Fall Style Essentials – 2011

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With all due respect, Andy Williams is wrong.  The most wonderful time of the year, as far as men’s style is concerned, has leaves, not snow, falling from the sky.  That time of the year is finally about to get started.  Soon enough it’ll be time to stop sweating and start layering up.  Linen will get traded in for tweed.  And remember socks?

10 “essentials” follow and remember, as always these are suggestions.  What’s essential for someone in Seattle won’t be essential for someone in Phoenix.  Your additions to the list are more than welcome at the bottom of the page.
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1. The double breasted trench coat:  B.R. – $134.05* ($225) | Claiborne – $119.99 ($200)

Make sure it fits well too.

It’s not quite overcoat weather, but your lighter jacket won’t cover your blazer.  The answer is a trench.  Don’t be freaked out by the belt, you don’t have to wear it.  Some prefer the single breasted Mac jacket, but those can leave you looking a little boxy.  An ideal fabric would be partially cotton and partially nylon, but the B.R. proves an all poly can look great.
*Use the code BRGOODBYE for 30% off your entire BananaRepublic.com order.  Good only 9/6

 

2. A classic umbrella:  Totes Gentleman’s Umbrella – $16.00

Distinguished and under $20.

One of those tiny collapsible umbrellas is okay, but they’re tough to fit two people under.  A gigantic colorful golf umbrella is just comical.  Since these have been available through Macy’s for years at this kind of bargain, there’s no reason not to carry one or stow one in the trunk of your car.  If it looks like rain, take it.  You’ll look better with it in hand.

 

3. The grey tweedish blazer: Calibrate Trim – $112 ($225) | J. Crew FACTORY – $125* ($178)

In person reviews on both soon.

Of course brown hued tweed is classic, but a grey leaning charcoal wool or wool mix sport coat is a little cleaner and a little younger.  You can wear it with black pants, khaki chinos (as demonstrated in the Nordstrom photo above) and denim.  The Calibrate just went on sale for 50% off and should be a steal at just over $100.
*Use the code LOVEIT for an extra 30% off J. Crew Sale and FACTORY items.  Expires Friday 9/9

 

4. Tougher lace ups:  Kenneth Cole New York “Mind Tricks” – $62.49* ($158)

At $65, a scuff or two is welcome.

Rougher around the edges than your plain & smooth dress shoes.  Think of these as the winterized version of those suede bucs you wore all summer long.  Wear them casually and semi-dressed up everywhere and all the time.  Wingtip boots go in this category too.  The KCNY wingtip is already marked down and now gets an extra 50% off.
*The extra 50% off comes once you dump it in your cart, but the code WELCOME10 drops them to under $63 shipped.  Credit RaptorRapture for the extra cherry on top code. 

 

5. Rich Looking Gloves:  Black Brown 1826 Deerskin Driving Gloves – $40.32* ($72.00)

Not a fan of drivers? Look for a version with only the strap.

A blazer or sport-coat goes from top-most layer to full blown outerwear once you put on a pair of gloves.  If you’re headed out, consider leaving your coat at home or at least in the car.  Wear a blazer and take your gloves.
*Use the code LDAY for an extra 20-25% off sale and clearance.

 

6. A little bit of Orange, anywhere:  L.E.C. Poplin – $49.50icon | Personality Tie – $33.60*

Bright but still fall appropriate.

Don’t go full Syracuse with your orange, but it is a fall color.  When used in moderation it’ll breath life into an otherwise to drab wardrobe.  Multi colored check shirts are a good bet, as are wool based ties like this Italian made one available on Bonobos.  *Should be able to get it for $33.60, potentially, with the $40 for $80 deal gift certificate through GiltCity plus the code DAPPER.  (You’ll have $6.40 in credit left when it’s all said and done.)

 

7. Merino V-Neck Sweaters:  J. Crew Factory - $34.65* ($49.50)

Don't be afraid of subtle color.

The Banana Republic Silk Blend v-necks are terrific, but they’re expensive, and the V on those dips drastically low.  For a cheaper cooler weather pick, stick with Merino Wool.  Good from now till April.  It’s lightweight, it’s strong, and has minimal scratch.  Wait for a sale on versions from  J. Crew Factory and Express.
*And just like that, there’s a sale on the FACTORY.  Use the code LOVEIT.  30% off J. Crew Sale items too.

 

8. The Cold Weather Knit Tie:  Urban Outfitters – $24.00

Only available in store.

Knit ties don’t have to go into hibernation.  They just need to change their colors and get some texture.  The one shown above is acrylic but looks like wool, comes in cooler colors, and will work with all sorts of sweaters, oxfords, and cords combinations.  Made in the USA too.

 

9. An upgrade to the hoodie:  American Apparel Rugby – $48 | J. Crew Shawl – $41.65*

Nice bold placket on the Rugby.

There will be weekends where you’ll want to reach for that brick heavy, bulky, alma matter hooded sweatshirt.  Leave it for when you have the flu.  The once beloved Ralph Lauren Custom Fit has skyrocketed to a gag-worthy $100 and the A.A. is half that price.  Shawl collar pullovers are a solid bet too.  Cheaper options:  this, and this.  Both from L.E.C.
*The code LOVEIT works on this sweater as well.

 

10. A couple of slim lamps:  Target – $13.69 | Pottery Barn – $79.00

Lighting. You'll need it.

Heads up bachelors.  It’s getting darker earlier, and you should know that women hate standard overhead lighting.  Every-time I flip on the one fluorescent ceiling light in our house, Mrs. Dappered all but vacates the room.  Look for simple lamps that lack the common bulbous ceramic base.  The P.B. splurge is proof that masculine lamps exist.

Your turn to add to the pile.  What’s an autumn, cool weather essential for you?  Leave your additions to the list of fall essentials in the comments section below.  Top Photo Credit