In spring, we said it was “once bitten, twice shy” when it comes to statement pieces, and we weren’t lying. But despite coming a cropper of the shorts suit once or twice, and summer now nothing but a distant memory, we’ve hurled ourselves headlong into the autumn/winter months with the kind of dogged enthusiasm they require.
Your cold-weather looks should already be hitting their groove now that we’re well into November. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement: it’s time to take your style to the next level.
1. Coloured Outerwear
While throwing on something that looks like a modified duvet definitely satisfies on occasion, the foul weather shouldn’t dampen your style. If you’re the kind of bloke that’s unafraid of sporting bold hues during the summer, there’s no reason to keep it greyscale once the weather turns.
Bright-coloured outerwear cannot fail to turn heads. From burgundy to bottle green, cobalt to petrol blue, adding a touch of chromatic excitement to your winter wardrobe pays dividends if done correctly – just remember brights should be contained, so surround them with neutrals.
British label Albam are offering a few mid-length hooded smocks in sanded cotton this season, including a track-stopping raspberry colourway. That one is our favourite, but because you’re literally in a bright red jacket, you’ll want to pare-down the rest of your look: in this case, think winter-ready dark grey flannels and mélange trousers with leather footwear.
- Fat Moose Patrol Parka With Faux Sherpa Lining
- Topman Rains Blue Jacket
- Allsaints Reeve Shearling Biker Jacket
- River Island Blue Bellfield Faux Fur Parka Winter Coat
- Zara Quilted Parka
- Topman Rust Wool Blend Overcoat
- Carhartt Anchorage Parka Coat
- Several Lorne Slim-fit Wool-blend Coat
- Stutterheim Stockholm Yellow Rubberised Raincoat
- Hancock Vulcanised Rubber Coated Cotton Rain Mac
- Burberry London Winchester Heritage Cashmere Coat
- Albam Hooded Smock
2. Graphic Crew Neck Jumper
There was a time in the not so distant past when graphics (large-scale zigzag patterns, geometrics, cartoon characters) were confined to little more than tees. Emphasis, in menswear, was on classic styling and graphics – by their very nature – aren’t exactly wallflower subtle. Now, though, all’s change.
It’s probably a good time to explain that when we say ‘graphic jumpers’ we don’t mean ‘graphic sweatshirts’ – we mean proper knitted jumpers. Like in Richard Curtis films, only, you know, cool. None of these are cooler than the crew necks in Valentino’s AW15 collection. Inspired by the art-deco styles of Australian artist Esther Stewart, the brand’s sweaters offer a bold take on 1970s knitted pullovers. Contrasting colours and striking geometry really elevate this piece above your standard BBC Springwatch fare.
Try a style like this (or this if you – like us – don’t have a grand to spare at this time of year) with some muted tailored trousers in grey or black and a pair of minimal leather sneakers for a clean take on colour-clash.
Also worth a look is an extra special item from adidas and A Kind Of Guise’s recent collaboration: an exceptionally fine-knit sweatshirt-style jumper in off-white (not unlike marshmallow bananas) with a debossed leaf print that’s just the right side of weird.
- Asos Jumper With Zig Zag Stripe
- Uniqlo Men Lambswool Crew Neck Sweater
- Selected Homme Triangle Crew Knit Jumper
- River Island Dark Grey Ombre Jumper
- River Island Black Geometric Jumper
- River Island Cream Jack & Jones Vintage Knitted Jumper
- Reiss Church Printed Lightweight Jumper Bordeaux
- Adidas Oak Leaf Crew Neck X Akog
- Valentino Diamond-woven Cashmere-knit Sweater
- Kolor Knitted Wool Sweater
- Maison Kitsune Fox-intarsia Striped Wool Sweater
- Christopher Raeburn Shark-intarsia Wool Sweater
3. Velvet Blazer
An autumn/winter fixture (owing to its party season suitability), the velvet blazer is admittedly the toughest item to wear on this list, but pulling it off will not only supercharge your formal ‘fits, it’ll make James Bond want to be mates with you. Probably.
Get it right and the world is your oyster but, as with most statement pieces, you get what you pay for. Nothing quite kills the Christmas party vibe like a cheap velvet jacket. Luckily, if you pick the right design (and treat it with the respect it deserves), you’ll only need to purchase one in your lifetime.
If you find yourself flush with cash this pre-Christmas period, then you can’t go wrong with Haider Ackermann’s exquisite, Italian-made, overlap-fastening velvet jacket. It’s beautiful but does cost the price of a 51 plate Fiat Punto.
On the slightly more affordable side is the work of Suitsupply – a fraction of the cost and still an absolutely top-notch way to shake up a plain suit.
- Ps Paul Smith Velvet Blazer
- Etro Velvet Blazer
- Ted Baker Velveto Velvet Jacket Navy
- Reiss Magnum Velvet Blazer Grey
- Haider Ackermann Petrol Velvet Blazer
- Burberry London Dark-purple Slim-fit Velvet Blazer
- Richard James Seishin Velvet Blazer
- Topman Noose And Monkey Green Velvet Blazer
- Autograph New Pure Cotton Slim Fit Buttonsafe 2 Button Velvet Jacket
- River Island Brown Velvet Slim Fit Blazer
- Zara Velvet Blazer
- Suitsupply Dinner Jacket Blue Plain
4. Wide-leg Trousers
The perfect antidote to the skinny-jean beast Hedi Slimane unleashed a decade ago, wide-leg fits will – with any luck – have a similarly successful (re)run in the near future.
