Creative Layering for Fall

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Fall is finally heading to California and it’s time to embrace the cold with some much-needed layering.  But do you want some ways to stand out other than the typical sweater?  Read on!

For the Beginner:  The Grandpa Blazer 

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We’ve all seen these bad-boys in old pictures of our grandpa and hung-in droves at our local thrift store.  Instead of making fun of it, why not nab one, get it tailored, and wear it out?  You can find blazers in different fabrics (wool or tweed) in a variety of patterns.  It’s perfect to wear with some chinos or even jeans, like in this outfit.  It’s tough and insulated, and will serve you well on those milder fall days!

Always try to find ones with plenty of patterns.  It’s a great way to stand out!

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This one in particular is a brown houndstooth I found at a Goodwill near my university.  Even though it’s just a little long in the body (It’s more like a 36L and I’m a 36R), it’s one of the coolest items I own!  The houndstooth is made up of browns and greens, making it perfect to wear in this season.  It’s also got elbow patches, and you don’t really see those on anything anymore.

Consider getting one! A cheap blazer + tailoring is worth more than spending hundreds at a retail store since you’re paying for uniqueness and customization.  For you beginners, changing up your blazer game is a good way to start.

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Also get some thrifted ties while you’re at it. This one’s got terriers!

Jacket from Goodwill, Shirt from Natty Shirts, 510 Levi’s,  J.Crew vintage tie from eBay 

For the Intermediates:  Cardigan Over Vest 

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Men have had a love affair with vests for a while.  They’re form-fitting and add that “extra pop” to a suit when needed.  We’ve seen vests worn jackets plenty of times and even with leather jackets, but how do you take that to the next level?  You pop a cardigan over it!

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Note that this isn’t a typical cardigan.  It’s a shawl collared one with pockets, marking it a semi-equal to a light jacket.  It’s a bit odd and dandy, but that’s the point of this article:  new ways to layer with style.  Interestingly enough, this look isn’t a new one.  There’s some images in the 1920’s of gents pulling off this look and was used by Tom Hardy’s character in Lawless (to hide his muscles for Bane).  Heck, my style inspiration Dan Trepanier from Articles of Style has pulled off the look. 

My personal style is more jaunty, so naturally I went with a tie and button-down shirt to put my spin on the rugged aesthetic.  It may be counter-intuitive to the look, but I really loved it.  Maybe in the future, I’ll swap my button-downs for a band collar!

Shawl Cardigan from H&M, Vest from TopMan, Linen Button-down from Banana Republic, Tie from J. Crew 

For the Experts:  The Turtle Neck 

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A turtleneck is the real kicker for those of you who want to up your game.  Every guy should have at least one blazer, and most of those who try a bit harder than most definitely have a cardigan or vest in your closet, but I’m sure none of you guys have a turtleneck sweater.  Heck, I didn’t have one until very recently.

Yes, people called me a beatnik as I walked around, but I didn’t care;  it’s a solid look.  Most of my inspiration comes from the 20s-40s, but this one comes to us from the Mad Men era of the late 1960’s. Just think Steve McQueen in Bullit.

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A sweater in general is a great lazy alternative to a tee shirt, since it’s structured and tend to be more form-fitting. However, while sweaters look great with jeans, I could never just wear it with a blazer since it looks like its “missing something”.  Thanks to the collar, a turtleneck clears that right up.  It still simple (no tie or pattern matching necessary) and is actually functional on those colder days.

In all honesty, I’d recommend you guys stick to navy blue, black, or white for the colors. Anything else and it won’t match well with those fall/winter colors.  If you’re in a hot state like me (California), find thin ones.  It’ll make it easier to layer with and you won’t be too sweaty when you turn in for the night.  If suits aren’t your forte, then I’d definitely recommend getting a cable knit version.  You can do a 2015 fisherman look!

H&M Jacket Thrifted, Turtleneck from H&M, Linen Pants from H&M, Pocket Square from J. Crew 

Lastly, just remember to have fun with your fall outfits!  As the weather gets colder, start switching to muted, darker colors.  As you can see, brown and blue were heavily utilized in these outfits but that doesn’t mean color play has to stop there.  The turtleneck outfit has orange and red mixed in to add some subtle pop!
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This fall, just remember to keep warm with some creativity!  It’s your chance to stand out with some creative pieces, whether it’s layering in a unique way or buying some seldom seen pieces!  Some stuff I’d recommend but didn’t get to show were vintage leather jackets or sweater vests.  Maybe I’ll make another post!  Just remember to dress with personal style!

And don’t forget to hem your pants perfectly.

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Always a pleasure,

Ethan W.

Street x Sprezza

Photography by Vince H. and Fran U.  

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