The Commuter’s Guide To Style

As summer holidays draw to an end and the first signs of autumn appear, you’ll immediately notice the city streets becoming busier. But that back-to-work feeling needn’t be all doom and gloom. September is the perfect time to invest in new office attire to take on both the boardroom and your morning commute with confidence. Whether you’re hopping on a train or taking the healthier route and going by foot or bike, we’ve got your sartorial needs covered.

By Foot

Skipping a crowded bus and walking to work? We salute you, sir! Not only will this help burn off some of those weekend beers, but it’ll also save you a penny or two. That said, autumn weather is unpredictable, meaning you could arrive at the office either drenched in rain or sweat.

Return Of The Mac

When those unavoidable autumn showers kick in, you’ll definitely need to wrap up in something water-resistant for your trek to work. We’d suggest a mac or trench coat as these will not only keep you dry, but they’re also lightweight enough to stop you sweating if you need to pick up the pace for that early morning all-hands. Opt for a classic grey, navy or camel style and pair with your monochrome suiting for a traditional approach, or consider a slightly more contemporary colour such as burgundy or cobalt blue if you’d rather stand out amongst your fellow commuters.

Men's Macs/Trench Coats and Suits Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

jaeger aw13aquascutum ss15ermenegildo zegna ss15charles tyrwhittburberry black spring 2013hugo boss ss15crombie aw15windsor ss15hugo boss aw14m&s best of british aw15jaeger ss13tommy hilfiger aw14
  • Mackintosh Corduroy-trimmed Cotton RaincoatMackintosh Corduroy-trimmed Cotton Raincoat
  • Bonded Cotton Mac With StormwearBonded Cotton Mac With Stormwear
  • River Island Grey Holloway Road Lightweight Mac CoatRiver Island Grey Holloway Road Lightweight Mac Coat
  • Aquascutum Sheerwater Raincoat BlackAquascutum Sheerwater Raincoat Black
  • A.p.c. Oxford MacGap A.p.c. Oxford Mac
  • Reiss Grafton Concealed Placket Mac NavyReiss Grafton Concealed Placket Mac Navy
  • Burberry London Mid-length Cotton-gabardine Trench CoatBurberry London Mid-length Cotton-gabardine Trench Coat
  • River Island Dark Red Smart Short Trench CoatRiver Island Dark Red Smart Short Trench Coat
  • He By Mango Classic Cotton Trench CoatHe By Mango Classic Cotton Trench Coat

At First Sight

Just because winter’s on the way, it doesn’t mean we won’t still be treated to the odd sunny morning (‘odd’ being the operative word for those of us in the UK). In which case, it’ll pay to have a decent pair of sunglasses to shield against the low-sitting sun’s glare. Wayfarers and aviators are indispensable on this count; both silhouettes are timeless and transcend trends. Go for matte black or tortoiseshell frames to maintain a sense of sophistication and always check they offer 100 per cent protection from both UVA and UVB rays before you buy. And do us all a favour: make sure they come off before you step inside the office. Even if you are trying to hide the effects of last night’s client dinner.

Men's Sunglasses and Suits Lookbook

mango man autumn 2014mango man ss14suitsupply 2015austin reed aw15
  • Tom Ford Cole Aviator-style Acetate And Metal SunglassesTom Ford Cole Aviator-style Acetate And Metal Sunglasses
  • Linda Farrow Lf128 Classic Aviator SunglassesLinda Farrow Lf128 Classic Aviator Sunglasses
  • Ray-ban Tortoiseshell Acetate And Metal Aviator SunglassesRay-ban Tortoiseshell Acetate And Metal Aviator Sunglasses
  • Ray-ban Classic Wayfarer In BlackRay-ban Classic Wayfarer In Black
  • Hugo Boss Acetate Wayfarer SunglassesHugo Boss Acetate Wayfarer Sunglasses
  • Cutler And Gross 1166 SunglassesCutler And Gross 1166 Sunglasses

For Kicks

Last but definitely not least, when it comes to your walk-to-work style essentials, you’ll want to invest in comfortable footwear. Probably the most important purchase of all, we’d suggest slipping into a pair of well-crafted trainers which you can swap for your brogues or Derbies once you reach the office (unless your office is relaxed enough to let you try out the suits and sneakers trend). There are so many trainer styles out there that it can be hard to know where to start, but you can’t go wrong with a pair from New Balance. The brand’s 420 model comes in a wide range of colourways and is just as stylish as it is practical. Crafted with a suede leather upper and breathable textile panels, it’s the perfect choice for pacing the pavement. Alternatively, consider adidas’ Stan Smith or Nike‘s Air Pegasus – both of which strike that elusive balance between comfort and style.

