Fall is a cornucopia of men’s fashion. So many options, awesome styles, and trends become available as the leaves begin to shed. You have to let go of summer’s snappy colors and casual acceptance. As the weather gets cooler, the expectations on your wardrobe intensify. Fall is a buckle-down and get sophisticated month. Start thinking business casual even when you’re going out for dinner. Dress up a little for drinks or the movies. It isn’t easy. I know. It’s the right thing to do, though. So here, for your stylish encouragement, are five dos and don’ts for men’s fashion this fall. Trust me. The effort is worth it.
DON’T SKIP SOCKS
The sockless look was great on the beach, but now the time has come to protect those ankles. Even in early fall, your body will be reprimanding you for running around with your naked feet rattling in your shoes. You’re right in saying it’s too early for wool socks, but that’s no excuse for trying to bring back smelly summer casual.
CAFEFULLY WEAR LIGHT-WEIGHTS
The silky linen shirts you left unbuttoned for cocktail parties and hot tubs. These shirts don’t always translate into fall wear when buttoned up either. Take the seasons seriously and shift your shirt choices to heavy cotton and a few light types of wool. The colder the weather grows, the heavier your shirt should be. Your lighter button downs will leave you shivering and reaching for layers. This is where I plug that lumbersexual flannel craze. It’s sexy and warm. Try it.
DON’T WEAR SUMMER SWEATERS
A summer sweater may sound paradoxical, but they do exist. More accurately, summer patterns exist and to stay in style you need to steer clear of these distinct warm-weather looks. The most definitive summer pattern seen floating about in crowds during fall is the Breton stripe. Whimsical and sailor-esque in warm weather, this pattern does not suit your fall wardrobe. Stick to classics like the Fair Isle and simple solids for fall.
DON’T WEAR COLORFUL PANTS
Bright clothes dyed in neon or with vivid shades are summer wear. The earthy hues of fall will make vibrant color choices stand out like a sore thumb. Unless you want to parade yourself, stick to browns, tans, and blacks that will tie you into the environment and let you compliment the seasonal color palette. There will be plenty of time to rock-n-roll in lively orange and pink next summer.
DON’T WEAR WHITE SNEAKERS
You’ve heard these cliche words before, “Don’t wear white after Labor Day.” This tip really takes its cue from the sophisticated nature of a fall wardrobe. White sneakers are slick when you’re running around playing tennis and jogging in the summer rain, but they are no match for a shiny, well-made pair of boots. They’ll keep you warm, dry, and far more presentable than your sneakers ever did.
It takes some effort to get into the spirit of fall dress. You’ve got to be more alert, a bit more focused, and it may mean stocking up on a few things. A transition in seasons is a fine occasion for a change. Make the right changes and you’ll be golden.
— Timothy Vest