Make A Stylish Transition

With the inevitable end of summer on its way, it’s a good time to start considering the pieces that will help you stylishly transition into the autumn months.

From pea coats and macs to slightly thicker suiting and knitwear, today we’re focusing on those items you need to start slowly building the layers back up, just in time for when temperatures plummet…


Possibly the most important transitional piece a man can own, the right jacket offers a perfect balance between style and practicality. In this scenario, it’s best to opt for a mid-weight design that allows you to either wear it alone above a shirt/tee or over multiple layers when it’s extra cold.

The pea coat was recently highlighted as an essential on FashionBeans and is ideal for the in-between months. Thicker than a summer jacket but not quite as heavy as a winter coat, traditionally pea coats were crafted from 100 per cent wool to keep sailors warm on their voyages.

However, contemporary versions are available in a wealth of lighter weight materials – such as cotton, canvas and, most importantly, wool-blends – that are actually more appropriate for the unpredictable transitional months, offering warmth and protection without becoming stifling.

We’d recommend opting for one in a timeless navy shade, which will pair with anything you currently have in your wardrobe and allow you to introduce rich autumnal hues such as bottle green, burnt orange or burgundy elsewhere in your ensemble.

Yet this isn’t to say you shouldn’t consider a pea coat in a bold colour way. A vivid hue such as citric yellow or ruby red will bring this classic silhouette bang up to date while helping inject some life into your cold-weather wardrobe. Wear yours over neutral staples to maximise the effect of your outerwear, or with other block-colours to make a fashion-forward style statement.

Men's Pea Coat Transitional Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

reiss 2012el burgues aw14Gieves & Hawkes aw13drykorn aw14burton aw14he by mango november 2012he by mango aw12gloverall aw14matalan aw14primark aw13reiss aw14reiss aw13
  • He By Mango Unstructured Wool-blend JacketHe By Mango Unstructured Wool-blend Jacket
  • Topman Black Borg PeacoatTopman Black Borg Peacoat
  • River Island Smart Wool PeacoatRiver Island Smart Wool Peacoat
  • Sisley Knitted PeacoatSisley Knitted Peacoat
  • Allsaints Calton Pea CoatAllsaints Calton Pea Coat
  • Reiss Roman Wool Peacoat GreyReiss Roman Wool Peacoat Grey
  • Pea Coat With WoolPea Coat With Wool
  • Jigsaw Short Plaid PeacoatJigsaw Short Plaid Peacoat
  • Jigsaw Wool Melton Heritage PeacoatJigsaw Wool Melton Heritage Peacoat
The Single-Breasted Mac

Another great option for the transitional months is the single-breasted mac. Similar to the pea coat with its traditional British heritage, a Mackintosh is lightweight enough to add layers underneath yet offers necessary protection against end of summer/early autumn showers.

Look for one in cream, camel or grey to nail effortless elegant dressing this autumn. Slip it over your sharply-tailored suit for the morning commute or a simple jeans and t-shirt combination at the weekend. Its clean lines will bring a sharpness to any look, and it’s one of the most versatile pieces of outerwear a man can own.

A true year-round essential for any modern gent.

Men's Transitional Outerwear - The Single-Breasted Mac - Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

jaeger ss13club monaco summer 2014ti for men ss14jaeger aw13de fursac ss14ben sherman ss12reiss ss14hugo boss aw14debenhams hammond & co aw14el burgues aw13burberry black label aw14Aquascutum aw14
  • Asos MacAsos Mac
  • Burton Green Shower Resistant Mac Burton Green Shower Resistant Mac
  • Topman Charcoal Single Breasted MacTopman Charcoal Single Breasted Mac
  • Reiss Talbot Single Breasted Cotton Mac StoneReiss Talbot Single Breasted Cotton Mac Stone
  • Next Blue Single Breasted MacNext Blue Single Breasted Mac
  • Hancock Vulcanised Rubber Coated Cotton Rain Mac oliveHancock Vulcanised Rubber Coated Cotton Rain Mac olive
The Varsity Jacket

Specifically for those wanting something a little more relaxed, the varsity jacket is a lightweight silhouette that will see you transition from late summer to early autumn with effortless panache.

