It’s 92 degrees as I write this, but the scent of pumpkin and apple fills the air. It’s Labor Day weekend, and I’m determined to bring fall into my house even if it’s sweltering in Los Angeles and will likely continue to be for another two months.
I’m the person who walked through Target’s home section yesterday just to fondle the new, cozy pillows and sniff the maple candles, so that for a moment I could be transported to a place where brush fires aren’t a threat. Where instead the fire is in the hearth, and I’m reclined on a fuzzy rug with a mug of tea in my hand, singing “It Had to Be You” to the man in my life, who happens to have four very short legs.
I’ve always loved fall, and now that I live in a warmer climate, I long for it more. We do get the change of seasons here, despite what anyone says. We just get it later. But the trees in my neighborhood do turn, and at some point I’ll be surrounded by the golds and oranges and burgundies that I long for.
But not soon enough.
It’s around this time of year that I think about one of my favorite movies, “When Harry Met Sally…” Maybe it’s because the promo photos feature a perfectly autumnal setting, but I’m always brought back to the scene of Sally and Harry walking through the park. Sally wears her tweed jacket, hat and gloves and it just reminds me of the crisp weather that makes me feel refreshed and that anything is possible. It makes me think, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Funny how that’s the case, right? That the wonderfully nutty, musty scent of decaying leaves should make me feel renewed? If only all signs of age made me feel the same way….
Romantic comedies usually come out in the spring and summer, when the warmth of the sun is supposed to make people in the mood to get it on. I think they belong in the fall. I’ve noticed (as a single person) that people on dating apps seem more apt to be looking for a casual encounter in the summer, but then look for relationships come fall. That’s when I want to see (highly idealized) stories about true love. Again, it’s that fresh-start feeling that comes with the (in L.A., imagined) brisk air.
This is also the time of year that – since school days – has been associated with clothes shopping. Ah…a fresh start for the closet.
And Sally’s style, even at 30 years old, is something I want to evoke, however tangentially. Like this cardigan from J. Crew, which feels fresh, romantic and flattering with its balloon sleeves and high neck. The ivory is the most versatile, although I’m leaning toward the Warm Forest, an inviting peacock blue.
And instead of the wide-brimmed bowl hat that was popular in the late ’80s (I had one from Banana Republic, I think), I’m lusting after this tweedy bucket hat from Anthropologie.
Belle bucket hat, Anthropologie, $58
This one from Madewell has both the texture and color to give you the fall fuzzies.
Short-Brimmed Corduroy Bucket Hat, Madewell, $32
Lately I’ve also been in the mood for the kind of chunkier gold hoops that my mom wore at the time “When Harry Met Sally…” was released. Coincidentally (or maybe due to a collective style consciousness?), they’re now trending.
For now, I’ll just look at these items. Maybe buy one, two or three. And then obsessively click on the Weather app. Rewatch “When Harry Met Sally…” for the umpteenth time. Plus count down the weeks until fall arrives in this part of the country. And remind myself that there will be days in the months ahead that I’m glad I live here and not in a colder climate.
Sooner than you can ask, “But ‘baby fish mouth’ is sweeping the nation?” I’ll be ogling boots and pine candles. But that’s for another post.