As temperatures begin to take a tumble, it’s time to turn our attention to the wardrobe investments which will help us beat the cold in style.
Yes, the onset of the autumn/winter season may signal red noses and flaking faces ahead, but for those who have grown tired of summer’s T-shirt-and-shorts uniform, the sudden need for layering up will come as a breath of fresh air.
Here are five classic accessories you should be adding to your shopping list now to ensure that you’re well equipped for the year’s closing chapter, and the beginning of next year’s too.
It’s a no-brainer. When the weather takes a turn for the worse, a scarf is your very best friend: as autumn arrives, drape one loosely around your neck to add a flash of pattern or colour to your look and fend off the first chills of the season; but when frosty winds bite, swaddle your scarf tight for optimal warmth.
A woollen scarf is a timeless choice. On a purely functional level, it’s hard to beat the insulating advantages of a tight woollen weave, whether you plump for brushed lambswool or a more rugged fibrous style.
For those feeling a little more flush, cashmere is the obvious option. Don’t do things by halves: if you’re willing to spend that bit extra, make sure that you choose a pure cashmere weave and not a blend. Why? Because there are few things more comforting in the face of snow flurries than a barrier made exclusively from this supremely soft fibre.
Keen to flaunt some fashion cred? For autumn/winter 2015, there are three colours that should be on your radar. For the discerning gent wanting to add some levity to sober office attire, a camel scarf is an elegant choice, while those prepared to go a step bolder should add a burgundy scarf to their line-up. Alternatively, for the modern-day minimalists, light grey is unbeatably versatile, providing a point of contrast to the rest of your look that navy or black scarves rarely do.
If plain colour designs leave you feeling a little cold, consider adding a checked or patterned version to your collection. Heritage checks are fine, but we’d sooner suggest you put those across your tailoring rather than your accessories this season. For something more contemporary, try an oversized or windowpane check, abstract camo, block-stripe, or microprint style.
- Acne Studios Canada Oversized Brushed-wool Scarf
- Loro Piana Brushed-cashmere Scarf
- Thom Browne Camel Scarf
- Hugo Boss Plain Wool Scarf
- River Island Grey Knitted Scarf
- Mulberry Cashmere Scarf
- John Lewis Wool Herringbone Scarf Charcoal
- Collezione Pure Cashmere Scarf
- Merino Wool Scarf Burgundy
- Next Oversized Woven Scarf Green Check
- Valentino Garavani Camouflage Scarf
- Paul Smith Block Stripe Scarf
While women’s styles might often be decorative in purpose, your gloves should first and foremost serve as a practical shield against the elements – after all, you’re not fit for much with a pair of frost-bitten mitts. Always opt for wool and leather over synthetic fabrications and if in doubt, go for a pair lined with cashmere or fleece for extra warmth and protection.
That said, for autumn’s milder weather, a pair of chic driving gloves make an excellent choice. Made from leather, unlined, and designed to serve as a second skin, these gloves are a slick world away from the clumsily knitted mittens of your childhood. Just make sure that you keep the rest of your look smartly conservative in comparison – that means no double leather (you’re not Billy Idol); a wool overcoat will do nicely.
Want to wear leather gloves in colder weather? From buttery soft suede to smooth sheepskin, you’re spoilt for choice this season. A lined pair in black works with any look that involves a shirt (spanning from smart-casual to formal), but for those who want to add interest without the edge, tan leather is the perfect solution. Thanks to water-repelling properties, leather gloves will act as a stylish barrier between your hands and the elements (perfect for throwing snowballs, in fact).
Knitted designs may not be as ‘grown-up’ as their leather counterparts, but they’ll cost you much less and combine far better with your off-duty looks by comparison. Opt for a neutral, flecked pair for visual texture and versatility or try a fair isle or checked style for something more statement-making.
- Dents Delta Leather Driving Gloves
- Hestra Cashmere-lined Leather Gloves
- Valentino Leather Gloves
- John Lewis Leather Driving Glove Black
- Dents Leather Driving Gloves
- John Lewis Fleece Lined Leather Gloves Oxblood
- Barbour Quilted Leather Glove
- Grey Leather Gloves Haindt1 In Lambskin By Boss
- Norse Projects Alpaca Glove
- He By Mango Tab Leather Gloves
- He By Mango Knit Gloves
- Dsquared2 Checked Gloves
Your socks probably won’t play a starring role in your cold-weather accessories collection, but don’t underestimate their ability to add a much-needed flash of well-placed colour, texture or pattern as you move.
