The New Neutral

Sitting somewhere between versatile neutral and statement colour, burgundy has come to populate many wardrobes since its first reference in the English language in 1881.

Most commonly associated with wine from the French region of the same name, burgundy was – historically – worn for formal events in Victorian Britain, with gentlemen often donning deep red morning coats for outings at the break of day or in the early afternoon. Fastened by a single button and cut with a high waistline, these jackets epitomised elegance.

Fast-forward to 2015 and the hue is not only a formal favourite, but a key casual wardrobe colour as well. The autumn/winter 2014 runways were awash with burgundy, with models seen in everything from sporty parkas and knitted scarves to loose-fitting two-piece suits.

On The Runway

Keeping things smart, Hermès added warmth and depth to dark ensembles with plush boxy leather holdalls in burgundy. Similarly, Italian brand Berluti gave plain black and dark brown outfits a welcome injection of colour, setting them off with burgundy scarves and aviator-style bomber jackets complete with velvet collars.

Elsewhere, Kris Van Assche dared to raise eyebrows among classicists by swapping black – formal wear’s traditional colour – for a high shine shade of wine. At the other end of the spectrum, John Galliano put a new spin on sportswear-inspired styles, with models dressed in glossy oversized parkas and knee-skimming hooded tops in burgundy and navy.

Lanvin’s Lucas Ossendrijver and Alber Elbaz opted to reinvent the business wardrobe by contrasting blue pinstripe tailoring with zig-zag patterned burgundy knits, while Paul Smith threaded a pale, washed out burgundy shade throughout his rock-inspired collection.

But the hue wasn’t just confined to the runways. Possibly influenced by what he’d seen elsewhere during fashion month, Will Smith drew deserved attention to himself in head-to-toe burgundy, sitting alongside Victoria’s Secret Angel Karlie Kloss and Dior chief executive Sidney Toledano on the front row at Dior. The A-list actor gave his fitted trousers and V-neck jumper an effortlessly cool edge by teaming them with chunky hi-tops:

Berluti burberry Prorsum hermes John Galliano Kris Van Assche Lanvin Louis Vuitton Paul Smith will smith

On The Street

Burgundy has quickly become a go-to for street style’s elite – proof that this colour is not just fit for the catwalk.

Draping a bright scarf around the structured shoulders of luxurious camel coats and mottled blazers, photographer and fashion illustrator Louis-Nicholas Darbon reinforces how a carefully placed accessory can truly transform an outfit. Other Instagram favourites following suit include Bilal Güçlü with his burgundy socks and Daniele Zaccone – ‘The Italian Flair’ to his admirers – who likes to utilise textured ties and pocket squares.

Similarly, inspirational German law student Justus Hansen and mysterious Persian Instagrammer R3zap3rz have been stepping out in striking burgundy shoes – effortlessly nailing this season’s big statement footwear trend.

Offering followers ideas for dress-down Friday, Alberto Bennett and Fabio Attanasio have both been championing burgundy knits this season. Spanish blogger Bennett teams his neat burgundy v-neck jumper with a 1970s-flavoured suit jacket and crisp white shirt, while sprezzatura icon Attanasio opts for a more relaxed silhouette by layering a shawl-collared design over a pastel purple shirt, leaving a couple of buttons left undone for good measure:

Louis-Nicholas Darbon Bilal Guclu Alberto Bennett Daniele Zaccone Fabio Attanasio R3zap3rz

Ways To Wear Burgundy

As the style cognoscenti have clearly shown, burgundy pairs well with other on-trend colours and a variety of different patterns, meaning it can easily be adapted to suit your own personal style.

Investing in a statement overcoat in burgundy could prove particularly beneficial. Plus, with a few months left before the temperature starts to pick up again, you’ll get plenty of use out of it.

Single- and double-breasted burgundy jackets are advisable for formal occasions, as well as certain business engagements, while duffle, parka, varsity and Harrington designs will help you nail off-duty elegance. We’ve seen sophisticated examples of the former at Zara, while ASOS and Topman offer the latter.

Lookbook Inspiration: Burgundy Outerwear

bally ss15 bally ss15 gieves & hawkes aw13 house of fraser aw14 j crew aw14 burton aw14 louis copeland aw14 tete homme aw14 David Naman AW14

Key Pieces
  • Topman Burgundy Bomber Jacket
  • Gloverall Duffle Coat In Melton Wool
  • He By Mango Waterproof Feather Down Parka
  • Asos Wool Overcoat In Oversize
  • Selected Wool Pea Coat
  • Minimum Parka With Hood Exclusive
  • Burton Menswear London Harrington – Summer Jacket – Beetrot
  • Hackett London Velospeed Jacket Wine
  • Gloverall Churchill Reefer Coat
Burgundy Staples

If it’s versatility you’re after, opt for burgundy staples like chinos, jumpers, cardigans and t-shirts. Burgundy legwear – try He by Mango, Gant or Massimo Dutti – looks just as good styled up with a smart shirt for a board meeting as they do pared-down with a crew neck sweatshirt for a round of drinks.

