Fall jackets represent one of the biggest gaps in a man’s s wardrobe. And as I’ve mentioned before, your outerwear sets the tone for your entire look. It’s the first thing people see on you when you walk in the door, and the last thing they see when you leave. So even if the outfit you’re wearing underneath it is on point, a jacket that’s off kills the whole look.
Below are my Fall jacket picks for this year in a range of price points.
Asos Burgundy Peacoat $126 – This one is a little out there with the burgundy color, but the classic peacoat style keeps it grounded. It’s for the guy that wants to think outside the box while maintaining a level of convention.
Bonobos grey quilted $328- The heather grey on this jacket is universally flattering, and the waist tabs in the back allow for a trim fit around the waist where many jackets balloon out.
Aether Apparel blue zip $395 – This Aether Apparel jacket is perfect for a sporty yet tailored look. I love this brand because their clothing is performance-focused but still manages to look sharp on.
Belstaff navy quilted and ribbed $650 – Known for well-made and stylish outerwear, Belstaff jackets are an easy win. (David Beckham is a fan — he has a capsule collection with Belstaff of moto-inspired pieces which I also recommend checking out.) I like the combination of the knit and quilted textures in this one.
Belstaff multi-toned wool and nylon $850 – Similar to the navy Belstaff above, the mixture of different colors and textures in this jacket give it a strong visual appeal.
Tomas Maier grey cashmere $1250 – This faux shearling cashmere jacket is understated luxury at its best. The knit texture gives it a relaxed sweater-y feel, and yet it’s tailored enough that you could also wear it more dressily.
Early Fall is the best time to buy because selections are good, and many stores are running sales. Don’t delay — if you wait too long, you run the risk of there being nothing left in your size, and you being stuck jacket-less until next year.
What’s your Fall outerwear of choice this season?
Did you put together a great outfit today? That’s all well and good, but I gotta tell you: if your outerwear is bad news, it doesn’t matter what you have on under it. Your look is shot.
Your coat or jacket sets the tone for your look, so read on for how to bring it up to speed.
A lot of times my one-on-one clients know they need outerwear but don’t know where to start. There are a multitude of different types of these jackets, and it can be really confusing, especially if you’re shopping online (do you know what a “utility jacket” is???) To simplify your options, I’ve broken them down by length and given you samples for each. Click the links to see the samples.
Here’s what you have to choose from for Fall and Winter outerwear:
Upper-thigh length (length hits about where your hip creases when you lift your knee up)
Includes: parka, field jacket, utility jacket (has four pockets on the front), shirt jacket, peacoat, sporty shell-type jacket
Of these options, it would be great if you owned one from each length category, but if you can’t swing that, try for one from each of two categories, preferably one with a dressy feel and one with a sporty feel. That helps add versatility so you aren’t wearing the same thing day in and day out.
And make sure the jacket or coat fits you properly. The seams should hit right on the edges of your shoulders, the sleeves shouldn’t go past your wrists, and it should fit trimly through the torso, but you should be able to button/snap it.
P.S. Make sure to check out Fall Style Tip #3 which shows you how to break the monotony if you find yourself wearing the same thing day in and day out.
In honor of tax day coming up here in the US, this week’s style briefing is all about saving you some dollar bills. I’ve scoured the interwebs with you in mind, looking for deals to help keep your pockets lined. Below are 6 sale finds I’m rather excited about. Remember, selection is limited when it comes to sale items (particularly those that come in sizes), so if any of these appeal to you, don’t sit on them for too long.
1) Mismo tote bag
Both the linen blend and blue color of this bag make it a no-brainer for Spring. If you haven’t heard of the website Farfetch, check it out. It’s an easy way to get hard-to-find items from small boutiques around the world. It also makes ordering from overseas cost-effective and simple because import duties are included in their prices.
2) Zanellato satchell
Looking for a more conservative and mature bag than in #1? Check out the Zanellato bag above. I am loving the rich brown leather and weathered gold hardware. Another bonus about this bag is if you’re tough on your things, its grainy leather can withstand a beating.
3) Boglioli sweater
When looking at sale items, it pays to be flexible. Sure, a heavy sweater is something you’d mainly think to wear on cold winter days, but a cardigan like this is also good for transitional months where it’s too warm for your winter coat, but there’s enough of a bite in the air that you need something. On top of that, Boglioli is one of my favorite brands — sprezzatura at its finest!