First things first, those wear-anywhere styles you’ve been sporting all summer simply won’t cut it anymore. As the mercury drops, your socks should thicken.
For off-duty days, boot socks are a snug yet stylish way to keep your toes untroubled. Luckily, as fashion retailers gradually cotton on to the need for insulating yet appealing socks, you needn’t trek to outdoors specialists anymore – ASOS, Marks & Spencer and Gap are just some of the names offering worthwhile options on the high street this season.
Go for a flecked or mélange style to add subtle points of interest to your outfit. When it comes to texture, for autumn/winter 2015, cable knit socks are still tipped to be big, while ribbed varieties offer a more familiar (yet no less on-trend) alternative.
Don’t assume that thicker socks are banned in the boardroom either. In a medium weight and a more conservative colourway (black, grey, navy etc.), a heavy gauge pair will slot seamlessly into your working wardrobe.
- Asos 3 Pack Boot Socks
- Pringle Of Scotland Boot Socks In 2 Pack Black Label
- Asos Socks In Black
- Barbour Calf Length Wellington Socks
- Anonymous Ism Cable Crew Sock
- Paul Smith Ribbed Socks
- M&s Collection New 2 Pairs Of Thermal Ribbed Socks With Wool
- Pantherella Ribbed Sea Island Cotton-blend Socks
- Topman Premium Navy Tile Socks
Chosen wisely, your winter headwear will not only fend off the worst of the season’s weather (thereby keeping your quiff intact), but also provide a natty way to round out your look. However, with so much choice – from beanies to bowlers – which type of hat should you reach for?
It may not be the first style that springs to mind but, teamed with a wool overcoat, a sleek baseball cap will nod towards menswear’s current preoccupation with upscale casualwear. That doesn’t mean dusting off your summer snapback though; this season, you’ll need to take your cap up a notch or two. Minimal wool or leather styles in black, navy, camel or charcoal work particularly well – try Whistles and A.P.C. for some stand-out designs.
Beanies will always be in demand thanks to their warmth and ease of wear. Opt for a fitted version (one too long at the back will look like a Tony Hawk throwback) and remember that stripes are OK, tacky slogans less so. Feel free to experiment with bold colour too – beanies in red, bright white, orange and cobalt can all add a pleasing clash to an otherwise understated casual look.
Finally, and for complete coverage, why not try your hand at a trapper hat? A practical, rather than aesthetic, option, avoid checked styles (one step at a time, gents…) and instead go for a plain colour lined with contrasting fur. If that’s still too tame for your liking, plump for a lightly quilted design for an added dose of texture.
- Jack & Jones Cap In Faux Leather
- Baseball Cap
- A.p.c. Wool-blend Baseball Cap
- Beams Plus Wool Cap Orange
- Textured Knit Army Beanie
- Ami Wool Beanie
- North Coast New Pure Cotton Waxed Trapper Hat
- F&f Quilted Trapper Hat With Thinsulate
- Barbour Fleece Lined Trapper Hat
Just because leaving the house without a jacket or coat is no longer an option, that doesn’t mean you should leave your sunglasses purchase until your next sunny getaway. It may not be generously beaming its rays as often, but during the colder months the low-sitting sun still manages to make a few cameo appearances, bringing glare and UV rays along with it.
A surprise hit of spring/summer 2015, coloured lenses continue to be a solid, up-to-the-minute option that cannot fail to make a statement. However, if you’re after reflective protection only, err on the side of understatement and choose a plain mirrored lens style instead.
For a more timeless alternative, a pair of black or tortoiseshell wayfarers, clubmasters or aviators will travel with you from season to season, year after year, transcending fleeting trends.
- Topman Orange Round Sunglasses
- Vans Foldable Wayfarer Sunglasses In Red
- Cutler And Gross Mirrored Aviator Sunglasses
- Topman Ray-ban Silver Metal Round Sunglasses
- Versace Aviator Sunglasses
- Hugo Boss Clubmaster Sunglasses
- Oliver Peoples Gregory Peck Acetate Round-frame Sunglasses
- Persol Po3114s Polarised Aviator Sunglasses
- Ray-ban Wayfarer Folding Acetate Sunglasses
Don’t get caught off guard. Plan ahead, shop smart and ensure that the accessories you choose will both fit seamlessly into your autumn/winter wardrobe and showcase your sartorial savvy.
After all, these outfit additions can make or break a look and will be your all-important means of protection when the weather turns.
What are your fail-safe tips for accessorising during the year’s coldest months? Will you be steering contemporary or classic?
Let us know by commenting below.