It’s easy to default to fail-safes when winter bites. Jackets as dark as the days are an easy wear, and understandably tempting when pushing the boat out risks a sartorial slip. But by now, the blazer-and-tie might be feeling a touch tired. However, remix your outer layer and you can add some edge to a tried-and-tested combo.

By grounding your outfit with classic pieces – a crisp, fitted white shirt and a pair of slim wool trousers, finished with a tie and lace-ups – you earn some wiggle room for the jacket. By which we mean, ditch the tailoring for something a rather more playful.

1. The Bomber

We’ll kick off with baby steps. The bomber’s military roots mean it integrates seamlessly into civvy street uniforms. Stick with a dark colour like charcoal, navy or black in plain fabrics; ideally a cotton that’s heavy enough to hold its shape. Avoid any embellishments, heavy padding or shiny materials – nylon MA1s are better paired with fatigues than a suit and tie.

It’s in the details your look is made. The zipper or buttons should blend in and pockets remain empty of anything other than your hands. Stick to minimal collar and cuffs that echo the jacket’s body and aren’t too ribbed. Obviously, logos and patches are out.

But above all else, never do it all the way up. You need to spot the shirt and tie below to tilt your look towards the formal.

Men's Shirt & Tie With Bomber JacketSuitsupply SS15

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Blue Bomber Jacket, available at Suitsupply, priced £149.

Suitsupply Blue Bomber Jacket

2. The Spread Collar Jacket

A key trend on the spring/summer 2016 runways, think of the spread collar jacket as a Harrington with a shirt-inspired collar, and you won’t go wrong. The same rules apply here as with the bomber, but the collar’s nod to formalwear will permit you to take a few more risks: try a berry or jewel tone, or a lightly textured fabric.

Again, the details are key – if combining with a shirt and tie, then you should keep your outfit sharp; treat the jacket like a piece of tailoring.

Men's Shirt & Tie With Blouson/Harrington JacketMango Man AW15

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Denim-Effect Jacket, available at Mango Man, priced £69.99.

Mango Denim-Effect Jacket

3. The Mac

The humble mac has been an office style staple for decades, but the art here is in the selection of the coat, and pairing it with the right thing. First, how not to do it: a cheap-looking, double-breasted belted cream mac, worn with skintight shiny trousers and pointy cheap shoes.

Now, how to ace it: a single-breasted mac in a grey, blue or even a dark brown, paired with a slim pair of trousers, a white/sky blue shirt and a good pair of chunky brogues. Pop the collar of the mac, and add a scarf (keep it tucked inside the coat) if necessary.

Men's Shirt & Tie With Mac/Trench CoatCrombie AW15

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Blue Showerproof Rain Mac, available at Crombie, priced £795.

Crombie Blue Showerproof Rain Mac

4. The Denim Jacket

The humble denim jacket is much more versatile than you might think. Treat it not as a jacket in its own right, but as an alternative way to layer up for wintry weather, and you’ve got yourself an extra season out of your favourite wardrobe staple.

Stick to solid black, blue or indigo washes and keep the fit snug. Layer under a gabardine raincoat for a modern take on a classic commuter look or a canvas worker jacket if you’re after a more rugged aesthetic.

Men's Shirt & Tie With Denim JacketJ.Crew AW12

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Denim Jacket In Walden Wash, available at J.Crew, priced £118.

J.Crew Denim Jacket In Walden Wash

5. The Leather Biker

This is the advanced class. Keep your tailoring slim and sharp, and ideally all-black. Chelsea boots, a narrow black tie and a crisp white shirt are ideal. The leather jacket should be the best you can afford, crafted from sharp, stiff leather with little graining.

Avoid washed or tumbled leather – the creases will detract from the Mediterranean vibe that you’re aiming for. Accessorise with a pair of wayfarers (and an actual motorbike, if you’re really going for it) for that Terminator-meets-Brando screen hero vibe.

Men's Shirt & Tie With Biker Leather JacketReiss AW15

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Spitfire Leather Biker Jacket, available at Reiss, priced £695.

Reiss Spitfire Leather Biker Jacket