Best Budget-Friendly Men’s Fall Essentials For 2019

Key pieces for a sharp Fall wardrobe don’t have to be expensive, and a few wallet-friendly updates can add a ton of style to your overall look. As we mentioned in our previous Fall Essentials piece, the key thing to think about with your fall wardrobe is changing temperatures, you want items that layer easily or can be versatile enough for varying temps. Like with the rest of the items in your Essential Wardrobe you want pieces that will have you looking sharp no matter your height, body shape, or age.

Here are our picks for the Best Budget-Friendly Fall Essentials for 2019!

 

H&M Wool crewneck sweater – $20

A simple versatile item that can be worn a ton of different ways, from casual to dressy.  We love the one from H&M, it’s budget-friendly and super stylish.

H&M Wool Crewneck

H&M Merino Crewneck

 

The Tie Bar Wool Knit Tie – $25

An easy way to add some texture and personality to dressier looks, these simple additions are great with suits or chinos.  We love the options from the Tie Bar specifically, the bang-for-the-buck is outstanding.

Tie Bar Wool Knit Ties

Tie Bar Wool Ties

 

H&M Quilted Jacket – $79.99

Budget-friendly quilted jackets are very tough to come by but this one from H&M hits all the marks. A solid price, great casual style, and a nice light weight make for a very versatile jacket for your Fall layering.

 

Suede / Perlon / Wool watch straps – $5-$20

A super simple (and cheap!) way to mix up your accessory game. Try something in suede or perlon for some added texture and style to your watch.

Suede Straps

Leather and Suede Nato Straps

Perlon Straps

Wool Straps

 

Uniqlo Corduroy Jeans & Chinos – $39.90

We discussed these in our previous Fall Essentials video, and for good reason, a few solid pairs of pants can really set your rotation up nicely. We really love the corduroys and chinos from Uniqlo because they’re super affordable and great quality for the money.  The range of colors is great too, so make sure you invest in a few pairs to mix up your rotation from denim.

Uniqlo Corduroy Jeans

Uniqlo Chino Pants

 

Leather Lace-Up or Chukka Boots – $130 – $250

A solid and versatile lace-up boot or chukka boot is an indispensable style foundation for fall.  Keep in mind that affordability is relative and you get what you pay for. Ultimately, It’s tough to find anything of quality below $150 or so. The picks below are a great mix of quality and affordable prices.

Picks:

Johnston & Murphy 1

Johnston & Murphy 2

Kenneth Cole 1

Kenneth Cole 2

Clarks

 

Wool Scarf – $13-$60

Easy warmth when you need it and it can be a great accessory.  Go for solid black, grey or navy for an understated look or opt for a pattern like plaid or a bolder color for more of a statement.  Wool blends and cashmere are the most comfortable.

Picks:

Uniqlo 1

Uniqlo 2

Gap

H&M 1

H&M 2

 

Uniqlo Suede Belt – $30

You’ve hopefully got a few casual and dress belts in leather already, but adding a suede version is an easy way to change up your accessory game and add some nice texture to your outfit. As another option, a nice braided leather belt is a cool update as well.

Uniqlo Suede Belt

Uniqlo Braided Belt

 

Flannel Shirts – $30 – $50

We discussed the importance of great casual button-ups for fall and there are a number of good flannel options that are perfect for the cooler months.  You can go for a solid color or a bolder plaid and these are great as a layer under a denim or bomber jacket or just worn on their own. We love the ones from Uniqlo the most but there are other great picks we love below as well.

Picks:

Uniqlo

Gap

J.Crew Factory

 

H&M Blazer – $70

Another super versatile jacket, we love that this blazer can add a bit of polish to any casual outfit, like with denim or chinos, or it can be dressed up with some trousers and a tie. The checked pattern is a nice way to add a bit of personality but in a subtle way and you can even layer a sweater underneath for added warmth.

Picks:

H&M 1

H&M 2

Uniqlo 1

Uniqlo 2

J. Crew Factory

Men’s Fall Style Essentials For 2019

Fall and cooler weather will be here before you know it and it’s time to start thinking about transitioning your wardrobe.
A key thing to think about with your fall wardrobe is changing temperatures, you want items that layer easily or can be versatile enough for varying temps. Like with the rest of the items in your Essential Wardrobe you want pieces that will have you looking sharp no matter your height, body shape, or age.

