Ever wonder why fall wardrobe colors are what they are? Some of it is to reflect the mood of the season – the changing of the leaves and whatnot – but some of it is because we take most of our clothing traditions from the UK, where men used to wear heavier, more rustic fabrics during the cooler months. Fabrics such as Harris Tweed, which the Scots used to color using naturally derived, plant-based dyes (mostly lichen). And the colors they were able to get out of those plants? All the colors we now think of as “autumnal.” You can see a demonstration of that old dyeing process here in this BBC clip.
Of course, mills today mostly rely on synthetic dyes, but the idea of which colors constitute a fall wardrobe remains. It’s why something like a burgundy scarf goes so well with a dark green, waxed cotton Barbour jacket, flecked brown tweed sport coat, and stone grey trousers. If you want to show a little personality, a warm-toned, orange accessory can also be great this time of year (we like them as pocket squares).
For a more modern look, I really like this outfit on Aaron from Melbourne, Australia. He’s wearing a brown, puppytooth sport coat from Orazio Luciano; taupe corduroy trousers; dark brown tassel loafers from Carmina; and a navy, button-down, long-sleeve polo from P. Johnson. Australia is a warm country, even in the colder months (this photo was taken in their winter, so our summer). A polo shirt and pair of slip-ons, in this case, goes really well with their version of fall clothing. Something that takes inspiration from those English traditions, but makes it modern and relevant to their Southern-California-like climate.
More than the summer accents, I like the color combination. You still have those earthy browns, but there’s that unexpected navy shirt that keeps things from looking too old school. The navy socks also help bring everything together, whereas the traditional “match your socks to your trousers” rule would have made everything too brown. Should anyone ever wonder how creative you can get with just basic colors, this is it.