Fall’s the best, ain’t it? But the season is not without it’s style complications. Here are ten tips, strategies, suggestions, and maybe a trend or two to consider adding into your personal style arsenal for the upcoming season.
Easy for some, and intimidating to others. Yet, it’s not as hard as those others would think. Three keys: Contrast, texture, and… remember that your outfit is like Thanksgiving Dinner. Further explanation over here. And remember, you can go overboard with layering. Like, suede blazer + mock zip + shirt + tie plus… well, y’know. Shown above: A moleskin Old Navy Blazer (RIP Old Navy Blazers), a lambswool v-neck, and a poplin shirt from Ratio clothing.
#2. Invest in a slim pair of gloves
Gloves are like sunglasses. Just like how a pair of chunky, sporty shades doesn’t look right with a suit, a pair of thick, technical ski gloves might not look the best with a topcoat and a blazer. Most of us spend the winter moving from heated building, to heated vehicle, to heated building, with some time outdoors but not a ton unless it’s for a specific recreational purpose. Unless it’s bitter out, an unlined pair of leather gloves should hold in enough heat while deflecting the wind. Shown above: The oft mentioned drivers from Orvis (with a year of wear on them) and some newish Cole Haans picked up during a Rue La La sale.
#3. Get a Clothes Brush.
Here’s the cliff’s notes version: A clothes brush is far superior to a sticky roller. And now the in depth explanation: There’s going to come a point that your peacoat, or corduroy blazer, or flannel suit is going to start looking a little… littered with life debris. You could break out one of those pet hair rollers (which do just fine in a pinch) or, you could invest in a clothes brush like the Kent pictured above. The bristles get into the space between the fibers, kick up the dirt/hair/etc. then pick it up on that same or next swipe. All without the use of adhesives that might be pulling and tearing at the fabric. Well worth it, especially around this time of year. More on the value of a clothes brush from RealMenRealStyle over here. Meanwhile, Amazon has a few modles of Kent Clothes Brushes, and Valet points out that you can get a great Kent Brush via ebay for a reasonable price.
#4. Switch out some of your shoes to suede.
Suede doesn’t handle precipitation the best, but it still looks all kinds of right in fall. The soft texture of suede looks warm. And the muted/matte appearance is in line with other fall fabrics and materials. Shown above: The on sale but still super spendy Allen Edmonds Strand in Suede. For cheaper options, DSW, Banana Republic, and Zara are good places to start.
#5. Get Quilted.
Quilted jackets have been on a great run in the world of casual outerwear. And for good reason. Most are warm, have a good amount of pockets for holding your cell/wallet/keys/dog-poop bags/etc… , they move well, and unlike their puffer coat cousins, the new-look quilted jackets are good and trim. Look for one that’s blazer-length. One that covers most of your butt. A jacket like this won’t chop you in half like a hits-at-the-belt Bomber or Harrington. Seen above: The pricey ticket-pocket-equipped Massimo Dutti in a size Large (cheaper option over here), and Boden’s Quilted jacket.
Now’s a good time to get a jump on movember. Facial hair, even the too-trendy-for-some shorter beard/scruff, has become pretty well accepted in our more casual than ever society. Especially during the colder months. The ladies (and plenty of fellas) seem to like it too. Plus, it’s functional. A bit of a beard helps protect your skin from old man winter (especially on early morning jogs in inclement weather). But before you go all mountain man (or Tony Stark) make sure you’re gradually moving into a new facial hair style.
#7. Sweater(s)? Make it Merino.
Skip all the cotton-cashmere blends. Merino wool is the perfect balance between affordability and wearability (see this NES ice-hockey inspired graph for how Merino compares to other types of sweater fabrics). Merino wool isn’t as itchy and thick as lambswool, yet it still has that tougher feel + texture when compared to spongy cotton. Usually affordable too. And it’s not just for sweaters. A good pair of merino wool socks are a great thing to have for casual days when you’re in boots. But speaking of sweaters… for merino wool, Banana Republic’s Extra Fine Merino V’s are great, but can run a little boxy. For a trimmer fit while still saving money, try the J. Crew Factory Slim Fit merino V. That slim fit makes a big difference, and the 100% merino wool fabric is a solid mid-weight. But they will pill over time. This right here works quite well on the personal factory sweater collection.
#8. Find a perfect fitting topcoat. Not boxy, but not too-trim either.
The two words “size down” get thrown around quite a bit around here, but when buying a topcoat, sizing down can get you in trouble mighty quick. In fact, don’t put the idea of sizing up completely out of mind. The key is to wear a suit jacket or blazer when shopping for a new coat. If you have to fight to get the potential coat to sit nicely over your suit-jacket, then try a size up. If that size up looks boxy, look for another brand or different style of coat. A trim fitting topcoat is a great thing, but it shouldn’t squash and scrunch your suit jacket or blazer in the process, and finding one that’s not too big nor too trim can be a bit of a chore. But when you find the perfect one? It’s just that. Perfect. Shown above: two best case scenarios from last winter (left: BR, right: Uniqlo). Slightly fitted.
#9. Broaden your denim spectrum
All hail tumbled rigid, but denim doesn’t always have to be blue. Denim keeps the wind off your legs. It molds to your body over time. Some of us feel unreasonably “dressed up” in a pair of simple chinos, and would rather wear heavier fabrics. Colored denim is back in a big way, and you can get great quality denim in plenty of fall ready shades at many a retailer. High End would be the Bonobos travel jeans. Mid-price would be the L.E.C. colored jean. Dirt cheap and a little on the thinner side is Target’s Mossimo 5-Pockets.
#10. Brush up on your Hot Cocktail skills
Your turn guys… have any fall style-specific knowledge you’d like to pass along? What’s your favorite hot drink? Any upcoming autumn trends you’re going to give a shot this year? Leave it all in the comments.