Friday, September 11, 2009

Autumn Coating

With the current shifting of the seasons it is no surprise that fall themed posts continue to dominate over here at Sartorially Inclined. While winter coats/jackets typically steal the spotlight (toggle/duffle coats, yes please!) there are a variety of lighter and cool top layers to keep you warm as the leaves change colors. I am going to run through a bunch of fall jacket options, with links to buy and thoughts as per usual.

I present to you Sartorially Inclined's Fall Jacket Primer:

1. The Jean Jacket

An american staple that has yet to go out of style. You can't go wrong with the original from Levi's and it will look great paired with your pinwale cords or chinos this fall. Available at, this version is classic and gives you the opportunity to fray its edges and break it in. I'm not a fan of buying pieces that come pre-destroyed. What's the fun in that? Now there are guidelines (not rules) to wearing a jacket like this with jeans...I, and many others, recommend that your jacket and jeans be different color washes. Too many denim pieces in the same wash invoke the dreaded Canadian Tuxedo and no one wants that. Also, unless you are feeling real ballsy, you probably want to limit your denim pieces to one or 2 per ensemble as well (i.e. jean jacket with jeans, jean jacket with denim shirt, etc.)

2. The Leather Jacket

[photo courtesy of]
Who doesn't want to be James Dean? Since none of us are ever going to be THAT cool, all we can do is buy a leather jacket, a pack of cigarettes and pretend. With that being said, you need to get the right leather jacket. Stay away from pieces with a traditional collar, since you end up looking more like The Fonz than Jimmy D. Fit is extremely important too and with a leather jacket you should always buy a size down. This will keep the proportions in check...the jacket should hit at your waist and hug your torso. Your best bet is always a "slim-fit" style/silhouette, which will exhibit said characteristics and have higher set armholes. GQ's "How to Buy a Leather Jacket" feature/slide show is a great read before shelling out the big bucks leather often costs...which brings us to our next topic...price. Leather is expensive, no doubt, but there are always alternatives to getting a second mortgage on your house just to secure a cool jacket. I prefer using Ebay when it comes to big purchases like this in order to secure a more reasonable price point without sacrificing selection. A quick browse yielded a few cool options and I am currently bidding on two distinct (color and style) jackets, both of which are under $100 after shipping.

3. The Fatigue

This Army inspired jacket has been popping up all over the place recently and you can find the style at pretty much every major store. These cottom/polyester jackets are pocket driven and come in a variety of fall ready colors (forest green, brown, etc). This is a very casual jacket and cannot be dressed up like the leather jacket or even the jean jacket to a certain extent...I do not recommend rocking a shirt and tie under a fatigue jacket. You can find these rugged classics at The Gap (on sale), J Crew, Banana Republic or you can turn to an army surplus store for something, GASP, authentic (see above pic).

4. The Trench/Mac

Ah, the classic straight out of England. Many people are familiar with the iconic Burberry double-breasted trench coat or the Mackintosh rain coat. Rain gear is a critical/essential part of every guy's wardrobe and as high-tech as some modern soft shell rain jackets are (Northface, Spyder, etc.) nothing beats these originals when it comes to style. If you want the coveted Burberry trench, Ebay is your best bet. I have been monitoring a bunch of reasonably priced and often gently used ones and the selection is out there. If you want something non-vintage/new/cheaper there are some great coats out there. It's no surprise that some of the best trenches on the market are UK made (those guys know what they're good at). I love some of the current shorter models like this stand out from Asos. Topman also makes a fantastic shorter version trench and full size trench as well. It takes a certain swagger to wear a trench coat, especially when belted, so don't spend the money if you're not completely in touch with your inner dandy.


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