Recommended Autumn Wardrobe Additions
Once the weather starts to take a turn for the worst, it can become difficult to maintain your style standards. There are still leaves on the trees, the middle of the day is still relatively warm and public transport can still be a sticky, sweaty challenge. But there is now also unexpected rain showers, cold gusts of wind and sudden temperature drops to contend with. It can leave even the most sartorially sound man throwing his polka dot pocket square on the ground in frustration.
The obvious solution is to resort to the art of layering, which allows you to quickly add or remove garments as required. It’s a simple but effective way of combating unexpected shifts in clime, so long as you remember a couple of key rules. Firstly, always layer from thin to thick – i.e. the pieces that you layer together should get thicker and more heavyweight as you progress outwards.
Secondly, be mindful that your top layers will need to come in a fuller cut/fit. After all, a razor sharp, slim-fitting suit jacket isn’t going to look so great once it’s pulled and stretched over an Oxford cloth button down and shawl neck cardigan combination. An exploding sausage comes to mind.
Another option is to mix autumn-appropriate items with your lightweight spring/summer pieces. It could be something as simple as introducing a pair of woollen socks and tweed tie to your usual office ensemble, or switching your jeans for corduroy trousers. Even the addition of a cold-weather outerwear silhouette such as a trench coat or woollen bomber would work. There’s an art to getting the balance right, but there’s also a lot of fun to be had when mixing in certain pieces that hint at winter’s return.
With this in mind, the latest edition of our capsule wardrobe additions series should hopefully demonstrate that with a few select pieces, you can face the changing of seasons without fear. We’ll start with the items that every guy should be considering for the coming months, then move on to more trend-led garments and accessories that will help personalise your look.
Before we start, it’s important to note that we’re going to assume that you already have a good foundation to build on – i.e. a nice collection of classic, simple and versatile basics that you can rely on all year round. If not, then look no further than our Reinventing Your Wardrobe Guides.
The £300 Budget
As with most things in life, we all have to work within a budget. Of course, some budgets are bigger than others but no matter how much money you have to spend, it’s all about making sure you buy the best that you can afford while considering quality, construction and, above all else, fit.
This first bracket is a typical budget for most students or young professionals, as well as those who have other priorities that come first: rent, bills, children, Christmas etc. When confined to a modest budget such as this, it’s important to prioritise value for money.
A Pair Of Brown Corduroy Trousers
One of our alternative autumn/winter trouser picks, these are going to become the work horse of your wardrobe for the foreseeable future.
They can be dressed up or down just like your favourite pair of chinos, are incredible durable and, most importantly, will keep you warm and protected.
Brown also happens to be an extremely versatile colour and looks great paired with blue/navy, which we assume you already own plenty of.
J.Crew Vintage Cord In 770 Fit, various colours, £75 each:
Key Styles (<£85)
- Gap Tailored Cord Pant Slim Fit
- Luxury Sartorial Cotton Rich Flat Front Corduroy Trousers
- He By Mango Slim-fit 5 Pocket Corduroy Trousers
- Austin Reed Walnut Jumbo Corduroy Trousers
- Austin Reed Brown Regular Jumbo Cord Trousers
- Austin Reed Tan Regular Stretch Cord Trousers
A Navy Henley Top
This versatile top will set the foundation of any layered look. Due to it having long sleeves, it can be used as both an under or standalone top layer, and can even be worn over another tee on cold autumn mornings.
Henleys are also still extremely underused, which means that the collar/fastening will help subtly separate your outfits from the crowd while adding interest and depth to your ensembles.
H.E. By Mango Textured Henley T-Shirt, priced £25.99:
Key Styles (<£30)
- Selected Long Sleeve Henley
- American Apparel Baby Thermal Long Sleeve Henley
- United Colors Of Benetton Long Sleeve Scoop Neck Henley
- Gap Slub Thermal Henley
- Gap Solid Mini Waffle Henley
- Uniqlo Men Waffle Henley Neck Long Sleeve T-shirt
A Buffalo Plaid Shirt
You can throw it on over the Henley top for a rugged and masculine weekend look, or tuck in it, button it up and wear it with a knitted tie for smart-casual occasions.
Uniqlo Check Flannel Shirt, priced £19.90:
Key Styles (<£25)
- Asos Shirt In Long Sleeve With Brushed Buffalo Check
- New Look Long Sleeve Shirt With Buffalo Check
- Oxford Check Shirt
- Burton Red & Navy Check Shirt
- Next Red/black Check Shirt
- River Island Red Long Sleeve Check Shirt
A Neutral Shawl Neck Cardigan
If you can purchase this item in a decent weight and thickness, it will be just as good as any transitional jacket that you normally wear, if not better.
Anything with a shawl neck communicates elegance due to its formal wear connotations, and within a casual context it can really elevate a look.
Wear it from now until winter over everything you own – from the pieces mentioned above to smarter shirt and tie combinations.
