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The Guy's Guide To Dressing For Fall In Philadelphia

By Tara Nurin
Any concern about issues of fashion for fall is difficult amid surviving the global recession and societal upheaval. Here are a few tips for how to survive the chaos without finding oneself embarrassingly unclad.
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Stay Classic

Old Navy
1001 Market St Ste 61, at N 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 413-7012
Website & Reviews

Once these essential parameters are established, one may give way to personal taste, within limits. Remember to avoid six-inch logos sprawled across a shirt. Solid-color t-shirts, in heavy cotton with the occasional contrasting trim, are infinitely preferable.

Likewise, pleated khaki pants are suspect; they stain and require ironing. The pockets of your cargo pants should be sufficiently spacious and durable to contain your wallet, keys, phone, carpentry tools, Leatherman, and a flask of hard liquor. If one is shopping at Old Navy, one should bring enough hardware to test-drive one's pockets, as their standards of quality have slipped as well.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Invest In The Comfy And Casual

1700 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-5120
(215) 568-9664
Hours: Mon to Tues, Thurs to Sat 10am-7pm; Wed 10am-8pm; Sun 12pm-6pm
Website & Reviews

As the weather gets brisk, the practical-minded gentleman will invest in a few oversized flannel button-down shirts in variegating shades of plaid; these may be obtained at your nearest LL Bean outlet, or if you have flashier tastes, at Daffy's. (If you catch a clearance sale at Daffy's, the items are virtually free.) Flannel shirts layer nicely over the abovementioned t-shirts, and under fleece or wool pullovers, also obtainable at Bean's. Hoodies have the double benefit of keeping one's head warm, and offering some protection from gusts of tear gas.

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Always Have Durable Footwear

Red Wing Shoes
2499 Aramingo Ave.
Port Richmond Village
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 425-8750
Website & Reviews

Footgear should be designed to withstand fire, flood, forty-mile hikes under cover of darkness, and steel beams landing on one's toes. This is obtainable at Red Wing Shoes. The charming staff at Red Wing offer regular repair and maintenance, and will go so far as to re-oil and re-lace your boots for free.

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Photo Credit: Stephanie Lee Jackson

Go Thrift Shopping

Circle Thrift
2233 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 423-1222
Hours: Mon to Sat 9am-7pm; Sun 11am-5pm
Website & Reviews

For in these days of societal decline, throw-away habits no longer obtain, even in the world of fashion. If you are one of the chronically unemployed, you are already shopping at the likes of Circle Thrift, and are learning to prize durability of construction over anything else.

DON'T: Be Fooled By Designer Labels

If one is fortunate enough to still possess a job that pays a living wage, one should invest in the best. Do not be fooled by designer labels; check fabric weights, thread counts and fiber blends before purchasing. One distinctive indicator of economic malaise is progressive flimsiness. If you are able to read an iPad through your shirt, it is not worth the price of a cup of coffee. Ditto if you can roll a pant leg between thumb and pinkie without significant resistance.

DON'T: Go Less Than 30%

Items of clothing constructed of more than 30% synthetic fibers are not clothing at all. They are clothing-shaped fripperies, aesthetically hideous and repulsive to the touch. One buys one's clothes of cotton, wool, silk and linen, with sufficient percentages of Lycra and Gore-tex to allow for elasticity and moderate waterproofing.

Stephanie Lee Jackson is a lapsed artist, blogger and owner of Practical Bodywork in Philadelphia. You can find her archives at, and her thriving massage practice at Practical Bodywork

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