One quick note, while I love them, you’re not going to see henleys on this list because there are only a select few men that actually look good in them. We did an in-depth article on henleys previously and you can check out why I feel so strongly that only certain men can wear them.

Now, onto our picks for the Men’s Fall Style Essentials you need right now!

 

Denim Jacket

Classic, stylish and easy to layer, a denim jacket is a great pick for fall. Make sure the fit isn’t boxy – you want a slim fit. Also, we recommend a medium to light wash as they pair easily w your dark wash denim and with other go-to fall pants like chinos and corduroys.

Picks:

Uniqlo

AllSaints

Levis

Everlane

 

Crewneck sweater or sweatshirt

I love these because of their casual vibe and versatility, they can function as an outerwear piece over a tee or be layered underneath something else (like that denim jacket we just mentioned) when it gets colder. Stick with solid colors like light grey, charcoal, black, dark green, and burgundy.  You can go with cotton options or look for lightweight merino wool versions.

Picks:

H&M

J.Crew

Brooks Brothers

Todd Snyder

 

Suede or wool bomber jacket

Yes, our love of bomber jackets is well documented, and for good reason, they look great on everyone. The softer, more textured material or wool or suede complements the Fall season.

Picks:

Officine Generale

APC

H&M

Brooks Brothers

 

Casual Collared Shirt

We love a solid flannel or a check pattern and you definitely should have one or two of these in your closet to mix in with your wardrobe. These are great on their own or layered underneath a sweater or jacket or both if it’s chilly. Don’t forget: the length of the shirt should hit around mid-crotch/mid zipper. This allows you to wear untucked for a casual look or tucked in for a more polished look.

Some of our absolute favorite collared shirts come from The Tie Bar and they just launched a new line of fall casual shirts and, just like all their other shirts – they’re fantastic! They fit true to size, come in various sizes for all body types and are very high-quality relative to the price. Dorian has, over the last year or so, completely replaced his collared shirts with ones by the Tie Bar.

Picks:

The Tie Bar Casual Shirts

 

Chinos or corduroy pants

Both are classic go-tos for the Fall season. The darker autumn colors: dark green, darker brown, burgundy are perfect for this time of year and the thicker material makes them extra warm.

Picks:

Uniqlo

J.Crew

Rag & Bone

Our Favorite Budget-Friendly Chinos

 

Suede or leather Boots

Fall is the perfect time for suede footwear and to break out your boots. Chukka, desert, or work boots in light or dark brown suede are super versatile with denim or chinos.

Picks:

AllSaints

Allen Edmonds #1

Allen Edmonds #2

Johnston Murphy

Men’s Fall Style Do’s and Don’ts

Fall is here and it’s time to give your wardrobe some consideration as the weather cools down and the season and style challenges change. Temperatures can be unpredictable and you’ve got some new occasions you’re prepping for. Don’t worry, we’ve got you! Dialing in a great Essential Fall Wardrobe doesn’t have to involve a lot of major changes, just some smart choices and a few tweaks.

So, to help you prep your closet and your wardrobe, we’re running down some of our key fall style tips with our Fall Style Do’s and Don’ts.

 

Fall Style Do’s

Continue To Wear Color

Just because it’s fall and its getting colder doesn’t mean you should stop wearing color. Instead of bright or pastel colors that you would typically wear in spring and summer, opt for darker jewel tones and earth tones to mix in with your neutral greys, black, and navy.

 

Layer Your Clothing

The temperatures in Fall can vary a lot, it’s warmer in the day and gets cold at night and it can be tough to deal with sometimes!  So, proper layering is just the skill you need to master as it can help you regulate your temperature and look stylish. Start with a t-shirt or casual button-down as your base layer, then add a sweatshirt or sweater on top, and next, a bomber jacket, wool jacket, or sportcoat layered on top.