J By Jasper Conran Designer brown knitted cardigan, priced £60:
Key Styles (<£75)
- Gap Lambswool Cable Knit Shawl Cardigan
- Gap Ribbed Heather Slub Shawl Cardigan
- Topman Charcoal/black Textured Shawl Cardigan
- He By Mango Cable-knit Wool-blend Cardigan
- He By Mango Cable-knit Wool Cardigan
- Blue Harbour Lambswool Blend Shawl Collar Cricket Cardigan
A Pair Of Sturdy Boots
Because as soon as the weather starts to cool, it’s boots season, people!
Prioritise high quality leather versions and invest as much as you can possibly afford. If you can pick up a traditionally-made, Goodyear-welted pair then all the better. These will last you for many more winters to come if you look after them properly.
In terms of silhouette, let your personal style guide you: sharp and refined dresser? Opt for smart brogue or dress boots. Want a casual pair you can wear on the weekend? Consider worker or hiking silhouettes. Want your look to be bang up to date? Military-inspired designs are trending for AW14.
Whichever style you prefer, they should come complete with thick, rubber soles that will keep you sure-footed once the snow and sleet begins to make an appearance.
Frank Wright Tidy Boots, priced £95:
Key Styles (<£150)
- H By Hudson Boltby Commando Boots
- Aldo Ted Leather Boots
- He By Mango Leather Worker Boots
- Fred Perry Northgate Brogue Boots In Oxblood
- Topman Ben Sherman Baxter Tan Leather Brogue Boots
- Selected Homme Leather Boots
The £500 Budget
Another couple of hundred to spend on your wardrobe additions? Perfect, now you can start to look to invest in more statement, luxury pieces.
A Neutral Roll Neck Jumper
Much like buffalo plaid, roll necks have made a huge comeback in recent years and they are trending again for AW14.
If it’s within your budget, we would recommend going for cashmere as it’s extremely insulating while being soft to the touch. You can find plenty of great options at Uniqlo for an unbelievable price, or you could even try second hand and vintage shops.
However, make sure that it is a thin gauge version so that it can be layered under your blazers for work, or even the flannel shirt and shawl neck cardigan at the weekend.
If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to cashmere, consider merino wool versions instead – they can be found at all price points on the high street.
Uniqlo Cashmere Roll Neck Sweater, various colours, priced £79.90 each:
Key Styles (<£80)
- Topman Grey Merino Blend Roll Neck Jumper
- French Connection Formal Wool Roll Neck
- He By Mango Turtleneck Wool Sweater
- Austin Reed Nick Hart Black Merino Roll Neck
- Ben Sherman Silver Cashmere Blend Roll Neck
- Uniqlo Men Extra Fine Merino Polo Neck Sweater
A Tweed Blazer
Another autumn/winter work horse.
There is absolutely nothing this jacket can’t do: it looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt, and even better when it’s combined with a dress shirt and tie.
We suggest you go for mid-grey as it’s the most versatile of colours, but navy, brown and olive are all viable options. You may even want to introduce a pattern such as windowpane or Prince of Wales check.
This blazer will look great teamed with the corduroy trousers and flannel shirt/roll neck.
Charles Tyrwhitt Grey Herringbone Yorkshire Tweed Slim-Fit Jacket, was
£380, now £150:
Key Styles (<£200)
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Harris Tweed
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Harris Tweed Fabric
- Scotch & Soda Tweed Blazer
- Joules Langworth Tweed Blazer
- Uniqlo Men Tweed Slim Fit Jacket
- Austin Reed Blue Herringbone Blazer Jacket
The £750+ Budget
But what happens if you’ve still got some excess cash left over after buying all of these items? Well, in that case there are still a few areas we’ve yet to explore.
The first would be a decent quality leather holdall. Not only is this a great, versatile year-round bag that all men should own, but it will also prove invaluable during autumn when the unpredictable weather conditions mean that we are constantly putting on and taking off layers. After all, a shawl neck cardigan doesn’t look quite as elegant when it’s tied around your waist.
High quality, practical cold-weather accessories such as cashmere scarves, woollen socks and leather gloves are another priority. You may also be interested in a winter-ready hat, which could be anything from a felt fedora or tweed flat cap all the way to a Fair Isle beanie. There is plenty of choice on the current market and your choice should be dictated by your personal style and current wardrobe.
Finally, remember to take care of yourself now that the weather is getting colder and the winds are picking up. Lip balm, a good daily moisturiser (with SPF protection) and well groomed facial hair (or maybe a moustache with ‘Movember’ around the corner) are just as essential as the clothes you wear:
- Sandqvist John Leather Holdall
- Reiss Thorman Leather Gloves Dark Brown
- Paul Smith Fedora Hat
- John Smedley Helden Knitted Cashmere And Silk-blend Scarf
- Cerruti 1881 Paris Runway Chunky-knit Wool Socks 206751
- Austin Reed Viyella Grey Harris Tweed Flat Cap
- Oliver Spencer Cable-knit Wool-blend Beanie Hat
- Lab Series Daily Moisture Defence Lotion Spf15 50ml
- Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm Tube
So there you have it, three different price points and some great items to add to your wardrobe this coming autumn.
As always, we want to hear what you all have to say – so make sure to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below…