Few things have a greater effect on a mood than color. It’s one of those things you feel without noticing. A lot of black creates a stark, modern effect, while white feels more expansive and calming. You sense it when you walk into a restaurant or look at a piece of art. And when you see different outfits.
This fall, the color to vibe off of when it comes to sartorial matters is indigo. Officially, indigo stands on its own in the color spectrum between blue and violet, but most people think of it as a darker form of blue, owing to the dye that is used to produce “blue” jeans. What makes indigo stand apart from a dark blue like navy is the deepness and richness of the color. Indigo never feels flat. Instead it’s more like a color in motion, varying its appearance at different angles and times. It is also a color that evolves. Garments dyed with indigo, particularly the natural variety, change over time. They fade in some areas, deepen in others. It’s why guys tend to have a favorite pair of jeans more than say a favorite jacket. When you and a piece of clothing age together, there’s a strong bond.
Indigo is also a great color for fall because rather then mimicking the season’s earth tones, it complements them. As you start to store away your lighter-colored clothes from summer, indigo pairs nicely with everything from brown to green to orange.
To make sure you’re properly equipped, we found eight pieces including bandanas, sneakers—and yes, jeans—that will help you ride the indigo wave this fall.
1. VISVIM SANJURO COAT
Japan is famous for its indigo dying techniques, and designer Hiroki Nakamura deploys the color in his collections for Visvim season after season. This kimono-style Sanjuro coat has a bohemian style without being too out there. It’s a great layer to throw on during those “What the hell is the weather going to do?” days because it’s easy to take off if it gets too hot.
2. OUTERKNOWN BAY STRIPE TEE
Even though you may not be spending as much time by the water, that doesn’t mean you can’t still rock a nautical, striped T-shirt. Outerknown tweaked the traditional style by using an indigo dye that lends a unique quality to each shirt. The tees are made from a ridiculously soft cotton that has a terrific texture.
3. THE HILL-SIDE STANDARD LOW TOP
The Corsillo brothers who founded The Hill-Side have long had an appreciation for unique Japanese fabrics. The brand originally started with pocket squares and ties but now offers a complete line of menswear, including sneakers. These classic court shoes are made in a 140-year-old factory in Japan and feature an upper that is a lighter indigo denim.
4. SATURDAYS MIGUEL SWEATER
It’s hard to believe, but sweater season is rapidly approaching. But you don’t have to bust out the heavy wool turtlenecks just yet. This cotton cableknit crewneck from Saturdays is lightweight enough that you can throw it on over a button down and not have to worry about turning into a sweaty mess.
5. BLUE BLUE JAPAN CORDUROY CAP
Blue Blue Japan only uses natural indigo dye which looks great on this baseball cap. Its made from corduroy instead of the traditional wool or cotton which is the perfect fabric for fall. The lack of any logo on the front also makes it more grown-up.
6. KIRIKO BANDANA
The wave pattern was historically used in Japan centuries ago on armor and banners for war. Portland, Oregon-based Kiriko used it on something decidedly more peaceful garment, a bandana. The print draws you in because the graphic isn’t immediately obvious without further inspection. Coil it up and tie it around your neck or stuff it in the back pocket of your jeans. Either way, you’ll be glad you’ve got it on you.
7. THE HILL-SIDE EL SEGUNDO SHIRT
The Hill-Side’s El Segundo shirt might be the perfect weekend piece. With its slightly oversized fit, the popover style is as comfortable as a pajama shirt, but the indigo oxford fabric makes it still feel polished. The best part is that the shirt got its name because the style was inspired by one that Q-Tip wore in the music video for “I left my wallet in El Segundo.”
8. A.P.C. NEW STANDARD JEANS
A.P.C.’s New Standard jeans have been the gold standard in denim for some time now. Rather than resting on its laurels, the French brand added some innovations to the cult favorites. This new version of the New Standard has just the right amount of stretch. They still pass the Goldilocks test of “Not too tight, not too loose” and have a stonewashed finish that saves all the hassle of breaking them in.