What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. You smell that? No, not what The Rock is cooking, but the crispness of autumn air starting to creep in to our collective lives. Fall is the wheelhouse style season for most of us, and what better way to break out your closet than on a date. As establishments open up at different paces (and maybe close back down), this outfit will serve you well for an outdoor dining date, or for a comfortable night at home. Because why not? Why save looking your best for out of the place where you spend most of your time? The keys to success are a versatile, easy-wearing sportcoat and confidence. Stun ’em with a smile.
The Sportcoat: Bonobos Unstructured Sportcoat in Navy – $400. This could be the last sportcoat or blazer you buy for a long time. Navy, because versatility is everything, and an unstructured fit that you can dress up or down depending upon the rest of your outfit. Exceptional 100% wool fabric in a dashing athletic cut, this is a sharp staple for any closet. Since early autumn temperatures can fluctuate greatly within a single day, the unlined wool construction breathes and moves with you to stay comfortable as the temperature changes. If you’re lucky, you might be able to take advantage of Bonobos’ warehouse sale and find something on DEEP discount, like this lighter shade, stretch wool blazer that can hit on the same look as its much more expensive unstructured brother.
The Watch: Tissot Visodate Automatic – $650. A classic, sharp outfit like this calls for a classic dress watch. You’re getting dressed up for a reason, so opt for a slim, elegant, understated timepiece. And then put your phone down. A watch allows you to know what time it is (and when dinner can come out of the oven) without the pings from your pocket sized dopamine machine. The Tissot Visodate offers Swiss construction with smart details like a day-date indicator, sapphire crystal and an exhibition caseback. It can be found for much cheaper at third-party gray market dealers, but buying from an “authorized” dealer (like Macy’s) will give you the peace of mind of a factory warranty. Plus, Macy’s does sales. Just a matter of waiting. Don’t want to spend so much? Tough to beat The (great) Bambino.
The Shirt: Nordstrom Trim Fit Non-Iron Buttoned-Down Collar in White – $40. Nordstrom men’s shop knows what they’re doing when it comes to providing quality goods at a fair price. $40 for a well-fitted wrinkle-resistant shirt in a soft Supima cotton is a no-brainer for this style scenario. The white and blue combo is classic contrast, while the buttoned-down collar provides some balance to the sportcoat. It’s dressy, but not too dressy. It shows you’re making an extra effort, but not trying too hard. And, since it’s Nordstrom, it ships and returns for free.
The Pants: Bonobos Stretch Washed Chinos in Graphite – $98. Bonobos is so commonly recommended on this site for 2 big reasons: consistent quality, and an incredibly wide variety of fit combinations. With a dark blue sportcoat and rich brown boots, keeping your pants in a lighter shade creates nice contrast, also aided by the white shirt. These provide the ying to the boot’s yang. In a time of year when the weather can swing wildly, an ensemble of light and dark helps to ease your way into fall and the evening ahead.
The Drink: Smith & Hook Red Blend – $20 via Drizly. I know absolutely nothing about wine. It’s not my go-to drink of choice, but it’s a great mood-setter to bring to a date night. For $20, this red blend from Smith and Hook has a nice touch of sweetness without the overly dry finish some lower-priced wines can carry. Plus, the branding is slick!
The Belt: Allen Edmonds Stitch Avenue in Coffee – $69. A dressed up date night calls for a proper dressed-up belt. The leather can almost be smelled through your screen. Excellent craftsmanship, and a belt that will last for years at a reasonable price. For 30 bucks less the Brogue street belt is a texture-rich for a bargain price of $40 if you can grab it in your size.
The Socks: Nordstrom Rib Wool Dress Sock in Charcoal – $12.50. Ribbed, for your
pleasure comfort. Wool is cool. Literally. Most of you have heard this a zillion times before, but for the newbies: wool is a temperature regulator, and will help keep feet fresh if the shoes come off.
The Shoes: Banana Republic Arley Boot in Brown – $100ish. ALL HAIL BOOT SEASON. With the onset of autumn comes every man’s favorite leaf-cruncher, the leather boot. Not only do boots look sharp, but they create a sense of ass-kicking confidence that wears well for a date night. Just don’t get cocky. Look for short-lugged soles, slim midsoles, and a leather minimalistic upper for the ideal heritage work boot. Banana Republic, for the coin, usually offers a great option every fall. Word is a pair is on the way for a Dappered review, so stay tuned for that. While pricey at full retail, big-time discounts are a’plenty in these #unprecedentedtimes.
About the Author: Jason P. spends his days working in the creative marketing department of a big telecom company. He also does a bit of real estate investing on the side. He believes in curating a timeless, classic wardrobe with subtle modern touches for today. He and his wife love hiking with their dog and shopping at local small businesses and antique stores when they travel. Jason is a practitioner of muay thai and traditional boxing, and his favorite drink is a hoppy New England IPA.