Live Action Getup: Rugged Fall Casual

A minimalist color palette with workwear staples like waxed canvas, box-weaved knit, and hefty boots.

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I bought this waxed canvas coat for only $35, and believe it or not, I bought it at American Eagle. Unfortunately that was almost two years ago, but I just love it too damn much not to wear it. I originally featured it in one our style deal roundups and ordered it for myself.

It's a perfect example of how to dress great on a budget. A lot of guys when they first show up to Primer are used to men's magazines featuring $500 designer stuff and remember the “Be better than The Gap,” scene from Crazy Stupid Love. So when they see we feature things from Target, or Old Navy, or yes, even the high-school-bro-brand American Eagle they're quick to dismiss everything.

But that's the real secret to dressing on a budget. Looking beyond brands and labels. Knowing what kind of style you want and being smart enough to look in other places that are more realistically priced. Based on the steep discount that was on this waxed canvas coat at the time that I bought it, I would guess that it didn't sell well. Maybe it wasn't right for the majority of AE's customers, but it was perfect for me. It was such a steal that I'm unable to find a similar item to share with you that isn't $100 more.

All this to say: If you're on a budget it's essential that you begin to discern specifically what you like and what you're looking for versus just going shopping from time to time and buying what's in front of you. And of course, you should subscribe to the Primer newsletter (link in the menu above) and follow us on Instagram, to help define your style and to ensure you always get first dibs on the good sales we find. Oh, and I find a ton of great stuff at The Gap. 😜

men fall style chore coat filson

DID YOU KNOW? The fabric we commonly refer to as ‘thermal' or ‘Long Johns' is actually known as box-weave knit.

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Chore Coat (similar): Filson, $350
Thermal: Amazon, $12
Jeans: Levi's, $50
Boots: Red Wing, $263

Do you like this Getup? Where would you wear it?

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

  • Bob

    This is a great look! I love the chore coat but am disappointed that it’s not available to purchase. The alternatives are too expensive, aside from the last option which I don’t like as much. If anybody knows where to find a similar coat for around $50 or less please share.

  • Mediapig71

    Great advice Andrew… the most important first step of any endeavor, style or otherwise, is really honing in on exactly what it is you want. There are great options everywhere, but if you allow yourself to get distracted by all the “noise”, you’ll never see them…

  • Ross

    As a minimalist these are the type of Getups I really enjoy. For years I’ve been debating dark deep blue jeans and black jeans, and I’ve been afraid to jump on the black jeans bandwagon. I fear it’s a strictly casual look that can’t transition from outfit to outfit like my Fidelity Slim Jimmy Revolution Rinse jeans. Any helpful tips to make it easier for me to incorporate a pair of black jeans into my wardrobe rotation? Also I’m having trouble with torso lengths of many sweaters and Henley shirts, they always seem to be too short and rude up with I lift my arms. I’ve recently switched my Old Navy v-neck sweaters to medium talls sizes and they are perfect. Do you have any advice on tall size options for shirts? It’s odd I’m only 5’9”-5’10” so I find it scary for a guy my height to trust tall sizes of other brands shirts. Is it normal for guys my height to utilize tall sizes?

    • Serafin

      I do the same with Old Navy shirts. I’m 6’2 with a long torso. Old Navy assumes that if I wear an XL I need something super-wide, so I downsized to L to narrow things a bit, but Tall for the proper length.

    • rogun

      I’m the opposite. 6’1 with a short torso, so regular shirts are often too long. So height doesn’t mean you always need tall sizes.

      I know J.Crew and J.Crew Factory both sell tall sizes, even with their slim fit shirts. I once tried sizing down with one of their tall button-ups. The fit was great, but too long for me.

  • Calvin Maynard

    The canvas chore coat from Goodfellow & Co would make a great budget option here too. Especially if you get some wax online from, say, Filson and coat it yourself. Then it’s waterproof for a fraction of the price!

  • Serafin

    I’m all for affordable clothing. As a teacher I need to dress well, however as a teacher I can’t afford to dress expensively. Thanks for what you do.

  • browneagle44 ロベルト

    Surprised your Goodfellow chore coat didn’t make the cut-it’d work great with this getup!

  • Zac Silk

    I love this getup. I’ve still got the Gap chore coat from a few months back and I’m wearing that a lot. At the moment I’m wearing a lot of overshirts coming into fall with denim and boots. So this is a typical look for me.

    As a student dressing on a budget is key for me. As well as having a limited number of stores around me I’ve come to rely on Gap for verstie basics with a stylish twist.

  • rogun

    I almost wore this jacket today and still can’t believe AEO sold it at such a great price. Around the same time, they also had a great rucksack, with leather strapping, it was also priced great. Looking back, I wish I’d bought more of them, in different colors.

    It’s a shame they don’t have any comparable items this year, as I was hoping AEO would continue to make nice canvas items, so I could add to my collection.

    Btw, that looks great Andrew. Thanks for picking out tomorrow’s outfit for me!