As any man who advocates dressing well will know, accessories – when used correctly – are often the difference between a good look and a great look.

When the weather worsens, accessories also serve a practical function as well as their role in style, although it’s imperative the latter is never left out in the cold.

Below we’ve drawn up our definitive list of the five essential accessories – ranging from the practical to the stylish and everything between – which we think are the must-haves of the coming season. So without further delay let’s jump straight in with number one.

1) The Full Sized Umbrella

Stay dry, look good and channel Gene Kelly with this perfect gentleman’s accessory. The umbrella serves a purpose not only in the rain but also once the heavens have closed. A well-chosen piece gives off a real man about town vibe effortlessly when held at your side.

Men's Umbrella Look Book

The traditional gentleman’s umbrella looks best when your outfit is of the tailored variety and finishes off a full sartorial effort with aplomb. A plain black, wooden curved handled umbrella is a truly timeless men’s accessory and will serve you through this season and for many winters to come.

  • FULTON Huntsman walking umbrella
  • Black large pinstripe umbrella
  • BURBERRY Beat Check Inner Umbrella
  • Swaine Adeney Brigg Curved Handle Golfing Umbrella
  • Swaine Adeney Brigg Oak Handle Umbrella
How to Wear

As mentioned above a full-sized umbrella is right at home in a tailored look. A grey wool suit is perfect for winter and works great with this seasons tactile trends. Underneath you can utilise a simple white shirt and pair with a tweed tie, the texture of the tie is essential to play off the wool suit; a silk sort would look a little out of place.

Round off with some tan vibram sole brogues, a pocket square and of course your classic black full-size umbrella. Alternatively, you could opt for a gingham check shirt in place of a white one to breathe some colour into the grey of the suit.

  • Grey Gianni Herringbone Suit
  • Polo Ralph Lauren White Custom Fit Classic Poplin Shirt
  • Alexander Olch The Boris Donegal Tweed Wool Tie
  • ASOS Geo Print Pocket Square
  • Grenson Tan Brogued Archie Vibram Shoes
  • Swaine Adeney Brigg Umbrella with Contrast Lining
2) The Briefcase

It was a close toss-up between the briefcase and his nearest cousin, the document holder. The briefcase just edged it due its versatility above what many men perceive as the male ‘clutch’. First off, banish all negative thoughts of chunky box briefcases (and Will from the Inbetweeners) and let’s proceed.

This season, the briefcase has been slimmed down enough so that, if you so desire, you can clutch it under your arm or carry it via the handles. The lack of a cross-body strap means unsightly creases no longer plight your carefully crafted looks and nothing says, “I mean business” like a quality briefcase.

Men's Briefcase Look Boo

The briefcase can be carried off successfully in a variety of ways. From preppy collegiate to model professional. Jeans or suit trousers, a blazer or varsity jacket; the briefcase shouldn’t be underestimated as a jack-of-all-trades man-bag.

  • QUINDICI Large three gusset briefcase
  • QUINDICI<br /> Bar–lock expanding executive case
  • Marc by Marc Jacobs Brown Leather Soft Saddle Briefcase
  • Mulberry Elkington Leather Briefcase
  • gucci<br /> Leather document satchel
How to Wear

For our example outfit, we’re going to err on the side of preppy. A dark blue double-breasted blazer layered over a burgundy fine-knit roll neck and beige chinos pull together a classic complimentary colour combination. Loafers and burgundy socks add to the preppy feel and the chocolate brown briefcase is the perfect colour as to not offset the rest of the chosen hues.

  • maison martin margiela Roll neck jumper
  • Jil Sander Unstructured Double-Breasted Blazer
  • ASOS Heavyweight Slim Chino
  • Marc by Marc Jacobs Brown Leather Soft Saddle Briefcase
  • Polo Ralph Lauren All Over Polo Player Socks
  • Lanvin Patent Leather Tasselled Loafers
3) Leather Gloves

Taking up the number three spot on our list is leather gloves. Another gentry’s classic, this accessory works great with current trends as well as with classic timeless looks. Leather gloves, by nature, also prove more durable than a knitted equivalent. A coloured pair will serve as a great statement piece if you’re looking for something different and a bit of individuality.

Men's Leather Gloves Look Book

Leather gloves can occasionally throw up a slight conundrum when other leather pieces such as belts and shoes are worn. It’s not vital that you match your gloves to your shoes and even less so to your belt. In fact, they can break up your outfit and take away the uniformity if they aren’t of the same hue.

