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The Ultimate Fall Beauty Look Is Rory Gilmore


When I’m not writing about cruelty-free beauty, my love of three pound weights, or my sweet gig sitting at the front desk at Glossier HQ, I’m watching Gilmore Girls. So many Gilmore Girls. All 153 episodes (157 if you count the revival) at least five times, which makes me a self-proclaimed expert. I think about the show most in the fall—Stars Hollow, Gilmore Girls' fictional town where everyone is always beautifully wrapped in cable-knits is essentially autumn propaganda—which means that I absolutely can’t stop thinking about it now.

So, no better time than now to take a closer look at the show's titular character, Rory Gilmore. If she's taught me anything, it's that brunettes who can read are a hot guy magnet. What dark magic does this quippy brunette possess? She’s called “beloved by the whole town” at least 600 times during the show, and she can barely take a sip of coffee without men fighting over her. Just the kind of intriguing behavior to encourage me to try something radical. Folks stay with me...this fall I’m becoming Rory Gilmore.

Becoming Rory, Phase 1: Clothes

I call my weekday look: “Rory waiting for the bus to Chilton.” The headliner of this look is, of course, a plaid mini skirt. I wore one every day for four years in high school and I never got chased onto the bus by a male model in a turtleneck, so this is my second chance to make it happen. I just bought this one from ASOS, and I’m wearing it with either a big sweater or t-shirt tucked in. My Chilton-esque outfit is accentuated by the heavy backpack I carry everywhere. This one, to be exact. Yes, the one you had in middle school. Yes, mine is actually from middle school. Yes, it has my name on it, which is “Ariel” not “Rory,” so I’ll have to change that for the full effect.

For my “Weekend Rory” vibe, I’m wearing classic cardigans paired with jeans and an old pair of combat boots. I’d prefer new boots, but they’re very painful to break in. This is, of course, something one of my new boyfriends (any day now…) will fix once he builds me a car with his bare hands. Then I won’t have to worry about walking around on my delicate feet.

Phase 2: TV Hair

Don’t ask me to talk about Rory’s bangs phase or her experiments with a curling iron, because I have an agenda. I’m here to talk about her season one and two hair—shiny like the tail of a newborn foal, parted in the middle, and often clipped back on either side so it doesn’t obstruct her view of The Fountainhead or whatever. All I want is a smooth-as-silk blowout that rests on the shoulders of my chunky knit whilst Hot Guy #2 feeds me grapes. ITG Senior Editor Ashley Weatherford lent me a blow dryer for this, and guess what? I never used it. Turns out I lack the stamina to make my typically flat hair look smooth and wispy. I guiltily returned the blow dryer and settled on the idea that my hair would never be shiny enough to lure in a motorcycle jacket. But then I found an alternate solution, Iles Formula Finishing Serum. Does it count as a “finishing” serum if it’s literally my only hair step? It’s my beginning AND finishing serum. It’s… my only hair serum, and when I use on my wet hair, it dries like I’ve paid $45 at Drybar. I also smooth some throughout my dry hair for a little touch-up if my hair is feeling frizzy.

Clip-wise, I’m placing butterfly clips on either side of my middle part. My coworker Reed Redman bought this pack of 100 and handed them around Glossier HQ like the she was the Santa Claus of Claire’s Accessories. I’ve been getting tons of compliments on them. I feel so beloved you could stick a name tag on me that says “Rory” and send me some Ivy League acceptance letters.

Phase 3: Minimal Makeup

Because Rory looks like a young, fresh-faced, human angel sent back down to earth as a gift to us all, she doesn’t wear much makeup. So, in this “Fall of Rory,” I’ve decided to have perfect clear skin. That’s a decision you can make, right? Cool. With perfect skin and a fervor for journalism, all I need is a glossy lip for date nights and Friday night dinners. My friend Joelle gave me this pink Marc Jacobs gloss that feels minty on my lips and it deposits just the perfect amount of pale pink. Something about the tube feels incredibly ‘2002,’ but less sticky and with fewer iPods. All the better for the impending makeout sessions outside Luke’s Diner.

Phase 4: Accessories

Now that I’m a plaid-skirted, lip-glossed, shiny-haired, cherub, I’m ready to add the finishing touches—coffee and a book. My newest acquisition is this tumbler from Corkcircle, because even though I want to be as caffeinated at Rory, I want to be more mindful about waste. I bring it to the coffee shop across the street from my apartment, and I make adorable witty banter with the cute, beanie-wearing barista. He always says the funniest things like, “That will be 2.50 please,” or “Can you step to the side? There’s a long line behind you.” It’s a real “will they, won’t they!”

Book-wise, I usually carry my Kindle or read on my iPhone, but now I’m going to carry a physical book, just like in olden times. I’ve chosen This Will Only Hurt a Little, Busy Phillips’ new book, because she’s the Ayn Rand of Instagram Stories, with better eyebrows.

With these final touches, I have completed my fall transformation into the youngest Gilmore girl. I am now a woman with at least three sexy boyfriends and the attention of my entire city. It’s only October and I’m already feeling younger, fresher, closer to my mother, and more deserving of love! See, watching TV isn't all bad.

—Ariel Gitlin