Just in Time for Fall: Get that Lump-free Sweater Look

The leaves are changing color and pumpkin-spice-everything is back, which means that some serious sweater weather is just around in the corner. (Unless you live in the tropics, in which case you can crank up your AC and pretend.) Last year, jackets were a main feature in the fall/winter fashion line-up, but this fall, sweaters are making a real comeback. They can look great over a collared shirt and come in a variety of styles, so you can create an outfit that's dressy or casual based on your needs. Here are some quick steps for rocking a sweater without any of those awkward bunches or lumps.

1. Let's start with your shirt. You need a shirt that you fits you really well (which is where we come in). If a shirt is too roomy on you, a sweater will push that extra space down, creating weird lumps and wrinkles. You want to shop for shirts with thicker, sturdier fabrics, as they tend to more crease resistant. Pack up those lightweight cotton and chambray summer shirts and get shopping.

Fittery has some great selections for fall shirts. This Twillory autumn plaid or Bonobos gray herringbone are sturdy shirts that can be casual or dressy depending on your outfit choices. (When shopping for a seasonal wardrobe, it's important to have components that are versatile so you don't end up over-buying.)

2. Next up is the sweater. A classic knit pullover will work best here, and there are plenty of patterns and knit styles to choose from. You want the sweater to fit your body type but still be stretchy or of a looser fit. I sometimes buy sweaters a size up, which works if you're on the bigger end of your size. Or, if you wear slim-fit sizes, try a sweater in a regular fit of the same size.

3. We've made it to the assembly of your outfit! First of all, your shirt needs to be as wrinkle-free as possible. (Yes, ironing your own clothes really is a useful skill to know.) If you're in a rush and don't have time to fully iron your shirt, you can throw most cotton dress shirts into the dryer for 10-15 minutes. It will eliminate the most of the wrinkles, but it won't give the shirt that true fresh-pressed look or feel. Still, it's a useful fashion cheat code. (Again, cotton shirts only. Please don't put silk in your dryer.)

4. When you put on your shirt, tuck it in but leave the top collar button and cuffs unbuttoned. This ensures you have a little give to pull at the shirt as necessary once the sweater is on. As you pull your sweater on, hold the ends of your cuffs as you slide your arms in (an old trick to keep your sleeves from riding up). Stand in from of the mirror, and just tug at your shirt underneath the sweater here and there to create clean lines on your outfit. You can button your cuffs or roll them back over the ends of the sweater sleeves. If you're planning to wear a tie, put it on now at the very end. Putting it on before the sweater just means you have one more element that you're stuck messing with.

5. The outfit may need some maintenance throughout the day, so keep an eye out. The usual problem spots are at your elbows and under-arms--just tug a bit to take care of any creases. Make sure your shirt stays tightly tucked in to prevent any bunches at your midsection.

Now that you have your neat and sophisticated fall look assembled, get out there and enjoy the weather!