Fall Style Suggestion: Military-Inspired Outerwear

Fall is can be a tricky time for those of us interested in menswear. It’s not quite yet cold enough at this stage (at least in my neck of the woods) to wear heavy fabrics like tweed or a nice wool peacoat, yet there’s still the odd, slightly warm day. Transitioning between seasons like summer and fall is probably more difficult than transitioning between spring and summer or even fall and winter. A lot of it comes down to shelving bright summer colors and shifting to more seasonally appropriate hues. An even bigger part of the transition ties in recognizing textural differences and phasing fabrics out of your wardrobe (less lightweight linen or linen-cotton blends, and slightly heavier textures like corduroy, for example).  A great guide to making the transition stylishly can be found here, courtesy the great team at Primer.

Not quite warm enough for a lighter-weight Harrington jacket, but not quite full-on winter yet.
Not quite warm enough for this lighter-weight Harrington jacket, but not quite full-on winter yet.

Now, textural differences are also important in terms of outerwear, as layering multiple pieces in lighter or heavier weights can dress an outfit up or down.  Keep in mind that something like a hooded sweatshirt or standard winter coat just won’t do for a polished option. Looking for a sharper military silhouette in a lighter weight is one way to harness the crisp appeal of a spring-weight Harrington jacket. Military-type jackets might be a bit trendy for some, but it can also bring som serious, slightly rugged appeal. With brands like Barbour, the jacket has surged back into the spotlight across the past year, thanks in no large part to a certain secret agent.

Strong military-inspired details, a trim silhouette, perfect layering weight — the Aurora jacket from F&O.
Strong military-inspired details, a trim silhouette, perfect layering weight — the Aurora jacket from F&O.

Now, that Barbour jacket is…well, on the pricey side, for all its great looks. Other, slightly more affordable options are out there by the dozens, it seems. Personally, the Aurora Military Jacket by Frank & Oak hits the sweet spot. The sleeves and body are trim ( in a size Medium), the armholes are high without being restricting, and the jacket’s lines are clean (there’s not much excess material anywhere). It’s still relatively lightweight and waterproof with a cotton-nylon exterior, but it feels more substantial. That means it can be tossed on over a v-neck sweater and an OCBD while still functioning well. If it gets too hot, strip off a layer under the jacket. Too cold? Add a denim jacket or another layer over a sweater and OCBD — and put that underneath the jacket. The price point is within reach for most (and if you’re a member of the Hunt Club, store credit could apply here, too). And, its military-inspired looks are on-point both stylistically and fashionably. Toeing that line can be tricky, but if there’s any jacket that can crisply and effectively cross the divide between fashion and style (as well as the start of fall and the start of winter), a strong military piece can be a tremendous wardrobe addition.


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