4) Billy Reid polos
It strikes me as odd for polos to be on sale now, at the start of Spring, but perhaps these are left over from last year. Either way, it’s a good deal on a staple. These polos from Billy Reid fit trimly but are comfortable.
5) Rag & Bone pants
I stocked up on these soft pants with a one-on-one client at the Rag & Bone store in NYC last week. This is another sale item that has me scratching my head, as the material feels quite Spring-y. Note: the material on these pants stretches, so if you’re in between sizes or unsure, go down a size. Also, they come in other colors like grey and navy.
6) 7 for All Mankind jeans
$189 $129 + 10% off if you sign up for their newsletter
The start of a new season is a good time to reassess your staples. Do you need a new pair of dark rinse jeans? If so, I like the color and non-contrast seaming on these from 7 for All Mankind. If the standard classic fit isn’t for you, there are plenty of other cuts on sale (for my primer on finding flattering jeans, click here). $20 from each pair purchased will be donated to Movember.
Keep in mind when shopping sales to look at the fine print. Often items on sale (like the cardigan above from Barney’s) are not returnable.
Have you had any exciting sale finds recently?
You want the latest when it comes to skis and other equipment, but do you look the part when it comes to your ski clothes?
If you look like the Michelin Man when you ski, it’s likely you haven’t rethought your attire since the late 90’s. Fortunately, along with advancements in skis, poles and other gear, there’s a lot new in the style department with plenty of excellent options that serve both form and function. Ski-wear designers have been heavily influenced by the more fitted cuts on the runways. And new fabric technologies allow for close fits that still provide warmth and flexibility. Bottom line: you can project a flattering physique on the slopes while staying warm and maintaining mobility.
When dressing for the slopes, you should wear a baselayer, midlayer, insulating layer, and coat or shell. Below are my suggestions within each category, plus accessories.
A baselayer is skin tight (or close to), thin- to medium-weight, and synthetic or wool. For wool, try brands like Ibex and Icebreaker. And for a high-performance synthetic, check out X-Bionic products, which are moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial, and designed to optimize circulation. All three brands even make boxer shorts. (Better safe than sorry.)
A midlayer is a sweater, fleece or thicker base layer like a turtleneck. Dale Norway (above left) makes very sharp-looking ski sweaters. And for something sportier, check out the half-zip options from Kjus (above right).
This is a thin, light down jacket worn beneath your shell (note: this layer is not always needed in non-frigid temps and/or if your winter jacket is very warm; it can also be a vest as opposed to having full sleeves). I like Kjus for this, along with Peak Performance.
For heavy-duty insulated pants, try Peak Performance’s Supreme Aosta. They’re highly wind- and waterproof and also have ankle guards, which is good if you ski with your ankles together (most intermediate or advanced skiers do). A good-looking lighter-weight option with more stretch and ankle reinforcement is Frauenschuh’s Alex pant.
For your outermost top layer, you can’t go wrong with a Canada Goose duck-down parka (above left). If you’re not a fan of logos, Moorer (above right) makes absolutely gorgeous, luxurious (and splurgy) parkas that sacrifice nothing in terms of protection from the elements.
Gloves or Mittens
Black Diamond is by the far the highest-ranking winter company for accessories by outdoor enthusiasts. These mittens are warm in sub-zero temps, are fully waterproof, and have removal liners, which is great because you can use them on warmer days without the liners. Liners are key also if you’re skiing multiple days because you can dry and/or wash them more easily. For gloves, if you’re really popular, these are integrated with Bluetooth technology and a vibration alarm for incoming calls.
A single layer is best because it preserves the “micro climate” between your foot and boot, circulating air and keeping your feet warm. Go with 100% wool. DarnTough is great quality and has a lifetime guarantee.
You can’t go wrong with one of these in a color that coordinates with the rest of your gear.
Wear a beanie like this one above under your helmet.
Smith I/O Recon goggles have a micro-optics display where you can view your speed, real-time jump analytics, weather and buddy tracking, GPS mapping, and even a music playlist mode.
