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Don’t underestimate the power of cozy. There are few fall experiences more enjoyable than throwing on a lush sweater or a warm flannel shirt as the leaves start to change colors. This year, fall fashion isn’t dominated by neutral earth tones. Rather, some of the hottest colors this season are bold, bright, and utterly brilliant. For fashion fans with a flair for vintage style, Urban Outfitters is the go-to spot to find cozy knitwear, trendy shoes, and accessories.
What are we wearing?
Urban Outfitters invited me to test out some of the latest styles available from their in-house label. I selected five pieces and put them through the wringer over the course of two weeks. I tested two knit garments: the UO Graphic Crew Neck Sweater ($79) and the UO Lucas Argyle Sweater Vest ($79)—and one jacket, the UO Kenny Puffer Jacket ($129). I also tested the UO Hooded Plaid Flannel Overshirt ($89) and a pair of shoes: the UO Croc Texture Loafers ($69).
What’s new in Urban Outfitters’ fall menswear collection?
Urban Oufitters’ in-house brand, UO, offers some of the latest styles at relatively accessible prices. Have you been curious about trying out the Y2K fashion trend? Or maybe you finally want to dip your toes into the world of tie-dye. UO offers a wide range of womenswear, menswear, and even home and beauty essentials for a fashion-conscious consumer who wants the latest cool-kid styles. For their fall menswear collection, UO has a range of clothing and accessories in vibrant colors, sumptuous textiles, and thought-provoking patterns. In addition to the five garments I tested, the collection also includes an array of statement-making accessories, traditional polos with a twist, and attention-grabbing loungewear.
What I liked about UO Men’s fall styles
The latest trends with unexpected updates
I haven’t worn a sweater vest since I was in high school in the early aughts. And to be perfectly transparent, I don’t recall them being trendy at the time. But a decidedly “grandpa” aesthetic seems to have settled in during the lockdowns of the past few years, driven by Gen-Z’s stylish-without-being-pretentious vibe. And the Lucas Argyle Sweater Vest comes directly out of the Gen-Z lookbook. It’s slightly oversized, colorful, and very soft to the touch.
What surprised me, though, was the textile treatment—this sweater almost exclusively utilizes the wrong-side of the knit. No, I’m not suggesting that it was assembled incorrectly. The wrong-side of any textile is the reverse face of the fabric, or the part of the fabric that sits closest to the body (as opposed to the right-side, or the front-facing side of the fabric). This meant that the inside of this sweater vest looked like a traditional argyle vest, while the outside has a really unique textural effect that I really came to love. Admittedly, because of this, the sweater vest snagged on my necklace the very first time I put it on pulling one of the threads loose. However, some careful tugging returned everything to where it was meant to be.
The pricing allows you to try out new styles
One of the challenges of keeping up with trends is the prohibitive cost of designer clothing. UO’s affordably priced options allow you to dip your toes into the latest styles without breaking the bank. What’s more, the clothes are well made for the cost. I found myself reaching for the Lucas Sweater Vest frequently over the course of two weeks, pairing it with my favorite white tee (currently the Heavy-weight T-Shirt from Front General Store) and a pair of khakis. The Graphic Crew Neck Sweater is bright, bold, and feels like a durable and well-crafted product. Though it isn’t quite cold enough yet to wear the Kenny Puffer Jacket where I live, I was blown away by the quality of the construction and the deep, rich color of this coat—and the length felt positively contemporary compared to the majority of puffer coats I’ve worn in the past.
What I didn’t like about UO Men’s fall styles
The inconsistency in sizing was among the worst I’ve ever encountered
Look, I get it: oversized is trendy right now. But there’s a big difference between oversized and flat-out absurd. And truth be told, my track record with Urban Outfitters hasn’t been the best. As a plus-sized man, I was often excluded from shopping with them in the past because I exceeded the top of their size chart. I’m glad to see that their offerings have been updated to reflect a broader range of sizes. My proportions landed me squarely in the XXL range, and I placed my order accordingly. I was shocked to find that nearly everything (aside from the sweater vest) was wildly oversized, and not in a trend-friendly way.
The Hooded Plaid Flannel Overshirt, for example, was roomy enough that it could have accommodated another body. Urban Outfitters was quick to process an exchange, but even when I sized down to an XL, the flannel shirt remained so large that I never wore it out of the house.
The shoes were underwhelming
One of the products I’d most looked forward to testing was the Croc Textured Loafers. I’ve been looking for a traditional horse-bit loafer for quite some time, and I was convinced that these would be just the ticket. The crocodile-print embossing, green leather, and polished gold horse-bits are updates on what is practically a carbon copy of an iconic style. And while these shoes do indeed look impressive in photos and even right out of the box, I found that they were wholly uncomfortable for daily wear. The leather upper felt lackluster to the touch, and the rubber soles were so stiff that it was a challenge to walk normally at times.
Is UO menswear fall collection worth it?
Yes, but double- and triple-check for sizing
If you’re looking for the latest styles, accessible prices, and well-made clothes, the UO fall menswear line is highly recommended. The garments are designed to stand out without being entirely over the top. I appreciated the unique textile treatments and the design details in all of the clothes. My only suggestion is to double-check the sizing guide and product descriptions to determine whether your typical size is right for you. If in doubt, size down and you’ll likely still be able to enjoy a slightly oversized fit.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.