Shorts, T-shirts, sunglasses – fond as we are of these icons of the male wardrobe, we’re fast re-approaching that old familiar point when they simply no longer cut it against a breeze that is anything but summery.
Before long, layers — the coats, the jackets, the slim-fitting chinos — you became used to shedding on the sweat-inducing commute to work (okay, maybe not the trousers), will once again be a reliant lifeline.
Rather than lamenting the extra 10 minutes it takes to put an outfit together, however, summer’s passing is to be celebrated. Not only are there more clothes to play with, but there’s a richer spectrum of colours on offer too, from warm rust to deep indigo, all rendered in a series of timeless, tactile fabrics like rich cotton and Merino wool. In short, the cooler months are when the true style connoisseur comes to life.
With that in mind, Marks & Spencer has put together the Must-Haves: a curated selection of key pieces covering all the essential gear needed to start the new season right.
Better yet, to expedite the process of getting your wardrobe ready to fight the chill, FashionBeans has hand-selected its favourite pieces from the collection, bringing you all the building blocks required for doing low temperatures in high style.
M&S Collection Slim Fit Stretch Jeans
Quality denim is the anchor with which even the most novice of dressers can harbour a great look. But in order to reap the benefits of this workwear classic, it’s important to consider a few key elements.
For the gold standard, look for a slim cut, but with a slight stretch for comfort, and a mid-weight fabric capable of keeping the chill at bay. This pair from the M&S Collection range has the added benefit of a tidy taper that will look sharp over the top of some Chelsea boots.
M&S Collection Pure Extra Fine Merino V-Neck Jumper
Few fabrics are as prized for their versatility as wool. Though shearling swimshorts or linen puffer jackets might never catch on, Merino proves it’s possible to be both insulating and breathable at the same time. And that’s even before mentioning just how soft it is.
In an eye-catching range of bright and vivid colours, slide this V-neck knit underneath a neat-fitting blazer, and the result will be an office-ready outfit that looks smart without scrimping on cosiness.
Autograph Pure Cotton Tailored Fit Dinner Shirt
With the dawning of autumn, comes the time to start thinking about party season. Of course, the dinner jacket is the main attraction, but every superhero needs a trusty sidekick.
Enter: the dress shirt. The ideal style should feature a classic cutaway collar to make room for the bow tie, a tailored fit, and double cuffs to house your stylish ‘links. It can be a tall order meeting this checklist, but Marks & Spencer has it all covered with this Autograph version.
M&S Collection Wool Blend Revere Overcoat
When braving the cold, a hard-wearing overcoat is as much a winter’s must-have as double glazing or a high-tog duvet. Having found favour with countless stylish men over the decades, a check version is a particularly astute investment.
For a style that will stand up to the elements, opt for wool which, as well as being insulating, can handle wet weather better than most. Trust us, that’s a feature that’s going to come in handy.
M&S Collection Indigo Tailored Fit Jacket
If there’s any piece that has proven its ability to stand the test of time both style-wise and in sheer durability, it’s the humble suit. The first line of defence while outside is still bearable, and an able back-up under an overcoat when the November freeze hits, it pays to invest.
That’s not to say upgrading your armoury should break the bank. This tailored-fit jacket nips in at the waist for a contemporary shape, while the indigo shade helps you stand out in a sea of grey. It’s also rather helpfully machine washable, saving you time and pennies down the cleaners.
M&S Collection Skinny Fit Cotton Rich Chino
Sure, it’s smart to think about transitional pieces that help you move from summer into winter, but what your short-term sartorial goals? More precisely, what item of clothing is going to lead you from casual day gear into dressed up winter nights? That would be a trusty pair of chinos.
The best styles are cut slim so they can be easily subbed in for a pair of suit trousers when the occasion calls. However, without the pleated front, they’ll pair just as handsomely with a casual sweatshirt up top.
M&S Collection Down & Feather Gilet with Stormwear
Even if the weather stays consistent, it’s often the case during autumn that you’ll be required to transition between the freezing outdoors to a boiling train and back again. That’s where a gilet comes in.
Favour slimline down- and feather-filled styles that can be easily thrown over a knit when it’s not quite time for a coat, or used to add ballast under a suit jacket; all without making you look like the Michelin Man.
Autograph Pure Cotton Textured Slim Fit Jumper
Give us a little texture, and we’ll give you a menswear look for the ages. While some outfits rely on colour for contrast and balance, tactile fabrics are the round-the-back way of both breaking up and tying together a look.
And when you give us one with an intriguing monochrome colour pattern and an eye-catching geometric design, well then, you’ve got a real show-stopper on your hands.
M&S Collection Luxury Suede Chelsea Boots
Keeping style and practicality in step is no mean feat, especially during the frigid months of the year. You might wonder how, then, a pair Chelsea boots rendered in supple suede made it into an edit of autumn/winter essentials.
Though the fabric is often best avoided when sleet, snow and rain are afoot, Marks & Spencer has used a stain-resistant finish to protect against watermarks, while an Insolia heel redistributes the weight of your feet making sure they’re well-supported all day.
M&S Collection Scuff Resistant Cordura Rucksack
Unless you like your workout kit soggy before you’ve even made it to the gym, the ever-unreliable winter weather renders a waterproof bag one of the season’s true essentials.
This scuff-resistant rucksack that is anachronistically lightweight and hardwearing, making it the ideal companion for the months ahead. Heck, that khaki green is so nice you’ll probably be wearing through next summer too if only to show off to all your colleagues.
Shop the full Must-Have edit now in store and online at marksandspencer.com.