Finding inspiration to write about fall/winter trends has certainly become much easier recently. While the calendar may well say it’s still summer, the view out of my window tells a rather different story. With menacing grey clouds looming above and a wind that you would be hard pressed to describe as a gentle breeze, it’s safe to say that the segue away from summer is truly under way.
The high-street has now begun rolling out the early stages of their autumn collections and one key influence that is immediately apparent is heritage. Fashion circles have truly indulged in the British countryside this coming season, with collections inundated with tweed, corduroy, patterned knits and so forth.
The Look book below gives a brief insight into how heritage can inspire looks and individual pieces. It also demonstrates the latitude of the heritage style, which encompasses everything from tweed tailoring to chunky knits and deerstalkers. Thankfully we’ve stopped short of hunting rifles and foxhounds.
Textures and Patterns
This season is going to be all about combining a variety of textures through the use of ever important layering. In keeping with the country influence, tweed, corduroy and mohair are three of the key materials to consider this autumn/winter.
Pattern wise Fair Isle is still very much prominent for the foreseeable future and works excellently with the heritage theme. If you have already had your fair share of Fair Isle for the time being then the check is a great alternative and also much more versatile, stretching to every area of the wardrobe from trousers and blazers to coats and knitwear. You should look for smaller gingham type checks which give off a smarter appearance and is more in line with the current refined approach men’s fashion is adopting, or go the other way and be inspired by the country heritage check such as tweed patterns and even tartan.
A coat being the top layer naturally acts as a statement piece. With such responsibility placed on one garment there is no room for mistakes; a bad coat can ruin your outfit as much as a great one can define it. A coat is also a great place to start when looking to buy an investment piece. As long as proper care is followed a coat from a top designer can and will last a life time.
There is no shortage of country heritage inspired coats around and designs range from standard overcoats to duffles and of course who can forget the quintessentially British quilted jacket? Not many according to our fashion debate on style overload.
A Shearling trim is certainly worth considering if you’re looking for that investment piece as they positively stand out without garnering those question looks. As an added plus they will never really go out of fashion and are a great alternative to the ‘standard’ timeless numbers.
My personal top pick would be the duffle coat. They are not yet so common that you’re drawn into any sort of stereotypes and they come in a range of designs from cropped to full length and plus or minus a trim detail. Not to mention they will definitely keep you warm as the temperature drops.
The blazer has become somewhat of a phenomenon over recent years, working its way into practically every trend going and it definitely fits seamlessly into this one. Tweed, cord, wool and check numbers are real essentials here and when it comes to the details – well, elbow patches seem to have that covered.
The Layers – Knitwear
We all know that the key to many a great outfit is layering. Getting it spot on is by no means a fine art and the colder months are the ideal time to get the practise in without entering into the ‘more sweat than swagger’ territory.
We’ve already discussed Fair Isle and while it may be top dog, so to speak, it is not the be all and end all. In fact there is nothing wrong with moving away from patterns and opting for some plain chunky knitwear – and if your budget can stretch as far, mohair, as they are perfect for any country inspired look.
Polo necks (or turtleneck) are also making a bit of a comeback and pair very well with a tweed or check blazer. GQ went as far as dubbing them ‘the new work shirt’ for the coming season due to them looking sartorially excellent when worn under a blazer, coat or shirt.
Another way to add those layers is through a waistcoat. The waistcoat is rather underdone outside the three piece suit but this season is shaping up with some great offerings of country manor-esque equivalents.
The trousers are following a familiar pattern as blazers; tweed, cord, wool and checks are what is needed if you’re going to channel some of the countryside.
Just beware of any clashes between your top and bottom if you have gone for patterns or regal checks up top – it’s best to keep it plain and simple on the bottom and vice-a-versa.
Shoes are the most important aspect of any outfit and the classic timeless brogue is the obvious choice for a trend which has ties so close to the British.
Tucking your trousers into a pair of brogue boots with a hint of ribbed socks showing over the top is a great way of using socks as a true accessory. A pair of leather work boots also work in this look very well and offer a slightly wider silhouette on the leg than a pair of brogues would.
The final footwear choice is the good old wellington boots or as they are colloquially known, Wellies. The only real way to wear these is tucked in, the desired length is truly subjective.
Last but by no means least are accessories. The finishing touches to your ensemble are just as important as the first. Where would your tweed blazer be without a flat cap or pocket square? It just doesn’t bare thinking about!
I’ve also thrown in some winter cologne as with the seasonal change a woodier scent will fit the ambience of the fall days much better than say Calvin Klein’s CK1 Summer.
Heritage certainly looks like an exciting trend with a host of potential to experiment with especially in the way of layering various fabrics. It’s also shaping up to be rather versatile with two distinct ‘sub-trends’ available in the mould of country manor and farm field with the respective rural tailoring tendencies and rougher work wear pieces.
- What are your thoughts on the country influence?
- Are you more country manor or farm field?
- Are there any individual pieces that have really caught your eye (and wallet)?
- What items will you be investing in this autumn/winter?
- Will you be integrating Heritage into your personal style and looks?
Let us know in the comments below…