It’s not saying goodbye to summer that we hate (we’re over being sticky). It’s not the onset of autumn that we dread, either (quite the opposite when you see the new season knits on offer). No, it’s sumtumn, or err, autmer – that awkward transitional period – that we’d rather avoid.
That inbetweener period from one season to the next can be made markedly easier, however, by stocking up on a few versatile and practical pieces slightly earlier than those less savvy.
To help you move seamlessly and stylishly through the next few weeks and months, consider investing in these 10 key new season pieces now.
Light Gauge Cardigan
One of the easiest knits to work into an existing wardrobe, a cardigan is perfect for throwing on over a T-shirt for added ballast or for buttoning up over a shirt and tie as a precursor to the return of suit jackets in the office.
For an example that will work right now, choose a lightweight version crafted from a breathable merino wool or cotton-blend to ensure you won’t overheat if we end up getting an unpredictable Indian summer.
Lumberjack-inspired shirts have held their own for years – since they were worn by, well, lumberjacks, actually.
With plaid shirts proving to be more than just a fleeting fashion trend, it makes sense to get the autumnal vibes going early. High-quality flannel versions will look effortlessly stylish teamed with a pair of raw selvedge jeans, and can be used as a makeshift jacket when the chill hasn’t quite hit.
The move from summer shorts straight into jeans can be a jarring one, so strike the sartorial middle ground with a pair of chinos in a dark shade.
Prioritise slim-fitting styles in autumnal hues such as green, burgundy and the ever-reliable navy for a pair that is fully in tune with the season (and won’t make it look like you’ve had an accident, should the heavens open).
Sweats aren’t just for the track any more, with both heritage sportswear and contemporary labels having transformed gym kit through premium fabrics, modern cuts and unique detailing.
Worn together with other off-duty staples, they constitute an ideal no-fuss wardrobe for those on the move. Equally (providing it’s cut from something premium like loopback cotton), try using a hoodie or sweatshirt to bring a relaxed edge to a shirt or tailored trousers.
For days when a coat is too much, but a sweatshirt is not enough, reach for a lightweight scarf to take the edge off the early autumn chill.
The high street has a strong selection of relaxed options in autumnal shades that can be thrown on at any moment. For now, sidestep anything thick and bulky in favour of lightweight examples that won’t make you feel too hot when you’re out and about, but will help fight that back-of-the-neck wind.
Chukka boots are rightly considered a modern wardrobe essential that every man should own. Coming into their own during the autumn months, a reassuringly sturdy pair in brown work just as well for rainy days in the city as they do an after-work date.
For a more casual lean, opt for desert boots, which feature a crepe rubber sole. Either way, choose leather uppers to withstand anything that Mother Nature throws at you – or a hefty dose of shoe protector if you’re siding with suede.
No well-curated wardrobe is without pieces that got their start on the front line. The military-inspired overshirt has made one of the biggest advances in menswear of late, and it’s easy to see why.
Usually crafted from thick cotton, recruit one that’s cut slim – so it doesn’t look baggy layered over a T-shirt now – but still roomy enough to wear over a sweatshirt when the mercury dips.
Long-Sleeved Polo Shirt
If there’s any lesson to be taken from the last few seasons in menswear, it’s that it is possible to look smart without fully suiting up.
One of the chief proponents of this has been the long sleeve polo shirt. Premium materials mean this autumn staple can smarten up chinos when worn solo, while also being suitable to slip effortlessly under a blazer.
Lightweight Rain Coat
It stands to reason that people on an island best described as ‘soggy’ would excel in the wetter half of the year, but this is not always the case. Many guys still wait until temperatures are in single digits to invest in outerwear.
A lightweight, waterproof jacket such as a mac or trench coat is always a sound investment, and significantly less cumbersome than a jumper or thicker coat to remove on the commute.
Because, well, weather. We could leave it there, but as we’re in the habit of offering advice, we won’t.
If you’re conscious of being caught looking somewhat out of place carrying a large brolly when the sun decides to shine, choose a space-saving, collapsible option that can be easily stowed in a backpack so that nothing dampens your style credentials.