With vintage Americana and sports luxe trending for 2014, this preppy staple is ideal for channelling a sporty vibe as you sprint stylishly from season to season.

Traditionally the varsity jacket (also known as a baseball/letterman jacket) features a boiled wool torso, button/popper fastening, ribbed cuffs and waistband, contrast leather sleeves and a boxy fit – yet the modern industry definition isn’t so rigid.

Contemporary versions are now crafted in a wide variety of materials, which range from cotton and nylon to suede, feature zip-up fastening systems and are cut slimmer through the body. Many current iterations are also choosing to eschew bold colour combinations and chest detailing/patches in favour of an altogether more refined and minimal aesthetic.

We recommend striking somewhere down the middle by opting for a plain varsity jacket in a primary colour to brighten up your wardrobe. If you’re a man who likes to pay attention to the details, try to find one with your initial on the chest for a quirky finishing touch.

To style, throw your varsity jacket on over a denim shirt and combine with slim-fit black jeans and driving shoes when you head out with the guys on Friday night.

Men's Transitional Outerwear - The Varsity Jacket - Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

pull & bear 2013he by mango ss14Bosideng aw14Country Road aw14ti for men ss14Calliope aw14
  • Topman Selected Homme Navy Leather Varsity JacketTopman Selected Homme Navy Leather Varsity Jacket
  • Allsaints Kato Bomber JacketAllsaints Kato Bomber Jacket
  • Lacoste Live Varsity JacketLacoste Live Varsity Jacket
  • Band Of Outsiders Brushed Wool And Cotton-blend Bomber JacketBand Of Outsiders Brushed Wool And Cotton-blend Bomber Jacket
  • A.p.c. Leather And Wool-blend Bomber JacketA.p.c. Leather And Wool-blend Bomber Jacket
  • Mki Black Wool Raglan Varsity JacketMki Black Wool Raglan Varsity Jacket

Next up in our suggestions for your transitional capsule wardrobe is knitwear. We’re not talking about chunky winter-appropriate pieces that will have you breaking out in a sweat, but easy lightweight staples you can slip on underneath your jacket or wear alone above your basics.

A lightweight cardigan is a go-to piece for transitional layering. Prioritise soft cotton-blends or merino wool styles in easy-to-wear hues such as khaki or burgundy. Button yours up over a chambray shirt and wool tie for work or wear undone over a simple grey tee at the weekend.

A v-neck sweater is another style staple for the in-between months, regardless of what trends are currently being obsessed over. Purchase one in a rich autumnal colour such as burnt orange (trending for AW14) or mustard (set to be huge come SS15) to complement the season ahead, and team with dark indigo jeans or your classic charcoal suit to let your sweater really take centre stage.

Men's Transitional Knitwear - Lightweight Merino Wool or Cotton Styles - Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

he by mango aw13ovadia & sons aw14he by mango fall 2014tommy hilfiger tailored aw14he by mango aw13he by mango aw12el burguesreiss aw13m&s aw14
  • He By Mango Silk Wool-blend CardiganHe By Mango Silk Wool-blend Cardigan
  • He By Mango Contrast Elbow-patch CardiganHe By Mango Contrast Elbow-patch Cardigan
  • He By Mango Pocket-front Wool-blend CardiganHe By Mango Pocket-front Wool-blend Cardigan
  • Faconnable Fine-knit Wool V-neck SweaterFaconnable Fine-knit Wool V-neck Sweater
  • Uniqlo Men Extra Fine Merino V-neck CardiganUniqlo Men Extra Fine Merino V-neck Cardigan
  • Reiss Alto V-neck Merino Wool Jumper BordeauxReiss Alto V-neck Merino Wool Jumper Bordeaux
  • Uniqlo Men Cashmere V Neck Sweater AUniqlo Men Cashmere V Neck Sweater A
  • Reiss Walter Merino Wool Cardigan NavyReiss Walter Merino Wool Cardigan Navy
  • Incotex Zanone Garment-dyed V-neck Wool SweaterIncotex Zanone Garment-dyed V-neck Wool Sweater

As we move into the colder months of the year, it’s a good idea to start thinking about swapping your breezy linen and cotton summer suits for slightly thicker alternatives.

