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The Birchbox Man To-Do List: September 2014

After a languid summer, we’re itching to get back to work. Here are a few tips to help you get into the spirit of September.

In the spirit of our September theme, “Hit the Books,” I’m revisiting the term papers of old and typing up this month’s to-do list. I’ll spare you the double spacing.

1. Read the greatest comic novel every written about university life: Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis. Some say it’s the first “campus” novel every written. One thing is certain, it has one of the best hangover descriptions ever written: “He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of the morning.”

2. If you’d rather veg out, watch a classic school movie. You can turn on the 1957 film adaptation of “Lucky Jim,” or Birchbox Man Editor Nate’s pick, “Goodbye, Mr. Chips.” And there’s always Rushmore—you can never go wrong with that.

3. Style tip: Get to know the Repp Stripe tie. Aside from a tweed jacket, it’s the easiest way to take your fall wardrobe some back-to-school flair. Fun fact: Diagonal tie stripes that point to the right shoulder are American, while those pointing to the left are European. This goes back to which shoulder soldiers would sling their rifle over—and the avoidance of unsightly crosshatching diagonals.

4. Fall means a little more time indoors and a little less crossbreeze through your house or apartment. Clear out any stuffiness (or lingering scent of stale workout clothes) with these incense pyres from Blackbird.

5. There’s no better time to find your signature chili recipe. Pick a version you can build off of, and iterate on it for the rest of your life. Make your chili at least once a year (preferably on a day that professional football is played) and experiment with something a little different each time. You can get creative by adding beer, bourbon, coffee, or chocolate.

Looking for more ways to get fall off on the right foot? Check out these 7 tips for refreshing your look and routine for autumn.

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