What To Wear in Cooler Fall Weather
But in the crisp autumn months before an overcoat is necessary, things get a bit trickier. You check the weather report, even step outside, then go back in and wonder if a sport coat will be enough to keep you warm, and if an under shirt might help.
A vest or sweater is a much better option, and are the layering items that snappy dressers look forward to each fall, after a long summer of one-layer sartorial simplicity.
But there are general guidelines that clothes-wearing men follow when it comes to adding layers, and they basically come down to keeping the level of formality consistent.
Let's assume you're wearing a shirt and tie. Here's what works and what doesn't, based on whether you're wearing a suit or a sport coat and slacks.
Because a suit is more formal, it requires a more formal layer underneath. A patterned vest is a natty option, but its fabric should harmonize with the suit. A tweed vest would pair better with a flannel suit and button cuff shirt than it would with a sober charcoal worsted and spread collar shirt with French cuffs. Keep your country and city clothes separate, gentlemen.
To add a knit, a cardigan vest is another good option with a suit because it mimics a traditional suit vest. A sleeved cardigan, though, is a bit too cozy-looking to pair with a business suit, and is better with a sport coat.
Ditto for v-neck sweaters (vest or with sleeves). Most guys wouldn't wear a crewneck over a shirt and tie, but this is actually an old-school preppy approach.
As for turtlenecks, they look great under a sport coat, and daring dressers can even pull them off with a suit.