For whatever reason, fall has become one of the most commoditized seasons. Late September rolls in and suddenly we’re all flush with pumpkin spice-flavored everything, increasingly early-to-market Halloween treats, and squash-themed home decorations galore. Maybe it has to do with how close Fall is to the holiday season (the domino theory of crass commercialization), or maybe there is just something ineffable about this time of year that just begs celebration. We lean more towards the latter category.
Crisp air, the promise of a new start not more than a few months away, and the turning of leaves all hit a sweet spot for us. Another added benefit of autumn is the opportunity to dress a little bit warmer. Whether that means pulling an old, well-loved coat out of the closet for another season, or looking for a few new sweaters to pull over your head – the changing of seasons is an opportunity to switch up your look a bit. To help out, we’ve put together a list of what we think are the best fall style essentials out there.
Your Autumn Outfit's Best Friend
There cannot be fall without sweaters, and there cannot be sweaters without fall. The crewneck, cardigan, and zip-up hoody are all essential garments in an autumn getup. Whether you wear them as your top-layer or simply use it as an extra layer under a coat or nylon shell, this chilly weather stalwart is a must for any guy.
H&M Ribbed Sweater
You don’t need to break the bank for a basic item like a good sweater. This one from H&M is made from pure cotton and has a rib knit feel to it that adds a bit of texture and character.
Zara Sweater With Stripe
While some are content with special fabrics, big collars, or knit patterns – Zara’s Ecru sweater makes itself known with a simple red stripe across the chest and arms.
J.Crew Shawl-Collar Mélange Wool Sweater
Not only do big collars make a statement, but they keep you warm, too. This shawl-collar sweater from J.Crew is knitted from a melange wool fabric and boasts ribbed trims and button fastenings along the collar for a smart, preppy look.
Outerknown Jetlag Crew
Baby alpaca. Who would’ve thought that such a funny looking animal would provide such a warm, soft fabric? Surf brand Outerknown used a combination of this special stuff along with organic cotton to create a sharp looking ribbed sweater complete with a side vent detail.
NN07 Space Dyed Baby Alpaca Blend Sweater
Some sweaters can be thick and stifling while others lightweight and breezy. This sweater from NN07 splits the difference. Knitted from a baby alpaca-blend and featuring an almost psychedelic pattern, this sweater is both light and well insulated – making it perfect for fighting back the crisp autumn temperatures.
When Crew-Necks And Zip Ups Aren't Enough
Sometimes a simple sweater just won’t cut it. A solid overcoat, shirt jacket, or down puffy are needed for late nights out bar hopping or early mornings spent shoveling out some of the first snows. These are some of our favorites out there right now.
Topo Designs Field Jacket
Inspired by old-school jackets given to G.I.’s, this mid-weight layer exhibits a blend of military style and outdoor know-how. Cut from cotton ripstop, featuring snap buttons down the front, and boasting two large waist pockets – this American made jacket seamlessly combines utility with style.
Patagonia Men’s Down Sweater
If you’re not quite as enamored with coats made from all natural fibers, then Patagonia’s down sweater jacket is what you are looking for. Thanks to its 800-fill down insulation and DWR treated polyester ripstop shell, it is more than capable of keeping out the cold and wet while remaining light and comfortable to wear.
Filson Mackinaw Cruiser Wool-Felt Overshirt
Yeah. So there was no way we were going to do a list of men’s fall style essentials and not include a Filson jacket. The heritage American outdoor brand has literally over 100 years of experience making coats for chilly, fall weather (they’re based in Seattle, after all). This particular coat is made from a pure wool fabric, boasts nine (read it – nine) pockets, and has adjustable sleeves and buttons down the front for keeping out the cold. Oh yeah, and it looks great.
Nudie Jeans Alexander Organic Cotton Bomber
Want a fall layer you can reliably wear year after year? A bomber jacket is the right way to go. This one from Nudie Jeans is made from a heavy organic cotton canvas and has some light insulation for keeping you warm.
Battenwear Scout Oversized Cotton Blend Anorak
For those looking for something a little different, the Anorak jacket is a really fun pick. It’s a kind of a mix between a pullover hoodie and a zip-up and features zippers at the neck and waist for making it easy to take on and off. This particular model from Battenwear is made from a cotton blend canvas and boasts a large center pouch with a snap button closure.
Flannels And Long Sleeves Galore
In our opinion, some of the most beautiful button-up shirts out there are only meant for cold weather wear. These are the tops that are made from thicker, heavier fabrics that often boast a lot more character to them. Fall is a perfect time of year to either pull yours back out of the closet or pick up a few new ones.
Uniqlo Flannel Checked Shirt
Almost as ubiquitous as the Pumpkin Spice Latte, but ten times better, the classic flannel is a fool-proof addition to any autumn outfit. This one from Uniqlo is made from a soft brushed fabric, has a standard collar, and comes in at an accessible price.
NN07 Cotton Pique Shirt
A simple long sleeve shirt is a great base for any fall outfit. This one from NN07 is made with a pique cotton that is light and soft to the touch. Great for pairing with denim jeans or for throwing on a thick, wool shirt.
Howler Brothers Harker’s Flannel Shirt
Looking for a higher quality flannel? This popular pick from Howler Brothers is worth a look. It is made from a cotton and polyester blend, features a hunter’s yoke on the right shoulder, and a soft brush finish.
