Refresh Your Cold-Weather Style

Oscar Wilde once said fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months. And it’s starting to look like that time has come once again, with autumn/winter fast approaching.

But frustration at fashion cycles aside, this autumn/winter is definitely one to get excited about. For AW14, menswear is really placing an emphasis on how you wear your clothes and the interesting ways you can mix items together, encouraging you to experiment with your existing wardrobe.

Classic with a twist is what springs to mind. It’s a concept that has long resonated with the typical FashionBeans reader: take an item that, due to its history, carries certain connotations and then turn it on its head. Our style boosts below aim to do just that.

5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Autumn/Winter Style

Obviously, the following advice assumes that you already own an assortment of timeless basics, such as Oxford shirts, tees, chinos, jackets and shoes – if you don’t, we’d suggest checking out our two-part guide on the thirty key pieces you need to reinvent your wardrobe.

Already built a classic, simple and versatile capsule wardrobe? Here are some easy ways you can individualise your look this autumn/winter…

1. Think Outside The Layering Box

When it comes to creating outfits during the colder months, textures, layering and fabrics play a huge part, which gives you more freedom to experiment with interesting combinations of pieces.

However, it’s important you learn how to layer correctly before you begin to start bending and breaking the rules. Once you’ve mastered the basics, here are a few key pieces you can use in unconventional ways in order to give your ensemble a unique spin:

  • Denim Jacket: Everyone’s favourite spring/summer jacket can also be utilised during the colder months. Opt for a slim, fitted version and you will be able to layer it under your winter coat or even a blazer, giving you an extra layer of protection from the elements and a nice contrast of texture within your outfit.
  • Shawl Neck Cardigan: Chunky, textured versions work extremely well as make-shift jackets during autumn, especially when layered over thick denim/Oxford shirts, while fine gauge styles can be thrown under a sports coat or used as a middle layer with your suit to create a contemporary ‘three-piece’.
  • Roll Neck: A roll neck makes a superb alternative to your standard shirt and tie combination on dress-down Friday or in offices with business-casual dress codes – its extended neckline playing with the concept of silhouette when layered underneath your suit jacket. Alternatively, why not consider throwing your chunky shawl neck cardigan over the top of a fine gauge roll neck for a look full of depth and texture?
  • Gilet: A lightly padded gilet is ideal for autumn/winter and can be utilised as a middle or top layer, depending on the effect you want to achieve. For example, they look great worn over the top of a cord shirt but can also be used to add a pop of colour when slotted in-between your dress shirt and suit jacket for the morning commute.

Experiment and see what works for you.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Alternative Layering Combinations - Autumn/Winter Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

matalan aw14he by mango fall 2014zara aw13massimo dutti october 2013massimo dutti aw13massimo dutti december 2013burton aw14hugo boss aw14pepe jeans aw13he by mango aw13he by mango fall 2014river island holloway road aw14brunello cucinelli aw14reiss aw14matalan aw14
2. Get An Old School Coat

I.e. something classic, practical and masculine with a rich history, such as a duffle/toggle coat.

Closely linked to the British navy, you can easily bring this heritage style into the 21st century by opting for a bold colour such as camel, blood red, mustard or orange.Wear it with dark neutral pieces like indigo jeans, Oxford shirts and block-colour crew neck jumpers to let it really take centre stage.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for an option that can be dressed up or down, a grey, navy or brown duffle is a safe and versatile choice that will never go out of style.

Oh, and always top it off with some heavy duty boots.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Duffle Coats - Autumn/Winter Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

burberry black label aw14ovadia & sons aw13hugo boss business aw14tommy hilfiger sportswear aw14new look aw14burton aw13club monacoGloverall aw14Gloverall aw14
Key Pieces
  • Gloverall Duffle Coat In Boiled WoolGloverall Duffle Coat In Boiled Wool
  • Gloverall Duffle – Classic Coat – BrownGloverall Duffle - Classic Coat - Brown
  • French Connection Admirality Duffle CoatFrench Connection Admirality Duffle Coat
  • River Island Bright Orange Duffle CoatRiver Island Bright Orange Duffle Coat
  • River Island Teal Duffle CoatRiver Island Teal Duffle Coat
  • Kiomi Duffle Coat – Classic Coat – BlueKiomi Duffle Coat - Classic Coat - Blue
3. Invest In Some Argyle

A pattern typically associated with golf, Argyle was in, then out, and now it’s in again. And we couldn’t be happier.

Opt for a classic knitted v-neck Argyle jumper or vest with a neutral base colour such as grey and navy. But instead of wearing it like your dad/granddad would while playing his weekly eighteen holes, why not give it an edgy rock ‘n’ roll slant by combing with black denim/chinos, a navy dress shirt and black leather jacket?

Alternatively, team yours with slim-fit indigo jeans, penny loafers and a luxe varsity jacket for your own individual take on the Ivy League aesthetic.

