FashionLooking Good

Six Looks That Will Ease You Into Fall – Build Your Fall 2015 Wardrobe Now

How did it get to be September already? Always being an optimist, I still want to say that there’s still a lot of summer left, as there usually is in September. But it won’t be too much longer until we’re all forced into admitting its autumn. This doesn’t mean you’ve got to rush out immediately purchasing top coats, parkas and long underwear just yet. But – it does mean if you start early, not only will you get the pick of all the best new fall gear in the stores, you can gradually ease yourself into building your autumn wardrobe with some great basics.

Start with a four season two piece business suit. A crisp tailored suit like this will take you anywhere for the next year. Its fit is slim – which is gonna be around for a while yet. You can wear it immediately and into the fall so get a good basic like this navy tone on tone mini windowpane check. The lighter blue check on the navy gives almost a pinstripe effect – so it’s an updated pinstripe. Then, don’t just wear a plain white or blue shirt – wear it with a bold pattern like this blue and white wide stripe so it offsets the smaller check. Then introduce a larger patterned tie like this silk paisley and you’re in greater sartorial territory – especially after you pop in a multi-hued blue pocket square. This suit will be good all fall and winter with various shirt and tie combinations.

Suit, Coppley; Shirt, John W. Nordstrom; Tie; Enro; Belt, Mezlan; Pocket Square, Nordstrom Rack; Shoes, Model’s.

Those of you who have read any of our Men of Value fashion articles this year know what’s coming next: how to dress that same suit down. And why not? If you spend a lot on a suit – you want to not only show off its versatility but also show your ease with the idea of treating it not just as a suit. Think of the suit as sportswear as well – paired here with a soft luxury tee and the ubiquitous scarf accessory – it will show off your fashion chops. Wear it with boots or a flat sneaker to take the look all the way to its sports conclusion.

Tee, John Varvatos; Scarf, H&M; Pocket Square, Nordstrom Rack.

What would fall be without a “Country” look? A houndstooth or a herringbone – or here, a brown checked plaid. It can be dressed up enough for casual business and can also take you out for the evening. That’s the great versatility with any kind of plaid or patterned jacket . With the right tie and trousers – it’s totally acceptable for a business lunch look. The check pattern will also give you endless trouser options. Here with a dressier gray trouser, it makes a more dressed up business look. But it can also go the business route in a more casual way with cords or khakis.

Sport Coat & Trousers, Coppley; Shirt, Kenneth Cole New York, Tie, Kenneth Cole Reaction; Pocket Square, Nordstrom Rack..

Then the fun begins – because the checked plaid can be dressed down in a myriad of ways. For an evening out, roll the sleeves up a bit then go for something unique like this vintage vest over a thin cable knit sweater and instead of the expected jeans – go for a pair of wrinkled cargo pants for even more texture. It can be layered in many ways. Pop the color, add in a scarf over a shirt and sweater, throw on a pair of gloves  and it can be an early autumn piece of outerwear.

Sweater & Cargo Pants, H&M; Vest, Vintage; Belt, Gant Rugger; Boots, Model’s.

Fall is all about glorious color, so add some color to your wardrobe. And not just any color – but an intense color as here with this Loro Piana saturated, brilliant royal blue sport coat. Wearing a sport coat with this much color is a confidence builder. It’s also a versatile jacket. Wear it with these Piana four season wool trousers for work or an evening out.

Sport Coat & Trousers, Coppley; Shirt, Boss Hugo Boss; Tie, XMI Platinum; Pocket Square, Nordstrom Rack.

Then, with this kind of color – any jean will work with it – and  then amazingly this smooth, suave jacket suddenly takes on a different look. And don’t be afraid to add even more color – like this thin soft gold sweater. Dress it up a bit with boots or go even more casual with a pair of sneakers. With this kind of jacket, the possibilities are endless.

Sweater, H&M; Jeans, 7 for all mankind.

While it may seem that we all have a lot of time left to shop for new fall clothing – and clearly there is – in a few weeks it won’t be too late and the best sizes will be gone.

*Photography, Alejandra Guerrero; Model, Peter for Ford Models Chicago; Grooming, Ashley Condron; Styling, James Vincent; Location: Firefly Kitchen, Wilmette, IL


The Author

James Vincent

James Vincent

JD Vincent is a freelance visual merchandiser and display designer based in Chicago, IL, with a life-long interest in fashion. He has been a local Chicago display designer for many years and has been an independent contractor in wholesale and retail visual merchandising for 20 years. He started the wholesale tradeshow design company, tradeshowoffs! in 2013. You can see his company’s wholesale and retail projects at His visual merchandising clients have included well-known companies such as Reebok, The North Face, Cartier, the Chicago Merchandise Mart as well as many other local retail and wholesale companies. His product focus in recent years has been in the men’s wear tailored arena. He has honed his professional styling skills with companies such as Hart Schaffner Marx, Zegna, Hickey Freeman, Kenneth Cole, DKNY amongst many others. Mr. Vincent currently resides in Chicago and works as an independent visual merchandiser and designer for both retail and wholesale companies that include, among others, Bobby Jones, Hickey Freeman as well as yet to be discovered new clients.

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