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How Much Time Do You Have?

A Man About Fall

As the temperatures rapidly change here in NYC, I’ve noticed the stronger breeze and the welcomed cooler temperatures. While this means that it’s time to put away the Vilebrequinn’s and the Polos, it also means something else for you sartorial strategists, Fall is here, and with it some new rules for staying sharp.

Colors - The summer brings out the best in baby blues, bright salmons, and a whole range of pastels. But, as the colors of the leaves change from bright green to rich reds, deep browns, and burnt umbers our wardrobe must adjust as well. Many “Style Guys” believe that fall is the season to keep it neutral with browns, tans, taupes, dark grey, and navy don’t be afraid to pair these darker colors with a pop of those summer hues. Even though it’s time to pull back out that charcoal suit, consider a knit forest green tie instead of the traditional silk navy. As long as you keep the “outfit” grounded feel free to step your game up a bit with details of bright contrast.

Patterns - Herringbone is the traditional pattern of fall, the colors are usually right in line with the changing colors of the trees. This fall look a little bit deeper for houndstooth as well - its a strong pattern but pair it with a solid tie and it should look just right. Don’t forget that gingham is here to stay, and as I mentioned above if you pair that sky blue gingham from the summer with a deep brown tie it’s all set for fall. If strong patterns still feel a bit too sartorially strange, stay simple with horizontal striped shirts, but do not get too busy. I like to keep it one color, usually navy or gray. Additionally, contrast collars give your shirt a modern look that is set for any office. Grey shirts with white collars, white shirts with blue collars, and of course, blue shirts with white collars (the traditional banker).

Cuts - The rule for cuts stays the same as always - make sure it fits, and make sure it fits well. That said, some styles - like the one button blazer - are made for summer, while others require the cooling temperatures of fall to fit in. The double-breasted suit has been on the rise again for a few seasons, and it doesn’t look poised to back off now. Find a nice double-breasted suit and keep it slim to counteract the often boxy-look of the two button column. It’s pretty standard to keep your double-breasted suits with a peak lapel, but it’s not necessary - do what feels right. If that suit happens to be a three-piece, all the better. The third layer is good for warmth and a bit of style. But it doesn’t have to be a full suit; you can find a nice “contrasting” vest and place it in no matter the suit. French cuffs are also welcome again in the office as the temperature drops and you won’t need to roll up those sleeves. The root behind this all, don’t be afraid to wear stronger details during fall and into winter.

Layering - My final tips for adjusting your sartorial arsenal for fall is layering. An inquirer recently lamented the woes of putting together a sharp look only to cover it with a pea-coat or other large trench. I feel your pain. If you are going to wear a pea coat, update it this fall with a double barrel collar instead of the traditional double-breast (leave that for the suit). For the trench keep it inside except in the rain. Better yet, leave both coats inside - Fall is the perfect season for layering. Pair your suit with a nice down vest and large knit scarf to catch the eye or layer a waxed cotton jacket with a light wool sweater or cardigan to give your coat game some new pick-up lines. The good thing about wool…it tends to stay pretty similar year to year so pull out last year’s wool knits for this one. And when it comes to shoes, layer those rainy days away with some sharply updated galoshes…these aint your grandpa’s

That’s part 1 of being a Man about Fall, stay tuned for some top picks from this seasons fall collections.

As always the time is now, so stay sharp and don’t be late.

Featured Items (Clockwise Top Left)

Swimx x Armani - Galoshes

The Tie Bar - Green Knit Tie

Okana - Blue Pinstripes

J. Crew - Chambray

Tommy Hilfiger - Blue Tie

Corduroy - Vintage

Paul Smith - Green Laces

Mercanti Fiorentini - Brown Captoes

Grey Scarf - Knit

Express - Sweater

Hilfiger - Jacket

Aldo - Hallinan Sneakers

H&M - Plaid Shirt

Ralph Lauren Vintage - Grey Knit Tie


Albam AW12 Lookbook

The British label first lookbook shows a collection of clean, polished pieces… 

The kind of clean cuts and modern detailing that keeps you 9Sharp

If the Suit Doesn’t Fit…Don’t Order it Online

In one of my last articles I wrote about the rise of menswear, and attributed this greatly to the popularity of online retailer sites, specifically, Mr. Porter, and Park & Bond (a Gilt affiliate). I still strongly believe that. Privacy is a big part of a man’s life, as most girlfriends and wives will tell you, but shopping online has major drawbacks. Furthermore, as a desire for sharp menswear continues to conquest the male population it wont, and should not, be necessary to shop in the “privacy” of the internet. The issue is this, every brand sizes differently, cuts its suits at different angles, makes its slim-fit jeans a different leg opening, and unless you know your body the way your tailor does, (assuming you have a tailor) buying online can be costly, time-consuming, and a complete ill-fit. I normally wear a Medium shirt, a 32 waist, and a 10 shoe. However, sometimes I am a 31 waist, a Small in outerwear, and a straight-leg Jean. Anyone the least bit sartorially inclined knows above all that FIT and CUT are the two most important things to dressing well – without the proper fit the rest is a waste of time, no matter how beautiful the fabric of that Versace suit. 

As a young New Yorker, with little time to waste and even less money to spend I need to know that my clothes will look sharp, feel sharp, and stay sharp. So I adhere to the One Size Theory – only buy online if it’s a one-size-fits-all garment. I admit I break this sometimes for shoes – but that size rarely changes. Aside from shoes I now keep my “Gilty” pleasure purchases to Socks, Ties, Accessories, Watches, Eyewear, Pocket Squares…you get the cut of my suit now right? Ok, good.

So what is someone trying to look sharp, at a good price to do? It might seem obvious but it’s oft overlooked…it’s H&M (and many of those retailers like it, Uniqlo, Joe Fresh, Top Man, Zara etc.). I happen to be a personal fan of H&M most though, because of its range of style, incredibly fast production, and now elevated quality. It happens to be particularly fitting, because the one thing I won’t buy at H&M are shoes. However, their dress shirts fit great, and I can count on a consistency in sizing, shrinking, and style. They sell affordable suits that have a great modern cut and come priced from $100 to $150 (throw in $50 for tailoring and you’re set). Their range of, pants, shorts, t-shirts, polo shirts, ties, hats, etc can’t be beat. Uniqlo may be an incredible basics shop, but if you’re looking to add some pattern into your life without the financial risk, or see a great pear of one-season-only shorts (I would never advise buying anything for one season only, maybe one occasion – like a theme party) you should look no further than H&M, and I will defend it to the core. It’s mission statement is to bring you “fashion and quality at the best price,” so save your designer purchases for consignment stores, your ties for the internet, and everything else for H&M. 

Check these pairings from H&M’s summer Conscious Collection, whether you’re in the Hamptons, or in Williamsburg you’re bound to look sharp.

Matt Bomer for GQ Italy

Portrayed as the last Elvis, this dark blue Tuxedo is a subtly refined way to update the classic.

H&M Spring Summer 2012 Lookbook

A lot of people knock on H&M for their quality. In a world where fashion changes more often than the days of the week, having “disposable” style available for all is a necessity! And by the way, H&M has upped their quality, and their range significantly recently. I own many of my favorite work shirts, and even a some of my favorite pants and they are in great condition with no signs of wear yet!

(Source: mensfashionworld)