“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months” said the incomparable Oscar Wilde, and I tend to agree.
As soon as the sun finally put his hat on and made an appearance across the British Isles, barely a week passed before designers and brands alike were releasing their latest autumn/winter range. Many a sunny day was spent indoors poring over the newest clothes and accessories, when I should have been outside tanning. What am I saying, I mean burning.
Fashion can certainly be a cruel mistress in this respect, but at least you can never accuse her of being boring. We get to continually look forward to the season around the corner, redrafting and renewing lists and adding to the ‘must-own’ folder on our laptops. And that is exactly what this article is all about.
Sometimes the wealth of styles and unlimited choices on offer to us can just get too much. After all, it was Sid Mashburn himself who said “men don’t need a lot of choices, they need the right choices”. So why not kick back, relax and take a little peek at the list I’ve been drafting for the last couple of weeks (read: months).
Bear in mind this list does assume that you already own a few winter essentials: a tweed blazer, merino wool knits, heavy duty trousers (cords, moleskin, wool) and thicker shirts in fabrics like flannel or Oxford cloth.
The pieces below are what I personally intend to introduce into my current wardrobe in order to update my own look – use it as a starting point and begin to develop your very own ‘want’ list…
1. Embrace Burgundy
Sure you may have the odd shirt, chinos or jacket in this colour but why not really begin to incorporate one of the warmest and versatile colours you can wear during the winter?
I’m talking about picking up burgundy shoes, bags, chunky scarves, knitted ties and leather gloves. The list is endless with equally endless possibilities.
- Asos Cable Cardigan
- Topman Burgundy Roll Neck Jumper
- River Island Burgundy Lightweight Cable Knit Jumper
- Mcq Alexander Mcqueen Fine-knit Wool Polo Shirt
- Selected Skinny Fit Blazer
- Asos Slim Chino In Heavyweight Twill
- Knightsbridge Silk Knitted Tie
- Asos Burgundy Cable Scarf
- Reiss Borzage Patterned Formalwear Socks Burgundy
- Master-piece Potential Leather-trimmed Canvas Tote Bag
- Asos Canvas Satchel
- Grenson Fred Commando Sole Boots In Burgundy
2. A Beige Overcoat
Beige, tan, khaki, camel… whatever you want to call it, it was THE key colour for blazers and suiting last year. Whether in the form of corduroy, moleskin or good old-fashioned wool, the hue was being pushed by every blog, magazine and designer imaginable.
This season, up the stakes with a beige overcoat. Make sure it fits you in the shoulders (with room for a layer) and is cut slim in the body, especially if you decide to go double-breasted.
Pair it with shades of grey, navy and black and you can’t go wrong. A little 1990s Calvin Klein? Sure. But a quintessential menswear piece? One hundred percent.
- Austin Reed 110 Tobacco Overcoat
- Austin Reed Green Herringbone Tweed Overcoat
- Savoy Taylors Guild Exclusive Double Breasted Overcoat
- Peter Werth Penn Long Length Reefer Coat
- Camel Wool Overcoat
- Chester By Chester Barrie Covert Coat Olive
- Brioni Pure Cashmere Overcoat
- Dsquared2 Double Breasted Overcoat
- Burberry Prorsum Slim-fit Bonded Cashmere-blend Overcoat
3. Branch Out Your Tweeds
Yes, a grey tweed blazer is a great choice for the colder months, but that’s not all that’s available.
Along with being able to pick up whole suits or separate trousers, the colours and patterns the material now comes in means you’re spoilt for choice.
Play it safe but different with shades of blue or try out my personal favourite this year: a tobacco brown blazer. Wear it with an Oxford cloth shirt, a pair of dark jeans/chinos and shoes with a chunky sole for the perfect ‘evening spent bar hoping’ outfit.
- Ludlow Sportcoat In Harvest Herringbone English Wool
- River Island Rust Brown Herringbone Blazer
- Topman Premium Blue Suit Jacket
- River Island Navy Life Of Tailor Herringbone Waistcoat
- Burton Rust Slim Fit Tweed Blazer
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Herringbone
- Paul Smith London Herringbone Tweed Blazer 167870
- Topman Brown Herringbone Heritage Fit Suit Trousers
- Bellfield Tweed Trousers
4. Channel Orange
If London Collections: MEN is anything to go by, you might want to pick up something in orange – and quick.
You can go as bold or as light as you want with this trend and still achieve great effects. I’m personally more a fan of embracing trends subtly, so I’ve invested in a pair of orange socks, along with a textured pocket square and tie. But there’s nothing stopping you picking up a jumper/cardigan or even a piece of outerwear.
If you go down the statement route, make sure to keep the rest of you outfit neutral in order to allow your orange piece to do all the talking.
- Ben Sherman Knitted Polo With Long Sleeves
- Brooks Brothers Crew-neck Sweater 163350
- Reiss City Contrast Colour Roll Neck Grey
- River Island Orange Cable Stitch Jumper
- Merc Parka
- Faconnable Dean Straight-leg Cotton-blend Twill Trousers
- Reiss Cindersaur Geometric Cuboid Print Pocket Square Burnt Orange
- Herschel Little America Backpack
- Topman Orange Neon Tube Socks
- Grenson Finbar Suede Shoes
- New Balance Bi-colour Trainer
- Asos Woven Scarf
5. A Thicker Sole
A thicker sole on your footwear not only looks stylish and on trend but is also practical: it can handle the more adverse weather conditions we’re likely to experience in the colder months.
Now I’m not encouraging you to buy a completely new shoe collection – but why not consider investing in pair of black Oxfords or brown brogues with a chunkier sole? They look perfect when paired with equally heavy duty materials like denim, flannel or tweed.
- Grenson Archie Textured-leather Wingtip Brogues
- H By Hudson Callaghan Brogues In Black
- He By Mango Brogueing Suede Blucher
- Asos Chukka Boots In Leather
- Grenson Fred Commando Brogue Boots
- Acne Pedro Distressed-suede And Leather Desert Boots
- Raf Simons Men’s Classic Shoes
- J.crew Kenton Suede Derby Shoes
- Grenson Curt Lace Ups 160684
6. Turn Up The Volume
Last autumn/winter I was all about the subtle shadow plaids, especially on a three-piece suit.
This time around I’m still down with plaid tailoring, but with a little more attitude. Whether it’s a window pane, exploded plaid or Prince of Wales check, why not experiment with a slightly bolder pattern this season?
Remember to chose something with a neutral base (like navy, grey or brown) in order to allow the pattern to become the focal of your outfit. Then pair it with classic versatile pieces like a white dress shirt, black grenadine tie and burgundy dress boots.
- He By Mango Prince Of Wales Suit Blazer
- Simon Carter Herringbone Window Pane Check Blazer
- Topman Blue And Green Tartan Blazer
- River Island Green Check Blazer
- Tailored-fit Blue Plaid Cotton Blazer
- Etro Slim-fit Plaid Wool Blazer
- Gant Rugger Slim-fit Prince Of Wales Check Wool Blazer
- Austin Reed Contemporary Fit Green Rust Check Jacket
- Canali Kei Unstructured Check Wool Blazer
So there you have it, a list of items that I fully intend to add to my wardrobe this coming season.
However, this obviously has my own personal tastes and opinions written all over it – so let me hear your opinion as well. What do you have lined up for this autumn/winter? Are there any pieces you’ve been considering but aren’t sure if you should pull the trigger?
Let me know in the comments section…