It's that time of year when the morning air is crisp and the leaves are changing colour. The best part about autumn is busting out the flannel jackets. Autumn flannel sportcoats occupy a special place in my closet and have been the foundation of my wardrobe and personal style for years – I couldn’t do without them.
An excellent sport coat really is a triple threat: (1) you get the flattering cut of a suit, (2) supreme comfort, and (3) they offer the advantage of being able to double as a coat for colder temperatues. A high quality sport coat should probably be the first investment for any man that wants to transform their style for the better. It's incredible how easily a jacket can transform a forgettable look into something distinguished – a convenient strategy to stand out in the casual workplace.
The reason flannel sport coats are truly worth the investment is the sheer versatility of ways you can wear them; the possibilities are practically endless. A good quality wool or cashmere flannel fabric possesses a unique ability to regulate across a wide spectrum of temperatures. I’ve worn them as a coat in winters well below freezing – it gets pretty cold here in Canada – as well as room temperature in an office setting. Try doing that with polyester. Read Stretching a Summer Jacket into Autumn to read more about stretching a jacket through different seasons.
Combining a jacket and tie will pass most dress codes, and a louder jacket creates opportunities for some dapper combos. A jacket with a more pronounced pattern, like the green one I’m wearing, can easily work in the office with a solid or light pattern shirt and minimalistic tie.
If business casual is the aim, then consider a slightly more informal shirt in a fabric that will compliment jacket's texture and not look bare without a tie. An autumn staple for me is the grey flannel trouser, which is the natural counterpart to this look, and anchored well by a pair of Chelsea boots.
Alternatively, for a relaxed weekend vibe with a refined edge, pair it with a sweater or long sleeve Henley, and some slim chinos. Against the green jacket, everything else pictured is in neutral hues as to not clash. Keep fit in mind with this combo; a baggy sweater under a sport coat will distort the jacket’s drape and billow in the front. A little trick for thin knits and Henley’s is to tuck them in with a belt. This will enhance the jackets silhouette by centering your waist in the same proportion as a suit, as well as elongate your legs.
So if you're considering a larger investment in your autumn arsenal, a new sport coat might be worth a look