We here at Team Tallsome HQ know a thing or two about fall traditions. Hell, we spent a combined seven years at the pinnacle of all things festive and autumn themed (OHIO, the State University), we KNOW how to get down with some cider and foliage. Although those blessed years of Homecoming, Halloween, and not attending football games are long behind us, we still know how to make the most out of one of the best times of the year. As Fall finally dons on my new Texas home, it makes me nostalgic for Fall 2010 in Chicago – street festivals, stumbling around Wrigleyville, the most epic weekend of high school friends visiting EVER – and then I remember what comes next…
So without further ado, here are the five Team Tallsome approved must-haves for fall.
I don’t care if you live in New York or Denver; every guy needs a sturdy pair of boots. I was in the dark about such things until I “experienced” the worst winter the city of Chicago had seen in almost a century last year. Only after witnessing people cross-country skiing down Clark St. did I realize how essential a good pair of boots actually is. The benefits are obvious to anyone living in a remotely cold climate, but even for those of us nestled down here in the heart of Texas, boots are still an essential part of any guy’s footwear collection. In recent years, Red Wings, Sperry, and Clarks have produced a great selection of boots for the casual man about town (including the increasingly popular desert boot) and for good reason. Boots look good, they’re sturdy, and they make you look like you know what the f*ck you’re doing no matter what the situation.
The Go-To Jacket
I could write a saga to rival that of Homer’s Odyssey when it comes to owning a go-to jacket, but I’ll save y’all the trouble of hearing about the trial and tribulation that I’ve experienced with a certain “For Urban Adventurists” brand (psst, it’s Patagonia). Everyone needs a go-to jacket for fall. Nothing too flashy or heavy, but something you can wear to work and wear out with your friends. Personally, I think nothing beats a great, worn-in leather jacket, but since the one leather jacket I’ve ever known has returned to its original owner (note – said jacket is the focus of a future memoir entitled: “The Brotherhood of the Raconteuring Jacket – Tales of Friendship, Giggling, and the Cannabis that got them there.”), I’ve had to go a different route. Soft shells made by a whole barrage of companies (i.e. North Face, Patagonia, Marmot) are highly versatile, comfortable, and keep the wind out, which is super key.
Although this is my first fall where I’ve been bike capable (didn’t learn to ride till this past August), I’ve already experienced the splendor of trekking around town on a crisp fall night. The wind in your hair, the cooling temperature hitting your skin, not to mention scouting out the last instances of publically displayed skin from the fairer sex that you’re sure to see for a while (unless you live in a warm climate (boo-yah)), having a bike presents a whole slew of possibilities to optimize your cider spiking and hay-ride taking experience.
One of my favorite things about the leaves changing and temperatures dropping (except in Texas where leaves change due to drought and temperatures go from hot to warm or warm to mild) is the shifting of what’s for dinner. We obviously live in a day and age where you can get peaches in January and any sort of animal prepackaged for you 24/7, but if you do a little research and give a shit at all about supporting local farmers, you’ll be very happy to know what you can expect for fall. All sorts of squash, stranger, less common varieties of potatoes, a big supply of game (rabbit, bore, venison), ALL of these things are essential to enjoying autumn from a culinary perspective. However, once you have these delicious things, how do you cook them? Sure, there are variations on methods and vesicles, but having a solid roasting pan in your kitchen can be a lifesaver. They’re big, versatile, and allow you to bring out a huge amount of flavor without much fuss. So strap on those boots, grab your jacket, and set a course (via bike obviously) to the nearest farmers market. Not only will you be buying fresh, organic, and straight from the source, but farmers markets usually live up to the hype when it comes to lady clientele. Whether you go for the post-yoga/Pilates look or you’re fonder of the chic urban hippy motif, you’re bound to find someone nice who would love for you to roast some squash for them.
After waking up from your killer date with the cute red head who couldn’t help but notice your knack for picking out unbruised sage (not to mention your awesome boots) at the farmers market, it’s time to suit up – Sunday style. No matter where you call home, we all have specific allegiances to a team we hold dear to our hearts and fall is the perfect time to let those colors fly. Unlike most other sports, the NFL translates to everyone and there is almost nothing better than getting your herd together to watch a great Sunday afternoon game with a big ass bowl of that awesome venison chili you made yesterday afternoon (see how this all fits together?). Do most dudes look like overgrown, hung-over six year olds on Sundays in their XL jerseys of players who decided to retire rather than honor their incredibly bloated contracts (cough cough I’m talking to you CP cough cough Dalton Forever cough cough)? Sure, but that makes whatever it is that “apparently” happened the night before (when you decided to bring out Jagerbombs after your autumn feast) even more innocent and charming.