5 Key Accessory Trends For AW14

As the dark evenings close in and warm summer days and lighter layers become a distant memory, our thoughts naturally begin to turn to prepping our wardrobe for winter.

Accessories come into their own during the cold-weather season – we layer up with scarves, hats and gloves to keep warm, and opt for sturdier shoes to tackle the inclement conditions underfoot.

Focusing on the pivotal role accessories play in our winter wardrobe, we pick our five favourite trends from the genre for AW14…

1. Slouchy Bags

While smart structured styles are great for the office, this season’s appetite for softer bag constructions is perfect for off-duty days and a practical choice for travel. Backpacks with sporty finishes, canvas duffles and suede holdalls are a strong feature across AW14 collections.

Military and nautical uniform has always been an influential element in menswear design, and the prevalence of the duffle bag this season is in keeping with this theme.

Spacious and easy to carry, sailor duffles are a comfortable alternative to backpacks and make a practical cabin carry on – you’ll easily be able to fit all your in-flight essentials in it, and still have space leftover for a cheeky bottle or two from duty free. Zara’s textured faux-suede design and Fred Perry’s canvas Millerain duffle are just the ticket (below).

Unless you’ve been walking around with your eyes closed for the past few years, you would have noticed that backpacks are back in a big way. A favourite of the modern on the go gent, urban cyclist and outdoor adventurer, this season sees athletic finishes, softer silhouettes and artisan treatments give a fresh face to this most functional of bag designs.

Clever details such as media pockets to protect your tech devices and technical finishes nodding to sport luxe style are just some of the features of AW14’s offering. Check out Zara, Sandqvist and Herschel for some great options.

The holdall and tote are silhouettes that never date, and make the perfect on-the-road companions. This season’s relaxed suede and canvas designs are capacious and stylish, allowing you to squeeze in all your belongings – from essential paperwork, laptops and lunch to your 24-hour wardrobe for a smart weekend getaway. Burberry, Want Les Essentials de La Vie, John Lewis and Mulberry offer a superb selection of slouchy holdalls and totes.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Suede and Canvas Bags - Backpacks, Totes, Holdalls and Duffles - Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

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Key Styles
  • Fred Perry British Millerain Duffle BackpackFred Perry British Millerain Duffle Backpack
  • Topman Premium Leather Look Duffle BagTopman Premium Leather Look Duffle Bag
  • Zara Suede BackpackZara Suede Backpack
  • Next Khaki Canvas Duffle BagNext Khaki Canvas Duffle Bag
  • He By Mango Contrast Canvas BackpackHe By Mango Contrast Canvas Backpack
  • Topman Mustard Canvas BackpackTopman Mustard Canvas Backpack
  • Sandqvist Stig BackpackSandqvist Stig Backpack
  • Herschel Little America BackpackHerschel Little America Backpack
  • He By Mango Canvas Weekend BagHe By Mango Canvas Weekend Bag
  • Sandqvist Carl Gustav Waxed HoldallSandqvist Carl Gustav Waxed Holdall
  • Allsaints Blackwater HoldallAllsaints Blackwater Holdall
  • He By Mango Nylon Tote BagHe By Mango Nylon Tote Bag
  • Saint Laurent Leather-trimmed Tartan BackpackSaint Laurent Leather-trimmed Tartan Backpack
  • Want Les Essentiels De La Vie Ohare Leather-trimmed Organic Cotton-canvas Tote BagWant Les Essentiels De La Vie Ohare Leather-trimmed Organic Cotton-canvas Tote Bag
  • John Lewis Milano Holdall NavyJohn Lewis Milano Holdall Navy
2. Structured Hats

Hats have always played a focal role in fashion throughout history, and while we no longer live in a world where leaving your house with your head uncovered is considered a social disgrace, headgear has made a comeback as a practical style statement.

This season’s appetite for traditional structured hats has seen the trilby, fedora and pork pie become the headwear of choice for the sartorially-minded.

Traditional milliners like Christys’, Olney, Borsalino and Lock & Co. have reignited interest in these vintage styles by adding fresh twists to the heritage silhouettes – incorporating features such as wider brims, bold colours and textured fabrics for a more contemporary feel.

