There are some classics in here for sure. Evergreen items if you will. But, trends can change from year to year, so we’ll keep this list focused on what’s big (and for good reason) for fall 2017. Specific, affordable examples of each are also included below. As always, these won’t be “essential” to everyone. Far from it. They’re more guidelines.
A Quilted Jacket and/or Vest
- Barbour International Ariel Quilt – $185 – $269
- Made in the UK Lavenham Quilted Vest – $195 FINAL
- GAP Quilted Jacket – $47.97 @ 40% off ($79.95)
- Target Goodfellow & Co Quilted Vest – $24.99
- Barbour SLIM Fit Quilted Bomber – $133.33 ($199)
- Brooks Brothers Horizontal Quilted Hybrid Jacket – $199 ($398)
- J. Crew Sussex Quilted Jacket – $138.60 w/ YESPLEASE ($198)
The funny thing about puffer vests and jackets is that they make you look… puffy. Opt for something less life-jacket like. That quilting provides insulation AND it looks terrific (there’s just something about those symmetrical lines). Remember, these are for casual use. So not to be worn with a suit or sportcoat.
A Wool/Wool-blend Henley and/or Long Sleeve Polo
- USA Made Triple Aught Design Primer Henley – $55.00
- J. Crew Italian Merino Wool Polo Sweater – $62.65 w/ YESPLEASE ($89.50)
- H&M Premium Quality Merino Wool Polo Shirt – $49.99
- B.R. Heritage Stripe Merino Wool-Silk Blend Henley – $59.10 ($98.50)
- J. Crew Wool/Cotton Henley – $55.65 w/ YESPLEASE ($79.50)
- Western Rise Dryweight Merino Blend Henley – $98
Henleys are a masculine classic that’ll never go out of style. The long-sleeve polo is a bit of a throwback that’s getting some good run this year. Both are thankfully now being made by major brands and retailers in a wool or wool blend. Wool is just so far superior to cotton, especially in more extreme temperatures.
Medium to Lightweight Gloves
- Orivs Lambskin Driving Gloves – $69 ($89) (just about sold out)
- Orvis Best-Grade Sporting Clays Gloves – $79 (a nice alternative to the drivers?)
- Franklin Tailored Men’s Nappa Snap Closure Glove – $79
- Autodromo Stringback Driving Gloves – $125
For those mornings where you want to protect your hands from the wind but it’s still not full blown heavy wool mitts or ski gloves weather. You want something that provides protection and a bit of warmth, but you don’t lose much if any of your dexterity. It’s a bit early in the season for gloves of any kind, but watch for them (especially at Nordstrom) to start showing up in the coming weeks.
A Pair of Rugged, Do Anything Boots
- Allen Edmonds Higgins Mill Boot – $350 (shown above in natural cxl)
- J. Crew Goodyear Welted Kenton Cap Toe Boots – $248
- Wolverine 1,000 Mile Adrian Cap Toe Boot – $415
- Red Wing Beckman Round Boot in Cherry – $350
- Woolrich Unlined Yankee – $227.99 ($325)
These are the kind of boots that you wear on a road trip into the mountains for a long weekend getaway, where you can go for a light hike in them in the morning, and then head out to dinner in them in the evening. They’re somewhere between a dress boot and a true, sh*t kicking classically styled work boot. A slimmer toe box but still hefty leathers (depending on the price) and good support. Can’t say enough about the Higgins Mill (shown above). Love mine. I have not taken good care of them, but the Chromexcel uppers and subtly studded sole walk the line between utility and style, and can handle what I dish out for sure.
A “Brushed” or Corduroy Button Down
- Target Goodfellow & Co Corduroy Shirt – $24.99
- Ledbury Brushed Dot Shirt – $75 (sold out)
- J. Crew Slim Brushed Workshirt – $55.65 w/ YESPLEASE ($79.50)
- UNIQLO Corduroy Shirt – $29.90
Not quite flannel thick, but not poplin or oxford either. Brushed shirts have been, wait for it, brushed for extra softness. And most corduroy shirts come with the inherent softness that the wale provides. Yet neither are as thick or weighty as a true flannel shirt.
