A lot of blogs talk about the transition to fall. For many style enthusiasts, it’s the best time of the year. Because you can start to layer and bring out those really nice tweed coats. Last year when I was also transitioning to more ‘classic’ clothing it was not a fun time. I didn’t have anything to wear so I wore the whole fall/winter a black chino (from my dad)…I didn’t want to buy new clothes because I also was starting to lose weight. So what can you do to mediate that problem? Here are my favourite pieces for fall/winter. Enjoy!
I, of course, can give you a whole list of items that are ‘essentials’. Let’s be real here most of them are not. Instead, I like to describe my own wardrobe (limiting to my most popular items) as it is today
Thicker felt is better for winter, lighter is better for spring/fall. I have three colours: grey (thick), stone (light) and brown (thick). You can’t go wrong with either one of them. Grey is pretty smart and better in a more business environment. Brown, on the other hand, is more casual and is extremely well paired with tweed and corduroy. I like brown over grey because of that.
I think a lot of your basic dress shirts will work almost year-round. When I think of fall I think of oxford cloth button downs. You can wear them with almost everything. I own them in light blue, pink and white. I really like to have a blue university stripe, for the sake of variation. Cotton flannel (preferable in light blue) is also nice, but I don’t own any. Then we have the checks, I especially like tattersall checks, but again I don’t own any. Tattersall is really nice when combined with rural tweeds. They work as a smart casual shirt too, when combined with a crewneck sweater for instance. So this is something I will invest in, I want to get a light blue flannel and a burgundy or blue striped tattersall. I will put that on the shopping list for this or next year.
Everything goes as long as it’s not too bright and not made out of a summer fabric like linen. Wool is nice because it’s muted so it goes well with the rough texture of flannel and tweed. I own one wool tie, so I can certainly get more. Silk is also nice especially when it’s more roughly woven. Ancient madder is also really good looking, this silk fabric is not as bright as normal silk but has some mat quality to it. Colours I like: orange, burgundy, navy, dark brown and green. This section is not that important for me as I have a lot of ties and I still wear only a handful because they are favourites and are easily paired with my other items. My most favourite: a blue/burgundy rep-tie
It feels like the sweaters are coming back, especially the roll-neck sweater is having a real comeback. The only downside to a roll-neck is the fact that you cannot balance the colour with a lighter colour because there will be no dress shirt peeking out of the neck.
If you want that I think you can best wear a V-neck sweater, they are really classic and can be worn with or without a tie. They are ideal for a smart look without needing some sort of tailoring. I like to wear them with a tie because I think the extra pop of colour makes it more playful. I suggest to buy some in different fabrics, I have two in cotton and two in wool. Cotton: baby pink and a dark sand colour. They bridge the gap between winter-spring and summer-fall. The wool ones: bottle red and dark brown. Obviously they are warmer and I use them more in the winter.
The last sweater type is the crewneck, also really versatile. They have a bit of that ‘ivy-style’ vibe. Those guys wore them with ties. I do too sometimes, but I think they work better without. These sweaters work better in more casual colours: powder-blue, green, beige. I also have a nice navy crewneck from Anderson and Sheppard in a heavy merino wool. That’s the epitome of smart casual in my opinion.
Considering the vast amount of sweaters I own, I still don’t have any cardigans other than a cream/off-white one from Northsea clothing (more like an outerwear piece). I would like to own some thin ones so I can wear it under a tweed coat. I think bottle-red would be a nice colour to start with.
I almost talked myself into it, but I like tweed coats. For early fall they are too warm. So when that happens I wear my hopsack weave navy blazer, you probably are already familiar with it because almost 80 per cent of my Instagram is filled with photo’s me wearing my navy blazer. When it’s really starting to ‘freeze’ I like to wear my tweed jacket, the colour is not too versatile because I cannot wear it with my khaki’s. So I mostly wear my Brioni jacket gifted by a generous Stijlforum member. I definitely could get some nice tweed jackets. I want one in brown and green. That will be something for next year. For now, I have to make due:)
I found out that black chinos are NOT the way to go. Instead, I bought some khaki’s from Polo Ralph Lauren. I like their styling, especially the more old-school chino’s in the Chatfield fit. They are high waist and have a wider leg than the chino’s you find at your local store. I normally buy only bespoke, but chino’s don’t benefit from this process as much as wool trousers. When you are looking for khaki trousers make sure that the shade is not too light. For instance, I bought a new pair of khaki trousers but when I compared them with my old pair I found out that they were pretty light. This is only a problem if you are going to wear your khaki’s in the fall/winter. Because when you wear a lighter coloured khaki trouser it will not combine that well with darker colours and especially in the winter the lighter colour can seem too harsh in the dimmed winter sun. So what colour is ideal? Something with brown in it, the darker colour in the next photo is pretty good.
I wear my khaki’s almost daily, whenever I cannot think of a trouser with which I can combine a more ‘outrageous’ item I reach out for my khaki trousers. I actually bought one extra pair, this time with pleats, so I’m not wearing the same pant over and over again.
The trousers I would like to buy are: brown moleskin, dark-brown corduroy and olive corduroy. This way I can get more combinations with different colour tones, but I’m pretty satisfied with my trouser wardrobe as it is.
Wool, get them in wool. I still don’t understand why so many men swear by cotton socks. I don’t like cotton, only in summer when ‘the pigeons fall dead from the roof’ (Dutch proverb for: really hot). Otherwise, I will wear wool and always over the calf because you don’t show your hairy legs. When you don’t know what colour you should wear just match it to the colour of your pants. I have over a dozen navy socks and six grey ones. They are probably the only two colours you need, but it’s fun to get something interesting. Houndstooth and strips, especially shadow stripes, are some designs that keep your sock game interesting. I own both.
Get something with a rubber sole, so you can wear them when it’s raining. I especially like suede because it’s mat appearance makes them the ideal companion for flannel, and they are inherently more casual so combining them with tweed is even easier. Some men are afraid that suede is more delicate, as long as you waterproof them they will be fine. Cordovan is also a nice option, but for some, this will be a splurge. For the shoes, I own I will direct you to this post.
I own a lot of outerwear pieces if you only want one outerwear piece to buy a wax jacket. I own the Barbour Beaufort (classic fit) and last year it was my only outerwear piece. You can wear it most of the fall/winter season except for the really cold days. When that happens you can buy an interlining and wear a thick sweater underneath and you are still good to go. I also own a green tweed overcoat, a Burberry trench coat, a British warm and a black cashmere overcoat (for funerals). I think I don’t need any extra, but if I wanted one I would go for a tweed raglan sleeve overcoat. Because it’s more casual than a typical overcoat but at the same time it’s just a tad more formal than a Barbour Beaufort, so it fulfils a niche in my wardrobe. A Chesterfield coat is also a nice option, but I think it will be too formal for what I wear most of the time.
So a brief recap my most favourite pieces for fall/winter are a brown hat, ocbds, blue/burgundy rep-tie, navy crewneck, navy blazer, khaki’s, navy/grey wool socks, a suede shoe with a dainite sole, Barbour Beaufort. I come to the realization that I may have a bit of a trad wardrobe. What are your favourite fall/winter pieces?