I will be clear right from the get-go – buying a fall/winter wardrobe is expensive, but the options for outfits open up tremendously. Trading in shorts and polos for jackets and sweaters is one of my favorite things about this time of year.
Clothing stores, both high and low end, debut some of their most stunning collections for men in the fall, and they use many bold, neutral colors making it easy to mix and match fall clothing items all year round. Fall is all about layered looks, and mixing and matching some otherwise contrasting color combinations. So, men, pull away from the mundane creams, blacks, and browns, and get your fall fashion on! I will build a sample fall casual outfit that is perfect for the college guy with expensive tastes, yet who is on a modest budget.
Cardigan. This is an absolute must. To complete the hip, young professional look, or even the casual student look, a cardigan is an absolute essential. Many stores offer a large variety of cardigans in plain colors to stripes, even to several different colors. The cardigan is versatile, and can be worn with shorts, jeans, corduroys, or even with khakis for a formal occasion. The Gap Skinny Birdseye cardigan is a perfect piece, but is around $70. Visit outlet stores or Urban Outfitters and a similar design can be found for under $20.
V-Neck. Yes, T-shirts are still a necessity even into the fall and winter. A maroon or mint colored v-neck T-shirt under a grey or black cardigan creates the absolute perfect combination, especially for the crisp school days of November. As I have said before, never pay more than $8.00 for a v-neck T-shirt.
Jeans. During fall and into the winter, a nice classy pair of dark wash, denim jeans rounds out any outfit. Jeans insulate well for the winter months, and they can also be paired with just about any other piece of clothing. Another important thing to remember when trying jeans on is to make sure they fit right, and accentuate your legs, rather than being too baggy and making for an unflattering look. In most major cities, upscale consignment shops sell nice jeans for under $25. While you are there, bring some of your old clothes to sell to earn discounts, store credit, or even cash!
Coat. The coat is the final piece of a fashionable fall outfit. As fall and winter outfits are all about the layers, what coat you decide to wear must compliment your other clothes, and become part of the outfit. Traditionally, many people do not consciously match the coat to the outfit, but for a young, professional look, this is an absolute must. I am a fan of the jet-black pea coats sold at places like Banana Republic and Express for Men. In mid-winter, coat prices fall to around 10-20% off original price.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks, as I put together a men’s formal winter outfit on a budget!