Time To Make A Change

Spring is fast approaching. I actually woke up this morning, gazed out the window and saw the sun’s rays shining through the cheap single-glazed glass.

I almost forgot what sunshine looked like but no, there it was, kissing my pasty skin with the distant memory of weekends spent in the park and alcohol-fuelled BBQs.

I quickly threw on an oversized tee, lightweight bomber jacket and an old pair of jeans and ran out the front door…

It was freezing. Sunshine or no sunshine, we’re still not in the throes of summer and my optimism at warm weather was incredibly ill-advised. I can’t have been the only one though, right?

The winter-spring season is always difficult to dress for but, as always, FashionBeans is here to help. Today we showcase seven key pieces you should consider adding to your wardrobe in the coming weeks…

1. The Worker Jacket

First pioneered by French revolutionaries and updated by the ‘new prep’ trend, the worker jacket is an excellent choice for this tricky period.

Traditionally constructed from heavyweight cotton, worker jackets are durable and hard wearing – offering protection against the season’s changeable weather conditions – while their pared-back design and lack of natural bulk means they can be dressed up or down effortlessly.

Pair with other workerwear-inspired pieces such as indigo denim, rugged boots and a flannel shirt for a masculine and relaxed weekend look or, alternatively, take the aesthetic up a notch with an Oxford cloth button-down, jumper and tailored trousers combination.

Another bonus is the variety on offer: classicists should consider traditional heritage brands like Barbour or Ben Sherman while those seeking an edge can opt for versions with contemporary features or detailing.

Bold and bright or muted and neutral, the worker jacket makes a versatile addition to any transitional season wardrobe.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Worker Jackets Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

he by mango ss14jigsaw ss14espionage aw13digel ss14he by mango aw12barbour 2013farah aw13club monaco aw12espionage ss13
Key Pieces
  • Bellfield Heritage Worker JacketBellfield Heritage Worker Jacket
  • Alpha Industries Military Workers Jacket In NavyAlpha Industries Military Workers Jacket In Navy
  • Native Youth Washed Cotton Worker BlazerNative Youth Washed Cotton Worker Blazer
  • Vetra #7 Worker JacketVetra™ #7 Worker Jacket
  • Ben Sherman Plectrum Herringbone Workwear BlousonBen Sherman Plectrum Herringbone Workwear Blouson
  • Ben Sherman Plectrum Plicato Workwear JacketBen Sherman Plectrum Plicato Workwear Jacket
  • Waxed Worker Jacket With Thinsulate®Waxed Worker Jacket With Thinsulate®
  • Ben Sherman Memory Nylon Field JacketBen Sherman Memory Nylon Field Jacket
  • Private White V.c. Garment-dyed Cotton-twill JacketPrivate White V.c. Garment-dyed Cotton-twill Jacket
2. The Sweatshirt

All of those who despise the current 1990s resurgence can simply carry on hating – it’s a trend that’s going nowhere any time soon.

With sports influences rife within the industry, the sweatshirt has quickly cemented itself as a modern wardrobe staple.

Knitted versions undoubtedly have a more luxurious, superior quality to them on all fronts – from fabric to craftsmanship to overall esteem. The epitome of ‘sports luxe’, there’s nothing quite like slipping on a good lambswool piece.

However, as soon as the sun comes out that thick, luxurious knit will quickly become a hindrance as you try in vain to maintain your cool. A lightweight cotton sweatshirt, on the other hand, is breathable yet warm and can be layered without adding bulk or ruining your clean lines.

Classic marl grey versions offer true versatility while spring-appropriate pastel shades or printed versions can help inject life into any ensemble.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Lightweight Sweatshirts Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

h&m s13river island holloway road aw13matalan ss14burton 20137 diamonds aw13boomerang ss14allsaints ss13farah ss14pull & bear heritage ss13
Key Pieces
  • Native Youth SweatshirtNative Youth Sweatshirt
  • Edwin Crew Sweatshirt College All Over Floral PrintEdwin Crew Sweatshirt College All Over Floral Print
  • Allsaints Wilde Crew SweatAllsaints Wilde Crew Sweat
  • Reiss Codey Midweight Crew Neck Jumper BlackReiss Codey Midweight Crew Neck Jumper Black
  • Orlebar Brown Dudley Loopback Cotton-jersey SweatshirtOrlebar Brown Dudley Loopback Cotton-jersey Sweatshirt
  • Reiss Codey Midweight Crew Neck Jumper RoseReiss Codey Midweight Crew Neck Jumper Rose
  • Paul Smith Loopback Cotton-jersey SweatshirtPaul Smith Loopback Cotton-jersey Sweatshirt
  • Acne Studios College Dot Printed Cotton-jersey SweatshirtAcne Studios College Dot Printed Cotton-jersey Sweatshirt
  • Billy Reid Martin Striped Cotton-blend Jersey SweatshirtBilly Reid Martin Striped Cotton-blend Jersey Sweatshirt
3. Sunglasses

I’ve always been of the firm belief that, if sunny, sunglasses are always appropriate. They are to protect your eyes and vision after all, and good eyewear makes the perfect finishing touch to any transitional look.