Men's suits with Trainers - Commuting Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

tom ford aw15banana republic aw15burton aw15j.crew aw15reiss aw15Ovadia & Sons aw13mango man winter 2014Brunello Cucinelli SS16austin reed ss15
  • New Balance 420 Premium Ripstop TrainersNew Balance 420 Premium Ripstop Trainers
  • New Balance 420 Suede And Mesh TrainersNew Balance 420 Suede And Mesh Trainers
  • New Balance 420 Suede Runner Trainers In BlackNew Balance 420 Suede Runner Trainers In Black
  • Acne Studios Adrian Grain SneakerAcne Studios Adrian Grain Sneaker
  • Converse All Star Low-top Leather TrainersConverse All Star Low-top Leather Trainers
  • Saint Laurent Sl/01 Low-top TrainersSaint Laurent Sl/01 Low-top Trainers
  • Adidas Originals Stan Smith All White TrainersAdidas Originals Stan Smith All White Trainers
  • Nike Air Pegasus New Racer Trainers 705172-410Nike Air Pegasus New Racer Trainers 705172-410
  • Reiss 1971 Don Patent Leather TrainersReiss 1971 Don Patent Leather Trainers

By Bike

Another way of skipping a crowded carriage and staying fit is by cycling to work. It might not be an option for everyone, but provided you can complete the journey within an hour and have a shower at the office, it’s arguably the ideal way to commute. Here’s how to do it in style.

Stretch Your Legs

If you’re biking to the boardroom, it’s important to wear jeans or trousers with a little give. This will allow your legs to move freely as you cycle, preventing them from overheating and ensuring your seams don’t burst. Try a pair of dark straight- or slim-leg jeans with a small percentage of elastane in the mix – Levi’s Commuter Series 511 jeans and cycle brand Rapha’s pair are both ideal and made for purpose.

Levi's Commuter Series 511 JeansLevi’s Commuter Series 511 Jeans – Click To Buy

Rapha Cycle JeansRapha Cycle Jeans – Click To Buy

For those of you who can’t quite get away with something as laid-back as denim in your office, then either pack your suit trousers in your bag or swap jeans for a pair of tailored trousers that aren’t restrictively tight, or have a touch of elastane included. Topman and Burton both offer formal trousers with cycle-ready stretch, while Paul Smith has raised the standard with his newly released ‘a suit to travel in’ – not only is this style made from 100 per cent high-twist worsted wool suit (ideal for moisture-wicking), it also features a little extra room in the back of the jacket for a wider range of movement.

Paul Smith's A Suit To Travel InImage: Paul Smith’s A Suit To Travel In – Click To Buy

Got Your Back

Briefcases are impossibly awkward to carry while cycling, so it’s a good thing backpacks are as practical as they are on-trend right now. Perfect for throwing on over your shoulder as you jump on your bike, choices currently on the market range from rugged canvas designs to luxe leather options. Whatever your profession, it’s best to stick to smarter backpacks given that the silhouette itself is inherently casual. Choose a structured style with a squarish shape crafted from a hard-wearing material such as leather, coated cotton or cotton twill. In terms of colour, neutral hues like black, navy, grey work best, although you could also opt for something like chocolate brown or bottle green if it complements your existing professional wardrobe. Also worth looking out for is a leather handle so you can carry it in hand when you’re not cycling (this also allows you to avoid your suit jacket getting creased by the back straps). Most high street retailers offer genuine leather or leather look options these days, but something like a bag always offers better ROI if you bite the bullet and shell out in the first place. On that note, Master-Piece, Cambridge Satchel Company, Miansai and Sandqvist produce backpacks that combine high quality materials with simple, considered design.