A Sportcoat or Suit in a Fall Appropriate, Textured Fabric
- J Crew Ludlow Blazer in English Herringbone Wool – $298
- J. Crew Ludlow Stretch Donegal Wool Jacket & Trouser – $650
- Suitsupply Havana Fit Jackets – $399 – $499 multiple colors/patterns
- Brooks Brothers Regent Fit Supersoft Construction Sportcoat – $268.80 ($448) multiple colors
- J. Crew Ludlow Unconstructed Corduory – $198
Now’s the time to nerd out to find and fall in sartorial love with a jacket that’s got a bit more texture and heft. Think tweeds, corduroy, etc. It’s one of the great style-joys of cooler weather. And don’t worry; as we always do, we’ll have a best sportcoats round up for the season, now that they’re starting to arrive in stores and online.
A favorite Rugged Field Watch
- Bertucci A-2T Original Classic – $149.98
- Timex Expedition Ranger Brass Case 43mm – $53.60 w/ SCHOOL20 ($67)
- Hamilton 42mm Khaki Field – $349.99
- Citizen Canvas Band Eco Drive Chronograph – $134.99
- Timex Expedition Field Chrono – $45.96
- Timex Intelligent Quartz Flyback Chrono – $120
Because the heft of the timepiece itself as well as a thick leather strap can often be a bit much in the dead of summer. Plus, chances are you won’t be getting into open water anytime soon, so, a diver can take a back seat for a bit. Now’s the time for your field watch if you’ve got one.
A Warm Sweater that can replace a Clunky Hoodie
- J. Crew Factory Fisherman’s Cable Crew – $50ish
- Todd Snyder Garment Dyed Merino Mock-Neck in Navy or Grey – $69 ($248)
- Target Goodfellow & Co Pocket Shawl Collar Cardigan – $34.99
- B.R. Italian Wool-Silk Blend Tweed Cardigan – $64.80 ($108)
- J. Crew Marled Cotton Mockneck Cardigan – $108
- J. Crew Factory Seedstich Cotton Shawl Collar – $50ish
Shawl collar, mock neck, fisherman’s, whatever. Just ditch that old bulky hooded sweatshirt. It’s not doing you any favors. Head here for more hoodie alternatives.
For your home: Non Overhead Lighting
- Erno Uplight Accent Lamp – $38.99
- Crosby Schoolhouse Floor Lamp – $56.99
- Iron Hairpin Kent Table Lamp Base – $59.99
- Sitting Robot Lamp – $100
- StyleCraft Dimpled Glass Table Lamp – $149
- Noah Floor Lamp – $212.50
Lighting matters. Boy howdy does it. Most men will default to just using the harsh, overhead lights that are in the ceiling of their house/apartment. But having a couple of well placed lamps can make a big difference in terms of how your place feels to you and your guests. Many of us spend far too much time under harsh overhead lighting at work. Bring it down to closer to eye level (or lower) at home, and you’ll probably be pleased with the atmosphere it creates during the colder/darker months.
A Signature Warm Cocktail or Drink and/or a Hearty Meal
Doesn’t have to be an alcoholic drink. Doesn’t have to be some gut-bomb of a meal. Doesn’t have to involve pumpkin spice (far from it). But, it helps when you’ve having guests over (or, bringing something to share to someone else’s shindig) to have something autumnal in style in your culinary arsenal. So learn how to make great cold weather cocktails, or a killer fall-inspired pizza. Whatever. Cooking is like getting dressed. It shows you can assemble and therefor create something greater than the sum of its parts.
Again, there are always exceptions and these are more guidelines than anything. If you’re sick of the blistering summer heat? Here’s to you getting to break out some if not all of the above, awfully soon.