Necessary Objects: Five fall items for guys

men's composite

Bundle up, guys.

By Kaitlin Resler

Yesterday we looked at the five (and a half) autumn essentials for women. But what about the guys?

Nope, we didn't leave you out, boys. Here are five essential items to get you through the season.

mens blazers.jpg

Tweed blazers

Yes, for men as well. To be honest, we're kind of stealing from the boys in the women's section anyway.

Guys can have the best luck finding piles of tweed (with elbow patches!) at Salvation Army (I like the one on Central and the Scotia-Glenville branch, but the blazer selection at For Pete's Sake is nothing to turn up your nose at).They have RACKS with tons. You can get fantastic ones, with arm patches and slightly different colors, sometimes custom-made for someone who also happens to take the same size as you.

And girls, you can steal his tweed blazer, roll up the sleeves and have that slouchy, ever-so-trendy boyfriend look that's so cozy and effortless right now. It makes really prim dresses not so prim, works flawlessly for men over patterned shirts or character-ridden tees, and creates an everlasting bond between the tweed-wearing couple.

Plus girls like boys who wear tweed and read books. They're like Welsh poets, but without the dipsomaniac tendencies. (Pictured: Salvation Army, 6.99$-19.99$)

mens shirt.jpg

Patterned Shirts & Mixing Patterns

Every store in the mall is littered with men's shirts sporting teeny tiny patterns (okay, sometimes they're a bit larger, but still, a lot of them are teeny). Little plaids, microscopic ginghams, and skinny stripes are pretty much everywhere. Which is nice, for a little textile dimension. The trick though, is in the wearing. Ignore every rule you've ever heard about pattern mixing. Style rules in general are kind of, well, stupid. Just wear it all at once.

Most of these patterns are being offered in fairly neutral colors, so that often the pattern isn't even noticed unless one is alarming close to the garment, so there is very little room for something so clashing it induces a migraine. Most of the patterns are nice with stripes, or with an equally patterned tie if you're feeling really adventurous. (Pictured: Macy's)

charcol pant.jpg

The Charcoal Pant

It's essential not only for fall, but for every season invented, ever. Express has nice ones, as far as reasonably affordable and in a nice slim fit (which I know a lot of guys are vehemently opposed to, but it's better, and also quite in at the moment). Vintage is good, but it's hard to get a nice fit, and since many men tend to wear their clothes until they are no longer socially acceptable, it's hard to find some that are also in nice condition.

Grey is a good transition color, especially in those darker charcoal shades--both for summer into fall and into spring. It's dimensional, it's not khaki, and it's not black. It makes colors pop, and looks neato against all kinds of backdrops. Plus, what I said earlier about ignoring all those silly rules apply exponentially to grey: wear it with brown, black, or navy. Seriously. (Pictured: Express Producer Pant, 98$)

mens sweater.jpg

The Cowl-Neck/Buttoned Neck Sweater

We love cardigans to their little woolen bits. That said, for fall there is another image that conjures up weekend in Main, the mountains, or some strange English countryside. A nice chunky sweater with a proper cowl neck does the trick.

Rather than leave non-button-up sweaters in the usual crew or v-neck territory, this fall sweaters are getting statement buttons up a slouchy almost-turtleneck, or just a regular cowl neck. What a difference this makes! (You see, it is so exciting that one must use a '!' to properly understand) It's nice thrown over button-up shirts for a walk to work, or with jeans and a tee for chilly weekends eating your weight in cider donuts. (H&M, $49.99)

long scarf.jpg

The Gigantic Scarf

Scarves are difficult for men. Not just ones that are necessary for warmth, but scarves that actually add an element of graphic interest without drawing attention to itself (not that that's always a bad thing, but subtlety is an art).

Thankfully, we shall not suffer a drought this year of scarves that promise to keep you snug and be fantastically awesome in terms of looks. Drawing on the cowl-necks of sweaters, over-sized knit scarves are a great addition to a sweater (be it a cardigan or regular pull-over) or almost-jacket for cooler but not quite winter-coat days, and can be piled on over said coat when it snows and is exceptionally windy.

Plus, it's hard to get wrong. The over-sized knit makes these scarves easy-as-pie to toss on, and in neutral colors like gray and oatmeal (this fall is certainly about the food descriptors) the size doesn't seem comical, but rather, sartorial. (Pictured: H&M, price unknown, it was lurking in the window)

Kaitlin chronicles her exquisite personal style at All This Happiness.


finally, fashion catches up with what i already have in my closet.

As much as I love GQ, guy's style advice from girls can't be beat. But $98 pants? Right after a thriftstore suggestion? You're killing me, or more accurately, my booze funds.

I honestly thought the mannequin with the scarf on was a girl mannequin. Everything here reminds me of what Rachel Zoe's assistant, Brad would wear. I can't decide if that's good or bad...

Actually, I'm fairly certain that those aren't Producer Pants on the manis at Express. They're probably the Photographer, and they start at $59.50. Right now there's a Buy one get one half off deal on all men's dress pants too. The only ones that ARE $98 are the Italian wool suiting pants, which those aren't.

Not trying to be snarky, I just work there so I know the product inside and out.

Picking fall and winter clothes is the hardest thing... I find it impossible to tell the difference between a sweater that is 'in style' and a sweater that will get me laughed out of the office. This is why I don't own any sweaters.

Paul, fashion is in the eye of the beholder. And when the owner of that eye laughs at you, punch them in it.

OK. I railed once against a mens fashion bit here on AOA. This is much better. I have opinions though, and here they are:

a) Tweed jacket: you couldn't be more right. I want to dress like Clooney in Leatherheads, truly.

b) mixed patterns: be careful with how you mix or you may walk around looking like a bad optical illusion, and giving people headaches. A good rule I've found about fashion rules: only break one at a time. One thing fashion rules are good at is preventing you from being a fashion victim.

c) Charcoal pant: YES! Skinny pant: NO! Seriously, if you have to look at pants and decide if they are going to fit over your butt after thanksgiving, then you should have a pair of X chromosomes. If you have a Y, then avoid the skinny pants.

d) I like sweaters too. Not this one though.

e) Scarfs: Yes This Scarf: If I wear this super huge scarf with a big wool sweater and skinny pants, I'll ALMOST match my girlfriend with her sweater-dress over tights. If we wear matching tweed coats, I can be completely androgynous!

This was an excellent article though.

Cowl-neck sweaters? Puhlease! They were ugly in the 70's & 80's. Bring back rugby shirts, the preppy look, woolen leggings and mullets while you are at it.

I do miss my tweed jackets though.

@komradebob While I agree with you on the sweater issue: rugby shirts and a modified preppy look are back. my mullet is growing, but I prefer to refer to it as the "hockey haircut".

i've been rocking the same tweed jacket for 7years now, this year i may get it some leather elbow patches.
@Erik, i'm with you on the skinny pant...never, ever. unless you're in a hair band. and congrats on the hockey haircut.
i'm even down with the sweater, but as an Irish sweater type of deal.
i find men talking about fashion funny. although i do abide by everything stacy and clinton have to say.

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