As most menswear brands are walking a few choice spring items down the runway this week in New York, Bonobos stuck to its own tried and true philosophy by dropping a 500-item Fall Collection online all at once.
There's a ton of texture in the 2014 collection, including boldly colored five-pocket corduroys with the trademark Bonobos comfort, and some great winter versatility. The brand shares our excitement for the change in seasons, at least according to VP of design, Dwight Fenton. “After working on first Spring, then Summer collections for six months, it's just a welcome change to be able to look at a new, wider set of options. In six months I'll be feeling the same way about all the tweeds and shetland.”
Sure, but until then it’s great to have something aside from the linen and cotton in our wardrobe. Consider corduroy denim’s younger brother: still a little shy, but every bit as capable. “Corduroy pants in a trim fit can be worn virtually anywhere,” says Fenton, “with a T-shirt on a casual day around the house, or with an Oxford cloth button down, wool tie and blazer to a fall wedding.”
Footwear is just as easy, suggests Fenton, who dresses up the French-milled, American-made cords over wingtips, and dresses them down “with sturdy boots for a more rugged look.”
There’s the problem of balance, of course. Thick, rugged corduroy doesn't fit well with a pinpoint dress shirt — at least not around the office. But that might be a good thing once wardrobe fatigue sets in from summer. “It's kind of the same way with your own attire, where by summer's end you're sick of your warmer weather clothes,” says Fenton, “and are looking forward to being able to mix it up with layers and different pieces.”
You’ve got to find a balance so you don’t seem top heavy. One way to do that is a chambray work shirt or flannel. And the corduroy’s bold color scheme lets you be bold elsewhere, when fall is normally a darkly-hued season with occasional flashes of orange hunting vests.
“Our Fall Shetland sweaters have great colors, a strong blue and a pink among them, and I like to pair those with something dark, more neutral and let them be the focus.”
And once the weather really turns, brave the elements with a quilted jacket or wool peacoat.
Alright, you have some ideas. But most of us are still sweating our way to work this week, and that’s not necessarily going to change by the time your order arrives from Bonobos’ online store. What's the right time to break these looks out? Day after Labor Day feels too soon — do we determine by the first leaf fall, or is there another rule of thumb?
“You'll know. The weather will get colder, warm weather clothes will get stashed, and it'll just feel right one day. But don't let eagerness take over. It's 86 and sunny in NYC, so be patient.”