The West Coast Man’s Fall 2008 Wardrobe Essentials
  • The pea coat

This can be military inspired or otherwise, but the pea coat has survived many decades because of its rugged practicality as well as it’s visual appeal. Military or Navy issue pea coats are fairly affordable (especially if you come across them 2nd hand) and offer a way to dodge a designer’s price tag; so I would suggest going that route if spend is a potential issue.

The coats below are shown in various levels of dress. Burberry’s model has ample layering and accessories (with the toque and gloves); while the rest show a more minimalistic visual approach to wearing a coat of this type. Try finding a coat in a black or gray; as you will get the most wear out of those “everyday” tones.

From the left: Burberry Prorsum, Kris Van Assche, Z Zenga, Z Zenga


  • Colorful ties, socks and other visual accents

Paul Smith is the master of working in little splashes of color into what would be a mundane suit. See how much of a difference the electric red tie and the screaming yellow socks makes? Additions like this require little spend and can make much difference on your entire look.

Invest in some vibrant socks at your local Holt Renfrew, or find them via the internet if possible. Try to be bold with your colors, though…you want to surprise!

Both, Paul Smith


  • Sharp leather brogues

Since we typically see much rainfall on the West Coast (among other regions!) so going with a patent leather is a safe plan. Brogues can be used in casual and formal settings, so investing in one (or more if you can) pairs is highly advisable.

Having a blast of color to your shoes will have a positive effect visually, similar to a vibr

ant sock or tie as previously discussed…just be sure you’re pairing appropriate colors together!

Left, Executor Luciano in electric blue by Fluevog; $269, Right, White Luxury Loake Brogues by Topman; £140.00


  • A fitted leather jacket

Toss aside your ill fitting 80s leather jackets, boys, and find one that actually fits you. I see so many vintage jackets being worn with potential, but just ending up looking like you’ve thrown a leather garbage bag over yourself! It’s a shame, and we must avoid it at all costs.

Invest in a well constructed, classic fitting leather jacket and you won’t have to put that money out again for many seasons. Don’t give in to trends like color or distressing; as that will only show in the pieces’ age and make you look out dated.

Pay particular attention to the length of the arm when you are stretching out and the look of the jacket when zipped up to indicate a proper fit. Having a jacket that bunches at the mid section or looks as though it has a 3/4 length

Left; Viktor & Rolf, Center; Number (N)ine, Right; Z Zenga


  • 3 pairs of dark, raw denim

Raw denim is choice for many reasons; the fit is in essence customized since you wear the denim into submission, raw denim brands ensure their products are well constructed and hold the test of time, and there are no silly fades or embellishments done to the denim itself.

I say dark denim not only because you’re buying for fall, but because dark denim can be dressed up (to a point). While lighter, faded and worn denim has a distinctive casual look; dark denim can be masked with other smart choices to be a dark slack.

For Vancouverites, stop by Dutil or Holt Renfrew for the best selections in the downtown core of raw denim brands.

Shown: Naked & Famous “Black Power Stretch”, prices range from $120-150 depending on boutique


  • One [at minimum] pair of leather gloves; one knitted

I say two pairs, because allowances should be made for one black and one brown pair. Though the old thought of not having brown and black colors mixing does not still hold true, you should still allow for mix and match options.

Leather gloves from, $39.99 (sale)


  • Bow ties

They aren’t just geek chic anymore. The bow tie can be a finishing touch on an outfit that would have been fine as a stand alone ensemble; but added to step yourself up from the rest of the crowd. There has been a serious drought of non-cheesy bow tie action in street style lately, and boys, the torch is here for you to run with.

What I like about working in the bow tie is that it doesn’t make your outfit instantly formal. As the Burberry model is styled, you can see he is styled comfortably and casually while still being streamlined and unique.

Viktor & Rolf show the classic usage of the bow tie; a look with a suit that one has to be careful does not turn into the look of your 8th grade science teacher (especially with the gray suit).

Right, Burberry Prorsum; Left, Viktor & Rolf


  • Casual ties

A man cannot survive without at least a few informal ties in his arsenal (and nor should he). Depending on the event, one can have great fun with ties. Take for example the gingham version below; obviously this would not be worn to anything formal, but it can spunk up a standard sweater-collard shirt combination. Try the look out with a dapper cap or a new pair of glasses; just bear in mind to scale back on accessories if your patterns and layering is very strong already.

For tie inspiration, check out Paul Smith runway stills. Paul is one designer that never fails to put a cheeky spin on traditional male apparel without looking cheap or cheesy.

Skinny ties by Topman, £10.00 each


  • Leather ankle boots

If you fancy more of a rockstar look than the streamlined gentleman, grab yourself a pair of well constructed leather ankle boots. These can be worn with the pant tucked in, or partially covering for more formal situations.

I like the buckles and fit of the shown Idol Jacks by Fluevogs; but you’ll pay a pretty penny to have the privilege of wearing them. Try them out to complete your pseudo Fall rock star look; but don’t over do it.

“Idol Jack” boots by Fluevog; $405


1 Comment so far
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Got to say I love those Paul Smith looks. A man who wears Paul Smith is very sexy. Z for Zegna and Etro are also favourites… If only more men in Vancouver could carry off the above ensembles with ease.

Comment by Star Anise

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