As winter slowly forces its way in to our lives again (R.I.P British Summertime), there comes a time in every sartorially-inclined man’s life that they dread – sorting through their winter wardrobe. I tend to find this event follows three distinct steps: Nostalgia, Bargaining and Letting Go.
Nostalgia: After packing away all of your summer clothes – shorts, madras shirts and linen blazers – you start digging through the place that you stored your cold weather clothing… and it’s nowhere near as bad as you thought it would be!
You find that roll neck jumper that you loved so much last year. And there’s that navy Fair Isle cardigan that you picked up in the sale, specifically to wear this year.
There are even the old classics that you forget about but, once reunited, it’s like you were never apart. I’m talking flannel plaid shirts, wool ties and corduroy trousers. You begin to remember why you loved this season so much in the first place (um, layering people) and start to forget about the awesome but sweaty times you had with summer.
But then comes bargaining.
Bargaining: Ah yes, the awkward middle step. What happens next is you start trying items on. And it turns out your body shape has changed, again. You knew you shouldn’t have read all of those new fitness articles on FashionBeans and now your body, formerly known as a medium, is simply the symbol ‘L’.
Bad times. This means your roll neck jumper, Fair Isle cardigan and other trusty winter pieces just don’t fit as well as they used to. Some have even got mysterious holes in them, whilst others just plain smell funny.
But you had such good times together. I’m sure they can still work, even though both your body and your tastes have changed in the year just gone, right? Right? RIGHT!?
Letting Go: Wrong. Now that they’ve all been moved back into the wardrobe and sit next to your year-round pieces, you’re starting to realise that too much time has passed. Trends have changed and tastes have developed.
Unfortunately, you’re just different people from who you were when you first met in that overheated and overcrowded store. It’s time to face facts and just let go.
If you don’t like something in your wardrobe, the chances of you wearing it are slim to none. They might as well go to a place where they will be worn and appreciated. Because if you love something, you should let them go. To the charity shop. Or eBay. Or wherever. Basically, just get rid of them.
But it’s not all bad news. After you’ve had a good cry about the loss, you can start thinking about all the new experiences you can have with different, new and exciting clothes. And the great thing about AW13 is that it is easier than ever to boost your style with little thought and little trauma to your wallet.
5 Easy Ways To Boost Your AW13 Style
1. Strap On Your Boots
You know for a fact that with winter on the horizon, rain, sleet and snow can’t be far behind. With that in mind, pick up some footwear that can handle anything Mother Nature throws at it.
Not all boots were born the same, so make sure you pick up a pair that will suit your own personal style. If you enjoy wearing tailored pieces, get a boot that will reflect that and can be worn with your suits. If you tend to lean more towards the casual end of the spectrum, pick up a rough and ready version.
Either way, wear the hell out them and watch them become your go-to shoe throughout the colder months of the year.
- He By Mango Lace-up Leather Ankle Boots
- Grenson Sharp Leather Brogue Boots
- Oliver Sweeney Monzuno Burgundy
- Topman Cream Hiking Boots
- Oliver Sweeney Tenzing Brown Hiking Boot
- Car Shoe Leather Hiking Boots
- River Island Navy Contrast Panel Worker Boots
- Red Wing 6-inch Moc Boots
- Red Wing® For J.crew Beckman Boots
- H By Hudson Glover Engineer Boots
- River Island Brown Distressed Strap Biker Boots
- Allsaints Mass Boot
2. Upgrade Your Wool
Sure, merino wool is a wardrobe staple, but it tends to only come in an extra fine weave in most stores. This is great for when you want a layer between your shirt and your blazer/suit jacket, but what about all the other times?
Invest in a couple of neutral, well fitted jumpers and cardigans in more substantial wools such as lamb or cashmere to add a new element of layering to your look. Wear them over rugged shirts in flannel/denim with jeans, or by themselves with chinos and a casual jacket – you can’t go wrong.
If they made FashionBeans‘ most recent Hot List, you know they come highly recommended.
