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5th October 2022

The Gilmore Girls Aesthetic: Finding the beauty in autumn

As the autumn months draw in, The Mancunion examines how the popular series Gilmore Girls can inspire the perfect day-to-day autumn lifestyle and the importance of finding joy in the colder weather
The Gilmore Girls Aesthetic: Finding the beauty in autumn
Photo: Annabel Benton @ The Mancunion

Cult classic Gilmore Girls is a known autumnal comfort show, and we’ve compiled a list of small ways to find this joy amid colder weather and earlier sunsets.

As the days draw in and autumn enters full swing, the shift towards darker evenings can be daunting. Whilst many of us enjoy cosy boxsets, hot drinks and seasonal holidays, the shorter days tend to affect both productivity and happiness: shows such as Gilmore Girls can help alleviate these feelings.

First airing in 2000 and running for seven seasons, Gilmore Girls has become an autumn staple, with many hardcore fans returning to the series as soon as leaves begin to fall. Viewers follow the relationships and adventures of Lorelai, her daughter Rory, and her mother Emily as they navigate the small-town life of New England.

Gilmore Girls has it all: dynamic female leads, family drama, chaotic townsfolk, and lots of coffee. The comfort of the show is often found in the setting, picturesque Stars Hollow, where viewers are rarely troubled by serious events. Their biggest worry tends to be organising the over-the-top autumnal decorations and events.

Although the show finished airing over 15 years ago, it has become intertwined with the more contemporary idea of ‘romanticising’ your daily life. The idea is to uplift the smaller or more mundane aspects of modern life into moments to celebrate.

Searching Gilmore Girls on TikTok brings up countless edits, outfit ideas, and videos using the show as inspiration for an ‘aesthetic’ autumn. As it turns out, there are actually many themes present in the series which could be incorporated into our daily lives to enable a greater appreciation of the moments of magic in darker days.

First things first: studying. Rory’s education is a core theme of the show, starting at Chilton Prep School, and later at Yale University. Rory is often a picture-perfect student, with her need for academic validation and success the motivation for many of her actions.

A new term at university is the perfect time to take inspiration from Rory’s passion for learning. Loving the work you’re doing will undoubtedly improve productivity and the joy we take from daily studying. So, why not go out and buy some fresh books, listen to a fancy podcast or start a study group? If all else fails, new stationery goes a long way to providing extra educational excitement!

Lorelai is also a great character for some autumnal inspiration: she is driven, self-sufficient and ambitious. Autumn is the perfect time to set some goals, especially if you’re starting a new term at university, as deciding which goals to focus on during the colder, often less productive months will hopefully ward off some of the seasonal slump.

Gilmore Girls follows Lorelai’s journey towards opening her own inn, a dream which becomes a reality at the end of the fourth series. Why not be more like Lorelai: set out some long-term ambitions and write down exactly how you’re going to make them happen to give more of a focus to daily activities. This can make your end goal feel more attainable, and also provides a sense of fulfilment through every small achievement.

The autumn episodes are amongst the best in the show’s 153-episode catalogue, and it’s the seasonal holidays which always promise excitement. Viewers watch as the Gilmores navigate Thanksgiving, Halloween and a range of Stars Hollow-specific events which often verge on the ridiculous.

The focus on family and community in Gilmore Girls creates much of its inviting atmosphere, with the episode ‘A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving’ the perfect example of seasonal togetherness. It isn’t hard for us to embrace autumn with Halloween on the calendar, and it’s planning for these events which give us something to look forward to as we leave the long nights of summer behind. Although Thanksgiving isn’t traditionally celebrated in the UK as in North America, throwing a Gilmore Girls style ‘Friendsgiving’ may also be a nice way to see loved ones and indulge in some good food.

Another way to indulge in the cold weather is with coffee, which Gilmore Girls protagonists Lorelai and Rory depend on. It’s estimated that the characters drank over 500 cups across the course of the show, at all and any hours of the day.

Whilst this might not be the best thing for your health, if cold mornings are making it hard to get out of bed and on with your day, a hot cup of something caffeinated (tea works too) may be exactly what the doctor ordered. There’s something beautiful about the morning frosts in autumn, so make the most of your mornings by being more Gilmore.

Coffee also means cafe culture, the perfect solution for someone struggling for motivation. Venturing outside the library and finding a cute cafe to work in will almost always lift you out of a sluggish mood, which is why The Mancunion has compiled a list of the best cafes for studying in Manchester.

Getting out of the house is especially important as the days shorten, and it’s something which the Gilmore girls do excellently. Luke’s Diner is a frequented spot for the duo, as well as other popular Stars Hollow residents such as Lane, Kurt and, of course, Luke himself. In view of this, why not also organise some coffee dates with friends? Haus in Fallowfield is great for a friendly atmosphere and has recently updated its brunch menu, although there’s far less of the small-town drama on offer than in Luke’s!

If the shorter days and colder weather do become hard to face, there’s always the option of cosying up with your favourite seasonal film or boxset (a suggestion of Gilmore Girls seems too obvious). There’s no shame in being less productive during the winter months, and part of the joy in this time of year is the opportunity it can give us to enjoy the space, time and company of ourselves and our loved ones. The inspiration for a slower pace can of course be found in Gilmore Girls: Lorelai and Rory spend even more time watching films and eating junk food than they do drinking coffee.

However, as autumn approaches, try to take the time to focus on the subtle joy we can find in the ever-changing seasons, and the ways in which the cosy autumn aesthetic can make leaving summer behind something to celebrate.

The words of Lorelai Gilmore, speaking on the first snow in Stars Hollow, seem particularly relevant: “It’s just my favourite time of year. The whole world changes colour.”

Annabel Benton

Annabel Benton

Co-Culture Managing Editor at The Mancunion // Twitter: @AnnabelBenton_

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