 

Invest In A Pair Of Boots

Boots are essential footwear for Fall/Winter and the right pair can look amazing and last a long time. Think of chukkas and casual and dress boots as your go-to base shoe for non-sneaker situations.  We’ve discussed some of our favorite boots before and here are a few of our favorite picks:

Boot Picks

Allen Edmonds #1

Allen Edmonds #2

Allen Edmonds #3

Clark’s

Johnston Murphy

Red Wing

Wolverine

 

Fall Style Don’ts

Just Wear Jeans Exclusively

It can be tempting to only wear jeans during the Fall but we encourage you to branch out to thicker chinos and wool trousers to mix up your rotation.

 

Flash Lots Of Bare Ankle

Obviously, if you’re in a climate where it’s still warm then this doesn’t apply to you. But if your Fall is on the cooler side, then it’s just not seasonally appropriate (or comfortable). If you want to go with a cuff on your pants try doing it with boots or heavier footwear.

 

Wear Lightweight Fabrics

No man should be wearing linen, lightweight chino cloth, or seersucker anything during Fall and Winter months. Put ’em away and store those until Spring. Heavier cotton, denim, wool and wool blends, and leather should be your fabrics of choice.

Fall and Winter Boots & Shoes 2017

In this article and video, I wanted to show you some of my favorite boots and shoes for this Fall & Winter. If you missed my big men’s Fall & Winter Essentials series, you should definitely check that out first, since this is more of a supplement to that instead of the other way around.

Suede Boots

Although you can certainly go with leather boots, I am a huge fan of these suede ones by Allen Edmonds. Everything from the superior construction, to the neutral taupe grey color, which I’ll often use in place of black or brown, easily makes this boot a winner in my eyes.

$350 – Allen Edmonds taupe suede boots
$620 – AllSaints bomber jacket
$24 – J.Crew t-shirt
$118 – Banana Republic slim-fit jeans

Alternate Suede Boots

$285 – AllSaints suede boot

Suede Chukka/Desert Boots

Another favorite of mine are these suede chukkas (aka desert boots) which lend a very Autumn feel to any outfit. Again, just like with the boots I mentioned before, you can certainly go with regular leather Chukka boots, as well. But I love these, specifically because they have a slim profile and a comfortable crepe sole which will feel like you’re wearing sneakers. Pair them with jeans or chinos for a put-together casual look.

$295 – Allen Edmonds chukka boots
$230 – Allsaints denim jacket – One of my favorite denim jackets currently available. I love the lighter wash and distressed touches and the slim fit is incredibly flattering, which is really hard to find in denim jackets.
$20 – Topman striped t-shirt
$68 – J.Crew slim-fit stretch chino pant in green and brown (click here for their straight leg chinos) – I’m shocked at how spot on the fits and materials are.
$128 – Brooks Brothers suede belt in brown
$318 – John Varvatos sunglasses
$10 – Perlon Watch Strap

Alternate Chukka Boots

$168 – Banana Republic suede chukkas

Double Monk Strap Dress Shoes

Dress them up with a suit of down with jeans and a blazer. Double monk straps are timeless and will forever be a Fall (and Spring!) favorite of mine.

$120 – Johnston & Murphy double monk straps
$62 – J.Crew merino wool cardigan (currently on sale for 30% off)
$49 – Brooks Brothers navy plaid shirt
$358 – Brooks Brothers green sportcoat
$168 – Diesel slim fit jeans

Alternate Double Monk Straps

$150 – Aldo double monk straps

Grey Sneakers

Outside of white sneakers, grey is a Fall favorite of mine because it’s another neutral color that compliments the darker, more jewel-toned colors you’ll be wearing this season. You can go with suede, leather, or a fabric material, but just make sure to keep the design simple like these ones.

$215 – AllSaints Low Top Sneakers
$80 – J.Crew cardigan bomber (currently on sale for 30% off)
$24 – J.Crew white t-shirt
$118 – Banana Republic slim fit jeans

Alternate Sneakers

$80 – Converse Jack Purcell suede sneakers (or fabric option here) – I also like these suede sneakers as well.

Henley Shirts

Henley shirts are one of the few items that, to me, don’t really have a specific season they’re best worn in because there’s so many different versions for men. Other shirts, like T-Shirts, Polo Shirts and Dress Shirts don’t really have this problem since they’re pretty standard across the board no matter the season.

