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Whether it’s the return of boots and jackets, Halloween festivities, or just kicking back and watching some football, there’s a lot to love about the fall season. For us fashion-forward folk, fall is an opportunity to step our style game up in more ways than one. The cooler temperatures allow for more layering without sweating right through your threads, allowing us to tailor our looks for a more personal touch. When it comes to men’s fall fashion, there are so many ways to express one’s personal style.
Thicker textures and silhouettes play a more important role in adding additional depth and character to otherwise flat outfits.
To put it simply, fall fashion rocks. Let’s jump in.
Men’s Fall Jackets & Coats
As the defining garment category of the season, outerwear often acts as a statement piece and can bring balance to your outfit (as well as throw it off entirely), so knowledge of what jackets go with what is important in building a solid lineup of men’s fall fashion essentials.
Functionally, the advantage of layering a jacket is the layer of trapped air between garments acting as an insulator, which keeps you warm. For the sake of conciseness, we’ll only lightly cover fabrics and materials for fall. If you’d like to learn more about the different fabrics prevalent in fall fashion, reference the materials section of our winter wardrobe guide.
Waxed Cotton Jackets
If we had to recommend a single jacket for fall, it’d probably be a rugged waxed cotton coat in a darker color. The key differentiator between one of these and a regular jacket is the special treatment of the outer cotton shell.
Waxed cotton jackets tend to be treated with a waterproof coating to ward off light rainfall and combat wind with ease. With so many men’s waxed cotton jackets on the market, there’s an option for every taste and budget.
These are hooded coats adapted from traditional Inuit tribe outerwear and can range from light fishtail parkas to heavier fur-lined ones and everywhere in between. Not only are lightweight parkas a great statement piece, but they’re functionally umbrellas for your torso. It also folds and stows inside its own pocket for transportation, so it’s convenient to toss in a bag or car in the case of an unexpected shower.
Nothing screams badass like a well-fitting leather jacket and a pair of indigo denim. It’s arguably the definitive backbone of the rugged Americana style, with style icons like James Dean and Steve McQueen at its forefront.
Leather can last a literal lifetime with proper care. If quality, ethics, and longevity is a priority, consider investing the money in a real goat or cowhide jacket as opposed to a cheap/faux/”vegan” leather one. However, if budget is limited or you’re just trying to test out the style to see if it’s a good fit for you, trying a faux leather jacket to test the waters won’t melt the icecaps.
The usual go-to brand for MiUSA leather jackets is Schott. They’ve been around since 1913, so I’d imagine they’ve figured out the whole leather jacket thing by now. Do note that their jackets are far from cheap, but they’ll probably last your entire life.
Quilted fabrics are sure to continue being popular this season and a jacket’s the optimal garment to sport this look. Quilted materials (specifically jackets and vests) are very popular in preppier male fashion, but can typically easily blend into most wardrobes.
Overshirts are awesome for chillier days and can be layered with essentially anything. An overshirt is a traditionally simple collared coat, often composed of either a rugged twill or woven fiber.
Fall Shirts & Sweaters
Oxford Cloth Button Down
The classic OCBD is the workhorse of many guys’ fall fashion wardrobes and who can blame them? Oxford cloth is a type of weave that’s similar to a plain canvas with yarn strands woven together instead of individually. Oxford cloth button-downs are (surprisingly) made of oxford cloth. It’s a common misconception for people to call any button-down shirt and OCBD, but that’s not entirely accurate. A proper men’s fall fashion wardrobe includes a few OCBDs in colors like white, gray, olive, or navy.
If you work in an office, check out our guide to men’s business casual!
Being a medium-weight fabric, oxford cloth’s a great choice both for layering and on its own. The best part about OCBDs is that everyone will think you dress well despite the minimal effort it takes to pull it off (win-win)! For autumn, aim for some Earth-ier colors like olive, gray, brown, and tan.
This season, we’ve been all about the OCBDs from Mott & Bow. They’re a little pricier than what you’d find at the mall, but the quality speaks for itself!
We’ll be the first to tell you that there is no proper list of men’s fall fashion essentials without some cozy, fuzzy flannels thrown into the mix. Contrary to popular belief, flannel is actually a type of soft woven fabric. It’s often mistakenly used interchangeably with the plaid pattern, which flannel shirts typically boast.
Stock up on a few flannels in varying patterns and colors since you could wear them right through winter as a layering piece. Truth be told, you could find a great flannel shirt at most mall stores, but we’re particularly fond of the ones from L.L. Bean.
An excellent garment to layer in the falling temperatures, henleys often get overlooked as a men’s fall fashion essential. Henleys inherently have something particularly masculine about them, which ties in very well with the workwear-ish style that lots of guys go for in the fall. We’d recommend a lighter color like this one in “natural” from J. Crew. Too expensive for full price, but a great addition to a fall wardrobe on sale.
Men’s Fall Sweaters
Though flannel shirts reign supreme as the decisive garment of the season, sweaters have to be a close second. Aside from being something to keep you warm and not dead, sweaters are a stylish way to add some (pumpkin) spice to your look. Texture plays a big role in the differentiating factors of a sweater and can add more depth and detail to an otherwise plain-looking outfit.