If you’re still unsure on this heritage motif, why not try a pair of Argyle socks in a bright colour way from the likes of Happy Socks, Pringle or Paul Smith? They will slot seamlessly into your wardrobe and help inject life into any of your current go-to autumn/winter looks.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Argyle Print Clothing - Autumn/Winter Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

j crew aw14j crew aw14j crew aw14unknownasos 2014asos 2014
Key Pieces
  • Lyle & Scott 1960 Jumper With ArgyleLyle & Scott 1960 Jumper With Argyle
  • Lue Harbour Extrafine Pure Lambswool Argyle JumperLue Harbour Extrafine Pure Lambswool Argyle Jumper
  • Lyle & Scott X Jonathan Saunders Mens Argyle JumperLyle & Scott X Jonathan Saunders Mens Argyle Jumper
  • Lanvin Argyle Knitted JumperLanvin Argyle Knitted Jumper
  • Saint Laurent Argyle Mohair-blend Sleeveless SweaterSaint Laurent Argyle Mohair-blend Sleeveless Sweater
  • Austin Reed Park Lane Argyle JumperAustin Reed Park Lane Argyle Jumper
  • Happy Socks Argyle SocksHappy Socks Argyle Socks
  • Gap Argyle SocksGap Argyle Socks
  • Happy Socks Argyle Socks One Size MultiHappy Socks Argyle Socks One Size Multi
4. Check Yourself

We seem to recommend this piece every season at the moment, but if there’s one item that sums up autumn/winter 2014 perfectly, it would be the checked sports coat.

Last year was all about exploded windowpanes and plaids, yet this year we’re seeing a lot of heritage patterns like Prince of Wales check and tartan, along with slightly more retro motifs like gingham and micro checks.

Keep things neutral in colour and combine with simple pieces to let the pattern do all the talking. Try pairing yours with some heavyweight twill chinos and a merino roll neck jumper for an everyday winter look, or go full-on dandy by teaming with some burgundy cords, a navy striped dress shirt and pale blue pocket square.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Checked Sports Coats and Blazers - Autumn/Winter Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

m&s best of british aw14de fursac aw14new look aw14j lindebergbarneys new york 2013lbm 1911 aw14pal zileri aw14reiss aw14m&s aw14
Key Pieces
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In TartanAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Tartan
  • He By Mango Prince Of Wales Suit BlazerHe By Mango Prince Of Wales Suit Blazer
  • Topman Blackwatch Skinny Fit BlazerTopman Blackwatch Skinny Fit Blazer
  • Sisley Slim Fit Suit Jacket In CheckSisley Slim Fit Suit Jacket In Check
  • He By Mango Prince Of Wales Wool-blend Suit BlazerHe By Mango Prince Of Wales Wool-blend Suit Blazer
  • Michael Bastian Slim-fit Prince Of Wales Check Wool BlazerMichael Bastian Slim-fit Prince Of Wales Check Wool Blazer
  • River Island Dark Blue Tartan BlazerRiver Island Dark Blue Tartan Blazer
  • Etro Slim-fit Check Wool BlazerEtro Slim-fit Check Wool Blazer
  • Marc By Marc Jacobs Check Silk And Wool-blend Suit JacketMarc By Marc Jacobs Check Silk And Wool-blend Suit Jacket
5. A Winter Fabric Trouser

Spring/summer was all about staying as cool as possible by opting for lightweight, breathable fabrics that encourage airflow and circulation. During autumn/winter, on the other hand, we should be prioritising durable, heavyweight fabrics that will keep us warm and protected from the elements.

Heavyweight legwear deserves its place within any style-conscious gent’s cold-weather wardrobe. As you should already own a pair of selvedge jeans, think flannel/tweed trousers, cotton twill chinos or pinwale corduroys. All are great options that will only get better with age.

In terms of what to wear them with, how about brown tweed trousers with a white t-shirt and denim trucker jacket? Or a beige moleskin pair with a grey sweatshirt and shearing bomber jacket? Or olive corduroys with a long-sleeved knitted polo and tweed blazer?

Keep the fabrics similar in texture and weight and you’ll be able to create a plethora of seasonally-appropriate looks that are both practical and full of character.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Heavyweight Trousers - Autumn/Winter Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

he by mango september 2013ovadia & sons aw13suitsupply aw13burton aw14he by mango aw12topman aw14m&s best of british aw14debenhams hammond & co aw14lab pal zileri aw14
Key Pieces
  • River Island Suit Trousers In Wool BlendRiver Island Suit Trousers In Wool Blend
  • He By Mango Prince Of Wales Suit TrousersHe By Mango Prince Of Wales Suit Trousers
  • Asos Slim Fit Suit Trousers In HerringboneAsos Slim Fit Suit Trousers In Herringbone
  • Incotex Slim-fit Garment-dyed Corduroy TrousersIncotex Slim-fit Garment-dyed Corduroy Trousers
  • Ted Baker Foretro Wool TrousersTed Baker Foretro Wool Trousers
  • River Island Dark Grey Herringbone Casual TrousersRiver Island Dark Grey Herringbone Casual Trousers
  • Maison Martin Margiela Slim-fit Moleskin TrousersMaison Martin Margiela Slim-fit Moleskin Trousers
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Hudson Slim-fit Corduroy TrousersPolo Ralph Lauren Hudson Slim-fit Corduroy Trousers
  • Reiss Charles T Modern Tailored Trousers GreyReiss Charles T Modern Tailored Trousers Grey
Final Word

So there you have it, a few tips, concepts and key pieces to invest in that will instantly boost your autumn/winter style this year.

As previously mentioned, this season is all about wearing classic pieces in a fresh new way, and hopefully some of the examples provided today will spark your imagination into life.

But now we want to hear what you guys have to say, so let us know how you will be upgrading your personal style during the colder months in the comments section below…