October 9, 2012

The Dapper Man: Autumn Essentials

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The fickle Ithaca weather demands an eclectic collection of clothing. Autumn is that perfect season when it’s cool enough to layer, but not cold enough to require outerwear that totally covers any clothing creativity. Yes, the transient seasons of fall and spring are perfect escapes from Cornell’s Siberian winters and Sahara summers. Here is a list to make the most out of this season.

Sweaters are a man’s best friends. The options are endless: V-necks, asymmetrical, hoodies, crewnecks, shawl collars, cable-knits, waffle-knits striped, argyle, plaid, checkered, double-breasted, the unique Cosby-style, native prints, the list goes on and on. Often, a sweater paired with a button-down shirt underneath so that the collar pops out works well (like this). Sweaters are flexible since they can either be on their own or be spiced up with another layer worn under or over. They can be found in nearly every store and online store out there.

Cardigans are slowly but surely creeping into the wardrobes of many men, and it’s a blessing. Basically sweaters that have buttons in the front, cardigans are great for anyone who wants to look more fashionable without really trying. They can be worn open, showcasing a decorative long necklace or a graphic T-shirt. They can also be worn buttoned over a basic tee or, for a more formal look, a collared shirt with a tie. Dull cardigans can be thrown over vibrant shirts, while it is almost imperative for a loud cardigan to be over a relaxed shirt. Sleeves can be varied as well, with rolled-up or scrunched-up sleeves giving a casual and cool look. Pair with wire-rimmed glasses and a lazy beanie for a true hipster look.

Varsity Jackets are no longer exclusively worn by jocks in 80’s teen dramedies. These jackets are bold, with their telltale bright colors and obnoxiously large lettering. Some are made out of polyester and polyurethane, which are respectable, but not particularly warm. If quality is what you’re looking for, go with the wool, cotton, and pleather ones. I’ve actually seen The Cornell Store selling Cornell varsity jackets for upwards of $300. No matter which kind, varsity jackets are statement pieces not only because of an undeniable amount of swagger, but also because of their iconic status in American history. Be prepared to turn heads. They may be difficult to find, but H&M, Urban Outfitters and ASOS (online) have good choices.

You don’t see vests much outside of three-piece suits, but they can look casually cool if done right. If it’s in an everyday setting, the tricky thing about dressy vests is to not make it look so posh. Wearing a vest unbuttoned is always effective when coupled with an accessory (like this). A vest with a tie and collared shirt can definitely look dressed down with the right amount of lax. Denim vests also fulfill your sleeveless needs with as much versatility as a denim pair of jeans. They can come in dark blue, light blue, gray, black, and even white. What are coming up right now are puffy vests that bring freshness and funk to your outfit.

Original Author: Eric Ding