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You may have noticed a couple extra menswear mags on the newsstand this month: GQ’s What to Wear Now and Esquire’s Big Black Book. In our grand tradition, we read them so you don’t have to, and in this very special edition of Well Pressed, we’ve got your full breakdown of the current state of the menswear universe.

Consider this your crash course in the fall’s trending menswear:

Cover

What to Wear Now: Block print inside a very Mondrian matrix of primary colors, GQ-photographed celebrities and shots from the runway.
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Big Black Book: The classic Esquire font, in burgundy, no photography involved. Geez, we just can’t escape that particular shade of red this season.

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Page Count

What to Wear Now: 176

Big Black Book: 184

Number of Ads Before Table of Contents

What to Wear Now: 24

Big Black Book: 8

Number of Ads After Table of Contents

What to Wear Now: 1

Big Black Book: 51

Keywords

What to Wear Now: Plaid. Topcoat. Wool. Forest green. Retro. Tough. Bow tie. Sheen. Crewneck. Military. Double-breasted. Black. Toggle. Sherpa.

Big Black Book: Distressed. Scandinavia. Tudor. Tartan. Nightcap. Road trip. Performance. Resonance. Shear. Extra. Overcoat. Britain. Sleep. Dark. Pomade.

Suiting

What to Wear Now: The “trend” status of the DB suit is debated. We tend to lean on the side of established.

Big Black Book: The simple dark suit is having a resurgence, and David Granger suspects it has something to do with a renewed American confidence. We appreciate the effort, but think he might be overthinking it just a teensy bit.

Tailoring

What to Wear Now: Plaid sport coats à la your grandfather in the ’60s are having a moment, but their current iterations are slimmer and shorter than before.

Big Black Book: On keeping your pants up: “Trousers were originally designed to hang from your shoulders, not to grip your waist. Suspenders are the only true way to achieve this.” How to make them work, here.

Outerwear

What to Wear Now: Overcoats are where it’s at this season, be they camel-colored, slouchy, chesterfield or, you guessed it, double-breasted.

Big Black Book: Overcoats here, too. Also, there’s a great two-pager on the convergence of fashion and high-performance clothing. Summarized: “The fashion guys showed the performance guys that their product didn’t have to be ugly.”

Denim

What to Wear Now: The days of “pre-distressed” are behind us—especially when it comes to denim jackets. GQ uses a Kempt Icon to illustrate their point.

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Big Black Book: “A Fine Day in Tokyo” gives us a glimpse of the well-dressed men of the Japanese capital. No doubt there is a gentleman dressed in head-to-toe selvage.

Sweaters

What to Wear Now: Patterned. Turtleneck. Fisherman’s. All are fair game this autumn, so have your pick of the lot and bask in the glorious coziness.

Big Black Book: If the season’s sweaters had a mascot, it would be Hemingway.

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Watches

What to Wear Now: In a surprising turn of events, watches made by fashion designers, not watchmakers, get an endorsement. And the entire country of Switzerland groaned.

Big Black Book: Oh boy, that Bell & Ross on page 98. Want.

Grooming

What to Wear Now: A steely-eyed runway model reminds us that “the secret to looking like a movie star is a haircut, a tidy side part, and a shave,” on page 108.

Big Black Book: We investigated these claims of maintaining a steam-free mirror with shaving cream and cool water this morning, and much to our delight, they were successful. Hat tip, gents.

Accessories

What to Wear Now: As hoped, the endearing nerdiness of the bow tie gets a nod. Now, as to how to properly wear the thing: we’ve got you covered.

Big Black Book: As per the British, a scarf can have the same well-dressing effect that a tie is meant to achieve. Plus, it’ll keep your neck warm, so that’s a plus.

Shoes

What to Wear Now: Boots with suits: the best rhyme of the day, and also a damned good idea.

Big Black Book: We love the concept of “the Fourth Pair”—shoes outside of the standard black/brown arsenal for occasions when you need to put your best foot forward.

Parting Thoughts

What to Wear Now: Next time around, we could do with fewer photos of models in the midst of changing.

Big Black Book: Keep on keeping on, gents.

—S.P.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Stephen Praetorius