5 Fall/Winter Style Must Haves

By: Peter Nguyen

As much as I love putting out huge seasonal guides (like the most recent Ultimate Fall Style Guide), it can sometimes be overwhelming going through it.

Today I wanted to lighten things up.

I’ve whittled down the list,  sharing the few trends I think you should be paying attention to and buying this season. I also reached out to a few expert menswear friends (and even got a recommendation from a reader) asking them their must-haves.

Here’s our top picks:

#1 The Colored Beanie

Photo via Mr. Porter

Answer this honestly: Do you really need another black or navy beanie?

I get it, fall and winter can be dreary, and the weather often makes you want to grab that dark colorway to match the vibe.

Every time the weather gets colder, I get floods of messages from guys asking how they can brighten up their look without looking like they just got back from vacation in the Bahamas. The answer is your accessories. They’re a low-risk way of adding pops of color to your look, and there’s really no wrong way to do it.

I’m personally feeling wine reds and brighter blues this season, but if that’s a bit too bold for you, going for a light camel brown is a great entry point to more color.

When it comes to fiber choice, cashmere is obviously the softest, warmest, and least itchy option. The downside, of course, is that it’s much more expensive. While Uniqlo’s cashmere line is a nice introduction to cashmere products, it’s hard to go back to Uniqlo after experience premium cashmere from a brand like Elder Statesmen.

If wool doesn’t bother you much, they’re great options that won’t break the bank. Look for something in a Donegal wool, like the blue beanie above from Drakes, which adds a bit more interesting details in the texture.

Buy: Maroon cashmere beanie, Uniqlo: $29 | Blue Donegal wool beanie, Drakes: $75 | Camel cashmere beanie, The Elder Statesmen $280


#2 The Camel Coat

Photo via The Sartorialist and Mr. Porter

In the fashion world, camel is often considered a luxurious and expensive looking color. It’s a color you often find in the lining of expensive bags, private planes, luxury cars.

Camel coats remind me a bit of suede. It has a visual texture that just feels like it would nice to touch.

Chances are you already have a black or grey topcoat. This season, I recommend adding a camel coat either in wool, cashmere, or a blend to your closet. Camel is a neutral color, so it plays very well with tons of colors. My absolute favorite combo with camel right now? Maroon. So it’s not going to be a hard transition going from black coat to camel if you follow my principles to great style.

Buy: Uniqlo Wool Chesterfield $150J.Crew Cashmere Ludlow Coat $450 | Mr. P Wool Felt Coat $865

#3 The Track Pant

Photo via Bird

The 90s are in right now. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether that’s a good or bad thing. One trend I’m seeing more and more is the incorporation of sportswear pieces – think 90s Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.

Jen Mankins, Owner of Bird in Brooklyn, a store that stocks brands like A.P.C., Our Legacy, and Common Projects, shares her pick this season: The Track Pant

I love cleaned up track pants. I think they are casual but cool, and can still look work-ready when worn with a button down or a smart cashmere sweater.”

My advice? Think of track pants like cool, relaxed tuxedo pants (which traditionally feature a stripe down the side). Balance out the casualness of the track pant by wearing it with slightly more formal, tailored pieces like an oxford shirt, tailored coat, or dress shoes.

Buy: Our Legacy Track Pants $250

#4 The Waterproof Classic Converse

Photo via Converse

This next recommendation comes from an Essential Man reader, Patrick.

He writes:

Hey Peter, quick recommendation that I’ve been loving – Converse’s counter climate sneakers. They’ve been doing some great non-rainboots ever since Nike bought them a while back.

I’ve been rocking their hi-top rubber-coated Converse sneakers as a rain boot for the last two years for anything that doesn’t require dressing up (yep, I also hate traditional rain boots). Definitely give them a look. I also love their winter boots.”

Buy:  Converse counter climate sneakers $120

#5 The Perfect Boot: Wolverine 1000s

Photo via Pinterest

Finally, good friend of The Essential Man Megan (of Style Girlfriend) share’s a boot that her readers just can’t stop talking about:

We’ve been hearing a lot lately from our followers as they shop for their fall wardrobe. And the thing they want help with the most? Finding the perfect fall boots. Guys want something that’s stylish but functional. And I get it – you should be able to rake the yard and then go meet your buddies at the bar to watch football in the same pair of boots.

The 1000 boot from Wolverine has been our go-to this season to recommend – it’s definitely not inexpensive, but you’ll have it forever and it looks even better with age, so long as you take care of the leather.”

Buy: Wolverine 1,000 mile Boots $400 

What are your must haves this season?

What’s your must-haves when the weather gets colder? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment below and share some of your style picks for this fall/winter.

And if you haven’t checked out my ultimate guide to fall style yet, click here to read it. 

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