- Reiss Herald Crew Neck Cashmere Jumper Aubergine
- Topman Green Lambs Wool Crew Neck Jumper
- Libertine Libertine Cashmere Jumper
- Reiss Harp Cashmere V-neck Jumper Soft Grey
- Slowear Zanone Crew Neck Lambswool Sweater
- J.crew V-neck Cashmere Sweater
- He By Mango V-neck Cashmere Sweater
- Massimo Alba Quebec Rollneck Cashmere Sweater
- Allsaints Elba Cashmere Cardigan
- Uniqlo Men Lambswool Blend V Neck Cardigan
- Topman V-neck Cashmere Sweater
- Asos Lambswool Rich Shawl Neck Cardigan
3. Add Some Texture – Part 1
A navy blazer is a menswear essential. But a tweed blazer is an autumn/winter essential. This season, branch away from the traditional grey tweed jacket and try one in a royal blue, tobacco brown or olive green. Maybe even invest in a pattern like an exploded plaid, windowpane or Prince of Wales check.
Or perhaps shun a jacket entirely and opt for a tweed waistcoat instead – they look great over the top of Oxford shirts and with raw selvedge jeans.
Finally, if tweed isn’t your thing, look into a pinwale corduroy jacket in a buttery soft tan that pairs well with navy chinos and a chambray dress shirt.
- Uniqlo Men Tweed Jacket+
- Beams Plus Slim-fit Harris Tweed Blazer
- Farah Vintage Blazer In Tweed – Exclusive
- Richard James Hyde Slim-fit Harris Tweed Blazer
- Topman Premium Blue Suit Jacket
- River Island Green Check Blazer
- Austin Reed Contemporary Fit Olive Navy Check Jacket
- Austin Reed Viyella Brown Blue Rust Overcheck Jacket
- Boglioli Coat Slim-fit Unstructured Corduroy Blazer
- Billy Reid Jonathan Slim-fit Corduroy Blazer
- Tailored-fit Green Cord Blazer
- Williams & Brown Soft Needle Cord Blazer
4. Add Some Texture – Part 2
Let’s not forget your bottom half. Tweed, corduroy and heavy duty wool trousers are all viable options for October through to March, and can really add some depth and character to your looks.
Keep it simple with neutral colours such as navy, grey and brown or go slightly bolder and opt for more saturated hues like burgundy, forest green and mustard.
For further reading on this subject, make sure you check out these relevant articles: Transitional Season Essentials – The Heavyweight Trouser and AW13 Coloured Trousers Guide.
- Farah Vintage Terence Wool Trousers In Navy
- Farah Vintage Trousers In Tweed – Exclusive
- Shades Of Grey By Micah Cohen Donegal Trousers
- Topman Premium Grey Herringbone Suit Trousers
- Burberry Brit Slim-fit Corduroy Trousers
- Brooks Brothers 5 Pocket Corduroy Trousers 163398
- Reiss Belgravia T Oxford Weave Trousers Rose
- Ami Slim-fit Wool Trousers
- Amiflat Front Corduroy Trousers 172172
- Native Youth Cord Trousers
- Marni Flat Front Wool Trousers 162892
- Boglioli Garment-dyed Corduroy Trousers
5. Don’t Forget Your Accessories
This really is the simplest way to upgrade your autumn/winter style. You’d be surprised how much a perfectly chosen hat, scarf or pair of gloves can lift a look.
It terms of what accessories to buy, it comes down to personal preference, but my best advice would be to try on as many items as you can before settling on one.
Key picks for this season are beanies that fit close to your skull with a roll at the lip, big oversized wool scarves in a winter pattern, brown leather gloves and a neutral but substantial umbrella (none of this turning inside out in the wind nonsense).
- Allsaints Blake Beanie
- Asos Beanie In 100% British Wool
- Slub Watchman Beanie Hat In Rust
- Allsaints Bergner Scarf
- He By Mango Knitted Muffler
- Plaid Scarf In Navy
- River Island Leather Gloves
- He By Mango Wool-blend Lining Leather Gloves
- Mulberry Cashmere-lined Leather Gloves
- London Undercover City Gent Defence Umbrella
- Brooks Brothers Wooden-handle Umbrella
- London Undercover City Gent Braided Umbrella
So there you have it. I know moving on can be tough but, you know, out with the old and in with new. And, as you can see, there are plenty more fish in the sartorial sea.
But as always, I want to hear from you guys. What are your plans for boosting your autumn/winter style this year? Is there anything simple I forgot to mention? What would you do differently?
Let me know in the comments section…