Your 2016 Fall Style Guide
by John Phillips
Fall is in full swing now and this is, by far, the best time of year for style. Not only are fall color palettes great, but the cooler weather gives plenty of opportunities for style challenges, whether you’re layering or just throwing on a chunky sweater. So lets jump into some items you should be targeting for this fall.
Your Color Palette
It’s best to start off with what colors you should go after this year. Like every year, Pantone sets the bar for popular colors choices every year, whether in fashion, decor, etc. And they don’t disappoint this year. These colors aren’t exactly must-haves, but if you’re looking to add some personality into your clothing items via color, this is a good baseline.
It would be too easy, and a bit overwhelming to give you a long list of shirting options, so I’m just going to narrow down what I think you should consider purchasing this fall.
Flannel shirts are a great dress down items built for the cool fall climate. And I’m not talking about your boxy looking lumberjack shirts. I’m talking about the ones that fit like your other casual shirts. Flannel is a good choice to layer up with tees, vests, henleys, and jackets.
I recommend Bonobos, Jachs NY, or Gap (for a cheaper option).
Denim shirts are another great fall option, especially with a heavier weight. There are many ways to swear a denim shirt; with black jeans, blue jeans (just ensure the contrast from top to bottom), or chinos.
Check out J. Crew, Levi’s, or Frank & Oak.
Sweaters are an obvious pick here for an essential fall top. You should at least have a handful of sweaters in your normal rotation. Whether it’s a cardigan, a thin v-neck for layering, or a turtleneck, you can’t go wrong with sweaters. They also make for an easy outfit since you can just throw one on with some jeans and keep it simple. You’ll also want to keep them around for the winter months as well.
Now that we have the shirting out of the way, you’ll need bottoms to pair up with them. Here are a few styles of pants that you should have on your radar…
Grey wool pants fall somewhere between business casual and formal wear. It’s a great way to add some texture into your outfit, and with grey being a good base color, it provides a great opportunity to add color up top.
If you want to dress these down a little, pair them with some Converse Jack Purcell leather low tops (or something similar).
Pictured (left) are J. Crew’s Bowery wool pants.
Corduroys aren’t just for old men wearing cardigans. Find yourself a well fitting pair of cords to add texture into your outfits. There are no special rules for wearing cords (assuming you aren’t also wearing a corduroy shirt of the same color), but treat them like you would treat chinos. But to ensure you don’t look like your grandpa, opt for the thinner ribbed types.
Pictured (right) are Bonobos French Corders.
Colored chinos aren’t just for the spring/summer months. They’re still in play in the fall, especially if you choose the right colors from the aforementioned color palette. Wearing colored chinos takes some confidence, so make sure you have plenty of it when you’re shopping for, and wearing the pair that you choose.
To avoid looking like a Crayola box, make sure that if you opt for colored chinos, that your shirt is neutral and/or complimentary of the pants color.
Chukkas are a great in-between of a casual shoe and a casual boot. They come in various styles, depending on usage. For a more laid back style, have a look at Clarks Desert Boots. If you want to class it up a bit, go for a pair like these Scouts from Thursday Boots (pictured above).
Chelsea boots tend to sway more fancy, but are a great boot option in the fall. The best thing about chelsea boots are the fact that they’re slip ons.
They look great whether you wear them with dark denim, or with a suit and come in a variety of different styles.
Earlier I mentioned the Converse Jack Purcell leather low tops (pictured). I’m going to double down on that to say this is a great fall sneaker, either in high or low top. You can’t go wrong with any of the available colors.
We can’t talk about fall without discussing outerwear. It’s the most visible layer in the season known for layering. Here are some good options.
Peacoats are not only a wardrobe staple, but a fantastic choice for a fall coat. While you generally find these coats in black and brown, but I think they look even better in a color like grey. This one pictured here is from Frank & Oak.
If you opt for a peacoat, I wouldn’t recommend it being too slim, because you’ll need to leave room for layering cool weather items underneath.
A puffer vest is a good coat alternative, and one of my favorite layering items. They can be worn on top of sweaters and blazers, or underneath coats and even sports jackets if you get one thin enough. The one pictured is from Uniqlo, and comes at a very affordable price at $29.
For more ideas on how to wear and layer a puffer vest, Jack Threads has a few solid ideas.
Very few jackets look cooler than a bomber jacket. These generally come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. If you happen to buy one, and it seems a little big, that’s ok because these generally fit a little larger than other jackets.
This jacket pictured is from Everlane.
What Others Are Saying
Don’t just take my word for it. Others also give great thoughts into what you should be wearing this fall too…
- Dappered has a great rundown of 10 fall essentials this year.
- Style Girlfriend has a good fall style guide with solid ideas.
- Huffington Post runs through some must-haves for this fall.
- Fashion Beans names 5 key colors for the fall/winter and how to wear them.
- Primer shows you 23 outfits for the fall. Spoiler alert, they’re all pretty damn good.