As menswear has progressed, levels of acceptability have liberalised: these days, it’s not uncommon to see fellow mankind don a pair of sunglasses during those bright mornings and semi-warm afternoons.

Rounded keyhole styles are the current frame du jour within the industry, slowly helping relinquish the Wayfarer’s grip on menswear, but feel free to experiment with squarer or more contemporary silhouettes if they suit your face shape.

Sure, they might not keep you warm, but a good pair of sunglasses just looks plain old awesome – and this transitional period gives us the perfect excuse to start wearing them again.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Rounded and Keyhole Style Sunglasses Inspiration Lookbook

digel ss14pal zileri ss14suitsupply ss14he by mango ss14massimo dutti may 2013h&m summer 2013cerruti 1881 paris ss13he by mango ss14massimo dutti june 2013
Key Pieces
  • Cutler And Gross D-frame Acetate SunglassesCutler And Gross D-frame Acetate Sunglasses
  • Cutler And Gross Round-frame Acetate SunglassesCutler And Gross Round-frame Acetate Sunglasses
  • Garrett Leight California Optical Oxford Round-frame SunglassesGarrett Leight California Optical Oxford Round-frame Sunglasses
  • Spitfire Round SunglassesSpitfire Round Sunglasses
  • He By Mango Metal Appliqué SunglassesHe By Mango Metal Appliqué Sunglasses
  • Ray-ban Round SunglassesRay-ban Round Sunglasses
  • Dries Van Noten Sunglasses Copper Round Sunglasses 191028Dries Van Noten Sunglasses Copper Round Sunglasses 191028
  • Linda Farrow Luxe Lfl40c7 SunglassesLinda Farrow Luxe Lfl40c7 Sunglasses
  • Cheap Monday Honey Sunglasses In TortoiseshellCheap Monday Honey Sunglasses In Tortoiseshell
4. The Cotton Twill Trouser

Offering a touch of luxury without having to make an overt statement, cotton twill trousers will help instantly upgrade your current legwear collection.

More comfortable than jeans without sacrificing warmth or protection, a slim-fitting pair will suit almost any shape or size and if you opt for a neutral colour way, can be combined with almost everything in your current wardrobe.

Whether you decide to tighten the cuff, opt for a more relaxed fit or make a statement with a summer-inspired hue, the choices on the current market really are endless and so are the price tags.

Don’t be fooled though, these aren’t the same as your average mass-market chinos – cotton twill trousers are not worn on a Friday night at Oceana and are not the sartorial thread of choice for ex-JLS members. No, these are for real dressers only and therefore considered thus.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Cotton Twill Trousers Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

ti for men ss14Massimo Dutti SS14pepe jeans ss14CALIBRE ss12farah aw13CALIBRE aw12digel ss14de fursac ss14bally aw14
Key Pieces
  • Dockers Alpha Khaki Chinos Slim Fit TwillDockers Alpha Khaki Chinos Slim Fit Twill
  • Asos Slim Chinos In Twill With BeltAsos Slim Chinos In Twill With Belt
  • Bowery Slim In Cotton TwillBowery Slim In Cotton Twill
  • J.crew Broken In Slim-fit Cotton-twill ChinosJ.crew Broken In Slim-fit Cotton-twill Chinos
  • Ted Baker Twilnew Classic Brshd Ctn Twill ChinoTed Baker Twilnew Classic Brshd Ctn Twill Chino
  • Nn.07 Simon Slim-fit Brushed Cotton-twill ChinosNn.07 Simon Slim-fit Brushed Cotton-twill Chinos
  • Hackett Kensington Twill ChinosHackett Kensington Twill Chinos
  • Band Of Outsiders Slim-fit Cotton-twill ChinosBand Of Outsiders Slim-fit Cotton-twill Chinos
  • Jaeger Islington Twill ChinosJaeger Islington Twill Chinos
5. Trainers

Coinciding with the rise of sports luxe, the humble trainer is now a firm fixture in the fashion world. Traditional styles are well received and a limited edition designer collaboration is considered gold.

Though not accepted by traditionalists, trainers are ideal for the transitional period as they provide lightweight protection and all-round comfort.

If you’ve got the funds, Lanvin, Common Projects and A.P.C produce some incredibly stylish versions that rely on minimalist design and classic dark leather/suede.

