Friday, October 7, 2011

some thoughts on fall menswear...

A guy friend of mine inquired about what's going on in menswear this season. He may or may not have requested a post about it, so here we go.

Dear Guys,

I love menswear. I've posted little things here and there before, but not with any kind of authority. Because I don't have any. Because I don't buy it. Except button downs. But that's pretty trivial.  Mostly I just like how it looks on you.  (And Ryan Gosling, obviously.)

Despite my love of man clothes, I really don't know much about them. Well, I know some things. Like never button the last button of your waistcoat. Also, it's a waistcoat, not a vest. And something about Ovadia & Sons.

Anyway, the following is just one lady-blogger's opinion on what she'd like to see a few good men in this fall.


One universal shift in the world of clothing over the past year has been a head-first dive into color. From retail to the runway, an infusion of hues from every spectrum of the rainbow has appeared. My wish is that more men would embrace color. It's just so much more accessible and acceptable these days. No longer is it just preps in pastels and flamboyant gay men in neon mesh. The middle ground is here: rich reds, deep forest greens and cobalt blues. 

I have this sneaking feeling that your average dude thinks it's emasculating to wear color with purpose, but it's just not so. Since moving out to NYC I've had the pleasure of befriending some seriously well-dressed, seriously masculine guys who work color into their wardrobe on the regular. It's an easy way to update your look without changing the physical pieces you love. Keep the cut, switch up the color. You'll look sharp and feel totally sexy and invincible. I'm almost positive about that last part.


I don't know what to say besides, look into a jacket. Yes. Or, a tie like this. Tweed is so quintessentially fall, and adds a grown-up touch to a standard jacket-and-shirt look.


God, I love a man in a sweater. Seriously. If you can afford cashmere, get into it. It looks sophisticated and women will want to spontaneously hug you and/or caress your biceps - even if you're not very strong. But if you can't, don't worry, neither can I. Wool is also soft, warm and hug-inducing.

A good fisherman's sweater is one of those heritage-y, East Coast-y things I find really appealing, but they're not for everyone. #Hemingwaychic? A classic cable knit is a good alternative, but again, not for everyone.

As a general thought at the moment, I'm more into a crew-neck than a v, but I can't really say why.  Either way, you can incorporate your new-found love of color very easily and painlessly with a sweater. A simple pull over is all you need. You can skip the cardigan for all I care.

Layering with care

Again, I'm not suggesting you re-invent the wheel here. Just, like, pump some fresh air in the tires. Layering is the best part of fall, and probably my single favorite thing about getting dressed. It should be a man's too. Maybe? I don't know. 

I just like seeing a thoughtful combination of a shirt, jacket and tie or a shirt, sweater and outerwear-type jacket. Or a shirt, sweater, and down vest. I could go on, and on. Try mixing textures and maybe even patterns if you're feeling particularly bold. 

 Final Notes:

  • Lately I am loving a little blue-on-blue. Blue shirt, dark denim.
  • Instead of a Patagonia fleece or The North Face windbreaker, how about a waxed jacket?
  • Bucks are great footwear. Pairing them with dark denim with the cuff turned up juuuust a little? Yes please.
  • For God's sake if you haven't done it yet, get into some slim-fit pants. I bet you have though. You're reading this blog after all, so you must not be a total lost cause.
  • Black watch plaid. I think it's having a moment right now, and I love it. It's understated and looks good with everything.
  • Unless it's seriously, wildly cold, skip the hat. You probably can't pull it off.
  • Those LL Bean duck boot mocs are great. See above for styling cues.

 Bottom line

The fantastic thing about menswear (and being a dude) is this: The things you buy now, the shirts, the jackets, the shoes... They're still going to look great 10 years from now. Twenty years from now you'll probably be able to look at a picture of yourself from today and say, "Damn, I looked sharp." And then you'll look down and realize you're wearing pretty much the same thing. Just maybe more expensive. Your wardrobe grows and grows up, but it doesn't really change. You're so lucky, do you know that?

So, here's what you do: Just take all the elements I mentioned above, and put them together in a way that looks fantastic. If you don't get it, call me. I'll style you up nice and introduce you to my roommates. We'll all go out for whiskey + gingers and live happily ever after.



Editor's note: I don't know what I'm talking about, really. Consult the menswear magnates at Sartorially Inclined, Park & Bond, Valet, GiltManual, or Kempt for actual, constructive advice.

[Images via Unabashedly Prep, NOVH, Gap, Scotch & Soda, J. Crew, LL Bean]


  1. I love a man in a sweater. Add a monogram and MAJOR swoon! Great post.

  2. Love this post! So fun. I buy my husband sweaters all the time, why do we love seeing men in sweaters?

  3. Great Herringbone blazer in the first photo. Who sells it?

  4. OMG I LOVE those monogrammed sweaters (obviously). Wow. I would buy 7 for my BF. And that JCrew button down... you know how I feel about men in plaid button downs. Enough said.

  5. @anonymous - it's Rugby Ralph Lauren, as photographed by F.E. Castleberry for Unabashedly Prep!

  6. I'm right there w/ you tulls on the plaid button down. I also enjoy a good pocket square.