ALPHA MALE: Core Bottoms For Fall

Thursday, September 26, 2013


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Ditch the 'dad jeans' in favor of some slightly edgier and modern bottoms, which you can wear to the office or on that special date.

As we began discussing last time, I wanted to start examining individual garments that lend to your Fall wardrobe a sense of ease and familiarity that you might consider your “core” pieces. These are your “go-to” items, the ones that last for years and can be paired in a variety of ways even with the season's latest trends.

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The twist here is really taking an item that is yours, like my Trucker jacket example last week, and interpreting it in a fresh and personal way. Really, the trick is making the item work for you and your own personal style. Fortunately, many of the items we will continue discussing are now available in many different iterations, so the chances are high you can find something that works for you. The next item up for discussion is based on a couple of classic looks guys use for their casual wardrobe bottoms; The 5-pocket pant and cargo pants.

Ditch the dad jeans

Don't think simply of your regular jeans when I say “5-pocket pant,” though that is the traditional model of the type. The same goes for new styles of cargo pants. Gone are the days of the “dad jeans” or surplus store cargos- those slouchy, frumpy pants that make even potato sacks look slim-fitting. No more saggy seats and boot-cut bottoms. Nowadays, the core of your wardrobe bottoms are being turned slightly edgier and modern, with a look that can take you into the office and carry you through date night thanks in part to better fits, amazing fabrics, and a wider selection of colors from which to choose.

Don't be afraid to try new fabrics

No longer do your jeans just have to be just a casual look meant for weekends. Same goes for cargos. With a narrower leg and pocket design that is less about hauling actual cargo and more intended to serve a simple purpose- say, housing your cell phone- you do not have to worry about adding volume to your silhouette. And the fabrics and color palette are big keys here. While a great pair of dark denim will always be on point, modernize your jeans by taking them out of the traditional denim fabric to which you are accustomed. Expand their versatility with cotton twills or duck canvas as well as corduroy in Fall. And while cargos have traditionally been a similar cotton twill to those we are seeing now transformed in 5-pocket styles, it is the color selection that can help you make the most of this core garment.

These types of cotton fabrics are far more accepting of a variety of garment dyes to give you added versatility and character to the item. Combine that with a richness provided by an expanded color palette coming from a lot of designers, and all of a sudden, your weekend jeans are a dark grey corduroy that can be paired perfectly with an Oxford shirt, tie and wool sweater- perfect complements to that great denim jacket you picked up. And deep burgundy cargos can be dressed up with a chest stripe sweater and blazer to give you a modernized take on classic New England prep.

These are just a couple of quick examples of what will be nearly infinite combinations among 5-pocket and cargo pants from which you can choose this Fall. But the core of your bottoms should no longer be mandated by your choices of traditional chino trousers or basic denim jeans. Simply going outside the color and fabric spectrum in these 2 types of bottoms will be keys to expanding your core wardrobe choices.

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Robert Babigian is owner of WHARF Clothing & Wares, a menswear retail boutique located at 212 Westminster Street in Providence, RI. A native Rhode Islander, Rob started WHARF after 2 decades in marketing and sales to fulfill his desire to combine his loves of consumer branding, small business and style that would fulfill a niche for desirable men's clothing in the Providence market. The apparel and accessories found at WHARF reflect Rob's own personal aesthetic—a combination of traditional New England staples mixed with modern fits, construction and fabrics blended together with a touch of European style. For more tips or to shop the store, stop in and see Rob and his staff or reach them online at


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