I love henleys, because they look sexy and masculine, especially when the top 1 or 2 buttons are undone to draw the eyes to your chest and shoulders to show off your physique in a flattering way. Hence, the image below.

BUT, and this is a big mistake I see a lot of men making – they’re not for every everyone. More on that shortly.

Let’s get into what to look for in your henleys based on the time of year.

Intro - Short Sleeve Sexy henley

Fabric

Generally, henleys will be made out of cotton, so there’s really not much choice outside of that, but you still need to consider fabric weights depending on the time of year. The main thing to know is that lighter weights should be worn in warmer months or in warmer climates and thicker, heavier fabrics in cooler months or climates. You can get them in everything from a lightweight summer weave, where it feels like a t-shirt, to thicker, quilted versions which will keep you warm during the cooler months.

You don’t have to worry too much when buying them because, based on the time of year, the brands will carry the appropriate weights. But I still want you to be aware of it just in case.

Henley Fabric Ashley Weston 2

Fit

Like all your clothing, including henleys, they should have a trim fit throughout the body and arms – no matter your body type. You never want it too loose anywhere because that’s when you’ll look sloppy and not put together. You shouldn’t be able to pinch more than 1-2 inches of fabric on one side of your stomach and no more than an inch around the bicep.

The image below highlights the proper fit around the torso and sleeves.

Fit - Perfect fitting henley shirt

I mentioned earlier that henleys aren’t for everyone, so let’s get into that right now since we’re talking about fit.

For Thin Gentleman

If you’re a thin guy, no matter your height, if you want to wear a henley, you absolutely need to nail the fit, especially if you’re going to wear a long sleeve version. If the fit is too loose, it’ll make you look thinner and more frail than you are – not good!

I only like long sleeve henleys on thinner men if they’re layered underneath a jacket, like the below right image. When worn on their own, it really spotlights and elongates your thinner torso, like image on the left. So if you’re a thinner guy and want to wear a henley on its own, then wear a short sleeve version since it’ll look similar to your t-shirts.

Henley Fit Ashley Weston

Bigger Gentleman

If you’re a rotund gentleman (aka you’re not in the greatest shape and have a belly), you cannot wear a henley shirt, period. Allow me to show you why and explain. See exhibit A:

Fit - Big Guy - Bad Example of henley

Because of the button placket on the front, coupled with the lack of a collar, a henley will shine a massive spotlight on your bigger neck and torso. This is when a polo shirt is perfect and should be used instead, because a polo shirt’s collar will visually keep your torso balanced and in proportion, so your top half doesn’t look so big compared to your bottom half. The image below of James Corden shows a guy with the exact same body type as the image above, but in a polo shirt. Talk about a night and day difference…

Fit - Big Guy - Good Example - Polo Shirt1

Best Ways To Wear A Henley Shirt

Think of your short sleeve henley as a t-shirt, they’re interchangeable in the same outfits, so that means they can be worn on their own or underneath a jacket.

How To Wear Henley - Short Sleeve

J. Crew Slim Broken-In Short Sleeve Henley
J. Brand Tyler Taper Fit in Rasalas
Allen Edmonds Hampton Ave Tan Leather Belt 
I would pair this look with white sneakers – Nike Tennis Classic Sneakers

For a long sleeve, you would normally wear these during the cooler months as a layering piece, so I styled Dorian in a long sleeve henley shirt underneath a bomber jacket, dark wash jeans, and sneakers.

Mens-Henley-Shirt-Long-Short-Ashley-Weston-2

Mens-Henley-Shirt-Long-Short-Ashley-Weston-3

Burberry Lightweight Lambskin Bomber Jacket 
J. Crew Wallace & Barnes Wool Henley Sweater
Diesel Buster 0607A Jeans
Allen Edmonds Decatur Ave Black Dress Belt  
Johnston & Murphy Conard Cap Toe Black Chukka

IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch
Ray Ban RB4258 Sunglasses 

During the warmer months you can wear them with the sleeves pushed up. As I mentioned in one of my other videos, women LOVE to see sleeves rolled/pushed up around your forearms.

