Six Great Types of Shirts for Fall

For nearly a century now, the most basic dress shirt for men is a solid white or light-blue button-up, made from 100% cotton, and usually coming in a plain or twill weave. It’s the default choice for dress shirts – something you can rely on year-round to look decent and acceptable, and is very rarely the wrong choice, assuming you’re dressing classically. 

There are times, however, when choosing something a bit different can yield a more harmonious look. Take, for example, the advantage of combining an airy, light-blue linen shirt with a tan cotton sport coat. The two textures are equally casual, and together, they lend a better presentation for summer. Similarly, a fine cotton dress shirt can look puny when set against a hardy Shetland tweed or mid-waled corduroy jacket. Better to pick something with more texture and “weight,” such as these following options, which I think make for excellent fall and winter shirts.

Flannels 

At the top of the list are flannels, which can come in a variety of forms. They can be solid or patterned (if patterned, usually checked), and made from either a softly brushed pure cotton or some kind of wool/ cotton blend. Viyella is particularly famous for their flannel shirtings (the word “shirtings” means “fabrics intended for shirts;” it is not a synonym for the word “shirts”). You can find them at a number of places, such as Dann Online, J. Press, and O’Connell’s. I unfortunately can’t say how any of those fit, but my guess is “traditional.” If you have a custom shirtmaker, they may also carry Viyella fabrics, which you can ask for by name.

Bold cotton plaids

Bold cotton plaids are different from flannels in that they don’t have that soft, brushed quality. They’re smooth like a fine cotton dress shirt, but remain a bit more autumnal through their patterns. Our advertiser Ledbury carries some through their short-run collection (they’ve got more coming down the pipeline, as they’re releasing a new short-run shirt every day this month). Brooks Brothers also has some designs, though mostly in non-iron fabrics, and Gant Rugger might be a good option for younger men. For something more affordable, there’s J. Crew. Just wait for one of their many sales. 

Tattersalls

Tattersalls are symmetrical, thin-lined checks, usually made up of two colors for the lines and a plain-colored background. I find they’re a nice compromise between the dressiness of a standard dress shirt and the casualness of a bold cotton plaid. For something dressier still, you can go for a graph check shirt, which is exactly what it sounds like – a shirt with a pattern that looks like graph paper. Either would do well underneath a tweed or corduroy jacket, and you can find them at places such as Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, and TM Lewin.

Oxford Cloth Button-Downs (aka OCBDs)

OCBDs are versatile enough for year-round wear, but also have the weight and texture necessary to look great underneath fall jackets. What’s not to like? You can read my long-winded series about them here, or just skip to my recommendations.

Chambray

Another good year-round shirt that really comes into its own during the fall and winter seasons. You can find nice high-end options at Self Edge, Rising Sun, and Blue in Green. Mr. Porter also has some designer offerings, and J. Crew is again good for something more affordable (just wait for a sale). My favorite, however, is by Mister Freedom. I appreciate the emphasis they put into beautiful fabrics, and have found mine to age exceptionally well. When choosing one, keep in mind the kind of outerwear you might want to wear. Very casual chambray shirts with extra detailing should be kept with very casual outerwear, rather than traditional sport coats. 

Corduroys

Corduroy shirts are less versatile than any of the above options, but they’re nice to have if you’d like some more variety. Our advertiser Ledbury has one in brown coming out this month (it’s pictured above) and I like that it has a traditional looking collar and lowered second button (good for when you’re wearing the shirt casually and don’t want it buttoned all the way up). For something available now, there’s Michael Bastian, Beams Plus, and LL Bean.

This weekend, our photographer Noe Montes and I visited the annual vintage menswear show Inspiration LA. Held in the Spruce Goose Dome, a huge, futuristic building on the water in Long Beach, it’s an extravaganza of Americana. The whole operation is run by Rin Tanaka, the king of Japanese fans of American vintage, and the editor of a whole series of books called My Freedamn!.

There were motorcycle guys, surf dudes, hot rodders, workwear nuts, old-school mid-century lifestylers, outdoorsy types and everything in between. There was tons of vintage at premium prices (the t-shirt I wanted was $65), plus tons of vintage recreationists, both Japanese and American.The show is held on a Saturday, the day before Japanese vintage dealers descend on the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, filling huge green canvas Army duffels with clothes to take back over the Pacific.

We couldn’t afford to buy much (though I did buy a sweatshirt from the Japanese repro brand Real McCoy’s), but we did have a grand time. We ran into a number of Put This On fans, and even a few subjects - our friend Mike Hodis from Rising Sun was there, along with our pal Raul Ojeda from Don Ville Shoes. We finally met Kiya, the owner of Self Edge, and a guy named Mustache Mike who owns a vintage shop slash barbershop in Minneapolis. Everyone with a great outfit got shot.

This week, we’ll share selections with you every day here at Put This On.

(All photos by Noe Montes)

Our friends at Rising Sun, who we featured in our very first episode, are having a very cool-looking party on Saturday night in Los Angeles. It runs from six to nine at 2246 Fair Park Avenue in Eagle Rock. If my past experience with Mike Hodis & Co is any guide, there will be a ton of vintage hot rods and motorbikes, and both men and women in overalls, old leather and applejack caps. Should be a great time.

Our friends at Rising Sun, who we featured in our very first episode, are having a very cool-looking party on Saturday night in Los Angeles. It runs from six to nine at 2246 Fair Park Avenue in Eagle Rock. If my past experience with Mike Hodis & Co is any guide, there will be a ton of vintage hot rods and motorbikes, and both men and women in overalls, old leather and applejack caps. Should be a great time.

I just stopped by to visit our old friend Mike Hodis at his new Rising Sun store in Eagle Rock, here in Northeast Los Angeles. They’re having a sample sale today, and I grabbed some of his beautiful jeans for my wife, along with some Christmas gifts for the family. Mike and company will be there until five, and by appointment thereafter, so drop them a line. Their number is 323-982-9798.

Here’s a lovely new product. Our friends at Rising Sun Denim, who we profiled in our first episode, have placed this beautiful outdoor vest in the store of our pals at Archival Clothing. It’s expensive - $225 - but as you saw in our first episode, it’s made by hand, so there’s a reason for the price. It’s also an interesting fabric - indigo-dyed canvas duck. I’m a big fan of canvas duck, a heavy canvas used for work clothes, and so’s Mike Hodis, the empresario of Rising Sun. A beautiful, (sorta) practical piece.

Here’s a lovely new product. Our friends at Rising Sun Denim, who we profiled in our first episode, have placed this beautiful outdoor vest in the store of our pals at Archival Clothing. It’s expensive - $225 - but as you saw in our first episode, it’s made by hand, so there’s a reason for the price. It’s also an interesting fabric - indigo-dyed canvas duck. I’m a big fan of canvas duck, a heavy canvas used for work clothes, and so’s Mike Hodis, the empresario of Rising Sun. A beautiful, (sorta) practical piece.

Our launch party was a blast.  Between Rising Sun owner Mike Hodis’ brother John climbing in the rafters to run power cables into the vacant store next door and heroes like Huell Howser and Xeni Jardin showing up, it was full of surprises.  And that’s without even mentioning Mike’s vintage hot rod and motorcycle buddies.  Prodigious quantities of gin punch, Miller High Life and Mexican Coke were consumed.

Dustin Roe was shooting photos.  You can check out a bigger gallery here.