There is one thing the modern, style-conscious male should never underestimate: the power of an accessory.
Whilst the majority consider accessories inferior to jackets, shirts or trousers, they are in fact one of the most important weapons in a man’s fashion arsenal. Not only can they inject any outfit with a touch of individuality, but their versatility means they can be used within a wide variety of looks, too.
Whether it’s a bold pocket square brightening up a dull-looking jacket, or a backpack to carry your daily essentials, a well developed accessory collection forms the cornerstone of any successful autumn/winter wardrobe.
With this in mind, today we pick out the key accessories all men should have on their radar for AW13 and beyond…
Once viewed as a convenient item to carry your necessary tools to and from work/college, the bag has gone on to establish itself as a key part of any capsule wardrobe.
Whilst there are many different options to choose from, this autumn/winter there are two key styles you should be considering:
1. The Document Holder
First up, a style that was an instant hit during the AW13 showcases at London Collections: MEN. The document holder (sometimes known as ‘the pouch’), as the name suggests, is not only ideal for carrying your work documents and pocket-sized essentials, but its slim silhouette makes it extremely practical.
If your day consists of endless commutes and you aren’t a fan of lugging around heavy baggage, this is the ideal companion for you.
It’s worth mentioning – due to its sophisticated and sleek nature – this type of bag is best paired with your smartest attire. A slim-fitting suit would be perfect; as would a button-down shirt, chinos and blazer combination.
When considering design, be sure to pick one that best suits your personality and style. If you like to stand out from the crowd, take a look at a printed option, such as Givenchy’s sought-after ‘Doberman’ version.
Alternatively, if you are a more reserved/refined dresser, a classic leather version, similar to those currently available at Reiss, would make a versatile and timeless choice.
- Mismo Leather-trimmed Canvas Pouch 166442
- Valextra Logo Embroidered Document Case 148641
- Reiss Shredder Small Fold-over Document Holder Dark Brown
- Gucci Detachable Chain Handle Textured-leather Pouch
- Allsaints Wyatt Document Case
- Balenciaga Creased-leather Pouch
- Allsaints Monument Case
- Comme Des Garcons Polka Dot-print Pouch
- Givenchy Doberman-print Leather-trimmed Canvas Pouch
2. The Backpack
If you are a man who carries around a lot of belongings daily, then the document holder is probably not for you. Instead, consider bag trend number two: the backpack.
No longer just for kids in the playground, this versatile and durable style of bag has developed into a practical essential for the modern gent. But, whilst the shape has remained the same for AW13, the styles have altered somewhat. This year’s must-have design comes complete with an attention-grabbing print.
Whether you choose Topman’s ‘Sprayground Bullets Deluxe’ offering or Penfield’s camo print option, the trick is to try something new and not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
However, when all is said and done, if you are not quite ready to make such a statement, keep it simple with a classic pattern, such as the muted floral pocket backpack available at ASOS.
Before you go ahead and invest in your new accessory, it is important to consider your current wardrobe. In comparison to the document holder, the printed backpack is best integrated into more casual ensembles; try dark indigo jeans, a button-down shirt, cable knit jumper and a pair of on trend hiking boots.
- Topman Sprayground Bullets Deluxe Backpack
- Mi-pac 17l Backpak In Camo Print
- Penfield Marbleton Backpack In Navy Polka Dot
- Mi-pac Plaid Backpack
- Asos Backpack With Floral Pocket
- River Island Grey Aztec Panel Rucksack
- Penfield Riverside Backpack
- Marc By Marc Jacobs Camouflage Houndstooth Padded Mesh Backpack
- Herschel Little America Backpack In Chevron Print
1. The Fitted Beanie
When it comes to head wear this winter, there are two main styles you should be looking to invest in. The first – and perhaps the season’s biggest accessory trend – is the fitted beanie.
FashionBeans icon Tinie Tempah is a major advocate of the style. The rapper often favours a brightly coloured option, which, rather fittingly, is perhaps the most popular design on offer for AW13:
In terms of styling, the world is your oyster. The hat’s slender silhouette ensures it doesn’t look out of place within smart-casual looks, whilst its relaxed nature means it will slot seamlessly into your current casual wardrobe.
If colour is not your ‘thing’, don’t worry, a neutral coloured design would work equally well. If you go down this route, consider a heritage-inspired style – cable knit and marled versions are particularly prevalent this season.
- Asos Fisherman Beanie Hat With Cable
- Slub Watchman Beanie Hat In Rust
- Asos Fisherman Beanie Hat
- Topman Navy Cable Knit Beanie
- Acne Miles Beanie Hat 163179
- Allsaints Blake Beanie
- Asos Tiny Beanie Hat 2 Pack Save 17%
- Allsaints Rugen Beanie
- Topman Green Lambswool Beanie
2. The Beret/Baker Boy Hat
If you are the kind of guy who likes to push boundaries and follow high fashion, then consider hat trend number two: the beret.
Featured heavily on the AW13 runways at London Collections: MEN, the beret is the latest accessory to try and force its way into the wardrobe of the everyday male.
For styling inspiration, look no further than the Agi & Sam and YMC showcases – both paired the accessory with a selection of thick winter tweeds and quilted gilets.
However, if this silhouette is a step too far out of your comfort zone, the classic baker boy makes a great alternative. Perhaps its best feature is its versatility; allowing the wearer to integrate it into both smart and casual looks with ease.
