Fall’s the best, ain’t it? Spring might be when good ol’ nature refreshes itself, but Fall is when a lot of us take the stylistic opportunities to try something new, reacquaint ourselves with an old favorite, or perfect a new habit. This is an annual tradition around these parts. Here are ten tips, strategies, suggestions, and maybe a trend or two to consider adding into your personal style arsenal for the upcoming season.
Find a topcoat, and wear it with everything (even casually)
A peacoat, while totally fine, is a little more rugged and casual. Topcoats (either single or double breasted) are usually a bit more elegant. The fabric is cut to move easier, the lapels are slimmer, and they’re often longer. Look for something that hits mid thigh to just above the knee cap. Avoid the old-man-style coats that hit mid shin, they cut you off visually, making you look shorter. Once you find one, wear it with everything. From suits to old jeans and a crummy crewneck. And while they can be worth investing in, they don’t have to be absurdly expensive either. Pictured above is last year’s option from UNIQLO. A bit on the thin side, but they’re back this year, and going for $149. Standby for the upcoming annual autumnal best outerwear roundup…
Get textured: Suede, moleskin, corduroy, maybe velvet?
Maybe it’s all the leaves on the ground making, y’know, the earth look a bit more textured, but texture + style go gloved hand in gloved hand in the fall. Suede, moleskin, tweed, corduroy, flannel, velvet (yes, velvet) all look extra good right now. And that texture usually = warmth. So, it’s certainly functional. Keep it balanced though. Last thing you want to be is head to toe in the stuff. Avoid ensconcement.
Try a poor man’s three piece (suit w/ slim sweater vest), tieless
It’s the lack of tie that can help keep this from looking nerdy. You want a clean looking suit (mid grey or navy) and a slim sweater vest (think merino wool)… pair it with a solid shirt, and give it a run. True three piece suits, sans tie, can be tough to pull off (unless you’re that Mentalist dude). The sweater vest dresses it down, loses the sleeves so your pits breathe a bit more, but still gives you that layered look. (Suit by Suitsupply, sweater vest by Express, Skull by the Neogene period)
Find some good candles, and use them
Candles need not be reserved for the fairer sex, or, for only when the less fairer sex desires to seduce a potential romantic partner into a session of hibbitus-dibbitus. A good pal with an eye for interior decorating once told me: “Y’know what looks like shit? Overhead lighting.” And he’s right. Those drop-tile ceiling florescents at work, or Wal-mart, will steal your soul. So try to avoid anything similar at home. The better option: the flickering light of candles every once in awhile. If you’re looking to make your place smell better than your hamper, know that you don’t have to hit Yankee Candle Company in the mall. There are other options for candles that might appeal to a masculine olfactory sense. Bespoke Post’s “The Den” for one. Just don’t go full Phantom of the Opera, and burn your place down in the process.
Make a Maintenance Day for your Stuff (like, Sundays)
Sunday = Take care of your toys Day. Football is perfect for this. Turn the game on the TV (or radio out in the garage) and start shining shoes, ironing nice shirts, or even washing the car/cleaning out the interior, etc… Sundays, especially in the dark and dreary months, can feel like absolute crap. Taking out your good stuff and keeping it all in best condition might keep you A. Happy, and B. Remind you that maybe you’re a lucky dude.
Batten down with Burgundy
Burgundy, oxblood, merlot… all of these deep & dark reds are getting their turn as a favored shade this season. If you’re tired of blue, white, grey, and brown, burgundy is the perfect way to easily mix it up. It looks great up against all of those colors, and has some character without punching you in the retinas. Here’s to hoping UNIQLO makes a cord blazer in their deep “wine” color once again this fall. (Left: Sweater by Express, Right: Travel Jeans by Bonobos.)
Take care of your hands. Commit to moisturizing your mitts.
Ever been sitting at a desk typing, or maybe doing some dishes at home, and all of a sudden your thumb splits open and spills blood all over a favorite shirt? If you live in a drier climate, or work with your hands in the colder months, it’s probably happened. Fall and winter’s cold air saps your skin of its moisture, and most of us don’t even think about our hands. You don’t need to turn into a hand-model, just keep them from looking (and therefor feeling/reacting) like you peeled them off a corpse. Plus, the fingers always covered in band-aids look isn’t a good one. Don’t want to smell like a lady? Go with a hand cream that’s fragrant free like O’Keeffe’s.
Make the move to merino-blend dress socks
Wool is much, much better at regulating temperature and moisture than cotton. With unpredictable weather on the way, consider adding a couple pairs of merino wool blend dress socks to your collection. Nothing crazy, we’re not talking $65 cashmere socks here, just a merino blend (it’ll probably be mixed with nylon), thin enough to wear with dress shoes, and easy enough to take care of in terms of washing and drying. Try these extremely well reviewed socks from Nordstrom, which clock in at three pairs for $30. If you’ve got a gentle cycle on your dryer, you might be able to get away with tumble drying them, instead of laying them flat. That’s what I do with the socks from over here, and it works fine (despite the instructions saying lay flat to dry).
Skip the sweatshirt, favor a traditional wool sweater
For those times when you’re dressed down and maybe getting a bit dirty (not that kind of dirty) stick with the kinda pull-over our ancestors favored in the fall and winter. Something thicker, maybe a bit rough, not the skinniest fit ever (you’re replacing a sweatshirt for cripes sakes), and made out of lambswool. Whether it’s a crew, turtleneck, or a shawl collar cardigan, think more baaaa + Hemingway, and less cotton fleece + Alma Mater. Pictured above: the WoolOvers Fisherman’s Crew.
Get your Cardio done in the cold
As long as you prepare yourself with the right gear and layer up, you should (Arctic & artic-like locations not withstanding) be able to set out from your front door to get your cardio in a couple times a week, instead of being rained/snowed/sleeted in and using the weather as an excuse to stay under the covers. Plus, working out in the cold helps activate “brown fat”, and burns more calories. It’s not an easy habit to create, but once you make it, you’ll probably end up looking forward to working out in the cold temps of fall & winter, as opposed to the brutal heat of summer. Just try not to slip on some ice, break an ankle, and freeze to death before the sun comes up. And if you do? Don’t blame us.
Your turn guys. Care to share any tips, suggestions, or upcoming style experimentation you’re looking forward to this fall? Leave that in the comments.