A note on combining: don’t go nuts mixing too many colors. If you wear a pop of color like bright red or orange, have it be on either top or bottom, with the remaining colors in the look neutral and coordinating with one another.
PSA: make sure to wear sunblock when skiing. The sun reflects off the snow onto your face, so you need to take extra precaution. I like Armada Sport 70 for all outdoor activities.
Are you ready to hit the slopes in style? I’d love to hear what you’ll be wearing – let me know in the comments below. And if you’re more about hot chocolate than black diamonds, stay tuned for an upcoming post on one of my favorite activities to style: après-ski.
Few things are worse than getting caught in the rain in your dress clothes. Especially if you’re on the way to work, and you know you’re going to spend much of the day in wet clothes until your outfit dries. My suggestion: check the weather before you get dressed, and make sure your wardrobe includes rainy weather gear. Below is my list of must-haves for soggy days:
Raincoat – I spend a lot of time in peoples’ closets, and I’ve seen some pretty awful windbreakers masquerading as rain gear. Bad weather is no excuse to look drab and unstylish. Pull it together with a sharp raincoat. Two great options are a classic trench, or a more modern mac (above left and right). If you wear suits or sportcoats everyday, buy in a size that will fit over them.
High Quality Umbrella – Don’t be that guy whose umbrella turns inside out and flies across the street poking someone’s eye out. Cheap umbrellas break easily, leading to wasted time and money (not to mention adding to pollution in landfills). Why not spare yourself the headache by investing in a high quality umbrella? Blunt and Davek are two of the toughest umbrellas out there, and they come in various sizes. Just make sure you don’t leave it behind in a taxi.
Overshoes – There’s a whole new generation of good-looking overshoes that are nothing like your father’s black rubber rain shoes. If you have nice shoes, it makes sense to protect them. I’m a big fan of Swims which come in a variety of colors including navy and olive green (which are nice if you only want to get one pair; if not, black goes over black shoes and brown over brown).
One of the most important components of being well-dressed and having a well-rounded wardrobe is dressing appropriately in all situations, including bad weather. Fortunately, dressing to dominate the rain only requires three items. Does your wardrobe include these three things?
If you’re still rocking that North Face parka over your suit jacket, it’s time for an upgrade.
Nothing ruins a great look faster than a not-so-great coat. For some reason outerwear often seems to be at the end of peoples’ priority lists, but I can’t stress enough how important it is for your coat or jacket to be up to par with the rest of your outfit. Think about it: you walk into a restaurant to meet a date. Before you take your coat off, she’s already formed an impression of you. The same goes for your office elevator. People tell me all the time that they sneak in to their office building in junk clothes/shoes and change once they’re there, but if you’re riding up in the elevator with people in your office, the damage is done. So, have I convinced you of the merits of a good overcoat yet? Good! Here are my suggestions on how to choose one.
Fit: I see too many people around in oversized, too long overcoats – such a disappointing look! It makes me think of a little kid playing dress-up. Ideally, your overcoat should fit comfortably over a suit but still be slim enough to look stylish with just a shirt and pants. The best, most versatile length for a modern but still classic look is around your knee. It should hit anywhere from mid/low-knee to just above it, depending on how modern you want the look to be (the shorter you go, the younger the look). A good-fitting overcoat should make you look taller, leaner and broader across the shoulders.
Sizing: An overcoat is meant to fit on top of your suit, so when buying off-the-rack, start by going up one size from your suit. Try it on with a suit jacket or blazer and be sure it can close. The sleeves should cover your suit and shirt sleeves.
Buttons – Make sure it buttons to a location on your body that you’re comfortable with. I like this houndstooth check coat above from Balenciaga, but notice how low it buttons on the model’s body. If it’s too low, and you get cold easily, you might want to choose a coat that buttons a little higher. Remember that you’ll likely be wearing a scarf with it on very cold days which will give you additional coverage. What about the number of buttons? Most people will need 3 buttons for a classic single-breasted style, but if you’re very tall (over 6’ 3”), you should get 4.
