Fashion trends can be tough to navigate. All those reckless adjectives thrown at you at once can easily leave you unsure and filled with doubt about your own taste level. Fear not. We’re here to help.
Consider this a course in the fundamentals of Fall Fashion 2013. We’ve done the research and put in the time so you can step confidently into fall, secure in the knowledge that you’re making the best possible fashion choices.
That is, as long as you take our advice. If you decide to go with someone else’s—well, good luck with that.
THE STAPLE: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Wash
Black denim is back. Not ‘was black 10 years ago,’ but black. Period.
Black jeans, us.levi.com ($58)
THE REBOOT: No Pain, No Gain
We’re leaving last year’s V-neck for its rough-around-the-edges but supremely soft cousin, the classic sweatshirt. This fall, the sweatshirt goes from gym-bag staple to must-have item with a modern reinvention by Todd Snyder.
Oatmeal pocket sweatshirt, toddsnyder.com ($130)
THE COLOR: A New Desert Storm
What khaki was to summer, camel is to fall. Snap up go-to accesories in this rich color, pair them with black, gray or navy blue and watch your luxe factor go up 50 points. Do not try a head-to-toe all-camel look, unless of course you’re intentionally channeling Talking Heads. Or you’re David Byrne. That’s different.
THE HAIRCUT: It’s All About the Quiff, Dude
If you glance in the mirror and wonder what you should do with that beautiful head of hair, we’ll tell you. It’s called the “Modern Quiff.” A what, you ask? It’s a mash-up of the ‘50s pompadour and the military flattop, with a punk-rock mohawk-sampled hook. To make it modern, the top should be extra-long with the sides extra-short. Yes, this does mean more attention paid to and time spent on your appearance. Hey, you’re worth it.
THE FABRIC: Just Tweed’d
Throw out your preconcieved notions of this classic texture. The Ivy League fabric goes thoroughly modern this fall in slim-fit suits with pants that break just shy of the ankle. Maybe you’re a college professor. Maybe you’re a hipster meatman at a vegan butcher shop. Who cares? We just want the name of your tailor.
The Ludlow Suit, jcrew.com ($600)
THE COMEBACK: Smells Like Hipster Spirit
What goes around comes around, and it’s finally happened—flannel shirts are cool again. And with those five words we just recouped our lost lesbian readership. Now, before you get too comfortable, ladies, please note that the 2013 flannel shirt is neater, trimmer and meant to be worn on the back, not tied around the waist like a background extra from Dawson’s Creek. Just sayin’.
Konrad Check, usa.frenchconnection.com ($47)
THE SCENT: Woodsy—It’s Not Just for Your Car Anymore
Remember back in second grade when that hunk on your mom’s paper towels made you feel all squishy inside and you just knew you’d grow up to be a lumberjack too? Just because you spend 40-plus hours per week at a desk these days doesn’t mean you have to smell like it. Revel in the freedom of an olfactory dream job and be the Brawny Man you’ve always wanted to be.
Invisible Monster by Christopher Borsius is a dark, deep-green scent that’ll leave you smelling like you spent the day felling trees with an axe. cbihateperfume.com (15ml, $100)
THE ADVANCED PLACEMENT: Not for the Faint of Heart
You’ve got plaid, we’ve got plaid—where’s the new, right? Not so fast there, fancy man. Fall 2013 is chock-full of heritage references, so why not the plaid suit? The trick to keeping your plaid firmly in the present (avoiding its punk past) is to look for distinctive patterns in subtle tones. You can still make a statement without resorting to being loud.
THE FAN FAVORITE: From Handler to Hotel, It’s Gotta Be A Chelsea
You can never have enough shoes—and more importantly, you can ever have enough transitional shoes, easing you from one season to the next. Fall belongs to the sleek, modern Chelsea boot, the shoe that looks equally stylish with jeans or a suit. The key to this boot’s eternal style is to never pair it with a flared leg. Pants need to sit tight, up on the leg of the boot, showing just enough of the elastic gusset to proclaim their Chelsea-ness.
Emmett chelsea boot, thefryecompany.com ($278)
THE TWO-FER: Faster Than A Speeding Bullet
The gray wool pant that should be a standard in every man’s work wardrobe has of late been relegated to postal workers and thrift shops. This fall, the classic gets a much-needed makeover with extra-super-slim tailoring and an above-the-ankle hem. Take the look from hip to hip2 by anchoring it with a chunky-soled shoe. Less Clark Kent, more Jimmy Olsen. Lean pants need sturdy shoes.
Pants and shoes by Prada, neimanmarcus.com (both $780)