A great way of doing this without resorting to pure woollen construction, which will see you roasting in September, is to opt for wool-blends – whether mixed with cotton, cashmere or silk. This will subtly introduce some warmth and texture back into your work wear, without sacrificing comfort.

Wear as a full suit with similarly textured surrounding pieces (think Oxford/chambray shirts, cashmere ties and wool pocket squares) or split it into separates and combine with rugged worker wear or country-inspired garments such as denim jackets, flannel shirts and brogue boots at the weekend.

It’s also time to consider swapping your coloured and printed versions for tailoring in richer, seasonally-appropriate hues such as burnt brown, bottle green and camel. Ideal for those that work in business-casual or slightly more relaxed working environments, a suit in any of these colours would help separate your look from the rest of the work force in a refined and sophisticated way.

Men's Transitional Outerwear - The Varsity Jacket - Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

suitsupply 2013j crew aw14suitsupply 2014closed denim 2011Strellson aw13fashionbeans man october 2011luigi bianchi mantova aw14de fursac aw13burton aw14next aw14gant holiday collection 2012unknown
  • Next Green Skinny Fit Suit: JacketNext Green Skinny Fit Suit: Jacket
  • River Island Wool Blend Suit JacketRiver Island Wool Blend Suit Jacket
  • Next Grey Donegal Slim Fit Suit: JacketNext Grey Donegal Slim Fit Suit: Jacket
  • Etro Slim-fit Check Silk And Wool-blend Suit JacketEtro Slim-fit Check Silk And Wool-blend Suit Jacket
  • Reiss Spear Two Piece Suit Dark NavyReiss Spear Two Piece Suit Dark Navy
  • J. Crew Ludlow Suit Jacket In Italian WoolJ. Crew Ludlow Suit Jacket In Italian Wool
  • Ted Baker Linoutj Wool Blend SuitTed Baker Linoutj Wool Blend Suit
  • Reiss Hazzard Wool Blend Suit GreyReiss Hazzard Wool Blend Suit Grey
  • Oliver Spencer Slim-fit Houndstooth Wool And Cotton-blend SuitOliver Spencer Slim-fit Houndstooth Wool And Cotton-blend Suit
Finishing Touches

Complete your transitional autumn wardrobe by investing in the right accessories.

Regardless of what hats are in vogue, a simple beanie will keep you warm even if you’re only wearing a plain white t-shirt and jeans. This lightweight design never goes out of style and is easy to stuff into your bag when you’re on the go. Neutral and bold colour ways are both fair game for AW14 but stick to fitted versions (rather than oversized) to avoid appearing sloppy.

Finally, a light to mid-weight scarf will still get use during the transitional months, so we’d highly recommend investing in one for autumn if you haven’t already done so this spring/summer.

Whether you opt for a textured block-coloured style or a classic patterned version it will easily tuck into your pea coat or varsity jacket, adding character, warmth and a tactile element to any look.

Men's Transitional Accessories - Beanies & Scarves - Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

he by mango blacksmith & co 2014he by mango aw13allsaints aw12club monaco aw12scotch & soda AMSTERDAMS BLAUW FALL 2014burton aw14BRAX aw14primark aw14m&s aw13
  • Topman Mustard And Black Mini BeanieTopman Mustard And Black Mini Beanie
  • New Look Skull Beanie HatNew Look Skull Beanie Hat
  • Topman Charcoal Rib BeanieTopman Charcoal Rib Beanie
  • He By Mango Check ScarfHe By Mango Check Scarf
  • He By Mango Cable-knit ScarfHe By Mango Cable-knit Scarf
  • Paul Smith Polka Jaquard ScarfPaul Smith Polka Jaquard Scarf
Final Word

As much as we’d love the summer sun to remain shining all year round, let’s be realistic: it won’t. That’s why it’s so important to be sartorially equipped for those transitional months when we can experience four seasons in a day.

With this in mind, why not look to add at least one of the key pieces from each section above to your capsule wardrobe over the next few weeks? Trust us, you won’t regret it.

But now we want to hear from you – have you thought about your transitional wardrobe yet? Do you have any tips or key pieces that you would like to add to the list?

Let us know in the comments section below…