Style: A single-breasted notch lapel creates a more conservative/traditional look, whereas a double-breasted peak lapel is more dressy, and also warmer due to the fuller coverage and double layer of fabric over your chest. Overcoats also come with a wide choice of different pocket options for you to consider: straight/horizontal, flap/slit, ticket/no ticket, breast pocket/no breast pocket. And make sure to consider whether you want a center vent in back or no vent at all. Don’t get locked in to the first coat you see just because it’s convenient. Look around to find the one that resonates best with you. Perhaps you wouldn’t have considered one with a leather collar like the above from Burberry Prorsum until you saw it in person. There’s a world of options!
Color/Patterns – The most classic colors are navy, camel and grey (in that order), but you might also consider getting a pattern if you’re into that sort of thing. If you do go for a pattern, make sure to keep the rest of your outfit subtle. I’m anxiously awaiting this brown herrringbone which I ordered custom as a chesterfield (with a velvet collar) for a client.
Fabrics: There’s a huge range, from camel hair, to wool, to cashmere to blends. Do some research on the different weights that you’re choosing from and figure out how warm you need your overcoat to be before taking the plunge. I’ve seen people buy very heavy overcoats that they never wear because they’re just too warm. Know yourself and the climate you’re in (or that you travel to) and factor that in.
Investment: Remember when you purchase a high quality overcoat that it’s a classic piece which should last you at least 10-15 years. This is one place in your wardrobe where it makes sense to invest.
Where to buy: You can either go off-the-rack or custom. For the former, try department stores like Saks, Barney’s and Bloomingdale’s, along with specific brand boutiques like Hugo Boss or Prada. If you live somewhere without access to a lot of stores, you can look online. Websites like Mr. Porter and Suit Supply are good go-to’s. If you decide to go custom, check Yelp and local listings (like nymag.com here in NYC) for highly-rated clothiers or ask well-dressed friends/acquaintances where they go.
Are you shopping for an overcoat this season? I’d love to know what you’re considering! Leave me a comment below.
I’ve been getting more and more requests from clients wanting outfits with interesting layered combinations. These types of looks are comprised of simple, classic pieces (things everyone should have in his closet), but when pulled together correctly, they become a whole greater than its parts. It’s clear that some thought was put into the look, but there’s no risk of looking like you tried too hard. If you’re the kind of person who wants to be noticed for your style but not right away (i.e., “who’s the sharp guy in the corner…?”), this style of dressing is perfect for you.
In order to have a wardrobe where you can do this you must first collect enough pieces that combine well. Below are 12 essentials to get you started mixing and matching:
1) Navy blazer – note: this must fit impeccably or the entire look is shot.
2) Grey sportcoat – see note above.
3) Thin hoodie – I like this fleece wool one from Thinple because it’s polished despite being a hoodie.
4) Great-fitting jeans – dressy and dark or weathered and sporty are fair game but please nothing crazy on the back pockets.
5) Casual pants like chinos or corduroys.
6) Patterned t-shirt – this Missoni shirt would look terrific peeking out beneath a solid navy henley, under a sportcoat.
7) Henley – solid neutrals should be your first choice, but once you’ve got a few as a foundation, you can go for something with a pattern or pop of color.
8) Workshirt/Shacket – denim, corduroy, flannel worn untucked and either unbuttoned or buttoned partially (to show the layers beneath). Note: when wearing with a lightweight jacket (see #12), it’s OK if the hemline on this piece is longer than the jacket. It adds to the outfit’s visual texture.
9) Thin sweater – think v-neck, zip-neck, or cardigan. Cardigans in my opinion get a bad rap. They aren’t just for grandpa looks. In fact, as part of an interesting layered combination, they take on a whole new life. Stylist tip: leave the top and bottom buttons undone. (Ryan Gosling, as usual with all things sartorial, knows what’s up.)
10) Thick sweater – a shawl collar is always a good choice, or the one from Agnès B above I just got for a client. I love the stripes inside the collar. With menswear, the snappily-dressed devil is in the details.
11) Thin outerwear-type vest – wear over or under your sportcoat (you won’t be able to button the sportcoat with the vest under it; that’s OK.) You can go for down as in this great street style shot from The Sartorialist above, or if you want a more manly man vibe, I am very much into this weathered leather number from Billy Reid.
12) Lightweight jacket – here’s a good one from Belstaff.
13) Boots – most layered looks that you’ll be building are going to be casual, so boots like chukkas, chelseas or lace-ups are in order to complete the look.
