Men’s Fall Style Guide Part 1: Whites, Smocks and Patterns

Believe it or not, gentlemen, but autumn is almost upon us. Now, you may not get all giddy at the prospect of boot shopping and “going dark for fall” like women around the world do, but the cooler months are a great time to start thinking about reinventing your look. We’ve already discussed how to develop an authentic personal style and one of the key things that we learned was that your look is all about your personality and lifestyle. This means that your hair should reflect your individuality and your clothes should act as an ever-changing supporting cast.

These dapper gents were snapped on the street by the good people of label m. during the London Mens’ Fashion Week (did you know that men get their very own fashion week? Well, knowing is half the battle). While the type of man who attends runway shows may not reflect your personal style exactly, there are lessons to be learned from how they style themselves. What you see here is a group of men with an impressive attention to detail. Every article of clothing has been carefully selected to achieve a symbiotic overall look and effect that says more about who they are than what they wear. The hair works with the outfit, which shows off the accessories. It’s like a parade of fashion microcosms.

We will examine these looks one by one, through a series of articles, to give you a breakdown of what works and why and how it all comes together. Use these examples and tips to help you construct a little style universe of your very own.


Look #1: Whites That You Say?

This look is all about the layering effect. An unconstructed coat with a hoodie and an untucked shirt. The partially tied boots combined with white, well after Labor Day, and a tousled bedhead comes together to say, “I do what I want and you’re going to have to find a way to deal with it.”

TIPS:

  • Do not shy away from boots. The right boot sends a strong, confident message.
  • Layers are not only great looking when done right, but incredibly practical for the unpredictable weather of the changing seasons.
  • Take the summer to get a little extra length on top. Once you get to this level mussed, you’re going to need to keep it on the right side of casual with a blow dryer and a medium hold pomade.

Look #2: Studio Chic.

Don’t swipe past this one just yet. You’d be surprised at how many men we’ve seen rocking a smock. This example, with a slouched asymmetrical sweatshirt on top, is an intentional, if not more polished “just-finished-his-latest-masterpiece meets militant zen master” look. The monochromatic palette says he has more important things to think about, but the fabric variations are his tip of the hat. This guy obsessed over every piece.

TIPS:

  • A change in silhouette is not for the fashion novice. This is a look that you have to own from start to finish.
  • As we’ve stated before, your style should just be a reflection of your personality, so if you are the guy who can dominate a room while wearing a smock, then we have nothing more to teach you.
  • We’ve most often seen this look paired with a man bun or top knot, both of which take a level of confidence all their own.

Look #3: Pattern is Full.

There is a ton going on here. Bold, old school sartorial charm gets a refresh with the torn skinny jeans. He cleaned up what was almost too much with the stability of a single rich color beneath the multiple patterns. This is great look for the creative consultant who wants to transition from the daytime power lunch to that über cool dinner party without stopping off at home to Clark Kent into another ensemble.

TIPS:

  • Pair classic shapes with updated patterns and fabrics to keep things looking au currant. For example, the single monkstrap shoe is a staple that gets a risque update here in reptile.
  • The same goes for the pattern mixing. Windowpanes and tweeds on their own are traditional, but toss them all in the mix together and you get a blend of styles that come together to make something new.
  • Be forewarned, there are guidelines to mixing patterns. The general rule of thumb is to mix small with large and stick to the same color family.
  • As for the hair, when you have this much sartorial delight dancing together, it’s best to keep the hair simple and neat. A classic cut with a little rough texture will echo the old-school-meets-new-school vibe of the clothes without overpowering the look.

Look #4: Black & Tan, Man Oh Man.

This look is a masterclass in simplicity and how to use yourself as a foundation for a look.  The stage is set with an all-black base and accented with a color complimentary to his own skin tone, which rounds out the look. What results is a lesson in color tone and gradation that is masterfully executed. You can tell how much careful thought went into the final look by how completely effortless it appears.

TIPS:

  • When going for the minimalist look, its all about structure. It this case, a long column coat tops narrow pants. This keeps the coat balanced and keeps him from getting lost in it.
  • Neutral colors can be tough to crack. Just like skin color, there is always an undertone to consider. Balance your own skin’s undertones with neutrals that have the same base.
  • A look this tight is best paired with a close crop, executed with a laser precision. Make sure you get friendly with your barber, because you’ll be making a lot of visits.