Ask a wardrobe pro what a guy should seriously consider adding to his inventory this fall, and you may be surprised by the answer.
“I would definitely suggest Tingleys,” said Natalie Neumann, owner of Riverside Men’s Shop in the Northtown Plaza in Amherst.
Tingleys, we asked?
It turns out she’s referring to Tingley – a traditional brand of rubber overshoes that protect footwear from rain and sloppy weather.
And it topped her list – practical as it may be.
Her point: Every guy with nice shoes should own something to protect them. “You figure by the time you get from your car to your office, your feet are soaked,” she said.
“For someone like us, we sell Allen Edmonds, which is a leather-soled shoe. You don’t want to get the leather soles soaked and wet and then have to work in them all day – and ruin the bottoms,” said Neumann, noting that the long-lasting Tingleys cost $36 while good shoes cost much more than that.
Something else to add: A trench coat – to protect your good clothes, including wool suits, from the rain.
“In the fall the weather is so unpredictable, so you want one that is lightweight so you can throw it over your arm when it’s not covering your suit,” she said.
One option from Riverside: A reversible trench coat that is a wool tweed on the outside and a water-repellent nylon taffeta on the inside.
Speaking of versatility, reversible sweaters are something new to consider, said Alan Kurtzman, from the New York Store, 16 Central Ave., Lancaster.
The ones at the New York Store feature a quarter zipper. Kurtzman described them as a crossover between a sweater and a fleece.
“It has one color on the outside and, when you reverse it, it has a different color on the other side – usually a darker tone. If it’s a red sweater, the inside is black but it has red stitching in the seaming. You can wear it either way,” he said.
What it’s not? The same old thing.
Which brings us to the matter of patterned pants. This season, guys might want to consider a pair of these as well.
Nothing too wild. Think small checks or plaids on the subdued side – “just so there’s a little something going on,” Kurtzman said.
Other ideas for wardrobe-weary fellas:
• Boots – something along the lines of Wolverine’s American-made “1000 Mile Boot.” Guys in their 20s are wearing them. Guys in their 60s and 70s are wearing them, said Ethan Huber, from O’Connell’s Clothing, 3240 Main St.
“It’s just a great look,” Huber said.
Chukka and moccasin boots are other options.
• Versatile sport coat. Every guy should own a casual sport coat that can be worn with either jeans, casual pants or dress pants, Kurtzman said. You can wear it with a tie – or without.
“There are a lot of things in the marketplace this season that are really sharp for that,” he added.
For starters, you may want to consider today’s lighter-weight tweeds, which as one fashion director recently told Newsday, “has a more youthful vibe.”
• Vests. From patterned sweater vests to sporty outerwear styles, they’re very big this year for men. Cardigans also are coming on strong. Wear one instead of a blazer, and try adding a tie. Look, too, for shawl collars on both cardigans and pullovers.
• Something wine-colored. Macy’s highlights wine-inspired hues as a color trend for men this fall. “Think swirling shades of merlot, Chianti, Cabernet and port wine mixing with seasonal colors including ebony, charcoal, rust and olive,” the retailer wrote in its fall trends report.
• Shirts with a twist: Look for styles that have contrasting trims in the collar, on the sleeves or down the placket. When you wear the shirt unbuttoned – layered over a T-shirt, perhaps – “the contrasting colors will just give it a neat look,” Kurtzman said. A solid or striped shirt might have a paisley pattern inside around the cuffs and the collar, for instance.
Some shirts have square buttons or pick stitching – a decorative topstitch across the shoulder or elsewhere – as interesting details.
• A bow tie. Just for some fun. Choose one from the array of new fall colors, Neumann suggested.
• Cable-knit Shetland sweaters. “Top-notch for Buffalo. They’ll keep you warm,” Huber said.