Championed by century-old houses like Lanvin and E. Tautz as well as new-school shakers like Craig Green, the wide-leg is ridiculously comfortable and its broader cuff means you have way more options when it comes to footwear.
Ever tried to rock skinnies and boots? It’s not so much punk as toothpick into a steak. Anyway, perfect with boots or hi-top trainers (both very necessary for the season), a wide-leg trouser or jean works like a charm with low-tops, too.
Either find yourself a pair that breaks right at the line of your trainer or roll them up a few inches for a different, slightly more Japanese-inspired aesthetic.
- Asos Wide Leg Smart Trousers In Wool Mix
- Topman Black Wide Leg Crop Jeans
- Our Legacy Wide-leg Wool-hopsack Trousers
- Levis Vintage Clothing 1920s Balloons Jeans
- Valentino Wide Leg Trousers
- Balenciaga Wide-leg Wool-flannel Trousers
- J. Crew E. Tautz Field Trouser
- River Island Navy Wool-blend Jogger Trousers
- Chimala Wide-leg Denim Jeans
- Joseph Jumbo Pinstripe Bradford Trouser
- Uniqlo Men Loose Fit Tapered Jeans
- Paul Smith Jeans Tapered Washed-out Jean
5. Shearling- (Or Faux Fur-) Trimmed Outerwear
Still going strong some seventy years after the trend first hit, the shearling jacket is a statement staple that’s still criminally underused. That’s likely to do with the fact that real, high quality shearling-lined jackets often cost upwards of a grand. Of course, if you have an end of year bonus burning a hole in your pocket, free to invest in Burberry’s shearling-lined flight jacket or Reiss’ new Premium leather biker and watch eyes turn green everywhere you go.
For the rest of us on a more modest budget, a borg or faux fur collar makes just as much of an impression, bringing a welcome shot of texture to your cold-weather getups while also protecting your neck from winter’s bite.
In terms of styling, don’t overthink it: a faux fur-collared coat will bring a sense of understated luxury to any suit you have in your rotation, while a borg-collared bomber will toughen up your off-duty looks; team with heavyweight denim and a pair of rugged boots and away you go.
Maison Kitsuné and J.Crew both offer a great selection of faux shearling-lined jackets, while River Island have produced some superb detachable (key if you want to use this piece year-round) fur-collared bombers for AW15 that look a lot more expensive than they are.
- Private White V.c. Shearling Collar Pea Coat
- River Island Ecru Wool-blend Faux-fursmart Peacoat
- Paul Smith London Suede And Shearling Coat
- Bleu De Paname Double Counter Jacket
- Topman Charcoal Wool Rich Overcoat With Detachable Faux Fur Collar
- Gosha Rubchinskiy Wool Collar Jacket
- Reiss Maverick Faux Fur Collar Coat
- River Island Navy Faux-fur Collar Harrington Jacket
- Reiss Renoir Shearling Aviator Jacket Black
- Maison Kitsune Faux Shearling-trimmed Corduroy Jacket
- J.crew Wallace & Barnes Faux Shearling-trimmed Wool Bomber Jacket
- Burberry Prorsum Shearling-trimmed Leather And Wool-blend Bomber Jacket
6. Checked Trousers
When you think about statement trousers, images of posh boys in mustard corduroys or bright red chinos probably spring to mind, but that’s not all there is to these.
Checked trousers offer up loads of chance for expression and variety, allowing you to sway between subtle (small-scale gingham and houndstooth) and standout (madras and windowpane motifs) with ease. Working well across skinny- and slim-fits, they’ll make a welcome addition to your wardrobe.
Our pick would be the work of Milanese fashion house Etro, which has garnered real industry clout due to its signature paisley patterns and high-quality materials. The brand’s narrow-cut wool-blend trousers, in a green, blue, and grey check, have a real sense of occasion and craft. Not only that but they can be totally dressed down: a simple grey sweatshirt and minimalist trainers will look superb with a pair of these.
- Asos Skinny Suit Trousers In Tartan Check
- Devils Advocate Black Watch Green Check Trousers
- Ted Baker Checked Wool Trousers
- Ps Paul Smith Checked Slim Trousers
- E. Tautz Prince Of Wales Check Trousers
- Msgm Checked Trousers
- Suitsupply Blue Trousers
- Hardy Amies Brinsley Fit Check Trousers
- Reiss Stryker T Tonal Check Trousers Navy
- Etro Slim-fit Checked Wool-blend Trousers
- Missoni Slim-fit Checked Wool-blend Boucle Trousers
- River Island Navy Vito Check Trousers
It’s about being brave out there, guys. You can’t play it safe your whole life. A few choice pieces of standout clothing can really set you apart from the rest, and the best bit is you’ll know others will be too scared to touch them, which means you won’t have to worry about too many people biting your style.
Oh, one thing to remember: probably best to just keep it to one statement piece per outfit, yeah? You’ll come off a bit Willy Wonka otherwise.
How are you making your style standout this season? Will you be adding any of the above to your wardrobe?
Let us know in the comments section.