WTF Clothes Are You Supposed To Wear In The Fall?

“SUMMER IS OVER, IT IS FALL NOW,” the stores scream, packing up their dresses and crop tops and floaty loose things into vacuum-sealed bags and thrusting rack upon rack of sweaters onto the floor, groaning under the weight of cables and bobbles and itchy wools. “BOOTS BUY BOOTS YOU NEED BOOTS,” urges a banner ad blinking silently in the corner of your Facebook feed.  Summer has gathered its shit and headed to Miami, to tan and roast slowly in the bright sun. It is fall. And fall, above all other seasons, is the worst possible time to get dressed.

Winter makes sense. The goal in winter, when it is bone-chillingly cold and brusque and rude and windy, is to make sure your limbs don’t shatter. Summer’s sultry haze is the easiest. One dress, some sandals and  you’re out the door. Spring is muddy and allergy-laden, but at least the iron grip of winter has loosened from your body. You are experiencing the warm rays of the sun on your bare flesh and the sky gets dark a little later than it used to.

Fall, like a rude prelude to winter’s ice, ruins the fun.

Did you wake up this morning and notice that it was, somehow, 55 degrees outside? Did you dress appropriately for what you thought would be, at most, a 72 degree day? Were you surprised to step out of your office at a respectable 1:30 p.m. for lunch only to discover that the jacket you’re wearing is now a straitjacket of heat and elevated body temperature? Welcome to fall, fuckers.

“It’s leather jacket season!” someone bleats as they wiggle their way into a squeaky, non-breathable carapace.

“Fall means I can wear sweaters!” another cries, as they burrow their heads into a piles of cheap acrylic pullovers.

“Ooh, boots! I love putting on shoes that are uncomfortable and constrict my feet!” exclaims a third, as they wrangle their toes into a dusty pair of boots that languished under a pile of sweatshirts for five months.

To dress yourself in clothing that is appropriate for fall requires more wardrobe than you currently own. Do you have a cardigan? Great. Wear it over a shirt. Make sure you’re wearing shoes that cover your toes but your pants should be above your ankles — they get hot, you know.  Find a jacket, any jacket. Bring a bag big enough to hold your snakeskin-like layers, tucking them into your tote on top of your slightly-dirty Tupperware from lunch. Arrive to your final destination not crazed and sweaty like you did for the summer months, but burdened by outerwear instead.

Autumn is Katy Perry weather — it’s hot, then it’s cold. Walk three blocks in the sweltering sun, sweat pouring down your forehead, then step in the shade to experience something akin to hypothermia. Getting dressed for fall is hell. Everyone leaves their house looking at best, very confused. A jacket works against the chill of the subway cars, still air conditioned, but must be removed immediately once you step onto the train platform, which are still hot and swampy like the pits of hell.  There is never the right outfit. Once you’ve figured it out, it’s Thanksgiving and the warmth of the sun is a distant memory.

How the fuck are you supposed to get dressed for this kind of weather? Is it appropriate to wear sandals with a sweater? Must you invest in cardigans and indoor scarves? Is there a happy medium? Is there a way to dress yourself without looking like a walking coatrack?

No. This is it. Accept your fate. Winter, as they say, is coming. Enjoy these two weeks in the waning sun, because soon it will be so cold that you cannot leave your house.