In the same vein, a lightweight burgundy knit jumper, merino wool cardigan or simple tee can be layered beneath a suit/blazer or worn casually with denim and trainers at the weekend.

Lookbook Inspiration

BELLFIELD AW14 suitsupply aw14 Todd Snyder aw14 dunhill aw14 mango man winter 2014 mango man winter 2013 avva aw14 selected homme aw14 bally aw14 David Naman aw14 j crew september 2014 style guide brooks brothers aw14

Key Pieces
  • Farah Vintage T-shirt With F Logo In Slim Fit Exclusive
  • Asos Shirt In Long Sleeve With Linen Mix And Grandad Collar
  • Esprit Red Tartan Shirt
  • He By Mango Slim-fit 5 Pocket Garment-dyed Trousers
  • Peter Werth Roll Neck
  • Burton Wine Basic V-neck T-shirt
  • River Island Dark Red Polo Shirt
  • Ben Sherman Burgundy Herringbone Flannel Long Sleeve Shirt
  • John Lewis & Co. Mccormack Twill Trousers Red
  • Gant Butter Twill Chino
  • Reiss Enigma Merino V-neck Jumper Summerberry
  • Uniqlo Men Extra Fine Merino V-neck Cardigan
Burgundy Tailoring

Perhaps you’d prefer to properly shake things up this season? If so, why not take the plunge with a burgundy suit or blazer? Reiss, Suitsupply and Austin Reid stock some great examples but if you’ve had to tighten the purse strings post-Christmas, consider River Island, Topman or New Look.

Although a burgundy suit isn’t suitable for the corporate world or a board meeting, it will undoubtedly inject new life into your evening wear wardrobe – ideal for those spring/summer weddings that will soon be here.

If you do go down this statement route, just be sure to keep the rest of your outfit firmly on the straight and narrow with a white shirt, black tie and shoes.

Lookbook Inspiration

house of fraser aw14 strellson aw14 dunhill aw14 strellson aw13 the kooples aw14 avva aw14 ted baker aw12 louis copeland aw14 Boglioli aw12

Key Pieces
  • Asos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In Burgundy Pindot
  • Next Burgundy Suit: Jacket
  • Suitsupply Havana Burgundy Plain
  • Reiss Sontag B Slim-fit Blazer Burgundy
  • Austin Reed Nick Hart Burgundy Pin Dot Jacket
  • Austin Reed Plain Twill Blazer
  • Burton Berry Red Premium Pure Wool Blazer
  • Topman Peter Werth Ingleside N1 Cut Suit Blazer
  • River Island Dark Red Skinny Suit Jacket
Burgundy Accessories

As any style-conscious man knows, choosing the right footwear is paramount to pulling a look together. Slippers, brogues, penny loafers and Chelsea boots are all on point for this season and a burgundy pair would make a welcome addition to your shoe collection.

For reasonably priced options, try Duke & Dexter or M&S, but if budget’s not an issue, hit up J.M. Weston, Bobbies and Whistles.

If you’ve already settled on an outfit and want to add a little extra flourish, opt for burgundy accessories. A cashmere scarf, woven tie, pocket square, trilby or braces are a good match for smart looks, while burgundy socks, belts and beanies are bound to give a playful twist to your desired weekend uniform.

Canali aw14 brax mango man winter 2014 house of fraser aw14 the kooples aw14 suitsupply aw14 woolrich john rich bros aw14 minimum autumn 2012 sarar black tie aw14

Key Pieces
  • Selected Homme Hi-shine Chelsea Boots
  • Topman Burgundy Puritan Hat
  • Reiss Coulsdon Wool Check Scarf Burgundy
  • Asos Silk Pocket Square
  • Selected Aksel Leather Belt
  • He By Mango Cable-knit Beanie
  • Nn.07 Knitted Wool-blend Socks
  • Austin Reed Burgundy Textured Braces
  • Autograph Leather Brogue Shoes
  • Charvet Knitted Silk Tie
  • Lanvin Rosette Lapel Pin
  • J.m. Weston 180 The Mocassin Leather Loafers
Final Word

A runway fixture and street style staple for autumn/winter 2014, burgundy has developed into a modern day neutral that’s ideal for both casual and formal get-ups. What’s more, it’s the perfect colour to move from the darker shades of winter into next season’s key colour trend: red.

What burgundy pieces do you currently own? And how do you like to wear them?

Let us know in the comments section below…