Photograph by Brad Bridgers. From left: Dior Homme ($420), diorhomme.com. Diesel ($140), diesel.com. French Connection ($98), frenchconnection.com. Burberry ($275), burberry.com. J. Crew ($70), jcrew.com.
The temperature may still demand khakis and lightweight denim, but fall is just a few degrees away. When things get brisk, there's nothing like a pair of cords to swaddle your lower half. Cut like your favorite five-pocket jeans and heftier than chinos, they're the perfect go-between.
FIT: If you're reading this magazine, you already know pants shouldn't double as garbage bags. As with suit trousers and jeans, cords should skim, though not constrict, the legs.
MATERIAL: Wide-wale cords are for fishing off Maine; pinwales are for yacht regattas. Regular-wale cords, however, with their perfect ridge-valley equation, are appropriate for all land endeavors.
COLOR: On nights out, go with gray or tan. For work, navy or chocolate cords are all business and make an ideal pinch hitter for the less-exciting players in your wool-trouser lineup.