Fall is officially here, guys! Autumn is my favorite season for a variety of reasons: Being able to layer again (not really – it’s hot as hell over here in The Bay), all those wintry textures, PSLs (loljk), the return of Brooklyn Nine-Nine… needless to say, there’s a lot to like about this season.
One of the main reasons I love Fall though is because it’s when GQ and Gap come out with their annual Best New Menswear Designers in America collection. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s basically when GQ picks out a bunch of new high-end fashion brands – think Ovadia & Sons, The Hill-Side, Todd Snyder, etc. – and works with Gap and those brands to create a more affordable, easier-to-access capsule collection. I’ve been keeping up with this annual collection for about seven or so years, and I gotta say it’s easily my favorite collection from Gap – hands down.
This year the guys at GQ picked out some brands/designers they had already featured in previous years and brought them back for an encore collection. The four brands/designers that get this year’s nod are John Elliott, Michael Bastian, Steven Alan, and Saturdays NYC.
There’s a whole lot to love in this year’s collection, but I thought I’d spend some time gushing over some of my favorites. Here goes:
Gap x GQ Michael Bastian Tweed Blazer
This thing has three of my favorite elements: Texture, texture, and texture. This jacket hits just the right shade of gray, and the dark gray elbow patches are cool as well without being too professorial. Half-lined, so you can layer inside of this thing quite literally without breaking a sweat.
Gap x GQ Michael Bastian Chunky Cardigan
If you follow my Instagram you know I’m a sucker for a good shawl-collared cardigan (#shawlwars FTW). Bonus points to this one for being extra cozy, and for the cool snowmobile intarsia on the chest – perfect for all my chesties – and on the back.
Gap x GQ Michael Bastian Skinny Fit Moleskin Pants
Speaking of cozy, check out these moleskin pants. I love the slanted button-down pockets and the moto knees. Infinitely slicker than your average chinos.
Gap x GQ Michael Bastian Convertible Ski Jacket
Dude, this thing is a vest with sleeves. It’s got those sweet retro vibes with the bright red and blue, except without the boxy retro fit. A sound in-vest-ment, if you ask me.
Gap x GQ Michael Bastian Distressed Slim Jeans
I’m not normally into the whole ripped up, distressed jeans trend (I stopped wearing them after 2008), but I will gladly make an exception for these. I can’t get over how great these jeans look with that ski jacket.
Ugh, at this rate I’ll be going through every piece in the Michael Bastian collection. Let’s move on to the next bunch, shall we?
Gap x GQ John Elliott Flight Jacket
To be perfectly honest with you, I
hate could never understand all that athleisure stuff. Especially the whole distressed hoodie/skinny jeans thing. The cool thing about this jacket though is that you can wear it without looking athleisurely. I can picture this thing looking great on top of a solid white shirt and black knit tie. You can do the whole athletic thing with this jacket, and I’m sure a lot of people can pull it off nicely, but this jacket is versatile enough to do more than just that.
Gap x GQ Steven Alan Moleskin Shirt Jacket
It’s not ACTUALLY made using the skin of moles, guys. But real talk though, look at the juicy ruby red on this shacket! This is a great layering shirt, and looks every bit as cozy as those moleskin pants from Michael Bastian.
Gap x GQ Steven Alan Wool Coat
Can’t get over the herringbone on this coat. This is the kind of coat that you would actually put on top of a suit. Not saying that you have to, but it’ll definitely help you get through that snowy walk home from work. ‘Cuz, you know, it snows so much here in The Bay.
Gap x GQ Steven Alan Washed Cord Blazer
Gap calls the color on this blazer “Marine Blue” – and rightfully so, because the blue on it is DEEP. A blue like this can be worn with a hell of a lot of stuff, and the corduroy adds a nice Fall texture to it. Come to think of it, this blazer reminds me of the Brooklyn Tailors corduroy suit from the BNMDA 2014 collection.
Gap x GQ Steven Alan Wool Knit Beanie
Hey, remember that cozy, deep red shirt jacket I mentioned earlier? Here’s the equivalent for your head. Gotta love that shade of burgundy.
Gap x GQ Steven Alan Flannel Shirt
Solid shirt in a nice windowpane plaid. As versatile a shirt as any. I would expect no less from Steven Alan.
Gap x GQ Saturdays New York City Camel Topcoat
A solid camel topcoat is one of those things that belongs in every man’s wardrobe. At least, if you live in an area that requires topcoats. This one from Saturdays NYC has just the right shade of camel – the shade that looks every bit as good over faded, distressed skinny jeans and chelsea boots as it does over a suit and wingtips.
Gap x GQ Saturdays New York City Oxford Shirt
Can’t go wrong with a good oxford shirt. The blue on this one in particular though is fantastic. I can already imagine throwing on a solid navy blue knit tie and dark blue jeans with this shirt; or, perhaps, with all black. Or even with some grays.
Well those are my top picks, anyway. I could go through all 59 items in this year’s collection, but I’m way too
lazy busy to do so. Got any favorites in this year’s collection? How about in any collection over the past 10 years? Get at me in the comments. I’m sure you already know which pieces are my favorites because you see them on my IG feed all the time. (Sorry for all the IG tagging, Bespoken and David Hart! You too, Brooklyn Tailors. And Ovadia & Sons. And Todd Snyder. And The Hill-Side. The list goes on.)
Oh, and one more thing: If you’re gonna go buying all the stuff I mentioned here, please please PLEASE save me an Extra Small or a 28. I’m still saving my nickels and dimes for them. Gap and GQ don’t pay me to post all this good stuff for them, after all. Though really they should… *grumble grumble*