Shopping 101: What do I wear this fall? (for men)

Whatever the weather, on the Tuesday after Labor Day summer is officially ovah.

That means you can no longer wear your white pants (if you have any, which I doubt). To me it also means no more pastels, no more shorts, no more open-toed shoes (for men, anyway), more dark colors, more jackets, sweaters, boots, etc. In other words, it’s time to shore-up your wardrobe for a new season.

In fashion terms, Fall and Winter (IMHO) are kind of the same thing, just like Spring and Summer. Otherwise you’d have to adjust your wardrobe four times a year and who the $%#@ has the time or money for that? Not me.

This Fall, You MUST Make Sure You Have the Following Items in Your Closet…

1.) A pair of grey or charcoal colored jeans. Trust me, my friends, nothing in this world will serve you better than a good pair of grey jeans. They go with almost everything and they’re a break from the normal “blue” spectrum of jeans that people have been wearing for the past century. Furthermore, they’re not quite as serious as black jeans; they’re a little more fun and can go with more things. Oh and while “skinny” jeans may be out, “slim” is still the thing. No boot cut or drain-pipe leg.

2.) A navy blue V-neck sweater. Or dark maroon if you like. But again, trust me on this. A good V-neck sweater is an absolute must for the fall. You can wear a T-shirt under it, for a casual Saturday brunch. You can wear a collared shirt under it if you want to dress it up a bit. A V-neck sweater always looks sharp, and they’re usually light enough so you won’t get too warm and you can wear it under a jacket or blazer. Bringing me to my next item…

3.) A sport coat. I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, I have a sport coat already.” If you’re thinking about the navy blue Sears blazer with the gold buttons that your mom bought you so you’d have something nice to go to church in…time to move on. A great sport coat is a staple of Fall fashion, and you need to get one, pronto. I’m a big believer in the gray color palette, so I would recommend grey/black herringbone. Patterns are always best with blazers because that means they can go with more things. It should also not be too bulky, and it’s important to pay attention to the fit: it should not hang directly down from your armpits but should be tapered in (even if you’ve got some extra pounds). Side vents are best in my opinion. If you’re not a “sport coat guy” yet, you need to become one. A good sport coat will last you decades and can utterly re-vamp your whole image. People will start calling you “sir” and asking your advice a lot more, they may even start offering you jobs, money, their car keys, right on the spot! A sport coat will do wonders for your life.

4.) A stylish, light raincoat. No two ways about it: if you live anywhere other than the Southwest, you’re gonna get wet this fall. I’m not advocating you carry an umbrella out with you everywhere, but you will absolutely need a stylish, light rain coat, something you won’t feel sheepish walking into a bar wearing. Good news is there are plenty of these out there just waiting for you to take them home. Old standby’s like Gap and Banana Republic do this really well. And you can always go a little more “tactical” and get something from Columbia or Helly Hansen, or some such outfitter, depending on the kind of use you’re going to give it. But this is a must. Whatever you buy should also be able to fit over your awesome sport coat. Just a pro tip.

5.) At least one dedicated “going out,” or “date,” outfit. Now, I do not encourage the buying of “outfits,” but there are occasions in which a man needs to plan ahead for the shirt and pants he’s going to wear out. One’s nightlife necessitates this. You need to have in your arsenal one really good shirt-pants combination. I’d recommend a pair of dark colored pants or slacks (no khakis here, cause you have to wash them too much), something that will hold a press and look sharp, and a cool-looking shirt. Back in “my day,” (the 2000s) the “striped-shirt” was almost a joke; it was the uniform for guys hitting the bars. But…it was the uniform for a reason: it looks good. Buy at least one (but probably two) nice collared shirts in darker hues, but not black (you don’t want to look like a funeral director) and keep them clean so they’re ready when you need them.

6.) Shoes. Shoes are complicated. We could talk about shoes for hours, maybe days, and still not get anywhere. In fact, we’re going to have to leave this one for a future post. It’s too big a topic to get into. Write to me if you have questions:



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