Suit and sweater vests top fall's MUST-HAVE looks for men

Suit and sweater vests top fall's MUST-HAVE looks for men

September 10th, 2012 by Karen Nazor Hill in Life Entertainment

Bo Chamberlain models some of the trending fall fashions for men at Red Bank Middle School on Thursday afternoon. Fashions include a Madison tailored vest ($29.99), tie from Geoffrey Beene ($45), fitted shirt from Geoffrey Beene ($29.99), and Polo Ralph Lauren dark denim jeans ($98). All fashions are courtesy of Belk.

Photo by Jake Daniels /Times Free Press.

What we'll see

Belk's Most Wanted 2012 fall fashion trends for men include:

• Bold stripes

• Sweater vests

• Thermal knits

• Preppy plaids

• Corduroy pants

• Luxe sport coats

• Tailored vests

• Knit ties

• Casual jackets

• Driving mocs

Chip Chapman is ahead of the curve for fall's must-have fashions for men. One of the hottest trends is vests, and the WDEF anchor and weatherman has a closet full.

"Vests -- one of my favorite wardrobe items," said Chapman. "I have several vested suits I wear for work. ... When necessary, like for extended on-the-air marathons during severe weather, I'll sometimes take the suit jacket off and work in the vest."

Chapman said he likes vested suits because "they look good on the air," but the look is "elegant, classy and timeless, regardless of your profession."

Arlene Goldstein, vice president of trend merchandising and fashion direction for Belk, recently unveiled the retailer's Most Wanted list for men's fall and winter fashions. In addition to tailored and sweater vests, she said, bold stripes, thermal knits, corduroy pants, luxe sport coats, knit ties, casual jackets and driving moccasins are the top trends for men.

"The Most Wanted items are quite universally appealing to a wide range of men," she said. "What might vary is the way the items are worn relative to a man's personal style and lifestyle."

Goldstein recommends pairing a suit vest with jeans, calling it a "sexy look" for men.

"The guy who feels comfortable making a more modern statement this fall is going to have some fun with the tailored vest," she said. "It offers style and versatility -- looks great with jeans or with khakis and a shirt and tie."

The same can be said for the list's luxe sport coat, distinguished by luxurious but durable fabrics. "It will go easily from day to dinner," she said. "It works with denim, and it also works with a dress pant."

Rounding out her top three picks would be corduroy pants.

"I love adding textures and rich saturated colors to the fall mix, and corduroy does just that," she said. "The fit this season is a little closer to the body, giving most men a more trim look."

Joe Jumper, owner of The Clay Pot in Riverview, said he, too, is a fan of vests, particularly sweater vests.

"I wear them with button-downs," he said. "I tend to go more casual in my dressing. I go for comfort (and) classic styles."

James McKissic, chief operating officer at the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga, said he likes most of Belk's fall trends.

"Since I'm a big guy, all of this is predicated on me being able to find the items in my size," he said. "I would definitely wear stripes (vertical only) and everything on the list, except for the plaids."

McKissic said he already owns sweater vests, casual jackets and driving mocs "and will most certainly be wearing them all fall."

Contact Karen Nazor Hill at or 423-757-6396. Follow her on Twitter at Subscribe to her posts on Facebook at