Essentials? Maybe not each and every one for each and every body. These items are more guidelines really. Guidelines that add up to a versatile, cool-weather friendly wardrobe. Ten items follow that are good to have one, if not multiples of on hand once the temperatures turn more towards the brisk and biting. Assorted specific picks are added below as well. Enjoy the weather.
A Lighter Weight, Casual Jacket
- Boden Quilted Jacket – $165.00
- J. Crew Factory “Greyson” Jacket – $118.00
- Lands’ End Herringbone Puffer – $99.00
- Old Navy Canvas Military Jacket – $48.94 w/ NICE ($62)
Doesn’t have to be quilted, but that seems to be big once again this year. You want something lighter in weight and shorter than the coat you’ll wear with suits and sportcoats. This is a throw-it-on-and-go jacket. Something to wear when getting coffee early on a Saturday morning, or hiking w/ the dog Wednesday afternoon.
Wool Topcoat or Mid-Thigh Peacoat
- Banana Republic Camel Topcoat – $298
- Suitsupply Blue Overcoat – $399
- J. Crew Dock Peacoat – $298
- UNIQLO Wool/Cashmere Chesterfield – $149.90
The coat you wear when you need to cover a suit or blazer tail. Look for dashing. Dashing is kinda the goal here. And despite what some might say, you absolutely can wear these things casually. If you’re on a tight budget? Skip the casual jacket and just wear your topcoat with everything. It’ll look great with boots, jeans, and a sweater.
Mid-weight Gloves (not too thick or bulky)
- Autodromo String Back Driving Gloves (multiple shades) – $125
- Ben Sherman Knit & Leather Gloves – $80.00
- Made in the USA Denim + Leather Gloves – $67.98
- Ralph Lauren Quilted Racing Gloves – $88
Skip the ski gloves. Sure, there’s going to come a time in the dead of winter where you’ll need to dig out the massively insulated mitts in order to keep your digits from turning gangrenous, but now opt for something sleeker. Just something that’ll add a bit of protection. Driving gloves work. As do lightly to non-insulated, standard leather gloves. It’s pretty early in the season for this, so expect to see more options soon, as well as gloves on sale.
Dark Wash Jeans
- Levi’s 505, 501, 514, or 511 – $40ish (look for “Tumbled Rigid” or something like it)
- Bonobos “The Blue Jean” in Saratoga Dark Rinse – $108
- GAP Slim or Straight Jeans in Resin Rinse Wash – $59.95
A staple. When it’s pushing triple digits, wearing dark wash denim can instigate instant swamp crotch. But in the cooler weather, the weight of a favorite pair of deep dark blue jeans is more than welcome. Everybody’s got a favorite. Now’s the time to get them back out.
A Rugged, Casual Watch
- Hamilton Khaki Field 38 or 42mm Automatic – $380ish
- Timex Waterbury Chronograph – $84 – $100
- Timex Brass Case Field Chrono – $48.74
- Citizen Eco-Drive CA4210 Chrono -$206.25
- Christopher Ward C8 Flyer Auto – $760
Look for something that appears to be able to handle a little bit of abuse. That’ll go well with the textures of fall clothing, since that’s what the tweeds and leather and wool that we wear around this time of year was designed for. Use, and abuse.
Merino Wool Sweaters
They’re the perfect mid-point between lambswool and cashmere. Not as bulky or as itchy as lambswool, and not as outrageously expensive as cashmere. Two of the best bang-for-your-buck brands for merino sweaters are UNIQLO (left) and J. Crew Factory (right). And that goes for V-necks, Crew-necks, Cardigans, Turtlenecks… whatever.
A Thicker,Warmer “House” Sweater
- J. Crew Factory Donegal Lambswool Shawl Collar Sweater – $68.50
- Banana Republic Waffle Knit Cardigan – $140.00
- J. Crew Softspun Shawl Collar Cardigan – $89.60 w/ GETSHOPPING ($128)
- Wallace & Barnes Boiled Wool Cardigan (shown, and sold out)
Your at-home, go-to layer. Also great for taking along on trips when you might need to wear something a few times (if not more) in-between washing. More on the argument for owning one of these over here.
Boots. Dressed up, Classic Work Boots, Desert, etc…
- Stafford Deacon Wingtip Boot – $51.99 w/ URSTYLE ($100)
- Allen Edmonds Dalton – $425
- Chippewa 6″ Service Boots – $259 (does go on sale)
- Banana Republic Ty Chelsea – $178 (has to go on sale at some point)
Boot weather is a long awaited time for some of us. A little ankle protection and support can go a long way in the cooler months, and there’s a ton of great looking boot options out there. From chelseas, to tough, work-boot crap-kickers. It’s early on in the season, so sales are going to be somewhat scarce since we just hit fall. Sit tight if you can. Yet the best deal of the season, so far, clearly is the Stafford Deacon for $52. They’ve now gone on sale and an extra 20% gets knocked off with the code.
Shown Above, clockwise from left: Allen Edmonds Bleecker Street (discontinued), Land’s End Canvas Crosby Boot (also discontinued… remember those?) Woolrich Yankee – $300 (remember when they were going for $170?), Allen Edmonds 5th Street – $385.00.
Wool Textured Sportcoat or Blazer
- UNIQLO Wool Blend Blazer – $99.90
- Suitsupply Soft Tweed – $399 (shown at top of post)
- J. Crew Factory Tweed Sportcoat – $128.00
- JC Penney Stafford Merino Wool Sportcoat – $79.99 w/ URSTYLE
- J. Crew Ludlow Sportcoat in English Tweed – $298
Fall means layers, and one of the easiest ways to look stronger, slimmer, and more put-together is to throw on a sportcoat or blazer. So it’s a win-win for us on the guy side of the aisle. Expect our annual round-up of the best affordable blazers & sportcoats for the fall in the coming weeks. A quick word of warning on the UNIQLO shown above… it’s got functional sleeve buttons. AND… it’s still chopped in the tail and long in the arms. Which means it might not fit that great for most off the rack.
A Decent Blanket or Throw
- Check your local army navy surplus store – $30 – $60ish?
- Pendleton Lambswool Throw – $44.96 w/ ALFRESH5
- Italian Army Surplus Blanket – $69.99 (many thanks to Josh C. for the tip)
- Woolrich Americana Jacquard Throw – $164.98
- Faribault Woolen Mills Gingham Merino Throw – $125 ($150)
Yes really. It’s an incredibly easy way to give your place a good, masculine look. Ditch the crummy fleece blankets (or at least store them somewhere) and try to acquire a well made wool blanket. It’ll breathe instead of suffocated like cheap synthetic blankets, keep you and/or your guest warm when the temps dip, and they look terrific. Here’s to hoping that Target re-ups their relationship with Faribault for the upcoming season? They made some pretty great stuff last year, including inexpensive, made in the USA throws.