Sweaters don’t usually deviate much in terms of shape or silhouette, so the biggest factor in picking the right sweater is fabric composition. In terms of materials, I almost always go for wool. It’s super warm, odor/stain resistant, a great insulator, and it’s fire-resistant, which I’d imagine was an early adaptation of sheep prone to sudden combustion.
Some of my favorite wool sweaters are made by Howlin’, though they’re far from cheap. Howlin’s knitwear originates from Scotland (a place I’m certain knows its sheep) and is made with virgin wool that can last many years with proper care. Less expensive alternatives can be found in most shops like Uniqlo, J Crew, and Banana Republic.
Because we all have days where we prioritize comfort over #aesthetic, hoodies are a power move. That doesn’t mean that you can’t look both stylish and comfy though. Pick up some slimmer fit hoodies that aren’t tight, but not boxy either.
There’s a common misconception that hoodies are inherently unfashionable, and that’s not necessarily true. Layering a lighter hoodie under a jacket or coat can look great, especially in a casual setting. Wear it with a bomber, chore coat, or trucker jacket for a warm yet stylish top layer.
Our go-to hoodie these days remains the 10-year hoodie from Flint and Tinder. It’s made in the USA, made from quality cotton, and comes with a 10-year guarantee.
Nothing’s more versatile, comfortable, or decisively manly as a well-worn pair of jeans. Denim jeans have been an essential pillar of male fashion for more than a century now. Unsurprisingly, not a whole lot has changed since Levi Strauss & Co. started selling them to consumers in the 1870s. Of course, we now have a much broader selection of cuts, materials, colors, and washes, but the core identity of the blue jean is far from phasing out.
Our favorite maker of men’s denim these past few years has been Mott & Bow, an NYC-based denim company focused on pioneering new denim construction techniques. An average pair of jeans will cost you a little over $100, but the fit, construction, and variety of washes remain one of the best we’ve seen.
Chinos come in quite literally every color imaginable, making them a great article of clothing to fine-tune any wardrobe’s color palette. Most chino pants are made from 100% cotton with some styles having spandex added in for increased stretch and comfort.
In terms of versatility, chinos are second to none. Folding into business casual looks just as easily as more casual styles, chinos are especially great in the fall since they’re not too heavy and can pair easily with both boots and sneakers. For those living in colder climates, flannel-lined chinos offer a weather-friendly alternative to thinner pairs.
If it’s a bit colder where you live, these type of pants is an excellent way to keep warm and add a touch of class to your outfit. Local climates vary, so these may or may not have a place in every guy’s fall fashion essentials list. Wool pants are typically associated with outdoor gear due to wool’s properties when wet. Though recently, I’ve seen them paired with more minimalist stylings where they work very well. The softness and texture is another big plus.
Men’s Fall Shoes & Boots
We cover our top picks for men’s fall boots in this post here, so we’ll keep things concise for this section.
There will always be a place for some stylish sneakers in any wardrobe. With these kinds of shoes, I mostly look for a comfortable insole and appealing appearance. I chose to include the new Beckett Simonon Morgen trainer. It’s a German army trainer inspired design and it’s a much cheaper alternative to the Maison Margiela version. I think it’s a pretty slick looking sneaker all around. The gum sole is a nice touch for the changing fall color palette.
If you’ve read any of our other posts (please, we’re begging you), then it’d be easy to see that we’re big fans of Koio sneakers. Italian-made sneakers in classic, streamlined designs make for a great pickup.
Fall Fashion Accessories
A high-quality leather bracelet makes for a perfect companion to your daily driver watch. Men’s leather bracelets come in all shapes in sizes, but we’re quite partial to the Aeon Bracelet from Atlas Accessories, a London-based jewelry maker focused on crafting bracelets from ethically-sourced leathers, gems, and precious metals.
The Aeon Bracelet features a recycled Sterling silver ingot nested between vegetable-tanned, English Bridle leather. We think it’s the perfect masculine bracelet for a man’s fall wardrobe.
Fall means it’s time to hang up the flimsy canvas belts you may have been using for the summer. Truth be told, I don’t doubt that you own a leather belt. I used to exclusively wear cheap belts from department stores until I switched to ones made of higher quality leather and more durable hardware.
Some American-made beltmakers that I’ve had great experiences with are Orion. Both options are far from cheap, but they’ll last you the better part of a decade or more. Check out Orion’s eBay page for auctions on returned merchandise. I managed to pick up a seemingly brand new belt for under $30.
No matter what style I learn in towards for the day, I’m always wearing a watch on my wrist. There’s something inherently timeless (pun absolutely intended) about a clean watch as part of a man’s personal style.
Check out our top 10 picks for best watches for men.
These are a must for any men’s fall fashion wardrobe if you’re an avid boot-wearer. Not only do they keep your toes warm and happy, they’re also a great odor-resistant solution to sweaty boot feet. Wool socks tend to be thicker than cotton or synthetic ones, so be sure to account for that if your favorite pair of boots fit tight.
Some of our favorite wool socks are from L. L. Bean and Anonymous Ism, but both brands charge a premium. For sheer functionality, I’ve found the Kirkland (Costco brand) wool socks to be the best value, especially if purchased on sale.