Accessories, Hobbies, Movies, Outfit Ideas, Pop Culture

Nora Ephron Fall: A Cozy Autumn Aesthetic You’ll Fall In Love With

This post may contain affiliate links, which means The Zillennial Zine receive a commission if you purchase through our link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

nora ephron fall

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Raven Minyard. Find her on Instagram at @raven.minyard. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at

If you’re anything like me, you know that fall unofficially starts in August – even if it is still 100 degrees outside. As I wait for the weather to cool down and the leaves to change color, I’ve already begun my yearly list of fall movies to watch. At the top of my list, as always, are Nora Ephron’s classic rom-coms: When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. While these films aren’t set entirely in autumn, their overall warm and cozy aesthetics have led many people to associate them with the season. For the past couple of years, many TikTok creators even declared that they were having a “Nora Ephron Fall,” in which they embraced the fashion sense and lifestyles of Ephron’s most popular characters. The trend seems to be on the rise again this year, as some creators have already begun posting their Ephron-inspired fall outfits. But what exactly is the Nora Ephron Fall aesthetic and how do you achieve it? Grab your pumpkin spice and your fuzziest blanket and join me as we explore Nora Ephron Fall.

Who Is Nora Ephron And What Makes Her Movies So Good?

To fully embrace Nora Ephron Fall, you first need to know who Nora Ephron was. Ephron was an American screenwriter, playwright, author, film director and journalist best known for her romantic comedies. She wrote the screenplay for the now-iconic 1989 film When Harry Met Sally and directed a number of films including Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. Together, these three films make up Ephron’s “Big Three,” as fans like to call them, and are at the forefront of the Ephron aesthetic.

But what is it about Ephron and her films that makes people want to dedicate a whole season to them? What separates them from all the other rom-coms? According to Entertainment Weekly, it’s her voice. In an interview with the magazine, producer Donald Lee Jr., who produced You’ve Got Mail and Julie and Julia, states, “When you hear her dialogue, when you hear what she writes, it not only reflects her personal taste, her opinions, but it’s so observant and so current…. She was always aware of the relationships between men and women and what was going on in the world, and she was a master of writing that in the scripts.” Fans connect with Ephron’s characters and their stories because they feel real. You care about their lives, their problems and their relationships because they feel like they could happen to you, and you also know there’s a happy ending waiting at the end of the film.

However, that happy ending wasn’t always well-received. In the same Entertainment Weekly interview, Lee also states that Ephron “was criticized – at the time, people said her movies were old-fashioned, but old-fashioned because they made people happy…. Nora used to say there’s nothing wrong with making people happy.” And that – making people happy – is, in my opinion, exactly why Nora Ephron Fall exists. When fall arrives, you know winter isn’t too far behind with its frigid temperatures and long, dark nights. You want to hold onto warmth. You want to be cozy and happy. It doesn’t matter if Ephron’s films are “old-fashioned,” because that familiarity, that coziness, is exactly what you want this time of year.


Nora Ephron Fall began as “Meg Ryan Fall,” in which TikTok creators based their outfits on the actress’s characters, but the trend quickly expanded to focus on Ephron’s movies as a whole, including interpretations of her male characters and the overall aesthetics of the films. When it comes to fashion in Ephron’s rom-coms, there are a few staples you’re sure to find: sweaters, blazers and layers.

Both Ephron’s male and female characters love a good sweater. Harry Burns’s chunky knit white sweater has become a must-have for When Harry Met Sally fans, and you can find a cozy dupe here. Of course, you can’t have Harry without Sally, who can often be found sporting a turtleneck. Get your own, and pair it with one of Sally’s notable blazers. We also can’t forget the iconic Central Park scene, the one that solidifies When Harry Met Sally as a fall classic. Accessorize like Sally with a fedora and leather gloves, or copy Harry’s style with a brown leather jacket.

Maybe, like me, you’re more of a fan of You’ve Got Mail. Get ready to defend indie bookstores like Kathleen Kelly in some cute, layered looks. Pair a mini dress with a black mock-neck, or opt for a cardigan and a midi skirt. Kathleen typically completes her outfits with a pair of wool tights and Oxfords. While we mostly see love interest and businessman Joe Fox in a suit and tie, make this casual look your own with a flannel, white T-shirt and Chinos.

Sleepless in Seattle references classic films several times throughout the movie, and Annie Reed’s timeless look reflects that. While the fashion in this film isn’t as admired by fans as Ephron’s other works, the final scene on top of the Empire State Building is unforgettable. Pair a wool peacoat with a warm scarf for those chilly fall nights, or relax in bed with a comfy sweatsuit inspired by this look.


While Nora Ephron may be most closely associated with New York City, don’t think you have to move to the Big Apple to feel like the main character in one of her films. There are a ton of things you can do from your city or even the comfort of your own home that will have you feeling just like Sally Albright or Kathleen Kelly.

Inspired by her own career as a journalist and an author, many of Ephron’s characters have careers based around writing or books. If you want to feel like one of these leading ladies, go check out a local bookstore! Sip on a latte and browse the romance section. Read Kathleen Kelly’s favorite book, Pride and Prejudice, or if you just can’t get enough of Nora Ephron, try her novel, Heartburn. You can also try writing something yourself; do some journaling or write letters (or emails) to a pen pal just like Kathleen and Joe in You’ve Got Mail.

Another definitive feature of a Nora Ephron movie is the soundtrack. Ephron’s films feature classic jazz songs, giving them a timeless feel. Create a playlist of Louis Armstrong, Carole King and Harry Connick Jr., and go pick out some fresh flowers or veggies from an outdoor market. Just make sure the flowers are wrapped in brown paper to truly feel like the main character of a rom-com!

Ephron’s characters often get to know each other by strolling through the park or around the city. Take a long walk with a partner or a close friend and talk about your lives. Ask them questions you’ve never asked before, tell them a funny story from your childhood or simply enjoy each other’s company in the crisp, fall air. Whatever you do, the key to having the best Nora Ephron Fall is to stop and enjoy the season.

How will you celebrate Nora Ephron Fall? Let us know in the comments!

More Pop Culture Articles

Lifestyle Articles

Fashion Articles

Relationship Articles