It might not be the best look to pair a trilby with a suit and overcoat combination unless you’re bound for a 1940s party, but combined with a leather jacket, chunky knit and slim-cut denim, it can make a stylish urban statement.

Choosing a style crafted from a quality wool felt will also keep you warm during the cold winter months, while adding a suitably natty vintage slant to your look.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Structured Hats - Fedora, Trilby, Bowler and Pork Pie - Autumn/Winter Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

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Key Styles
  • Reiss Valis Felt Fedora Light GreyReiss Valis Felt Fedora Light Grey
  • Topman Brown Mini Pork Pie HatTopman Brown Mini Pork Pie Hat
  • Topman Light Grey Trilby HatTopman Light Grey Trilby Hat
  • Paul Smith Fedora HatPaul Smith Fedora Hat
  • Christys Hats Black Felt Pork Pie HatChristys Hats Black Felt Pork Pie Hat
  • Asos Wide Brim FedoraAsos Wide Brim Fedora
  • Christys Grosvenor Wide Brim Wool Fedora Hat MaroonChristys Grosvenor Wide Brim Wool Fedora Hat Maroon
  • Borsalino Alessandria Narrow-brimmed Felt Fedora 207065Borsalino Alessandria Narrow-brimmed Felt Fedora 207065
  • The Hill-side Wool FedoraThe Hill-side Wool Fedora
  • Lock & Co Hatters Voyager Rollable Felt Trilby HatLock & Co Hatters Voyager Rollable Felt Trilby Hat
  • River Island Navy Felt Pork Pie HatRiver Island Navy Felt Pork Pie Hat
  • Borsalino Alessandria Narrow-brimmed Felt Trilby 207055Borsalino Alessandria Narrow-brimmed Felt Trilby 207055
3. Oversized Scarves

Faraway lands have made their presence felt within menswear for a number of seasons now – from Middle-Eastern kelim-style motifs to bright and bold geometric prints from South America, Africa and South East Asia, the influence of indigenous cultures is hard to miss.

The oversized blanket scarf seen in a number of collections for AW14 owes its roots to this fascination with the exotic. Inspired by men’s tribal apparel of sub-Saharan African communities and traditional poncho styles from Latin America, the blanket scarf brings a statement cultural accent to this year’s accessory selection.

Leading the way this season is Burberry Prorsum with its ‘Painterly Journey’ collection, which was inspired by the British St. Ives artists of the 20th century.

High street stalwarts Topman and Zara have also got in on the act with their oversized check scarves and poncho-inspired creations. Incorporated into a well-crafted ensemble, a blanket scarf can look both masculine and individual. Try it layered over a classic navy pea coat, lean-fitting corduroys and a chunky fisherman knit on those chilly winter days.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Oversized Scarves and Mankets - Autumn/Winter Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

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Key Styles
  • Topman Red And Black Blanket ScarfTopman Red And Black Blanket Scarf
  • Topman Black And Purple Blanket ScarfTopman Black And Purple Blanket Scarf
  • Zara Zigzag Weave ScarfZara Zigzag Weave Scarf
  • Zara Camouflage PonchoZara Camouflage Poncho
  • Geometric Check Blanket ScarfGeometric Check Blanket Scarf
  • Graphic Blanket ScarfGraphic Blanket Scarf
  • Gap Exploded Plaid ScarfGap Exploded Plaid Scarf
  • Asos Blanket ScarfAsos Blanket Scarf
  • Supremebeing Aztec ScarfSupremebeing Aztec Scarf
4. Heavy Duty Boots

Frost-riddled pavements, freak snow flurries and slippery layers of leaves make a solid pair of boots an essential component of any British autumn/winter wardrobe.

The intrepid explorer trend, seen across many runways and collections this season, borrows from the practical apparel of the great explorers and mountaineers of the last century.

Hiking-inspired boots are a hero footwear silhouette for AW14, with designs from Bally, Fracap, ohw? and Bellfield ticking all the right boxes. And they’re not just for alpine pursuits – explorer style has officially conquered the city, so pair them with your casual urban attire for a considered juxtaposition.

