The Real New Year – planning your fall clothing…

I don’t know about you but the real new year for me comes in September; summer is winding down, the kids are returning to school and a real sense of newness and beginning emerges.

The Real New Year – planning your fall clothing.

With today being September 1st it’s now time to officially shift the mindset to fall and cooler weather.  Two weeks ago I addressed the need to plan for next summer right now; my assumption is you didn’t apply the same concept last winter thus you’re likely in the position where you need to address some needs today.  Shifting gears this quickly is difficult – something made even harder by the consistent heat we’ve had all summer.  That said perhaps the storm we experienced this past weekend will assist with the transition as it’s looked more like November out there than it did August.

Firstly analyze.

This is where it gets difficult but you need to try and think back to what your were wearing last fall.  Were you in the habit of mixing things up or were you falling back on a signature look?  If you were mixing it up was it because you have a lot of solid options or is it because you’re unsure what you’re signature look should be?  If you’ve stuck to a signature look is it because you know what works for you or is it because you’re void of other options?  Further do you want a signature look or do you prefer to mix it up?  As you think about these questions a sense of what you need and want will hopefully start to emerge.

Make some lists.

#1 – What do you need to replenish or double up on?

This is the easy place to start.  No doubt there will be a few pieces that are starting to wear down and need to be replenished. You’re also bound to have a few pieces that you constantly wear and could have multiples in the rotation.  It’s this list that allows you to begin to really build a wardrobe.  The most stylish guys out there have a real sense of what works for them and going back to the well is a great way to always feel at your best.

#2 – What is missing?

The more difficult yet exciting list to create – it leans heavily on the analysis that we discussed earlier.  The key is that you stick to the analysis to create this list and never allow yourself to venture to far away from it.  By distancing ourselves from the analysis we begin to be swayed by fashion as opposed to our sense of style and what works for us individually.  Sometimes the two come together but equally as much they may not.

An example.

Based on thinking back to last year (admittedly I didn’t pre-plan either) I’ve conducted my analysis and as someone who adores the signature look it was very clear as to what I need to add to my wardrobe – here are my top 5 needs to address:

1. Odd Unstructured Jackets.

A bit of a lesson here – unstructured isn’t only for summer.  Using a heftier cloth an unstructured jacket is the perfect way to slightly dress down a look.  This comes from the fact that it’s unstructured as well as that it’s perfect for using with layers and not getting too hot.  My go-to as always are shades of blue, grey with browns as a winter fall back.  As such my “must” additions in the jacket department are a mid grey flannel and a brown and navy check pattern. The below image on the left is pretty close in terms of look and feel; same goes for the brown on the right but turn up the amount of navy in the cloth by 75%.

fall jackets

2. An Overcoat.

Nothing finishes a look quite like an overcoat – it has the power to elevate even the most casual trainers and jeans looks to the next level.  Last winter I spoke constantly of my needing one only to fail – not this year.  It will be my daily go-to hence I want to combine the tradition of wool with the technical aspect of a cloth that is wind and water resistant.  Enter the Loro Piana Stormtech cloth – classic wool on the outside but with a thin, extremely light and transparent micro-molecular membrane on the back that protects while still enabling the cloth to breath.  I’ll be getting a classic 3 button style in Navy.

fall overcoat

3. Layers.

If I’m not suited up I mostly fall back on the collared shirt + sweater look (hence the need for the odd unstructured jackets).  My standard fall back is the grey v-neck; I’m well covered there with two shades.  What I’m missing though is a navy v-neck option.  The other area I’m missing is with light cardigans.  They are so easy to throw on and off as well as unbutton when you get a touch to hot.  With that in mind I need to add a navy and mid grey cardigan.  Lastly – I’m pondering adding a light turtleneck as it’s nice to not always have to wear a collared shirt.  More to come on this one as I’m not 100% yet.

fall layering

4. Dark Trainers.

For those of you who regularly read the journal you’ll be aware that I am a big fan of the high-low style and the most simple way to achieve this look is via your footwear.  I was a fan of the white trainer this summer but unfortunately they don’t survive all that well in the winter months.  With that in mind I love my navy leather New balance.  The leather allows them to be worn easily with dress clothing to create an easy high-low; it also allows them to be easily cleaned and maintained throughout the winter.  As such I need a second pair – why mess with perfection.

fall kicks

4. A Hefty Suit.

In my daily suit wear I have traditionally gone with simple worsted wool in different shades of navy and grey.  It allows for use in all seasons but last winter I remember feeling the need for a more traditional winter suit.  Living in Vancouver though one never faces really cold weather thus I want to achieve a real depth of while still keeping things relatively light.  As a result I’m going with a grey’ish navy check cloth that visually looks heftier than it is.  It achieves what I want for the dead of winter while still being perfect for spring and fall.

As always I’d love to hear your opinions on this or any sartorial subject for that matter.  Better yet book a free appointment and we can banter in person and see if we might be a good fit to work together.

Take care – Michael

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