Fortunately, the fashion community helps men by keeping the design rules fairly consistent and simple.
David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief at "Men's Health" magazine, showed The Early Show five great fall styles for men, ranging from denim to suits, with key tips on how to wear them and what to look for when shopping.
These days, men are doing a lot more shopping themselves. They know what they want, and they know what looks good. Zinczenko says men are also more conscious of how they're being perceived by women -- in the workplace and elsewhere. So, they're dressing more for them.
Zinczenko says every man should have a basic suit in his closet. He says a classic navy two-button suit is very versatile. It's great for the office, the wedding and cocktail party. It goes anywhere. Zinczenko describe the suit as the Colin Powell of men's wear. He suggests men to spend the money, invest in a good one and it'll last for years. With limited budgets, he says to purchase timeless items or things that won't go out of style tomorrow. When shopping for a timeless suit, opt for two or three buttons and pants with zero to two pleats. If you're big, a two-button coat might be the way to go. The top button is lower on the chest, so it provides a more dramatic V-shape at the torso and that can create a very slimming look. Zinczenko says not to wear four-buttons and three-pleats.
Joseph Abboud navy two-button suit, $650
White dress shirt, $80
Striped tie, $75
Zinczenko says dressing up is back in style. Nobody wants to look like a jeans-and-T-shirt Internet guru anymore. Some may need to dress more conservative for job hunts. And the double-breasted is an elegant suit that gives the wearer an air of authority. Zinczenko says when wearing the double-breasted suit, you should keep it buttoned when standing. When you sit down, unbutton it.
Zinczenko says a double-breasted is great for those wanting to augment an already-existing suit collection. But, if you're just looking for one versatile suit, a two or three-button single-breasted is probably the way to go. The suit is best worn by average to slim guys because the extra fabric wrapped around your gut adds girth.
Canali double-breasted glen plaid suit, $1400
Dress shirt, $200
Striped tie, $100
WEEKEND WEAR: KHAKIS AND FLEECE
If a man wears a suit to work during the week, he probably can't wait to get comfortable on the weekend. Zinczenko says he has nothing against sweatpants and a T-shirt when sitting home watching the sport games. But, if you're going out in public, it takes 10 seconds to transform from sloppy to smart. All you need is a clean pair of khakis or jeans and a polo shirt.
Zinczenko says there are differences in khakis. He says the key tip for wearing khakis in the fall is to not wear lighter colored khakis once the air starts to chill and opt for a darker shade. If you live in a warm climate, khakis aren't seasonal and you can wear any shade at any time.
Casual, easy, functional all-American looks like this are what many designers are returning to for fall.
Tommy Hilfiger darker khaki pants, $50
Polo shirt, $60
Fleece jacket, $80
With cooler weather coming to some parts of the country, Zinczenko suggests something that's versatile, that fits and that will last several years. Many designers are invoking a military feel to outerwear this winter. The classis polo pea coat is a great example of this. It's stylish and a bit trendy, but it's also classic American and will always be in style.
The coat goes great with jeans and a sweater or with a dressier look.
Underneath the coat, you can wear a cashmere turtleneck sweater, another good option for a place to drop some dollars. It's more expensive than wool but it lasts longer, feels better and will never go out of style.
Zinczenko suggests trying a winter coat on with what you'll wear with it. If it's a causal coat, try it on with a sweater. If it's a dress coat, test-drive it with a suit. Too often, he says, you see men with the wrong coat on for what they are wearing underneath. When you're wearing a suit, the coat should always come below the suit jacket.
Polo Ralph Lauren navy wool pea coat, $245
Cashmere turtleneck, $400
Wool trousers, $145
OUTDOORSMAN: BLUE JEANS AND LEATHER COAT
Zinczenko says the hot new look in jeans is the old, vintage, worn in look. All the big brands, from Tommy Hilfiger to the Gap are on the old, beaten-up bandwagon. Many celebrities (Sean Combs, J. Lo) have their own lines, as well.
Levi's 501's have a slightly dirty finish to them, with whiskers, which are the marks left on your jeans after you've been sitting for a few hours. Jeans makers run the gamut with finishes now, from super rigid and clean to really dirty and frayed. The Levi's falls somewhere right in the middle.
Levi's black Henley, $30
501 blue jeans, $50
Timberland leather coat, $500