NEW YORK — The subtle blend of tailored pieces with casualwear is the overriding theme of fall 2008 at J. Crew.

“The season’s all about mixing the high and the low,” said Todd Snyder, head of men’s design. “Everything is more tailored and cleaner.”

For example, the line offers English tweed jackets or gray flannel slacks worn with the company’s trademark washed chinos, dark, raw-denim jeans or Thomas Mason dress shirts. “It’s more tailored without being too stuffy,” he said. “It’s still young and cool.” Snyder said the team was inspired by the youth of London and referred to the mixed messages as “city squire.”

Among the items Snyder was most enamored with were the outerwear pieces, including a covert twill trench that reverses to a waterproof cotton. “Outerwear is very important this season and you have to have the right pieces [to complete the wardrobe],” he said. “It’s like the cherry on the cake.”