  • Ted Baker Leather Gloves
  • Dents Cashmere-Lined Leather Gloves
  • Forzieri Men's Cashmere Lined Brown Italian Leather Gloves
  • Vintage Surplus Leather Gloves
  • Black Leather Gloves
  • Black Knit Lined Leather Gloves
How to Wear

Leather gloves are perfect professional ‘go-tos’ but can also be used in a more playful setting. Following on from this week’s MAN series on winter colour, the look below shows how versatile leather gloves can be by placing them in a brighter situation.

A coloured peacoat is a two-for-one deal – it cashes in on two big trends this season. Layer a white shirt and red crew knit underneath and compliment the colours already present with a pair of wardrobe-essential navy trousers. Sand coloured desert boots finish it all off – choose a pair in suede for a stand out tactile.

  • Bruges L/s Shirt
  • Red Open Weave Jumper
  • E. Tautz Doeskin Wool Peacoat
  • Universal Works Navy Twill Tapered Trousers
  • Paul Smith Accessories Black Leather Vintage Multi Stripe Piped Gloves
  • Clarks OriginalsDesert boot wolf suede
4) Winter Ties

As this season’s materials turn to the thicker and more textured, it is vital your ties don’t get left behind. Wool, tweed and knitted neckwear have enough texture and thickness to keep up with the rest of your winter wardrobe.

Men's Winter Ties Look Book

Plaid ties recently made Matt Allinson’s top ten list, and for good cause too. Plaid, check and tartan work best on a textured tie. Knitted ties are also up to the task of holding up a tweed or wool suit.

  • ASOS Grey Wool Tie
  • Burgundy Knitted 4cm Tie
  • Alexander Olch The Boris Donegal Tweed Wool Tie
  • Alexander Olch The Penn Plaid Wool Tie
  • gitman bros. Check tie
  • Barbour Green Tartan Wool Slim Tie
How to Wear

A plaid tie can be utilised to great effect in both the office and in a casual setting. The look below shows just how to create an outfit straddling the smart-casual barrier.

A check shirt is the definition of the smart casual oxymoron and made a brief appearance in Will’s article on styling the style overloads. A red and white shirt paired with a grey plaid tie; the pattern is sparse and subtle enough as so to not look to busy. Tuck the shirt into a pair of beige chinos and don a navy V-neck over the top.

Depending on your preference some hiking boots or brogues are more than adequate for footwear; a gilet could easily be thrown on top for a little more casual and that extra layer to stave off the chill.

  • A.P.C. Red Straight Fit Check Shirt
  • Alexander Olch The Penn Plaid Wool Tie
  • Farhi by Nicole Farhi Grey Wool Cotton V Knit
  • Burberry Brit Down Filled Gilet
  • ASOS Heavyweight Slim Chino
  • Pointer Calum Leather Hiking Boots
5) The Patterned Scarf

Last, but by no means least, is number five and the patterned scarf. By patterned I mean anything other than block colour. Be it trusty Fair Isle, jacquard checks, dots or even blocked stripes – all will suffice to brighten up any neutral overcoat.

Pattern Scarf Look Book

There are a number of ways to pull off a patterned scarf. Firstly, familiarise yourself with the different knots with Matt’s basics guide to scarves.

The easiest way is to drape the scarf around your neck and let it hang loose. This places the scarf as the focal point and works exceptionally well with silk blend scarves as they play off the heavier material of the overcoat.

Alternatively, you could use the scarf in a more practical fashion to keep out the cold by opting for your knot of choice.

  • Spitsberg Scarf
  • Multi Coloured Stripe Scarf
  • ASOS Block Stripe Scarf
  • Fred Perry Laurel Wreath Navy Medallion And Stripe Tootal Scarf
  • Drake's Plaid Cashmere Scarf
How to Wear

For outfit inspiration we’ve gone for a standout burgundy and black leopard print scarf. Drape the scarf nonchalantly under the lapels of this grey double-breasted overcoat; leave the bottom button undone, naturally.

Underneath, pair a crisp white shirt with a navy polka-dot bowtie for a bit of urban dandy ilk. Finally, keep it simple down below with some navy suit trousers and tan shoes. Leather gloves and a full-size umbrella would be the perfect compliments to really finish off this look – no wonder they made our list!

  • White Button Down Slim Fit Shirt
  • Maison Martin Margiela Double-Breasted Wool Coat
  • Turnbull & Asser Herringbone Silk Polka Dot Bow Tie
  • Navy Tonic Skinny Suit Trousers
  • Paul Smith Accessories Burgundy Leopard Jacquard Scarf

So there it is. Our go to guide for autumn/winter essentiality. All five are great investment pieces as they will never be seen as unstylish. From one to five, they will all serve you well for years if bought wisely. What we want to know is…

  • Do you own any of the above? If so which?
  • Are there any you’d like to add to the list?
  • Or are there any you’d like to see taken away?

Let us know in the comments below.