Falling for Fall

It wasn’t until I caught myself telling people (on multiple occasions), “I don’t buy summer clothes,” that I realized why autumn is my favourite season. I thought it was the changing leaves, the fleeting excitement of starting new classes, or the ability to order a hot cup of coffee without being asked, “would you like that iced?” Then, in late July, as I found myself wearing dresses from three summers ago and not wanting to spend money on summer clothing (even though I needed it), I realized that my love for fall stems from one thing: clothing.

What I love most about fall clothing isn’t so practical a reason as being able to wear the same pieces throughout the year, but with less layers. It’s the layering itself that really gets me going. Forget jeans, a t-shirt and a hoodie. No, no. I’d rather wear tights, frilly socks, boots, a skirt, a t-shirt, an oversized cardigan, a scarf, a hat, and – well, you see where this is going. In the summer heat, “putting an outfit together” in the morning feels like “finding the outfit I’ll sweat least in.” I dread it. In the fall, though, getting dressed in the chilly morning feels like baking a layer-cake of textures and colours that will keep me warm, comforted, all day long. Who doesn’t like cake?

So, I ask you two things:

What season do you love getting dressed in, and why? And does anyone know of a country where the temperature rests permanently around 15 degrees celsius? I’d like to move there.

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It’s a Plaid, Plaid, Plaid, Plaid World

My Grandma and my Step-Grandpa Ralph, an American who was in the Navy during WWII and loved our cottage for the endless opportunities to build things, bought a pair of red, plaid Mark’s Work Warehouse-style jackets in Kensington Market the first year we went up to Lake Simcoe. They have since become staples of our cottage wardrobes, recognizable in a myriad of summertime photographs scotch-taped on the cabin walls. Worried that we might misplace or ruin the originals, and wanting to keep the flannel tradition alive, I bought a blue plaid jacket at Value Village to add to the collection. My brother Tom promptly stole it, taking it back to university and, as I ruefully described it shaking my fist, turned it “into fashion.”

Then a funny thing happened: Tom spotted similar jackets all over campus. Plaid flannel jackets, so gawky, so nerdy, so clichéd Canadian, were not supposed to be a trend! No longer separating him from the crowd, he folded the jacket up and brought it back up to the lake.

The circle completed, as practicality begat anti-fashion begat fashion begat practicality, the plaid flannel jackets are once again worn for their comfort and warmth when trudging down to the beach in the early morning, curled up admiring the sunset and laying on the dock, listening to the black waves and watching the stars.

- Max Mosher

Rag and Roll

I have a serious case of born-in-the-wrong-generation. While I know that life in 2010 has its perks, there is a part of me that has always longed for things like handwritten letters, dances on weekends, and long drives in cars without seatbelts. This longing is never more evident than during the visits I have with my grandmother. Although I don’t see her as frequently now that I spend most of the year away at school, I try to visit as often as I can. My favourite conversations are the ones about what her life was like when she was my age.

One particular evening, we were talking about hair – specifically, the things we do to curl it.

“We used to stick a six-inch nail right in the fire!” she said, holding her hands up to show me how long the nail was. Later, she told me about how her mother used to make rollers for my grandma and her sisters out of paper: “If you twist and twist and twist,” she said, making the motions with her fingers, “the paper gets stiff, and you can wrap your hair around it.”
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Backyard Arts and Crafts

For me, summertime has always been about projects. As the school year winds down, I begin to make lists in my head of all the ways I want to spend my time: I will read nothing but Jane Austen novels, I will photograph something every day, I will teach myself to sew. Sometimes I accomplish these things, and sometimes I don’t – but every year, I begin the summer with a hopeful bunch of plans and although I’ve never managed to complete them all, I’ve also never ignored my list completely. I may not do everything, but I always do something, and the break is a little more interesting because of it.

This summer, the project at the top of my list was tie-dye. I don’t know what possessed me. I’ve always been sort of indifferent to the aesthetic. I have owned exactly two pieces of tie-dyed clothing in my life: One was an oversized t-shirt I dyed at summer camp when I was seven, and the other was a pink and purple shirt I bought on sale on a family vacation last summer. I’ve neither loved nor hated either of these pieces of clothing. Sometimes a shirt is just a shirt. Multicoloured swirls and I had no real relationship – happy, sad or otherwise.
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