14) Scarf – a lot of guys think wearing scarves as part of an outfit (as opposed to just keeping warm) is “advanced” dressing. They’re right! But if you’re reading this article, that’s proof you’re committed to the cause, and you are absolutely up for it. Here’s a shot of a well-tied scarf I saw on a mannequin last week. The way to execute this is 1. fold the scarf in half lengthwise; 2. put it around your neck with folded end on one side and loose ends on other; 3. pull loose ends through loop; 4. tighten slightly; 5. tuck one of the loose ends up into knot.
Keep an open mind when shopping for a wardrobe that works for this style of dressing. Items you might not otherwise consider (like a cardigan) can suddenly become appealing when you see them in combination as part of the whole. Same goes for the Missoni shirt in #6. Maybe it feels a little much on its own, but with just a peek showing as part of a look, it’s perfect. Generally when adding layers, you’ll go from thin to thick as you move out from your body, unless you put a down vest under your sport jacket. And if you get warm, you can easily remove one layer and still have a pulled-together look. Nothing is dependent on anything else. What I really love about dressing this way is that it allows you to build a wardrobe of basic essentials (“the canon” as one of my clients calls it), but you get to play around and show your creativity in pulling together combinations.
How do you like to layer your outfits?
Even if you’re still rocking shorts and polo shirts, the time is now to make plans for your cool weather wardrobe. I’ve been pounding the pavement and interwebs hard looking for the best items for my clients as the stores are flush with new merchandise. If you’re planning on doing some Fall shopping yourself, I must warn you that one of the worst things you can do is to go shopping without a plan or, at the very least, a list. Just wandering into a store aimlessly is for sure the easiest way to end up with nothing at all, or worse, to get pushed into buying a pile of clothes you’ll never wear. With that in mind, I created this list of 18 must-haves (or nice-to-haves) to inspire and keep you organized as you craft a smart Fall/Winter wardrobe.
Transitional jacket — think peacoat, car coat, or other medium-weight option
Leather jacket — here’s how it should fit
Overcoat — buy now while the selection is good, and there’s still time to have one custom-made
Outerwear vest — wool/cashmere/down, as in the header image
Lined raincoat — you can also get one with a zip-out lining, which is one of the most versatile garments you can own
Dress boots — yes, you can wear these with your suit!
Bad weather boots — look for options that are waterproof and have rubber soles for traction
Wool/cashmere socks — if you’re tall or have very long legs, get ones that go over your calves so your legs remain covered when you sit
Wool/cashmere ties — perfect for frigid days in combination with a scarf
Hat, gloves and scarf — don’t wait for someone to give these to you as a holiday gift!
Winter-weight casual pants — Incotex makes great corduroys and moleskin pants
Heavier-weight sport shirts — a trim-fitting flannel is a great weekend go-to
Heavier weight dress shirts — in more tightly-woven fabrics like oxford
Fall/Winter suits, dress pants and sportcoats — look for tweeds, flannels and heavier-weight worsteds
Menswear vest — wear with jeans for a stylish going-out look
Sweaters — v-necks, polo-necks, henleys, thin cardigans and thick shawl-collared cardigans are good options
Long sleeve tops — in thick materials like waffle-knit
Hoodie — look for one that’s super soft and trim-fitting
Remember, autumn is all about layering, so even if for example the idea of a thin cardigan or outerwear vest don’t appeal to you, think about them in combination with the rest of your wardrobe. The more you can mix and match pieces, the more versatile what you own will be.
If you’d like more tailored help with your Fall/Winter wardrobe, contact me. I’m currently booking appointments for the first week of October.
I feel silly writing about Spring as I sit at my desk with the heat on blast, but I’m the positive type, and I know that in a few short weeks Spring will be here. In fact, I’ve already been shopping for warm weather clothes for my clients. Now is the perfect time for that, just as stores are loading up with their best selections. With that in mind, below are 6 garments to get you through the coming months in stellar style.
Lightweight jacket (bonus if it’s suede or leather)
Don’t underestimate the power of a perfectly-fitting leather jacket. Click for my guide on how to accomplish this. It’s the perfect reminder that Spring is just around the corner.
