The title of "best season" goes to fall (and everyone knows this, so don't @ me).
Fall is basically the better version of spring, because instead of spending its early weeks wallowing in leftover winter slush, it gets to hang out with the tail end of summer. And when the temperature starts to drop, we can finally pull those jackets and sweaters back into the rotation. Remember layering? Layering absolutely rules.
Don't weep for the end of summer; rejoice for the beginning of fall. I don't want to hear anymore complaining about pumpkin spice. Embrace the spice. Embrace flannel. Wear scarves. Shop at Burberry and don't buy anything. Go apple picking and make some pie. This is an irony-free place to celebrate autumn.
1. Throw a big, comfortable blanket over your couch
When the chill of fall finds its way into my home, I drape a blanket around myself and wander around my apartment aimlessly, oftentimes with a drink in my hand. If I'm watching TV, I'm wearing a blanket. On the computer? Blanket. And before you even bother to ask, of course I'm in a blanket when I'm hanging out on my porch watching the sun go down (which in and of itself is a very autumn thing to do).
Aesthetically speaking, this $15 throw blanket is very autumnal—nothing says fall quite like plaid. Plus, at $15, you won't feel bad if you spill red wine on it (which might actually happen if you're using it appropriately).
2. Use a thermos that screams fall
You can't always go to the coffee shop—sometimes you've got to make your own beverage at home and take it on your commute. Thermos brand (one of the most respected companies in the thermos business) makes these stylish, season-appropriate plaid thermoses that also double as a compliment magnet.
And if you're wondering why anyone on earth would care about getting compliments on a thermos, you obviously have never been complimented on your thermos.
3. Cook fall friendly meals with a dutch oven
Look, I'm just going to cut to the chase on this one: If you don't own a dutch oven, you really need to change that. This isn't even about fall anymore—this is just basic life advice.
But as long as we're talking about fall, we ought to talk about fall cooking. 'Tis the season for stewing stews, roasting veggies, and letting a bird sit in the oven for hours on end. If you've never braised short ribs on a brisk October evening, you're really not living your best fall life.
When it comes to cast iron, the conversation begins and ends with Lodge. There's a reason this 5-quart dutch oven is a best-seller on Amazon: It's affordable, pre-seasoned, and is backed with a lifetime limited warranty. Get to cookin'.
4. Bake using only the best pie and pastry cookbook out there
Speaking of seasonal cooking, please repeat after me: "I will bake some damn pie this fall."
Whether you're an avid pie and pastry practicer or a total pastry novice, The Pie and Pastry Bible is an essential addition to your cookbook rotation. It's all at once simple and sophisticated, treating the art (and science) of baking with the respect it deserves.
Have some loved ones over, wrap yourself in a blanket, and treat the world to some damn fine pie.
5. Buy a fire pit to host fire pit parties this fall
There's a good chance you already have a friend who throws fire pit parties, which means there's a good chance you're already jealous of someone who can have a good ol' fashioned fire at a moments notice. This fall, take matters into your own hands and become the new fire pit person in your life.
I don't own a fire pit (yet), but I've had my eye on this one from Landmann for a while. It's got stellar user reviews, features a spark screen and safety ring, and can be transported easily.
It's also worth noting that making your jacket (or throw blanket) smell like a fire for three days is a classic autumn power move.
6. Drink from a flask because it’s fall and there’s always a reason to drink
Between fire pits and tailgating parties, outdoor drinking and fall go hand-in-hand. I mean, sure—you could stick to red solo cups if you'd like. Most of the time, though, I want to imbibe my booze from something aesthetically pleasing, which is why I reach for my flask.
This attractive, rugged-looking number is wrapped in leather, and I can speak from experience when I say that it can take a beating. Fill it with whiskey, wine, or water and swig stylishly.
7. Wear a flannel robe to really get into the fall spirit
I don't know how it took me so long to buy a robe, but when I finally did, it completely changed the way I lounge around my home doing nothing. That's because no other product celebrates "doing nothing" quite like a robe. A robe says, "I've got no where to be, and I'm OK with that."
When the weather starts to cool off and your Sunday mornings get a little chilly, it's time to do nothing in the most comfortable way imaginable.
I've picked out some autumnal-looking robes for men and women, but don't let Big Robe convince you that gendered robes are a thing. Robes (and clothing in general) are universal, so buy what you like and lounge to your heart's content.
8. Use cologne that will make you literally smell like fall
Perfume is one of the most personal things you can buy yourself, and in all likelihood, you've already got your favorites picked out. But if you're looking for something different to wear this season, you could always try my favorite fall fragrance: Bigarade Concentrée from Frédéric Malle.
This unisex fragrance is designed by Jean-Claude Ellena, one of the best perfumers in the world. It features one of the most realistic-smelling orange rind notes I've ever encountered above a base of cedar, dried leaves, and the tiniest hint of cumin. It's light enough that it sits close to the skin but concentrated enough to last several hours. To me, it just smells like fall.
Nab the $52 travel-sized spray before committing to the full size bottle.
9. Light candles in fall scents only
While we're on the subject of smells, lets talk candles. Fall and winter are the only two seasons I find myself lighting scented candles, and if you ask me, the selection of smells available for purchase is never better than it is in the fall.
Sweeter, spicier varieties are finally making their way to the shelves, and I'm ready to turn my home into a delicious-smelling snuggle den again. In accordance with tradition, I'm putting one "Apple Pumpkin" jar candle in my bedroom and one in my bathroom.
10. Put mulling spices in your cider to kick your fall aesthetic up a notch
Don't even pretend that you're not going to enjoy some cider this fall. It's bound to happen.
I don't always steep mulling spices in my cider, but when the mood strikes, a little bit of cinnamon and clove goes a long way. The nice thing about pre-packaged mulling spices is that the clean-up is as easy as tossing out a teabag. One box should last you the entire season.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.