PS. Did you know I do private style consultations? I can help you dress better according to your budget and your needs.
What to wear if you’re attending a game, be it high school, college, or professional.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Blue OCBD shirt
- Slim-straight dark jeans
- Grey shawl collar cardigan
- Desert boots
- Brown casual belt
- Team scarf
The idea is to keep it comfortable while still looking like a man with some taste. The beauty of this outfit is it can be worn if you’re 17 or 70, 100 pounds or 300, muted contrast or stark. It takes just some tweaks to work well for any man. You can also throw this together for just over a hundred on the cheap end or quite a bit more if you’re purchasing higher-quality products.
PS. Have you gotten your Style Evaluation? It’s a great way to know the strengths and weaknesses of your current wardrobe.
- The coloring. This guy has a pretty warm complexion so the colors all help keep the focus on him. The red of the sweater plays off his hair and beard to really frame his face.
- The tie. Most of the time a tie is incredibly difficult to pull off in a casual situation. He nails it by wearing the denim jacket and the beat up chucks.
- The shoes. A perfect example of not worrying about your sneakers getting filthy. When you wear white shoes you have to learn to embrace the imperfection that comes with them.
- The pants. By having bolder colors in the top half of his outfit he does well to keep things more neutral below the waist. Otherwise there would be too much competition and the focus would be on the clothes, not the man wearing them.
- The jacket. Trucker jackets can be great High/Low pieces. If he swapped out the jacket and the shoes, the rest of this could be worn in a lot of business situations. However, the jacket dresses it down so it’s appropriate for a Saturday walk with the dog.
- The sunglasses. Clubmasters are a classic shape and these are the right size for his face. They look both timely and timeless without venturing into the trendy category that thicker frames tend to fall into.
- The jacket length. This is picking some serious nits, but I’d like to see it an inch longer.
- Nothing this week. He killed it.
Got this from a reader last week:
I realized I forgot some long sleeved fall wear when I was going thru my wardrobe. I have a couple of polo sweaters and a cool navy sweatshirt, but the school week is five days long and I’m starting to live by the principle: “Anytime anyone sees you, you should be dressed better than the people around you.” I’m even starting to look down upon people who don’t take care of their style even though I was among them at one point.
I need to pull off a peacoat, that will give me four pieces of fall wear. Still not enough for my ever expanding closet. What else should I target??
Now this guy happens to still be in high school but his concern is valid for any age group. I’m going to assume that he’s asking about casual wear because your dress shirts should already be long-sleeved and you should also either be wearing a suit or a sport coat in the cooler months. I’m also not going to write about casual button-ups as that was already touched on last week in my post on work shirts. Instead, we’ll focus on other options and, as always, I’ll start with the most casual and then work up from there.
Waffle Knit Thermal Crew Neck
This is really just a beefed-up T-shirt. The long sleeves and the waffling make it more substantial so it will wear warmer and drape better, which will make it look better as well. Essentially this used to be men’s underwear but now can be worn in any casual situation. Wear it in class, up at the cabin, or making a stop at the grocery store this time of year. Because it’s a casual shirt, I don’t like to spend too much on these. You can find them at Target for about $14.00
Nothing really new or revolutionary about this as it’s just a long-sleeved version of the tried-and-true henley. Still a very casual option but the buttons help dress it up a bit. You could get away with wearing it on its own in a casual situation or dressing it up under a blazer for some High/Low appeal. Since this is casual as well, it’s another option you’ll want to pick up from Target or Old Navy.
Cable Knit Crew Sweater
A cable knit sweater is going to be the heaviest of a man’s casual options. These were originally made in coastal regions and used by fishermen and dock workers to keep warm. The crew neck was functional but is also what keeps it casual. It’s too big and bulky to be worn with a suit but is awesome on its own. I recommend wearing it without a collared shirt underneath as it’s a very casual, blue-collar sweater and should be embraced as such. You’ll pay a bit more for one of these but should be able to find them under $50 at places like H&M and the Gap.
