Men’s Fall Style Essentials – Autumn 2010
Say goodbye to summer. Fall is officially here. The official change of season doesn’t happen until the equinox on September 23rd, but the new fall lines are fully in stores, the weather cooling off, and the NFL and College Football seasons are underway. Now’s the time to put that linen suit back into storage for another year, and reload your closet with a few heavier, darker, but just as interesting pieces suitable for the new season. Here’s a few of the best bets that are neither too trendy nor too expensive, & ready for this year’s downshift into cooler weather.
The Subtle Dark Pattern Suit in Houndstooth, Plaid, or Herringbone
Express Stretch Wool Houndstooth Jacket – $228.00 | matching pant – $98.00
INC Poly Dark Plaid Blazer – $69.98 | matching pant – $39.98
J. Crew Italian Wool Herringbone Ludlow Jacket – $375.00 | matching pant – $185.00
Dark subtle patterns deliver the depth and textured look of a tweed without any of the scratchy old-time feel. From a distance they look solid but at arms length you’ll notice there’s a lot more going on. See the full review of the way better than expected Express houndstooth here. For the INC suit, the online pics don’t do it justice. Yes it’s synthetic, but in person it actually feels decent & looks even better. The peaks on the lapels are barely there and set high enough making them blend in. The off the rack contouring is terrific. The J. Crew Herringbone will obviously be superior and you’ll pay for that name. But the pattern, cut, and finish are all unbeatable.
The Bold Tattersall Shirt: Hickey Freeman – $71.99 | J. Crew Point Collar – $55.00
It’s fall, not a funeral. If you can’t afford any of those new subtle pattern numbers up top, but still want to add detail to your somber and solid suits, splurge on a bold tattersall shirt. You only need one, and you get a similar depth-producing effect. Dark suit + Tattersall shirt + subdued tie = just enough character. If you need an even cheaper option, try this one from Black Brown 1826 through Lord and Taylor. Just $40.
The Lighter Gray Blazer: B.R. Herringbone Blazer $250 | Gap Wool Blend Blazer $98.00
Not charcoal, but instead a true to leaning light gray, both of these blazers from the GAP family of companies will give you shape while keeping you warm. Fail safe / can’t screw it up layering ends when you put on a well tailored blazer. At $250 and made of Italian Cotton, the Banana Republic version is extremely high end (see the in person review here) while the just released GAP step down version keeps it more affordable.
The New Detail Boot: U.O. Ritano Wingtip – $78.00 | CAT Jonas – $129.00
The moc-toe clunky Lumberjack look is everywhere. But in your gut, that should feel more like a trend than anything else. Tough to wear those to say, a concert. Instead, try a boot with details that are a little more versatile. Wingtip styling or moto inspired buckles specifically.
The Beige Dial Watch – Guess Euro Chrono $135.00 | TX 500 Series World Time $325.84
As the immortal masters of poetry Kris Kross once said: “Warm it up…” (sorry). Look for a watch with a brown leather strap but not a matching face. Instead, look for a beige, off-white, or ivory dial. The case and details can be updated or as complicated as you’d like, but the color of the dial gives it an old-time feel.
Corduroy: Old Navy Cord Blazer – $49.50 | American Rag Straight Leg Cords – $29.50
A few suggestions for corduroy: Keep the wale small. Anything too big and you’ll start to look like a couch from 1975. Don’t stick to just brown. Black and Gray work just as well if not better. You’ll see plenty of corduroy suits this fall… try to avoid those. And don’t forget that one of the best places to pick up corduroy on the cheap is your local thrift store. The Old Navy Cord Blazer will have to be tailored in, but it’s a bargain, and wears well. The American Rag cords are about as inexpensive as it gets and widely available.
The Unique Leather Gloves: Firetrap Gloves – $67.40 | Topman Side Knit Gloves – $32.00
Everybody and their grandfather has a pair of leather gloves with the three lines of stitching on the top. Go for something slightly different. A d-ring buckle at the cuff, or something sorta out-there like the pair from Topman. Got a fast car and not afraid to spend a little money? These are available on bluefly for $84.00 and offer classic racing style without any shiny obnoxious hardware.
I don’t care what anybody says about how stubble or maintaining a weeks worth of growth has jumped the shark. If you keep your neck shaved, and you trim your beard to the same length with a beard trimmer (try setting #2 on this Remmington for Clooney’s style above) you’ll look plenty cleaned up. It’s all about uniformity in the length of your facial hair. The ladies seem to like it, plus when the dog and I go for our morning run and it’s 20 degrees or colder out, my skin doesn’t turn waxy and peel off in dead chunks.
The Drinks: Alaska Brewing Barley Wine, Zaya Rum, Lone Madrone Reds
Thank goodness it’s finally time to stop drinking Pilsners, Gin and Tonics, and Whites. Autumn calls for the deep, dark, and rich stuff. Read a full review of the Alaskan Brewing Barley Wine from our friends at The Next Bar Stool (hint: it’s surprisingly good.) Reacquaint yourself with one of the best sipping liquors, Zaya Rum, from our Drinks Correspondent Ben Madeska. And if you’re into the wine scene, try any of the reds from the small Paso Robles / Highway 46 West winery Lone Madrone. Any and all will keep you sufficiently warm.
Got any other fall-ready favorites? Leave them in the comments section below.