Designers just like the rest of us start getting excited for Fall (true, sweater-underneath-a-waxed-canvas-jacket, Fall) right around mid July when just breathing feels like eating french onion soup. Which is why most of the early Fall lines in stores now are heavy on the wear forwards but woefully remiss in the wear now. After hours spent clicking through very snappy tweed overcoats that will be perfect 2 months from now, here are five Fall trends that you can actually throw on now-ish.
Pleated Trousers from Paul Smith and Jil Sander
As a former militant supporter of flat front, and only flat front, the transition to a pleated trouser can be a slow and painful one, rife with bad memories of men of a certain age in Dockers that ballooned out from the waist and puddled at the ankles. What finally won me over were slim, single pleated, slightly shorter, versions like this from Paul Smith and Jil Sander that referenced British Teddy Boys and other 1950′s bad asses. With pleats and cuffs all over the Fall runways, these lighter weight wool versions are also the perfect way to have one leg in the new while still keeping your cool.
Nylon Anoraks from Woolrich Woolen Mills and Band of Outsiders
Colorful, transitional, outwear inspired by a time and place of better vibes has been a runway mainstay for several seasons now, but August and September are the perfect time to actually put it to use. Stow these lightweight versions from streetwear guru, Mark McNairy at Woolrich Woolen Mills, and west coast disaffected preps, Band of Outsiders, in your desk drawer or go-to work bag now for those angry late summer storms and then put them on under a heavier coat or blazer when the weather turns.
Indigo Shirts from Adam Kimmel x Carhartt and Our Legacy
The trick to embracing the ascendancy of blue collar chic without looking like every other “cool dad” eating a brunch of grass fed scrapple in Brooklyn, is to opt for an indigo dyed shirt that still goes slightly against the grain like this railroad inspired number from Adam Kimmel’s collaboration with workwear workhorse Carhartt or this beautiful abstract print from the nordic gentlemen at Our Legacy. The unique details of both these shirts makes them great stand alone pieces that can be worn, collar open, now or under a blazer or cardigan later.
Knitted Blazers from Woolrich and Lanvin
With all the easy, throw-on appeal of your favorite sweater but using a structured jacket construction, knit blazers like these from Woolrich John Rich and Bros. and Lanvin can upgrade your collection of tees and polos for the rest of the summer and look just as at home over a shirt and tie come September.
Camel Colored Peak Lapel Suit from Gant Rugger
Even though this wool suit may look stuffier than a church social right now, the fact that it’s only half lined makes it the ideal for early September. Gant Rugger hits all the right cultural touch points with their slim tailoring and peaked lapel jacket. It’s part east coast prep, part continental high roller, all new American gentry.
Antique Henleys from Levi’s Vintage Clothing and Homespun Knitwear
Details like slubby, textured yarns, woven muslin plackets, and their form fitting shape make these henleys from Levi’s heritage inspired line and Homespun Knitwear a cut above the competition. Wear them now unbuttoned on their own to channel Paul Newman on the weekends and come Fall layer them underneath a flannel or leather jacket to still channel Paul Newman on the weekends.
While it make sense to snatch up all of the above now and get your Fall started right, there are a few things you may be able to hold off on until they’ve hit the clearance rack or the bottom of a cardboard box in a TJ Maxx in Iowa 4 months from now. Like these or this or them.
Evan Widhu is a men’s wear buyer in New York. His favorite part of Fall is not having to see anyone’s toes in sandals for the next 8 months.