A rugby shirt is the one of the biggest improvements any guy under 30 can make in his casual style game. It’s a hoody that has replaced the hood with a collar so it should replace any hoody you have in your closet except for the one you keep in your gym bag. The origin of these should be fairly obvious and even though most people won’t be able to consciously recognize that they’re worn by rugby players, they will make a subtle association between one of these and sporty manliness. A rugby can be worn on its own or layered beneath a blazer as well.
Cardigans are huge right now and have been for a couple of years. Thankfully they’re based on traditional styling so they’re a way to look timely and timeless all at once. The key to avoiding any hipster associations is to make sure your cardigan fits you like everything else. Most hipsters will wear these too big and contrast them with pants that are too skinny, thereby making them appear even more scrawny and feminine. Stick with the right fit and you’ll look masculine. Slimmer, simpler options like this above can be worn over a T-shirt, with a button-up shirt, and even with a suit. They’re the most versatile of any option in this list and should be in every man’s closet.
These can be either pullovers or cardigans. The collar dresses it up a bit and can be worn over a shirt and tie. However, you won’t want to wear these with a suit as the collar is still too casual for that. Usually shawl collars are made on thicker sweaters that are best if worn on their own instead of as a layering piece.
I’ve already dedicated an entire post to the V-neck sweater so I’ll just reiterate that this is a Staple for a reason. Can be dressed up or down and is the most suit-appropriate option in this whole list.
Just like the rugby is a better option for guys under 30, a chunky cardigan is better for men over 25. They’re essentially the sweater version of a blazer and are meant to be worn on their own. These are not work sweaters and are best kept to situations like Thanksgiving dinner with the family instead of the deer hunt. You’ll pay more, but the investment is worth it if you live in a climate that’s cold more than six months of the year.
Remember that these are all options that can be worn either with or instead of long sleeve button-up shirts. Given all the alternatives out there you should be able to do more than just five day’s worth of variety this fall.
One of the key ways to staying warm without overdressing in the fall is by wearing thicker material. You swap out your linen pants for a pair of jeans and are better off upgrading your button-up shirts to a thicker material as well. For casual wear this means going to an option that’s based in the blue-collar world – the work shirt.
These were originally made of a thicker material to be able to stand up to more wear and tear in outdoor and shop-like situations. Even if you’re just wearing one on a Saturday while out running errands, it gives you additional warmth without going overboard.
There are a few other marks of a good work shirt you should keep an eye out for as well.
- Added support in seams. The weakest point in any shirt is going to be the seams and work shirts make up for this by having extra reinforcement. Look for larger plackets and double stitching.
- Coarser material. On top of being thicker, the material in work shirts is going to be a bit rougher. As a result, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing an undershirt (V-neck or tank, no crew necks) to keep comfortable. They won’t be as itchy as a wool sweater, but they still won’t feel like that cotton, gingham shirt you’ve had on all summer.
- Shorter tails. While these are meant to be worn tucked in, they’ll still be viable untucked as well. The shorter tails will allow you to go with either option.
- Button down collars or no collar tabs. These collars are not meant to pop like on a dress shirt. As a result, you don’t have to worry about putting in any collar stays.
- Extra pockets. Work shirts were made for work and are equipped to hold more tools and materials than your average dress shirt. The extra pockets will look inappropriate in an office environment but are great for casual situations.
- Larger patterns. Not all work shirts come in a pattern but those that do will have larger and bolder versions as a finer pattern denotes a dressier shirt.
Remember that these should fit you well just like any other shirt. If they’re too big you run the risk of looking like you were stuck in Seattle in the 90’s. Too small and you’ll come across as some lumberjack-wannabe hipster.
Work shirts are great in that they are a subtle indicator of your ability to physically dominate the world around you. These are worn by men who work with their hands and put in long days. Even if you’re not such a man (and you should be, at least for a hobby), you can ride on the coat-tails of those who are.