How To Wear Henleys - Henley Sleeves Pushed Up On Forearms

My Favorite Henley Shirts

Here are some great short sleeve and long sleeve (lightweight and heavyweight) henley options that I love.

Short Sleeve Henleys

Short Sleeve Henley 1 Ashley Weston

$125 – Rag & Bone Classic Short-Sleeve Henley
$35 – J. Crew Slim Broken-In Short Sleeve Henley (White, Navy, Heather Grey, Black)

Long Sleeve Henleys

Rag & Bone Long Sleeve Henley Ashley Weston

$250 – Rag & Bone Giles Merino Wool-Blend Heavyweight Long Sleeve Henley Shirt
$40 – J. Crew Slim Broken-in Lightweight Long Sleeve Henley
$15 – H&M Jersey Lightweight Long Sleeve Henley 

Wool Blazers & Sport Coats

I’m sure you’ve already seen my article/video about a Navy Wool Blazer in my Wardrobe Essentials Series, riiiiiggghhht? If not, then please read and watch it first before we talk about Fall and Winter wool blazers/sport coats, because I’m going to assume we’re on the same page in regard to the differences between a blazer, sport coat and suit jacket as well as how your blazer should fit your body type as well as the finer details of what to look for in a quality blazer. Otherwise, you will probably be lost or think this article is a little anemic. There will be a few critical differences between your year-round blazers and your specific Fall and Winter wool blazers. So let’s get into them.

1. Fabric Weight

The most important difference during this time of year is the fabric weight of your blazer.

You want a much heavier wool fabric, like Harris Tweed, for three reasons:

  1. It will keep you much warmer during this time of year.
  2. The heavier weight pairs better with similar weighted fabrics during this time of year – Like your wool ties and pocket squares, wool trousers, sweaters, cardigans, etc.
  3. If it has a tighter weave, like Harris Tweed, it’ll be more durable, robust and repel water and snow better.

To get technical for a moment, a typical weight you should look for is around 12 ounces, but you can go all the way up to 16 to 20 ounces. For year-round wool blazers, I prefer a fabric weight of between 8 to 10 ounces, depending on your climate. In comparison, for hotter climates/seasons, I usually go with somewhere around 6 ounces for the fabric weight.

You’ll instantly notice the difference of fabric weights when you feel the blazer in-person. It’s a little harder to see it in in pictures, so I would suggest going to a store that carries suits to see it for yourself.

Long story short, you want a thicker wool for this time of year.

2. Color

The second difference is the colors for the time of year. Unlike the year-round wool blazers, this is the time of year where you can wear richer, more jewel-toned colors, all based on your skin tone, of course.

The best way I can describe colors is to think of the leaves changing to their fall colors and those are the colors you want for the season. So that typically means these colors:

  • Browns
  • Burgandys
  • Greens
  • Blues
  • Oranges

I went over all these colors and how to wear them based on your skin tone in my introduction article & video to this series.

3. Patterns

The last and final thing to consider for your Fall & Winter wool blazers are the patterns. Since you’ll be wearing heavier items, bold and heavier patterns work great this time of year.

My favorites are:

All of these patterns are included in my selects from various brands below.

Best Ways To Wear A Wool Blazer During Fall & Winter

MensFallWinterEssentialsWoolBlazerAshleyWeston

MensFallWinterEssentialsWoolBlazerAshleyWeston-2 MensFallWinterEssentialsWoolBlazerAshleyWeston-3

H&M Dark Khaki (Green) Blazer
J.Crew Cotton-Cashmere Crewneck Sweater in Jacquard
The Tie Bar Kingsley Attune
H&M Wool Suit Pants
Aldo Acerrassi boot
Rolex Submariner Date
Tom Ford Snowdon Sunglasses

MensFallWinterEssentialsWoolBlazerAshleyWeston-10

 

MensFallWinterEssentialsWoolBlazerAshleyWeston-11 MensFallWinterEssentialsWoolBlazerAshleyWeston-4

