As the summer draws to an end, you may struggle to find something to smile about. However, not all is doom and gloom. The beginning of a new season means one thing – the chance to update and upgrade your wardrobe.
So pack away your beloved summer essentials, and start preparing yourself for the wind and rain.
To help you tackle the miserable months ahead, I have prepared a list of five essentials which should see you safely through the coming autumn/winter season.
Once the unwanted Christmas present given to you by your aggravating great Aunt, the Fair Isle jumper is now officially ‘cool’.
This season, the homespun knitwear should be the first thing on your autumn/winter check list. Menswear moved towards a playful and altogether more extroverted direction during spring/summer, with an influx of bold colours and vibrant patterns taking centre stage. Autumn/winter looks set to continue this trend, albeit in darker hues suitable for the colder and darker nights. Fair Isle is a bold pattern which can add life to any outfit, whilst at the same time adding some intrigue and a focal point.
With Heritage still a major trend each and every year, the Fair Isle knit compliments this look very well. It gives off a country vibe, and as such looks wonderful underneath tweed/cord blazers, as well as when matched with earth tones and other outdoors inspired pieces – think fingerless gloves, thick ribbed socks, trapper hats and hiking boots.
However, you are not just limited to outdoorsy type trend looks. One of the greatest benefits of a Fair Isle knit is its versatility. You can pair it with almost anything, and wear it under or over the top of your other garments. I Like to wear mine with a dark coloured pair of chinos and vintage loafers (if wearing solo) or else underneath a simple navy blazer or quilted gilet.
There are some amazing examples on the market already this year, and you have the ability to go as bold or muted as your personality dictates. Neutral coloured knitwear will anchor an outfit, whilst a bold coloured version – or bold Fair Isle pattern detailing – will create more of a statement.
After arriving in style last year, it seems the snood is sticking around. A Marmite piece for most of the population – you either will love the snood or hate them. Some consider them to be unsightly and not as elegant as a simple scarf, whilst others love the ease of wear and versatility.
The snood is essentially a form of scarf so it is very versatile. You can pair with tailoring easily (as a snood leaves no bulky knots or lumps), or use it to finish off a simple everyday outfit with some texture and detailing. You also have the choice of going bold with your choice of snood or using it as an anchor. If utilising with tailoring or your work wear, then try a bold coloured version to add a shot of life to your monochromatic look. If you already like to wear bold coloured pieces, then why not use a neutral coloured snood that will anchor the outfit and neutralise the brashness of the colours in your top half?
In terms of styles, there are so many different colours, patterns and materials for you to choose from that it comes down to personal taste. I would recommend a snood in a plain neutral colour, as this way you can rock your new neck wear with pretty much everything in your wardrobe. The perfect throw on and go accessory.
Even though we have discussed the quilted jacket becoming a case of style overload on FashionBeans recently, it doesn’t mean that it cannot have a place in your wardrobe. Quilting really took off last year within men’s fashion, and it shows no sign of slowing down. You will be able to get hold of everything from quilted jackets, to bags, to gilets this year, and if you choose wisely then you do not have to be lumped in with the current ‘stereotypes’.
With heritage and the town and country trends rising to prominence with the turn of the seasons, quilting still has a major part to play. Quilted detailing exudes the country look, but the standard padded quilted Barbour jacket has been done to death. This year, why not look for more subtle takes on the quilting trend? Topman have been doing some excellent jersey versions of their quilted jackets, which are a lot more subtle and don’t add as much weight to your frame – giving you a much slimmer and overall smarter silhouette.
Other things to look out for would be extra detailing that will separate yourself from the masses. Try and find quilted jackets or gilets with cord or tweed detailing on the collars, pockets or elbow patches. This is the type of attention to detail you need in order to stand out and is often neglected by the rest of the male population who are picking up a quilted jacket because everyone else is wearing them right now.
Other ways in which to integrate quilting within your look could be the use of a quilted accessory such as a bag. These look great when paired with country inspired looks and gives your accessory some additional texture and detailing.
My personal favourite right now has to be a quilted gilet, which doesn’t currently have the popularity of the jacket and many males still shy away from using. If you are to pick one up then I recommend pairing it with your newly purchased Fair Isle knit.
A quintessentially English piece, the trench coat is timeless and perfect for all year round, never mind just autumn/winter. Add this stylish coat to your wardrobe, and be prepared for whatever the weather has in store.
Ben has already given you a brilliant in depth run down on how to wear your trench coat this year with his two part guide to wearing a trench in spring/summer and autumn/winter. Needless to say, the articles proved that no matter what your personal style, or how you like to dress, the trench coat is a versatile weapon you need in your sartorial arsenal.
This season, with the rise of bold colours and particularly coloured coats, the trend choice would be a statement trench in something like red, green or orange. However, my personal recommendation has to be the camel coloured trench. This coat is bold enough to make a statement, whilst being timeless and versatile at the same time. This will never go out of date and will coordinate with nearly every colour you can throw at it, come rain or shine.
As an added bonus, the trench coat is reluctant to go out of fashion. Timeless is a phrase we often mention here at FashionBeans but in the case of a trench coat it certainly rings true.
Last, but by no means least; Shearling (or sheepskin). The warm autumn/winter piece was a major hit on the catwalks last year, but now it seems like it is going to take the shops by storm as well. Not only will a shearling coat keep you warm on the chilliest of evenings, it exudes luxury and extravagance – even if you do not have to break the bank to own one.
Last year the major shearling outerwear came in the form of the leather jacket with shearling collar. Sported by pilots and the armed forces, it has that classic masculine throw back appeal, and just exudes ‘cool’. This year the shearling variety is going to be plentiful, with leather jackets, denim and wool outerwear being given the shearling treatment.
Wearing shearling is a statement in itself and you would benefit from making sure your top half is not too fussy – no scarves or other accessories taking away from the beauty of the sheepskin. However, wearing a shearling collar jacket shows you care about the details, so don’t neglect your accessories on the other parts of your body; fingerless or patterned gloves, a bold coloured thick rib sock, or simple leather bag will round off your outfit nicely and add focal points throughout your whole look. Why not try shearling lined gloves to really tie the outfit together?
So which is your favourite? Shearling leather jackets, denim jacket or other outerwear?
So there you have it, my top 5 picks for the coming autumn/winter season. Do you agree?
I would love to know in the comments below…
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