Who says you need a colourful palette for fall? Third-year student Mauricio Diaz, double majoring in medical sciences and biology, makes it work with a few simple, muted tones.
This streetwear-chic ensemble hits that sweet spot between classy and relaxed. The collared shirt, for example, is stylish, but the untucked bottom says "I woke up this fresh."
The light-wash denim jacket adds a subtle splash of colour without being too obtrusive — it's retro, but not passé. Light-wash denim, although it has been supplanted for the most part by the darker variety, still has a place in fashion.
"I like this jacket. I can wear it with streetwear or more formal wear," says Diaz. "It's the perfect blend of both."
It also serves to break up the dark sweater and pants. If you're wearing a lot of the same shade, be sure to emulate Diaz and separate the pieces with colour, or your carefully planned outfit might just look like a onesie from afar.
The black, slim fit jeans work with this minimalist greyscale look. Diaz has cuffed them at the ankles. A sensible move, and useful if your pants are just an inch too long or you want to show a little ankle for a summery look, cuffing or pinrolling is now just a popular aesthetic. Keep in mind, though, it only really works with slim-fit pants; cuffing a wider leg makes it look patently ridiculous.
Finally, Diaz's shoes reflect and work with his shirt. White is quite a strong shade to use in clothing, but in smaller sections as seen here it can work well as an accent. They contrast well with the grey, but white shoes require regular cleaning as they show dirt notoriously quickly.
"It's Zara times Value Village," he says. "I don't like the conventional look — I like buying things that people don't usually wear, with a lot of black, white, neutral colours."
Where to get it
Denim jacket: Forever 21. For most of us who can discern between a dark and light pair of jeans, the world of denim is strange and complicated. Selvedge, raw, fades, tapered leg and low-rise are just a few of the terms that get thrown around with abandon. You can get a slim-fit jean jacket at Forever 21 — the cheapest — and a slightly better-constructed one at American Eagle — overbranded and overpriced — but Levi's brand denim is still at the top in terms of reliability and quality.
Shirt: Express. A button-down collar Oxford shit is recommended for this outfit in terms of comfort, but there's nothing wrong with this point-collar look. Slim-fit dress shirts can be found at Express and Le Chateau, and Banana Republic has your classic fits at an exorbitant price, though the quality is great.
Jeans: Topman. Contrary to popular belief, you can pull off double denim; they just have to be very different shades, or you might be wearing the "Canadian tuxedo."
Sweater: Forever 21. A classic black crew-neck, you can get this in luxurious merino wool at Express and Banana Republic or a simple cotton or acrylic blend at F21.
Shoes: White keds are a must if you're looking for simple white sneakers. They're not for high-intensity athletics, but they're a streetwear staple. You can get them in all colours at SoftMoc.