California Cowboy Brushed Charcoal Shirt
This shirt from California Cowboy features a super comfortable cotton modal thermal lining, an attractive flannel sourced from Japan, and hidden pocket for holding extra items. A great shirt for cold weather.
Pendleton Pinetop Shirt
Made from pure virgin wool woven in American mills, this shirt is thick, warm, and has a unique “Broken Arrow” pattern that sets it apart from others. Perfect for wearing as a shirt during the coldest days of winter, or a shirt jacket on the more temperate days of fall.
Kicks For Trudging Through Puddles And Over Leaves
We’re not the ones to excoriate someone for wearing white sneakers in October, but we’re also not going to champion the look. As the weather changes, so should your kicks. It is better to be prepared with solid boots built to take on the weather, or at the very least sneakers whose color palette will match your getup. Take a look at what we’ve included below to get some ideas.
Swims Charlie Boot
Sometimes the best call is just a solid pair of rain boots. This set from Swims features a super simple, comfortable, and totally waterproof design that has a handsome look to them. And thanks to the anti-slip grip on the vulcanized rubber outsole, you won’t have to worry about heading out in the freezing rain.
New Balance 247 Luxe
We’ll admit it. There is nothing about these sneakers that is inherently ‘for fall’ other than its super attractive colorway. Of course, it does offer more than just fresh looks. The REVlite midsole and sock-like upper combine for a form-fitting and comfortable fit that’ll keep you happy no matter what time of year.
The Hill-Side New Low Sneaker
A pair of classically styled sneakers with a twist. The New Low from the Hill-Side was made in collaboration with Teasy, a brand who sourced the shoe’s old-fashioned slub fabric from a Japanese factory.
Red Wing Shoes 8890 Moc Leather Boots
Moc-toe boots are always a good look – especially if they’re from a quintessential American bootmaker like Red Wing Shoes. This particular pair feature thick, comfortable rubber outsoles and a grey leather uppercut to match the original pattern pulled from the Red Wing archives. Classics never die.
Danner Forest Heights II
This pair almost looks like Clark’s famous silhouette but was in fact modeled after a traditional work boot pattern. The shoes are made from an unlined Horween leather that is designed to mold and fit your foot pattern while the low profile outsole is sourced from Vibram. A great pair of American made boots.
Stay As Sharp And Dress Warm
Pants made from thick, sturdy materials are perfect for the fall. They’ll keep you warm and protected from the weather. We’ve pulled together a few that we think are undeniably solid picks for doing everything from hiking to hanging at the house with a hot toddy.
American Giant Classic Sweatpant
One of the best parts about cold weather is avoiding it entirely. Equip yourself this season with a pair of sweatpants from American Giant. Not only do they look sharp, but they’re cut, sewn, and designed right here in the U.S. from a 12.4-ounce heavyweight fleece that is literally built to last a lifetime.
Club Monaco Connor SLim-Fit Stretch-Cotton Twill Chinos
Your pants don’t have to be exceedingly technical or tough in order to be worn during the fall. This pair from Club Monaco simply features a twill fabric and classic chino cut.
Patagonia Granite Park Organic Stretch Trousers
Despite popular opinion, we believe that there are plenty of examples of well-done cargo pants. This pair from Patagonia is one of them. Made from an abrasion-resistant and anti-bacterial cotton blend, these pants are purpose-built to take on backcountry trails.
Buck Mason Olive Twill Trousers
For those on the hunt for an American made pick, this pair from Buck Mason should fit the ticket. They’re everything you’d expect from a solid pair of chinos – but with a little extra attention to detail. Cut from a Z-Twill fabric and a trace amount of spandex, they have a slightly sided look to them and a bit of stretch to boot.
Taylor Stitch Slim Jean in Cone Mills ’68 Selvage
Jeans are kind of magical. Place them in just about any context and they look great. Taylor Stitch’s Slim Jean in Cone Mills Selvage is no exception to that rule. Along with featuring a great cut, the attractive jeans boast a thick 13.5-ounce denim that provide ample insulation from chilly autumn weather.
Top Off The Outfit
It isn’t enough to just sport a solid sweater, a good pair of jeans, and boots. When fall rolls through, it’s going to take aim at your ears, head, neck, and hands, too. Stay toasty and sharp looking with our following picks.
Tokyo Bus Lines Socks
A pair of cotton socks made in Japan and featuring an earthy, autumnal colorway.
Wallace & Barnes Thermal Cotton Beanie
Not all beanies are made equal. This one from J.Crew was constructed here in the states from a pure cotton fabric that’ll keep you warm and top off any look without an issue.
Fox River Ragg Wool and Leather Gloves
Want a classic pair of gloves for staving off stiff fingers? These are a great pick. Made from a heavy wool and featuring a leather palm – they look about as good as they’ll make your hands feel.
Polo Ralph Lauren Reversible Wool-Blend Scarf
Sharp and substantial, this wool scarf is made in Italy and built to endure icy gusts world-round. One side of the scar is navy, while the other is midnight blue – making it easy to pair with multiple outfits.
Bradley Mountain Biographer Backpack
This backpack won’t keep you warm but it’ll keep you exploring. Made by hand here in the U.S., the waxed canvas pack boasts a heritage look and a waterproof build that will keep your gear safe and sound even on cold and windy autumn days.
50 Best Men's Wardrobe Essentials
Looking to expand your threaded horizons? Take a look at our list of the 50 best men’s wardrobe essentials.