With the advent of fall, I start looking at my wardrobe. Away go my shorts and out come flannel lined jeans. Sweatshirts and sweaters come out and linens and short sleeves start going to the back of the closet. This is a time of rotation, and I love it! It is a chance to rediscover old favorites and begin ramping up for chillier days and cozier nights.
As a man of style, it is worth thinking about some things that can be done to spruce up the fall wardrobe in preparation for the onslaught of darker, colder days. Permit me to mention five.
Out With the Old. There are two kinds of old things in every wardrobe. There is “Old Reliable” and “Old and Worn Out.” Sometimes it is easy to know which is which. Old Reliable is typified by the following
- The item is still in good repair
- You look for excuses to wear it
- You wear it as a comfort piece, especially on days you stay in
- It still fits you in your current body shape and type
If it is old and the opposite of these four things, it is probably getting close to Old and Worn Out. You need not throw it away, yet. But if you don’t look forward to wearing it, consider donating it. If you keep it because it still has life in it (and you hate it) give it away. Just because you don’t value it anymore doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. Pass it on, and let someone else discover the joy of owning something new and special for them.
One New Shirt. I’m not talking about t-shirts, here. T-shirts are something that we all wear, but they are not what I think of when I think of wardrobe for most people. What I am talking about here is the kind of shirt that is worn for a reason. A new shirt for the office, for church, for a special night out is what I am talking about here. And one may be just enough, if it is the right one. Once a wardrobe has been established, buying lots of new shirts/pants/suits should likely never be necessary. But buying one new shirt/pants/suit may be just the thing that is necessary to put some new life in any wardrobe. This is when I look for the best quality at the best price and often find myself looking for something classic with a slight touch of flair. For instance, white shirts are always part of my wardrobe, but one with a subtle pattern to it might be something to splurge on.
Clean and Treat the Outerwear. Last year, toward the end of the season, my wife and children bought me a new mid-weight car coat. I love it. It fits my style perfectly. However, I know that it won’t shed water or snow yet. Last night, I took 15 minutes and applied a high grade fabric protectant to it. Now that it is waterproof, I am ready for any inclement weather that might arrive. I am preparing to do the same to my overcoat. Don’t wait for the weather to turn foul to prepare your foul weather gear. Additionally, I have found that the first few times wearing a recently cleaned coat or jacket can be a doorway to feeling confident and prepared.
Check the shoes and socks. One of the most neglected parts of the fall and winter seasons is the footwear. Now, not everyone is going to feel it necessary to have summer and winter socks, but doing a quick check to make sure that they are in good repair is easily done at the start of the cooler seasons. I do have summer and winter socks, and I have found that taking the time to bring them out early rather than late keeps my feet happy. I do the same thing with my shoes. I have two pair of boots that I wear throughout the cold, wet months and I have found that cleaning and treating them early leaves me ready to use them at a moments notice. Waiting, on the other hand, has seen me wearing them and hoping that I don’t ruin them because I was too lazy to treat them earlier in the season.
Versatile Layers. One of the things that I evaluate as I look at my wardrobe is how much versatility I have in the layers. Can I wear a sweater with more than one shirt? Can a vest be worn both casual and under a sportcoat? Are my pieces flexible enough that I can make them work for multiple outfits if I decide to travel and need to travel light? These may seem like minor things to think about, but a man of style knows that the details make and break the deal. I have one vest that I bought last year from a major retailer on a holiday sale that is dressy enough to wear for a nice party and rugged enough that it goes with me every time I plan to spend time playing outside. That kind of versatility is gold!
What do you think of these ideas? Share some of your own in the comments field below.