Hang on let me just check the weather real quick before sitting down to write this list of men’s fall style essentials...87°. It’s 87 degrees outside and I’m here about to go off on the benefits of corduroy pants and large-scale print flannels.
But that’s the job! And I’ll do my best, even if I’m doing it in a swimsuit top because I’m working from home today and that’s all I can stand to have on even with the AC blasting in the next room.
So look, if you’re done with the humidity and two-a-day showers, I hear you. If you’re ready to toss every tank top you’ve ever owned and dive into autumn with no looking back, have I got the shopping list for you.
Here’s everything you need to start lining up your most stylish fall wardrobe ever...even if you won’t be able to wear any of it for at least another few weeks. Below, six men’s style essentials (at two different price points because I’ve got you like that!) for Fall 2019:
Save: Old Navy, $11
Splurge: Vince, $185
The great thing about menswear is that trends generally move at the pace of a democratic politician in a highly contested district deciding if they’re in favor of opening an impeachment inquiry. That is, slowly.
Meaning there’s a good chance you still have a perfectly good long-sleeve henley squirreled away in a drawer behind your swim trunks somewhere. If not, Old Navy makes a stylish and affordable henley in a few different neutrals. And if you’re looking to level up, this one from Vince feels like a warm hug and washes up like a dream.
Save: Topman, $85
Splurge: Todd Snyder, $348
Ultimately, I had to make an executive decision, and that decision was, “Nope!”
But that doesn’t mean we’re letting you off the hook entirely from upgrading your outerwear this fall. A chore jacket is a trendy pick that won’t make you worry that, “Whoah, I can’t pull this off.” Wear yours with dark-rinse jeans, a white t-shirt and your favorite most fashion-y sneakers.
Save: Banana Republic, $65
Splurge: J.Crew, $80
So the Banana Republic pair we’ve listed as your “save” option is actually more expensive than the J.Crew style, but right now they’re on sale for a song. What a world! That said, the BR style is more formal—yes, formal cargo pants in the year of our lord 2019 are a thing—so if you’re looking to dress down, opt for the J.Crew pair. Otherwise, just treat the BR pair like dress pants with better storage and wear them like you would any other trousers.
Save: Abercrombie & Fitch, $58
Splurge: Proper Cloth, $130
Another item I initially resisted when it first made a fashion comeback. Thankfully, I’m now fully onboard the band collar bandwagon. There’s just so few ways a guy can set himself apart without pushing way outside his fashion comfort zone, y’know? A band collar shirt, however, makes for an easy transition from your usual casual workplace button-up or go-to date night top.
Save: Express, $30 (on sale)
Splurge: Brooks Brothers, $92
Let me reiterate that it feels borderline insane to be suggesting you use money you’ve earned (or inherited? I don’t know your life) to buy a freaking flannel shirt when the temperature is approaching “Are you kidding me with this?!”
However, just think of how stylish and cozy you’ll feel in...say, a month? Okay, maybe a little longer...all toasty warm in a flannel shirt with an on-trend large-scale print.
Trust me, it’s gonna be great.
Save: Uniqlo, $40
Splurge: Everlane, $68
Another easy way to step up your style for fall—or any season really—is to rely less on jeans. For instance, our team loves recommending 5-pocket twill pants as a way for guys to broaden their style horizons without really doing anything different. They feel like jeans. They fit like jeans. They’re just (barely) not jeans.
In cold weather months, corduroy pants in denim’s same 5-pocket style offer guys another way to feel like they put just a teeny-tiny bit more effort into their outfit. Wear them like you would your favorite pair of jeans. Dress them up with a sweater and lace-up boots, or down with a t-shirt and sneakers.