Heritage brogue boots with thick, durable grip soles are another great option for gents who prefer a bit more of a traditional look to their footwear, and combine equally well with denim, cords or trousers.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Heavy Duty, Practical Outdoor/Hiking/Worker Boots - Autumn/Winter Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

penfield aw14 louis vuitton pre aw14 scotch & soda amsterdams blauw aw13 digel aw14 florentino aw14 peuterey aw14 he by mango fall 2014 penneys aw14 simons aw14 tesco f&f aw14 forever21 aw14 massimo dutti nyc 5th avenue aw14
Key Styles
  • Bellfield Nebraska Leather BootsBellfield Nebraska Leather Boots
  • Grenson Sharp Two-tone Boots In BrownGrenson Sharp Two-tone Boots In Brown
  • Timberland Icon Boots In Black NubuckTimberland Icon Boots In Black Nubuck
  • Aldo Ted Leather BootsAldo Ted Leather Boots
  • Dan W0293Dan W0293
  • He By Mango Leather Worker BootsHe By Mango Leather Worker Boots
  • Fracap M120 Ripple Sole Scarponcino BootFracap M120 Ripple Sole Scarponcino Boot
  • Dune Chapter Brogue Boots Black/brownDune Chapter Brogue Boots Black/brown
  • Red Wing 6-inch Moc BootsRed Wing 6-inch Moc Boots
  • Bellfield Hiking BootBellfield Hiking Boot
  • Car Shoe Leather Lace-up BootsCar Shoe Leather Lace-up Boots
  • Red Wing Shoes Beckman Leather BootsRed Wing Shoes Beckman Leather Boots
5. Luxe Leather Gloves

The time has passed when a thin pair of plain wool gloves sufficed for the cold-weather months. Traditional leather versions and contemporary twists on classic designs are a key investment to keep your fingers frost-free this winter. Opt for a fitted and streamlined pair and remember to measure your glove size accurately for the perfect fit.

Leather gloves with fur, cashmere or wool linings are ideal for those who really feel the chill. British glove maker Dents have been manufacturing since 1777 and provide a wide range of high quality styles, while London-based brand Sage Brown also offers a superb collection, including rabbit fur and silk lined gloves that are exceptionally warm and comfortable to wear.

Looking for something slightly more individual? Dual-tone driving gloves are great for adding a dash of colour to muted winter looks, while sheepskin gloves are ideal for sub-zero days and acknowledge this season’s big shearling trend.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Leather and Driving Gloves - Autumn/Winter Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

massimo dutti october 2013 realm & empire aw14 j lindeberg aw13 zara editions aw13 he by mango aw13 avva aw14 he by mango winter 2014 joop aw14 gant rugger aw13 Gieves & Hawkes aw14 drykorn aw14 florentino aw14
Key Styles
  • Royal Republiq Ground Leather GlovesRoyal Republiq Ground Leather Gloves
  • Reiss Thorman Leather Gloves BlackReiss Thorman Leather Gloves Black
  • He By Mango Openwork Leather GlovesHe By Mango Openwork Leather Gloves
  • John Lewis Lambskin Gloves BrownJohn Lewis Lambskin Gloves Brown
  • T.m.lewin Black Burgundy Driving GlovesT.m.lewin Black Burgundy Driving Gloves
  • Barbour Leather With Faux Fur Gloves BlackBarbour Leather With Faux Fur Gloves Black
  • Austin Reed Tan Knitted Cuff Leather GlovesAustin Reed Tan Knitted Cuff Leather Gloves
  • Dents Leather Driving GlovesDents Leather Driving Gloves
  • Dents Suede And Leather GlovesDents Suede And Leather Gloves
  • Collezione Leather Gloves With ThinsulateCollezione Leather Gloves With Thinsulate
  • Mens Rabbit Fur Lined GlovesMens Rabbit Fur Lined Gloves
  • Dents Tweed Back GlovesDents Tweed Back Gloves
Final Word

Whether your aim is to maintain a solid footing on the ground, combat the chill or express your individualism, accessories have quickly become an essential part of our winter wardrobe.

And these days, with such a wide variety of well designed, practical and artful creations on offer, cold-weather accessories are as much about functionality as they are making a style statement.

But what are your favourite AW14 accessories? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below…