall, disregard your razors. Have a contest with yourself to see how long you can go without shaving. Do not break protocol for anyone or anything. This is your time. When winter arrives, admire your bounty, and only “harvest” it in spring.

Haunted houses! Apple picking! Pumpkin patches! Baking. Bars. Selfies. Group photos. Memes. Screenshots of tweets. Didion-grams. Birthday parties. These are a few of the things you will see when you vote to stay in and scroll through Instagram over leaving the house to “sit by a bonfire.”

The lazy girl doesn’t craft. She eats Kraft macaroni and cheese.

The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Getting Hyped for Fall