Try pairing yours with a chunky shawl neck cardigan, chambray shirt, selvedge dark denim and a pair of timeless brown brogues.
On The Runways
Berets on the YMC (top) and Agi & Sam (bottom) AW13 Runways
- Ymc Men’s Phaab Christy’s Beret
- Jeff Banks Designer Grey Checked Baker Boy Hat
- Christys Hats Grey Baker Boy Wool Cap
- Ben Sherman Baker Boy Hat
- Pure Wool Herringbone Baker Boy Hat
- Christys Hats Brown 8 Piece Tweed Flat Cap
- John Lewis & Co. Donegal Tweed Baker Boy Cap Grey
- Hammond & Co. Designer Navy Wool Baker Boy Cap
- Borsalino Linen Flat Cap
Whilst shoes are clearly the most important thing to put on your feet, socks can be equally significant. Injecting another texture or pop of colour via your socks helps set your look apart from the crowd – something the majority of men still fail to appreciate.
This season it is all about the thick woolly boot sock, which is usually seen peeking out of the top of worker/hiking boots. Not only do they keep your feet cosy, but their thick, textured construction will give your outfits a unique, seasonally-appropriate feel.
When considering how to style, look to combine them with clothes that share similar characteristics. For instance, a cable knit jumper and button-down shirt would be fitting for your top half, whilst on the bottom, hiking boots and selvedge denim references their rugged, outdoors appeal.
For added style points, and to fully show off your new accessory, we recommend tucking your jeans loosely into them.
- Asos 3 Pack Cable Knit Boot Socks
- Topman Black Ombre 2 Pack Boot Socks
- River Island Ecru Twist Cable Knit Boot Socks
- Asos Boot Sock
- Topman Green Black Twist Boot Socks
- Asos Boot Sock
- Topman Coral Washed Cable Boot Socks
- Urban Knit Gib Rib Boot Socks Made In England
- He By Mango 2 Pack Flecked Socks
Gloves have forever been a winter wardrobe staple. However, whilst many will favour their trusty knitted/woollen versions, this season it is all about two styles: leather and driving.
The former are the most versatile and cold-weather-appropriate, due to their thicker material/construction and ability to be paired with both smart and casual attire.
The latter, on the other hand, are generally a lot thinner, which allows for greater levels of dexterity (particularly helpful during the morning commute), but often look best in sophisticated, refined ensembles – think a well-cut suit and elegant overcoat combination.
In terms of colour, neutrals will always be a safe bet and guarantee never to fall out of style. Yet slightly bolder hues such as burgundy, olive green and camel make a refined and subtle statement that can be just what you need to stand out from the crowd.
- Topman Selected Homme Leather Gloves
- Reiss Thorman Leather Gloves Mustard
- Reiss Thorman Leather Gloves Dark Brown
- River Island Black Quilted Leather Ri Popper Gloves
- Dents Leather Driving Gloves
- Allsaints Yield Gloves
- Alfred Dunhill Perforated Leather Driving Gloves
- Dents Cashmere-lined Leather Gloves
- Merola Gloves Cashmere-lined Leather Gloves
Whilst ties have, of course, always been an essential formal accessory, this year we are seeing a change in materials.
Predictable cotton and silk designs are being replaced by heavier fabrics such as wool, cord and flannel. These rugged textures suit the season perfectly, and allow the wearer to integrate them within a range of different outfits, from smart-casual to formal.
If a dressed-down look is what you desire, opt for one of the many wool designs now available and pair it with a button-down denim shirt, dark coloured trousers, a textured tweed jacket and brogues.
For something far smarter, choose a checked flannel tie and match with a slim-cut suit and solid shirt.
- Band Of Outsiders Corduroy Tie
- J.crew Houndstooth Wool Tie
- Michael Bastian Prince Of Wales Check Wool Tie
- He By Mango Wool-blend Knit Tie
- Topman Light Blue Texture 5cm Tie
- Bespoken Contrast-tip Wool-flannel Tie
- Asos Knitted Tie
- Asos Check Tie In Dogstooth
- Asos Herringbone Check Tie
Printed Pocket Squares
Although the pocket square is nothing new, its popularity has certainly exploded over the past few years. So it comes as no surprise that brands have hundreds of options for us to choose from this AW13.
However, before deciding upon your favourite, here are some key guidelines to take into consideration:
- Don’t match the colour of your pocket square to your tie – this looks a bit too stiff.
- Instead, try and pick out a colour in the shirt or tie you are going to wear. This links your whole outfit together and shows you pay attention to the details.
- For beginners pattern mixing, make sure both the size and the pattern of your tie and pocket square are different. For example, a small polka dot print tie with a paisley pocket square.
- Topman Black Floral Pocket Square
- Beams Plus Camouflage-print Silk-twill Pocket Square
- Topman Monochrome Houndstooth Pocket Square
- Drakes Floral-print Wool And Silk-blend Pocket Square
- J.crew Double-faced Wool Pocket Square
- Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Houndstooth-print Silk Pocket Square
- Reclaimed Vintage Paisley Pocket Square
- Italian Pocket Square In Bandana Print
- Topman Gold Baroque Pocket Square
Hopefully this brief guide has given you an idea of what accessories you should be looking out for this season, and how you can use them to give an added touch of style to an otherwise ordinary outfit.
All that is left for you to do is pick your favourite and let us know what it is, in the comments section below…