How To Style The New Fall Classic
Psst. Let me tell you something. The forest green suit is in. And specifically for fall, the flannel forest green suit is in. In all honesty, there is perhaps no better color and fabric for a fall suit. Forest green is rich, deep, and lush, which helps evoke the spirit of the season and complement its colors. And the flannel fabric is soft and warm—practical and stylish.
Although the forest green color’s uniqueness may lead you to believe it might not be quite as versatile as, say, a navy blue or gray flannel suit, nothing could be further from the truth. It provides an extremely solid base—an earthy fall base—to create some incredibly stylish outfits. And to show exactly you what I’m talking about, here are five ways I’m wearing it this fall.
1. Simply Suited
Starting off here with a very simple and classic approach. So, let me just say that I firmly believe that the enemy of good style is overthinking things and and trying too hard. We’ve all been there, especially early on in our style journeys. And when you find yourself in that mindset, the best thing you can do is to take a step back and ask yourself: what is the absolute easiest and simplest thing I can do to put this outfit together?
Well, the answer to that question when it comes to styling a suit simply, is to choose a white shirt and complementary tie. Here, I’ve put that advice into practice with our white poplin dress shirt and brown grenadine tie. It’s a timeless approach that plays into the color and feel of the season in a way only possible with this particular suit.
2. Classic Pattern Mixing
While I love the ease with which you can style a forest green flannel suit simply and classically, I think it really shines as a platform to indulge your more sartorial leanings. The combination of its unique color and more casual nature is makes it uniquely suited—sorry, not sorry, for the pun—to explore some more distinctive combinations, play around, and have a little fun.
One of the easiest ways to do this is with some good old fashioned pattern mixing. There are three rules you should always remember when combining different patterns. First, choose two different types of patterns. Second, vary the size. This will help ensure that the two patterns appear more complementary. And third, choose a bolder one and subtler one.
You can see that in action here with my choice of shirt and tie. We’ve got a funky medallion print on the tie paired with a classic block stripe on the shirt. The medallion print tie is larger and bolder than the smaller and more subdued gray stripe.
3. Jacket Separate
One of the biggest benefits of any flannel suit in my book is that—because of the fabric—it’s extremely easy to break your suit into separates. So not only do you have one of fall’s best-looking suits, but you’ve also got a killer sport coat and pair of pants. Let’s focus on the former here.
Having a forest green flannel sport coat in your arsenal is a great cure if you consider yourself a classic menswear guy but might be feeling in a little bit of a rut with (or tired of) the classics. The reason? Well, with a simple substitution in the sport coat department of navy for forest green, you can easily transform “the uniform” into a stylish outfit that effortlessly complements the season. Let’s call this the ultimate menswear fall uniform.
I’ve taken that sentiment even a step further with my choice of shirt as well. In keeping with the muted, soft, and earthy tones of the look, I went with, yes, a button-down shirt—we’re talking menswear uniform here, you know?—but instead of the classic light blue, I’m wearing our new cream-colored brushed cotton version. Classic, soft, textured, and warm—once again, a great match for fall.
4. Evening Chic
Because my wife has been on a bit of a “Friends” kick lately, I seriously debated naming this look “The One With The Turtleneck,” but decided in the end to keep with my chosen outfit naming convention. If you’ve been an HSS fan for a while, you most definitely saw this one coming because when it comes to a suit’s versatility, pairing it with a turtleneck is a bit of a formula I follow. But you know what? If it works, it works. Why change it?
In my opinion, there is no better way to instantly give your suit an elegant and sophisticated look and feel than by adding a turtleneck. The suit itself is a simple garment, ditto for the turtleneck. Pair them together and it’s a win-win, especially when you’re combining soft luxurious fabrics like cashmere and flannel.
Now, while a forest green flannel suit does pretty immediately evoke the earthiness of the autumn color palette, another great benefit of that deep, rich, and lush color is that it does provide a great option for a sophisticated evening look. I’ve traded earth tones for a black turtleneck and cordovan loafers for a measure of simplicity required of an outfit like this.
5. Pants Separate
Like I was saying, with a flannel suit you get a suit, sport coat, and pair of pants and now’s the time to talk about the pants as a separate. Much like a forest green sport coat, a forest green pair of flannel pants are a great choice to help round out a classic menswear wardrobe. Think of it as deepening your sartorial bench.
Treat these pants pretty much the same as you would your pair of classic mid-gray or charcoal gray flannels. They provide a solid foundation for a classic menswear outfit but with a decidedly seasonal touch. They’re a blank canvas ready for whatever you’re feeling.
Here, I’ve chosen to lean into their earthiness with a combination—dare I call it a “triple threat”—of brown patterns and textures. Our brown Glen plaid flannel sport coat has been one of my favorites this fall. It’s classic, but distinct, and pairs perfectly with the forest green pants. I’ve combined that with a lovely and subtly-textured wool tie from the Ralph Lauren Purple Label and our cream brushed cotton button-down with the collar undone. Because, why not?
The Bottom Line
Consider a forest green flannel suit your fall-specific classic suit. It’s got the same amount of versatility as your classic navy blue or gray flannel suit with the added benefit of complementing the season in a very singular way.