#1. Uniqlo Wool Blended Comfort Jacket — $99This Uniqlo blazer has already been a hot seller in some colors, particularly the Wine option pictured above. It’s a wool-blend jacket that perfectly toes the line between casual and crisp — the shorter tail and lack of structure see to that (although that means it might not fit everyone well). It’s available in a wide array of colors, including a grey herringbone, a grey plaid and a classic brown tweed that would look right at home with some dark denim (a la this post). The patch pockets also mean it’s the kind of blazer you could dress down with a rugged henley. Now if only temperatures would drop a bit…
#2. Grayers Avalon Cardigan — $125While Grayers has nailed the easygoing prep-casual vibe for spring and summer (as detailed here), it does an equally smart job dishing out fall essentials. This navy marl cardigan features some more unique details that bring it into the casual realm, like kangaroo pockets similar to those on a hooded sweatshirt. The shawl collar and black buttons class it up more, though — it’s definitely a piece that could pair remarkably well with a chambray shirt and dark navy chinos. And, as always, shawl-collar cardigans remain the ultimate cold-weather layering piece for just about anything else – take a tip from this photo, for starters.
#3. Thursday Boots Roughout President Boot — $249Thursday Boots burst into the digital menswear community late last year with a Kickstarter campaign that really blew the doors off ($276,610 pledged of just a $30,000 goal), and the brand’s really built something since. The brand’s President Boot (a permanent fixture on the site but still worth a look) boasts a lower profile and slimmer silhouette than something like a Red Wing Iron Ranger , minus the captoe. And as far as fall footwear goes, that’s a very good thing. These boots look like they can take a substantial beating, and yet they’d still sit right at home under some textured grey trousers or black denim.
#4. GREATS Brand Royale High Sneakers — $179There’s something about high-top sneakers and fall that just goes well together, in my humble opinion. A return to colder temperatures bring about a return to sturdier footwear — and that extends to sneakers, as well. It’s time, then, to put away some of my favorite GREATS sneakers and look forward — or rather, wish for — a new pair in the closet. The Brooklyn-based sneaker gurus appear to have brought their trademark reputation for quality to this high-top set as well, merging a Margom sole with full-grain calfskin leather for a supple sneaker that’s the ideal finishing touch to a sporty-casual outfit (say, some rust chinos and maybe that Grayers cardigan above). That grey color also would help ground earthier tones in an outfit — crucial when you’d like to wear sneakers to the office. (Editor’s note: Look for a travel-centric feature focused on GREATS sneakers coming next month on The Style Guide).
#5. Todd Snyder Mercer Sweatpant in Moss — $175There’s no doubt that I’m a fan of crisp, polished looks — be it a sturdy pair of dark denim or some slim chinos with a blazer. But as the temperatures start to fall, I always find myself drawn to sportier, throwback-oriented looks — like nearly every item from Todd Snyder’s always-stunning collections (and these sweatpants specifically). The offerings always seem to meld American sportswear sensibilities with the designer’s eye for lux finishing touches, yet fall is really where this shines through. Keep in mind, we’re still talking about sweatpants here. And at the end of the day, that’s an awful lot of cash to throw at a pair, when some definitely prefer to keep things crisp throughout an ensemble. But there’s something to be said for upgrading even your most basic items, like sweats. And with a pair this well-made and slim-cut, they’d make for a heck of a casual weekend outfit when paired with a certain set of sneakers on this list (*cough* item number four) and a great cardigan (*cough item number two).
With so much excellent fall gear in stores now, it was definitely tough to sort through this year’s autumn crop (see what I did there?). J. Crew introduced a Ludlow sportcoat in Italian garment-dyed cotton that barely missed the cut, and among highly wearable shirt-jackets, Saturdays NYC looks to again have a winner with its Jeremiah CPO Jacket. Long-term, a classic Shinola leather watch also remains on my wish list (a guy can dream, right?). But with any luck, some of these items will indeed end up in my closet before winter — right?