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ALPHA MALE: Mixing + Matching for Fall

Thursday, September 13, 2012


While most of the trends for Fall we have covered previously can work hand-in-hand as you look to evolve your style for any season, there are a couple keys to dressing this Fall that can really help you take a leap from just following a trend to really making pieces look timeless and thoughtful. The best part of Fall is the color palette. It has such variety this time of year. Almost like the changing leaves, the colors

can change in your wardrobe. And like the visual smorgasbord of a New England landscape in Fall, the highs and lows, the textures and depth really can be applied to mixing and matching colors with patterns or textures in your wardrobe.

Start cool and warm it up

Cooler hues of grey, tan and blue are always a great place to start. The blank canvas, so to speak. But this time of year, the canvas should be painted with warmer tones like burgundy, deep yellows or golds.  Think about when you look at a painting and what draws your eye. It is usually the contrast of something—either 2 images intersecting or 2 or more colors playing off of each other. Your wardrobe is no different. And do not just stop at a single color against the quieter backdrop of base layers. Mix it up and find colors that work for you and work together. And a little sharp color contrast never hurt anyone either if you feel so bold.

Then mix + match

You never have to overwhelm your look with a specific color. Less is always more, and just a hint of color can be enough to add character to an otherwise tonal look. The last article discussed using accessories to great effect in this way, but you can also mix and match layers to help add depth without overwhelming an outfit with too much of a good thing. Take a bold scarf or patterned shirt for instance. On their own, each article might seem a bit overwhelming, but layered under a cardigan and blazer, now the color peeking out is stylishly restrained. There are many ways you can find to make this concept work for you. Trust yourself to find what works for you and do not be afraid to check twice in the mirror.

Use texture

And sometimes mixing a color or pattern might be as simple as textures playing against each other. Think about that New England landscape again. At the height of the leaf changing season that draws so many visitors to our area, the colors are really complimentary. Sure, sometimes they may be bright like the sunny yellows, burnt oranges and fiery golds we love to see, but taken as a whole one does not overwhelm the other. What helps create the majesty of the landscape is how your eye has to dart around at the highs and lows and focus on the rolling hills of trees as they fight against a linear formation. It is this depth that draws us in.

This can be done with tones of grey or black or blue too. Texture and depth of field is as much an art to your mixing and matching as the pops of color you infuse. Some of the best looks I have seen take the most basic color palette to new heights simply by moving your eye around with texture. That may mean a basic white Oxford with its basket weave fabric paired with a flecked charcoal wool sweater and grey Tweed jacket. Again, nothing outlandish at all. But the mixing up of the 3 fabrics (cotton Oxford and 2 types of wool) complement and enhance each other.

Don't be afraid to experiment

However you choose to mix and match colors and layers this Fall, experimenting is always fun. Do not take anything too seriously, as dressing at this time of year (or any time of year for that matter) should be a leisurely pursuit. Whether you like playing with color, keeping things on a more muted theme, or intersecting both trends, your wardrobe and style should always reflect your outlook. And let's hope that is at least as bright as the Fall foliage.

Robert Babigian is owner of WHARF Clothing & Wares, a menswear retail boutique located at 212 Westminster Street in Providence, RI. A native Rhode Islander, Rob started WHARF after 2 decades in marketing and sales to fulfill his desire to combine his loves of consumer branding, small business and style that would fulfill a niche for desirable men's clothing in the Providence market. The apparel and accessories found at WHARF reflect Rob's own personal aesthetic—a combination of traditional New England staples mixed with modern fits, construction and fabrics blended together with a touch of European style. For more tips or to shop the store, stop in and see Rob and his staff or reach them online at shopwharf.com.


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