Topman Light Brown Wool Rich Formal Coat
The Tie Bar Chambray Shirt 
The Tie Bar Wentworth Plaid 
The Tie Bar Kingsley Attune Pocket Square 
The Tie Bar Metallic Navy Tie Bar
Diesel Buster 0607A Jeans
Allen Edmonds Poplar Dress Belt
Johnston & Murphy Cormac Double Buckle Monk Strap
John Varvatos Prince Sunglasses

MensFallWinterEssentialsWoolBlazerAshleyWeston-12

MensFallWinterEssentialsWoolBlazerAshleyWeston-5

MensFallWinterEssentialsWoolBlazerAshleyWeston-6

H&M Wool-Blend Blazer Slim Fit
Brooks Brothers Milano Spread Collar Dress Shirt
The Tie Bar Score Check Tie 
The Tie Bar Olive Green Tie Bar
The Tie Bar Southeast Plaid Pocket Square
Diesel Buster 0607A Jeans
Allen Edmonds Poplar Dress Belt
Allen Edmonds Strand Cap-Toe Oxfords with Dainite Rubber Sole
IWC Portugieser Automatic Dress Watch
Tom Ford Snowdon Sunglasses 

All of these blazers are from companies that I love. Zegna, Canali, and Brooks Brothers’ blazers have superior construction and the fit, color, and pattern are exactly what I look for in a standout blazer for my clients. For more budget-friendly options, I really like J.Crew’s english tweed sportcoats. The weight of these blazers are perfect and the solid textured colors (brown, grey, and navy) will never go out of style. For a nice camel or dark green blazer, Topman and H&M, respectively, make these nice blazers. The fabric isn’t as thick as I’d prefer, but the price point is hard to beat so I’m willing to overlook that.

$2,895 – Ermenegildo Zegna Windowpane Two-Button Sport Coat
$1,595 – Canali Tic Two-Button Sport Coat
$538 – Brooks Brothers Milano Fit Multi-Windowpane Sport Coat
$418 – Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald Fit Blue Harris Tweed Tic with Windowpane Sport Coat
$350 – J. Crew Ludlow Legacy Blazer in American Wool
$220 –Topman Light Brown Wool Rich Formal Coat
$200 – TopMan Selected Homme Navy Blazer
$70 – H&M Dark Khaki Blazer

Shades of Brown For Fall

Although the sport coat in the above picture is grey, I’m still recommending a similar outfit but with a brown jacket instead.

September is a tricky month because we’re between seasons, so the weather can be blazing hot one day and chilly the next. This shades of brown outfit will keep you cool during the warmer times and cozy during the crisper days.

A tweed sport coat is the perfect transition piece during this time. Wear with a grey t-shirt, slim khaki chinos (either cuffed at the ankle or not), and brown suede lace-ups during warmer days. When it gets chillier, throw a grey sweater underneath and finish with a chocolate knit scarf.

 

Designer Option: 

 

Billy Reid Virgin Wool Dorsey Blazer in Rust, $1095
Diesel ‘Tossik’ V-Neck T-Shirt in Light Grey, $55
Vince Five Pocket Stretch Cotton Pants in Khaki, $195
John W. Nordstrom Woven Leather Belt in Brown, $65
Allen Edmonds Fifth Avenue With Combination Tap Sole in Bitter Chocolate Suede, $385

 

 

Budget-Friendly Option:

 

Topman Camel Flannel Skinny Blazer in Brown, $140
Topman Grey Classic V-Neck T-Shirt in Mid Grey, $10
Bonobos ‘The Khakis’ Slim Tailored Washed Cotton Chinos in True Khaki Beige, $88
Fossil Drew in Brown, $40
Aldo Giulio in Brown Suede, $110

 

Get This Look: Classic Navy Coat & Camel Cardigan

The perfect layered look for Fall. Navy and camel is a classic color combination and one of my favorites this time of year.

 

Zara Blue Check Blazer, $170
J. Crew Cotton Cashmere Cardigan, $74.50
H&M Oxford Shirt, $25
TopMan Light Grey Textured Skinny Fit Suit Pants, $120
The Tie Bar Spree Dots Tie, $19
Brooks Brothers Silver Buckle Dress Belt, $128
Tom Ford Andrew Sunglasses, $395

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist