Street Style Round-up: September 2012

In fashion we are ruled by cycles. The classic example is, of course, vintage style. However, the same principle applies to seasons. Recently, we’ve begun to see the collections for this autumn/winter on the high street, and the change from summer wear is marked.

With this in mind, we need to consider how to dress for the in-between times; how to create a strong transitional outfit that can cope with late summer/autumn conditions.

The expected staples of transitional wardrobes are fairly obvious: layering helps you react to conditions, more restrained colour combinations to coincide with the longer nights, and medium weight fabrics are essential.

But what else can we do? Well, I have poured through September’s street style images to find a collection of inspiring outfits and looks that would be suitable now we have moved into the early stages of autumn. Enjoy.

FashionBeans Street Style

FashionBeans Street Style September 2012

Marian Sarlos (Left)

Photo By: Street Style By Stela (http://streetstylebystela.blogspot.com/)

There is one perfect aspect of this outfit that goes far beyond transitional fashion.

The style icon on his t-shirt is perfectly evoked by the rest of the outfit (hair? Check. Black jacket? Check. White t-shirt? Check.) thereby creating an effect which is either mirroring or ironic depending on your interpretation. It’s a kind of a meta level of commentary upon his own clothes, and as a result is well beyond the majority of outfits in terms of detail and the interaction between the different components. Plus, it’s quite cheeky.

As far as transitional fashion goes, a lightweight and closely cut blazer is a great item to use at this time of year. It’s style bridges between summer and winter by using the constant theme of tailoring. Regardless of season, suits and their influence are omnipresent – so using it as an anchor is not a bad idea.

This technique is very similar to the popular trick of matching outrageous items with tailoring, and as a result using the formality and classic nature of the suit to tone down the eccentricity.

Inspired By Clothing:

  • Carhartt Skull T ShirtCarhartt Skull T Shirt
  • Farhi By Nicole Farhi Charcoal Flannel Wool Classic BlazerFarhi By Nicole Farhi Charcoal Flannel Wool Classic Blazer
  • Asos Slim ChinoAsos Slim Chino
  • Topman Bright Blue Skinny ChinosTopman Bright Blue Skinny Chinos
  • Reiss Dart Leather Reversible Belt BlackReiss Dart Leather Reversible Belt Black
  • Topman Hudson Langley ShoesTopman Hudson Langley Shoes
Damian Aslichanidis (Centre)

Photo By: Street Style By Stela (http://streetstylebystela.blogspot.com/)

The combination of a heavyweight knit and jeans is standard. What really stands out here is not, necessarily, the nature of the clothes used – it’s the way the aesthetic qualities of summer and winter are combined.

Summer favours a tight fit, a simple approach to layering and explosive colour. Winter is more inclined to a more relaxed fit, complex layering and neutrals. Here, we see how those two separate doctrines can be combined. The cardigan is a loose (almost oversized) fit, allowing its texture and weight to become a strong feature, whilst the jeans are a more summery slim fit.

Layering isn’t overplayed, instead simple pieces are put together well – however the cardigan’s size also allows for some flexibility in this respect. The palette is neutral and restrained, favouring the winter, but he creates minimal contrasts (grey/blue/white/black) to prevent the outfit becoming completely monochrome.

There are two very separate attitudes within fashion. A man who can combine them during the autumn and spring has really mastered his own personal style.

Inspired By Clothing:

  • Allsaints Oceans Oversized Crew T-shirtAllsaints Oceans Oversized Crew T-shirt
  • Topman White Skull Print Low Vee T-shirtTopman White Skull Print Low Vee T-shirt
  • Allsaints Dwell CardiganAllsaints Dwell Cardigan
  • The Elder Statesman Elephant Pattern Cashmere Smoking JacketThe Elder Statesman Elephant Pattern Cashmere Smoking Jacket
  • Levis Monochrome Grey Sky 511 Slim JeansLevis Monochrome Grey Sky 511 Slim Jeans
  • Converse All Star Ox PlimsollsConverse All Star Ox Plimsolls
Micky (Right)

Photo By: Street Style By Stela (http://streetstylebystela.blogspot.com/)

I love trench coats. As in, I really love trench coats.

Perhaps I love trench coats a bit much, because I always seem in constant danger of spending my student loan on a Burberry one (I mean, it’ll last for fifty years! It’s the perfect investment).

However, in this case, whatever your level of affinity with trench coats, we can agree it’s used perfectly. One would usually associate the trench coat with the depths of rainy winter, but this outfit shows why it is so much more.

The reason it does so, in my opinion, is that it’s used so simply. The minimalistic attitude gives the outfit some leeway, and consequently the trench coat doesn’t raise eyebrows.

It’s worth noting that every time you get dressed you weigh personal expression against social expectation. Being generally reserved means that when you make a small statement it seldom seems overbearing or self-consciously hipsterish. This is particularly true in transition, where social expectation is in a kind of limbo. You can still make the traditional expressions usually seen in high summer or high winter, you just have to place them within a conservative context.

Inspired By Clothing:

  • Topman Camel Wool Trench CoatTopman Camel Wool Trench Coat
  • Diesel Trench Coat Jathen TeflonDiesel Trench Coat Jathen Teflon
  • Burberry London Twill Trench CoatBurberry London Twill Trench Coat
  • Bottega Veneta Slim-fit Stretch-cotton Corduroy TrousersBottega Veneta Slim-fit Stretch-cotton Corduroy Trousers
  • Burberry Brit Black Squared Keyhole 4119 SunglassesBurberry Brit Black Squared Keyhole 4119 Sunglasses
  • Sperry Top-sider Boat ShoesSperry Top-sider Boat Shoes
Coggles Street Style

Coggles Street Style September 2012

Look 1 (Left)

Photo By: Coggles Street Style

I love this outfit – it might be my favourite one in this article. It isn’t wildly experimental nor daringly original, which begs the question, why is it my favourite?

Have another look. Why is this outfit ‘Street Style’? Isn’t street style usually flamboyant or forward-thinking?

Not always. Sometimes the use of extreme subtlety deserves a place alongside extreme flamboyance, as an example of how to do things in the real world.

Leading on from my last point, transition isn’t a time to go all-out. Here, a great outfit is created by two simple things. For me, those two things are the contrast between the fit of the sweatshirt (relaxed) and the trousers (skinny), and the stitching around the neck of the sweatshirt.

Very specific, I know, but look at how it’s uneven. At the front one side of the V shape continues for longer than the other. It’s depressing to consider how long it would take me to think of something that perfect. Paul Smith would be proud.

Inspired By Clothing:

  • American Apparel Drop Shoulder SweaterAmerican Apparel Drop Shoulder Sweater
  • Revolution SweatRevolution Sweat
  • Levis Monochrome 510 Skinny JeansLevis Monochrome 510 Skinny Jeans
  • Topman Peoples Market Ultra Skinny JeansTopman Peoples Market Ultra Skinny Jeans
  • Topman Starboard Tan Suede BoatshoesTopman Starboard Tan Suede Boatshoes
  • Quoddy Leather Boat ShoesQuoddy Leather Boat Shoes
Look 2 (Centre)

Photo By: Coggles Street Style

Aside from the brilliant colour of the chinos, which is unusual enough to merit a mention on its own, this whole outfit is a little bit alternative. Crocodile-pattern leather loafers, Argyle blue and orange socks, a jumper with a large badge, a shirt with an usually large collar (and facial hair which includes, glorious, mutton chops).

All of these small variations on a normal theme create a transitional outfit that is subtle and on the line between seasons. This is an example of how wearing clothes with specific, well placed detail can create a pronounced overall effect.

Coincidentally, Argyle I would consider a winter pattern, connected as it is with golf and outdoorsy things. It’s a great way to continue the patterning trend (which is still going strong) into winter without falling back on the common Christmas jumper/Fair Isle approach. The other option I would suggest would be patterned cloths, such as herringbone or houndstooth.

Inspired By Clothing:

  • Reiss Nevis Micro Pattern Shirt WhiteReiss Nevis Micro Pattern Shirt White
  • Aubin & Wills Redebrook Merino Wool V-neck SweaterAubin & Wills Redebrook Merino Wool V-neck Sweater
  • Asos Heavyweight Skinny ChinoAsos Heavyweight Skinny Chino
  • Topman Turquoise Green Skinny ChinosTopman Turquoise Green Skinny Chinos
  • American Apparel Hanover EyeglassAmerican Apparel Hanover Eyeglass
  • Ben Sherman Tassel LoafersBen Sherman Tassel Loafers
Look 3 (Right)

Photo By: Coggles Street Style

The muted colour of the patterned shirt means it’s a clear representation of summer fashion, but also adaptable as we head into autumn.

Alongside that, this is a nice example of how footwear can be the defining line between seasons. Sandals and Espadrilles are not, and never can be, winter wear. Instead, shoes like Oxfords toe the line (pun intended) between the seasons, and when in a material like suede they work perfectly in transition.

As the eternal statement says: in fashion, you get your shoes right and the rest will follow.

Inspired By Clothing:

  • Topman Green Aztec Chambray Short Sleeve ShirtTopman Green Aztec Chambray Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Asos Shirt With African Wax Inspired PrintAsos Shirt With African Wax Inspired Print
  • Vintage Surplus Braided BeltVintage Surplus Braided Belt
  • Dockers Navy Slouch Tapered TrousersDockers Navy Slouch Tapered Trousers
  • Allsaints Pipe ChinoAllsaints Pipe Chino
  • Topman Ben Sherman Quey PostmanTopman Ben Sherman Quey Postman
Conclusion

I usually find the transitional season a little boring, fashion-wise. I can’t bring out the thick jumpers, scarves and coats I would in the depths of winter, but I have to put away the shorts and pink chinos (I have a pair, and I love them, but they can only be worn on very select occasions.)

If you learn how to combine the two, however, subtly blending summer and autumn like a DJ making the switch from Carly Rae Jespsen to Knife Party, then there’s a lot of fun to be had.

  • What do you find works best in transition?
  • Do you ever pay much attention to the change in attitudes between the seasons, or do you always dress with the same approach?

Let me know in the comments section below.