Great-fitting polo shirts
I have a new client who says he hasn’t met a polo shirt he didn’t like. My plan is to make him a touch more discerning. After all, everyone is wearing polo shirts. But not everyone gets it right (see Mitt’s missteps). Show some know-how, and make sure yours flatter you. Here’s how your polo should fit, and how to stand out from the crowd when you’re wearing one.
No show socks
These thin, low profile socks are must-haves for loafer-wearers. No one wants to see your short gym socks smushed into your shoes. Try Falke for this. Match them to the color of your shoes for added discretion.
Nice gym clothes
Many of my clients are implementing or upgrading their workout regimens this Spring. You don’t have to drop the same amount of coin on gym clothes as on your regular clothes, but the fact is if you like your workout clothes, and they feel good on, you’ll have a better workout. Keep it classy with Lululemon Men’s.
I call these social sneaks. There are loads of different styles to choose from for this. The key is to keep it consistent with your own aesthetic so it doesn’t look like you’re trying too hard. Example: if you’re on the conservative side, you shouldn’t show up to Casual Friday in checkered Vans; instead, go for something simple and classic like a navy, white, or grey Jack Purcell or Rod Laver (above). Wear these when you’re walking around on weekends, or Fridays at work depending on your office environment. Reminder, these are NOT the sneakers you wear to the gym.
Even if you’ve never worn linen, promise me you’ll try it this year. Linen is lightweight and breathable – perfect for those warm days when some airflow is welcome. I highly recommend pair of linen pants, an unstructured linen jacket and/or a linen shirt. You will thank me in July!
What are you looking to add to your wardrobe this Spring? Drop me a line if you need some guidance.
Cheers, and Happy (almost) Spring!
One of my favorite activities at this time of year is selecting transitional jackets for my clients. Moderate in weight, the Fall jacket falls squarely between an overcoat or parka, and one made of light material like cotton or nylon. The reason I like this type of jacket so much is that the stylistic options are practically endless. Below are my top picks for Fall outerwear in 7 different categories.
The nice thing about this leather jacket from John Varvatos ($1898) is that its waxed texture won’t show scratches or spills the way a softer, smoother leather does. But at the same time it still has a refined quality. The most important tip I can give you on buying a leather jacket is to make sure it fits perfectly. If you haven’t read my leather jacket guide, check it out here.
Downtown meets classic country in this great Moncler field jacket ($1695). I love the combination of the quilting and knit fabrics for creating visual interest.
I probably should’ve called this jacket from Fay, “Field Jacket 2,” as I’m not quite sure what a Biking Jacket is (the company’s term, not mine). Nonetheless, I am very much into this refined yet approachable tweed wool coat which also comes in blue and gray.
A peacoat is one of the most versatile jackets around: you can wear it for everything from a night out to a trip to the gym. I like this one ($1795) from cult brand Camoshita for its elegant tailoring and supersoft wool-cashmere blend. Bonus that this mid-gray color is universally flattering.
You can’t go wrong in this minimalist pick from Jack Spade ($595). It’s a clean and modern take on the classic trench. Wear it for dressy or casual, rain or shine.
As I’ve said before, a thin down vest is a terrific layering piece. You can throw it over or under a sportcoat/suit jacket for extra warmth once the sun goes down. This navy one from J. Crew ($128) is perfect because it’s thin and not as sporty as many other vests.
This jacket from Vince ($245) is a bit of a cheat, as denim is pretty lightweight. But when layered correctly, you can absolutely incorporate a jean jacket into your Fall repertoire. Rock it layered with a cardigan, hoody or wool vest. Bonus tip: for a bold-playful look, try it with a pocket square. If that’s not your jam, but you still want to add a stylistic touch, then put your sunglasses in the chest pocket for an alternative take on the pocket square.
You’ll notice that my picks on a whole are simple and unfussy, which are good things to aim for with outerwear, especially when you’re building a wardrobe. My suggestion: keep the jacket classic, especially if it’s an investment piece. Then you can pull in trends, colors/patterns you love or personal touches via your accessories, like with the pocket square suggestion above, a scarf or even a lapel pin. That way, if you get tired of those things, you can easily change them up (which is much less painful than getting a new jacket every season!).
What’s your Fall jacket of choice? Leave me a comment or question below. I always love hearing from you!