If going to work by bike, a backpack is an essentialImage: Lotuff Leather Backpack

  • Miansai Harbour Canvas And Leather BackpackMiansai Harbour Canvas And Leather Backpack
  • Mismo BackpackMismo Backpack
  • River Island Grey Roll Top Satchel BackpackRiver Island Grey Roll Top Satchel Backpack
  • Reiss Giani Leather Backpack BlackReiss Giani Leather Backpack Black
  • The Expedition BackpackThe Expedition Backpack
  • Rains Backpack In BlackRains Backpack In Black

Hand In Glove

As the temperatures continue to plummet, you’ll want to ensure your hands are kept warm as you ride to work. Gloves are the obvious solution here, so make sure to add a pair to your shopping list this season. Traditional cycling gloves are fingerless to allow for a better grip on the handlebar and feature padded palms for comfort when riding longer distances, but they’re built for performance and are therefore not particularly stylish. However, there’s no reason why you have to sacrifice aesthetics for practicality. A sleek pair of driving gloves (try Dents) offers the best of both worlds, while a luxe leather pair with a cosy lining such as fleece or cashmere are more than adequate for shorter commutes and will get good use throughout winter.

Leather Gloves Are Essential for cold morning commutesImage: Mango AW14

  • Hestra Fleece-lined Grained-leather GlovesHestra Fleece-lined Grained-leather Gloves
  • Dents Delta Leather Driving GlovesDents Delta Leather Driving Gloves
  • Barbour Leather Utility GloveBarbour Leather Utility Glove
  • Paul Smith Italian Leather GlovePaul Smith Italian Leather Glove
  • Collezione Leather Gloves With ThinsulateCollezione Leather Gloves With Thinsulate
  • Austin Reed Black Premium Leather GlovesAustin Reed Black Premium Leather Gloves

By Public Transport

Alas, we’re not all lucky enough to be able to walk or cycle to work. Plus, let’s face it, even if we can, we don’t always feel like it – particularly when the weather’s acting up. Here’s how to navigate your metropolitan network in style.

Breathe Easy

Cramped bus rides and subway carriages can be a sweaty business, which is why it’s crucial to opt for pieces that allow your skin to breathe easily when needed. Lightweight cotton is perfect for this, so keep an eye out for shirts in Egyptian cotton (both M&S and Suitsupply offer a superb range) and suits in either cotton-wool blends or temperature regulating Cool Wool. When the weather turns colder but your train or bus ride is just as muggy, small changes can make all the difference: slip off your suit jacket and unbutton your shirt (your tie can wait ’til the office) – after all, nobody wants to see sweaty underarms in a meeting.

Men's Egyptian Cotton Shirts and Cool Wool Suits

M&S SAVILE ROW INSPIRED Pure Egyptian Cotton Tailored Fit Shirt - Click To BuySuitsupply Blue Egyptian Cotton Shirt - Click To BuyJaeger Cool Wool Slim Suit - Click To BuySuitsupply Hudson Navy Plain Cotton-Wool Suit - Click To Buy

Heaven Scent

While it’s unfortunately not possible to avoid all offensive body odours when commuting to work on overcrowded public transport, you can minimise your own – which is why it’s important to keep a decent deodorant in your bag at all times. A quality antiperspirant spray is ideal for this, although you might want to invest in a roll-on deodorant if you have sensitive skin or need stronger protection.

Men's Recommended Deoderants

MenScience Advanced Deodorant - Click To BuyL'Oréal Paris Men Expert Invincible Extreme Protection Deodorant - Click To Buy

A quick spray of your signature fragrance before leaving home will also overpower those unpleasant smells communing can create, and it’s not a bad idea to keep a travel atomiser full of your favourite scent with you for top-ups when needed throughout the day.

Sen7 Atomiser

Sen7 Atomiser - Click To Buy

Just go easy, you don’t want your colleagues giving you evils for causing their fits of sneezing.

Keep It Brief

Finally, we’d suggest splurging on a timeless briefcase – the bag that shows you mean business. Whether it’s a traditional boxy leather design or a contemporary soft-sided folio, you’ll be able to keep all your documents and tech accessories safe in style during your journey to the office. Black, brown and tan are classic choices while investing in a genuine leather briefcase in any other colour is – by most accounts – playing loose and fast with your funds: a quality briefcase doesn’t come cheap and buying one in bright red or stripes means you’ll be able to pair it with approximately 10 per cent of your wardrobe. It’s also a bonus if the bag features both a hand buckle and longer strap to wear over your shoulder, if desired.

Men's Modern Briefcases Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

corneliani ss15dunhill aw14Americana Manhasset AW15reiss aw14reiss aw15burberry black label aw14hugo boss aw14mango man ss15massimo dutti business lux 2015gieves and hawkes ss15suit supply 2015coach ss13

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