If you’re looking for a more contemporary and wallet-friendly option, nothing will ever beat iconic brands such as Nike, Adidas Originals or the recently rejuvenated New Balance.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Trainers Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

scotch & soda aw13 amsterdams blauwh&m ss13burton ss14river island aw13j crew pre fall 2013jaeger ss14digel ss14bershka august 2013farah 1920 ss14
Key Pieces
  • Nike air Max 1Nike air Max 1
  • Adidas Originals X Mita Men’s Campus 80s SneakersAdidas Originals X Mita Men’s Campus 80s Sneakers
  • New Balance 670 Suede Trainers In NavyNew Balance 670 Suede Trainers In Navy
  • Lanvin Leather And Suede SneakersLanvin Leather And Suede Sneakers
  • A.p.c. Leather Low Top SneakersA.p.c. Leather Low Top Sneakers
  • Common Projects Original Achilles Leather Low Top SneakersCommon Projects Original Achilles Leather Low Top Sneakers
  • Nike Free 4.0 V3 TrainersNike Free 4.0 V3 Trainers
  • New Balance 410 TrainersNew Balance 410 Trainers
  • Valentino Camouflage-print Leather And Suede SneakersValentino Camouflage-print Leather And Suede Sneakers
6. The Denim Shirt

2008 saw the resurgence of the denim shirt and while many predicted it would quickly fall out of fashion, this 1980s classic has proved itself to be a stalwart choice.

Ideal for layering and thick enough to wear solely over a t-shirt, it’s a great option for the transitional period thanks to its clean design and heavyweight nature – offering both warmth and protection from the elements.

We previously identified the slim-cut, mid-weight button-down as a must-own for style-conscious gents, however, in this scenario you would be better off opting for a hard wearing, workerwear-inspired style.

Lighter-coloured or stonewash options are both spring/summer-appropriate and pair well with classic indigo/black jeans, yet feel free to mix and match to your heart’s content.

The likes of ASOS and Urban Outfitters have even experimented with screen printing, embellishment and fabric panelling to further reinvent this throwback piece for SS14.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Denim Shirt Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

austin reed ss14he by mango ss14he by mango spring 2013he by mango september 2012asos aw13he by mango aw12unknownhe by mango aw12Todd Snyder ss14
Key Pieces
  • Antony Morato Denim Shirt With Anchor PrintAntony Morato Denim Shirt With Anchor Print
  • Pull&bear Denim ShirtPull&bear Denim Shirt
  • Levi’s Laser Print Denim Shirt In Dot PrintLevi’s Laser Print Denim Shirt In Dot Print
  • He By Mango Classic-fit Medium Denim ShirtHe By Mango Classic-fit Medium Denim Shirt
  • Allsaints Riverman ShirtAllsaints Riverman Shirt
  • Asos Denim Shirt In Long Sleeve With Mid WashAsos Denim Shirt In Long Sleeve With Mid Wash
  • Acne Studios Isherwood Denim ShirtAcne Studios Isherwood Denim Shirt
  • Our Legacy Washed-denim ShirtOur Legacy Washed-denim Shirt
  • Reiss Demetri Dark Denim Shirt IndigoReiss Demetri Dark Denim Shirt Indigo
7. The Beanie

No, we’re not talking about a full on bobble hat or the oversized versions that you use for skiing/snowboarding/a night out in Newcastle – this season we’re advocating lightweight, fitted beanies.

Keeping your ears and forehead warm without becoming overbearing, they’re ideal for covering up bad hair days and can finish off a look with a touch of nonchalance.

Despite retailers’ recent switch to spring/summer collections, the choice on the current market is plentiful. Bright primary colours can be used to inject life and personality into your transitional looks while a neutral, textured version can be thrown on with everything from blazers to printed t-shirts.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Lightweight Beanie Hats Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

massimo dutti november 2013allsaints aw12topmanallsaints aw12urban outfiters x dickies aw12minimum autumn 2012burton aw13river island aw13massimo dutti december 2013
Key Pieces
  • J.crew Ribbed Cashmere Beanie HatJ.crew Ribbed Cashmere Beanie Hat
  • Allsaints Palade BeanieAllsaints Palade Beanie
  • Allsaints Rivven BeanieAllsaints Rivven Beanie
  • Asos Fisherman Beanie Hat With CableAsos Fisherman Beanie Hat With Cable
  • Asos Beanie Hat With PatchAsos Beanie Hat With Patch
  • Asos Beanie Hat In 100% LambswoolAsos Beanie Hat In 100% Lambswool
  • Asos Docker BeanieAsos Docker Beanie
  • Topman Plectrum Chunky Ribbed BeanieTopman Plectrum Chunky Ribbed Beanie
  • Ben Sherman Made In Scotland BeanieBen Sherman Made In Scotland Beanie
Final Words

In future, I’ll take some of my own advice and start dressing more appropriately for the winter-spring season. It’s all about slowly phasing out those sub-zero essentials and transitioning into the Easter months flawlessly.

The pieces above offer the perfect balance of practicality and style and can be combined with your existing lightweight pieces to craft looks that will effortlessly deal with anything Mother Nature throws at you during this unpredictable period.

So, what do you think of our list? Any other key pieces you would add?

Let us know in the comments section…