In the past, we have discussed how to combine blue and brown colors in menswear and just recently, I provided 10 tips on how the dress better during fall season. Today, I would like to go a bit further and show a few unusual colors in menswear and how to combine them using a few outfits.
Most men opt for brown or a brown blend when it comes to sportcoats, yet there are so many other colors out there that are much more unique yet perfectly classic.
The Brushed Red Cotton Sports Coat by Gagliardi
Our first outfit starts with a burgundy sport coat that was provided by Gagliardi. A couple of months ago, we reviewed their blue linen blazer, and this one was quite similar in style and cut: single breasted, 2 button, patch pockets, slim lapels and side vents. Although it features a fused interlining, it feels flexible and unstructured. In combination with the soft but not overly wrinkly cotton, it feels almost like a sweater, yet it looks much better. Just like the summer blazer, it is “unlined” in the sense that only the sleeves and shoulders are lined with all the open seams being taped. Because of its slim fit and contemporary short cut, I needed a 44L rather than the 42R I usually wear. As such, the sleeves were a little long, but I did not want to shorten them quite yet, so you know what to expect.
Generally, when we think of red jackets, they seem rather bold, but this one comes in a burgundy tone that is only slightly red. As such, I decided to pair them with Cordovan Dalton boots from Allen Edmonds. Both reds seemed similar, yet different enough to provide an interesting look. In order to create some contrast, I chose a pair of tan corduroy pants to create some contrast between the boots and the jacket. Of course, I could also have gone with jeans or cotton twill, but I think corduroy is a lovely, soft and warm trouser fabric for fall that adds texture and comfort to an outfit. In my case, I chose a medium weight 8-wale fabric, meaning 8 wales per inch. Heavier versions have only 4 or 5 wales while lighter ones have 11 or 12 wales. As a rule of thumb, the colder it gets, the fewer wales you should wear because the fabric get heavier. At the same time there are some people don’t like the look of it but the choice is yours. For fall, a medium wale cotton corduroy seemed perfect to me.
Unfortunately, vests are not very popular anymore with jackets, though they are a fantastic way to keep you warm and stylish at the same time. Moreover, one vest can be combined to make many unique looking outfits. As such, even if you own just one or two sportscoats or suits, two or three vests will make it seem like you have 12 -15 outfits in your wardrobe. Now considering that the jacket had an unusual color, most people would have gone with dark blue vest, bolder individuals would have gone with a tattersall vest, yet fewer would have opted for a doeskin vest in rust orange. This particular one was given to me by Cordings of Piccadilly, who are known for their covert coats but also have excellent odd waistcoats.
With all these colors, I chose a light blue, heavy cotton shirt, because any form of check would have been over the top. For a tie, I chose the chartreuse-grey silk knit tie from Fort Belvedere because its softness and texture are simply great for a fall outfit. It reflects the changing colors of the leaves and if you take a close look at the dimple, you can see its changeant color effect that makes for a very sophisticated look.
To balance the whole ensemble I chose a pocket square that had its own pattern, yet combined colors from the rest of my outfit. My choice was a wool pocket square in red with paisley because wool has a different texture than cotton or silk and I wanted the blues, yellows and greens to be different from all the other colors as an accent. Usually, I prefer to wear boutonnieres with my outfits, but in this case that would have simply been over the top.
Last but not least, I added a vintage velour hat to the ensemble. Originally made in Austria, it was sold at the Midwest retailer Dayton’s in the 1960’s and Don Draper could have worn one of these as well. Unlike modern felt hats, the velour hat is also made of felt, but brushed in a special way to create a velvet-like appearance. I chose this hat because the hat band harmonized with my tie and hence brought the whole outfit together. It is very difficult to find these kinds of hats nowadays. Your best bet is ebay or a vintage store, but they are definitely out there.
So, what do you think of this outfit? Is it too much for you? For me this is definitely as outgoing as it gets.
Wool Challis Pocket Square in Orange with Green Polka Dots – Fort Belvedere
The Green Waxed Cotton Coat from Gagliardi
One of the things I really like about Gagliardi is their willingness to think outside of the box and combine unusual materials with classic cuts. Hence, I was very interested to see how their waxed cotton sport coat would turn out. Waxed cotton is usually used only for outer jackets with many pockets that have to withstand the wind and rain. As such, they are popular with hunters and shooters, yet I have never seen a sports coat made out of this fabric.
Compared to the brushed cotton, it is much stiffer and wrinkles more, but that’s in the nature of the fabric. In regard to sizing, I got a 44L as well but it felt smaller because the waxed cotton is not as flexible and stretchy as the brushed cotton. So, you definitely have to go a size or two up for this jacket unless you like to wear your jackets really slim. Ideally, jackets made of this fabric should all be cut a little wider, especially in the sleeve because it just behaves differently that regular worsted or flannel fabrics typically used for sport coats.
In terms of texture and color, I think this is a fabulous fall fabric, because not only is the style and look in accordance with the season, but it also protects you from fall showers and winds much better than a regular sport coat.
In order to differentiate this coat from the others, they added velour leather accents under the collar, at the trim of the ticket pocket, and with a tab on the cuff. The elbows are are covered with a quilted patch, and while I am generally not a huge fan of elbow patches on new jackets, it suits this jacket well. Apart from these details, the construction of the jacket seems to be the same as the other one.
In terms of shoes and trousers, I found that the tan corduroy and cordovan shoes worked just as well with this jacket, but I put on a different pair of brown leather shoes. In addition, I chose a gingham checked cotton shirt with button down collar from Gagliardi, a vintage silk ascot in burgundy and a orange wool challis pocket square with green polka dots. Currently we only have this fabric as a tie but shortly the pocket squares will be available as well.
Obviously, this outfit looks very different, although I just changed a few items. With this outfit, I wanted to show that even if you have a limited wardrobe, the exact same things can give a very different appearance depending on the jacket and accessories you wear.
For fall, try to go with different textures, and most importantly, fall colors, such as burnt orange, red, yellow, green — and don’t shy away from combining them. The key to matching these colors is to go with muted versions rather than bright contrasts. Get a pair of boots and corduroys and you should be all set!