The Fabrics of Fall

The leaves turn to warm colors, contrasting the chill that pervades the air.  The days grow short, the nights grow long.  Strong flavors of pumpkin, wheat, apple, whiskey enter the daily palate.  Autumn is upon us, and as the season changes, so too must our wardrobe change to accommodate it.  This is partly from necessity, as heavier fabrics are needed to ward off the gathering cold.  In no small part, however, the change of clothes that Fall brings is a matter of stylistic renewal.  We welcome the opportunity to wear and display fabrics, colors, patterns that would be out of place in the heat of Summer.

A fabric that has often been overlooked amid the Fall wardrobe is moleskin, a richly woven cotton that is sheared after said weaving to create a soft pile facing outward.  Moleskin is known for its gentle, luxurious feel to the skin, a hallmark of the English country estate aesthetic.  However, moleskin’s commonality in the manor house is also due to its toughness: it is a hardy and durable fabric, able to block out the wind and cold with ease.  We recommend its use in trousers, sport coats, and even outerwear.

Another luxurious fabric that sees justified use in the Autumn is mohair, which is derived from the wool of the Angora goat.  Mohair needs no introduction to some, having been used in suits, sport coats, and especially sweaters for hundreds of years.  It is a durable, long-lasting fabric, especially when tightly woven, yet it has a luster and softness comparable to cashmere.  As might be expected, mohair can be pricey, but as an investment piece, a mohair sweater can be well worth the money, giving warmth and conveying elegance for seasons to come.

Finally, we would be remiss if we did not mention the archetypal Fall fabric: tweed.  Heavy, unfinished wool, open and flexible, rough and rugged, tweed is the fabric of the outdoors, the garb of hunters, hikers, wandering philosophers.  It is often seen in brown, gray, and green, though tweed can be almost any color, from salmon pink to midnight purple.  The tweed sport coat is an essential element of a man’s Fall wardrobe, arguably the most important piece a man can wear as the weather turns cool.  Its smart styling means it can be dressed up with a tie and wool trousers, but its rugged exterior means it can be dressed down with jeans and a flannel shirt.  It may be said that no fabric is so closely matched with a season as tweed is with Autumn.  May the leaves begin their dance.