We Brits like to moan. Summer is too hot, we sweat, we fret and we can’t cope in the office. Winter, by contrast, is deemed far too cold, the country often shutting down at the first sight of snow. But autumn, well, autumn is just right.
It’s our natural habitat. A crisp nip in the air, the crunch of orange and brown leaves underfoot. It might rain, but not too much, the sun may shine, but it won’t blind our eyes.
When it comes to dressing for the season, we Brits nail it, too: fine knitwear, slick Chelsea boots, heavy wool overcoats – all invented by or perfected by us. Layering is key, of course, but then that’s what lightweight gilets, thick overshirts and insulating scarfs are for.
And when we think of classic British style, our mind immediately turns to premium high street retailer Reiss. Season after season, the brand’s design team produces the quintessential building blocks of every good wardrobe. Here, the editors of FashionBeans have picked out five outfits from the edit that you need for this most British of seasons.
With the exception of red, white and blue, few colours are more British than racing green. More than a century after it first appeared on automobiles on the racetrack it can still be applied to a suede jacket for a top layer that will turn heads.
The simple Western design of the Reiss Scott jacket means you’ll get away with it in the office on casual Fridays as well as in the bar after-hours. Cut through that forest by wearing it over a contrast roll neck like you’re the lead in a Richard Curtis movie. This ice grey example is rendered in a cotton blend so benefits from being both warm and breathable.
Keep your bottom half simple with a pair of go-with-anything chinos in black, and then finish the look off with some Chelsea boots complete with a buckle-fastening strap for a last flourish on a sleek but breezy Friday night look.
A Walk In The Park
The overcoat bounded into popularity during Britain’s Regency period, and the style has retained the well-to-do reputation of its beginnings ever since.
Masterfully versatile, a well-made wool option like Reiss’s Gable model will last you season after season. The simple design and flattering but deceptively roomy fit will mean you can wear it over a suit through the week as well as with more casual layers during the weekend.
On particularly brisk days, double up on that insulation with a wool jumper and a pair of corduroy trousers, which will add texture to your outfit down below. Finish off with some comfortable and easy-to-wear trainers for a contemporary finish to a timeless look.
Taking Care Of Business
The Pitti Peacocks may have provided stern competition in recent years, but from the Savile Row set to the super sharp Mods of the 1960s, the Brits know a thing or two about tailoring.
The brown-and-ecru check on the Reiss Butler suit neatly taps into that heritage, with a modern single-button cut and wide peak lapels creating a sharp, masculine silhouette. Beneath, play it easy with a handsome brushed cotton shirt. A light blue shade will complement the brown, while a point collar will perfectly frame your tie should you decide to play by the old rules of the office.
If you are going to be braving the uncertain autumn weather with buttons undone, throw on a soft knitted scarf to keep your neck warm. An inky shade of navy is also able to work with everything else hanging in your wardrobe. Check and mate.
The Lazy Weekend
It’s one of menswear’s great ironies that workout clothes are often the perfect uniform for when exercise is the last thing on your mind. If you partied too hard on Friday night and need something to slip into for a lazy weekend, it’s hard to go wrong with a zip-up track top.
Made from a soft jersey fabric in a relaxed fit, the retro striped trim on Reiss’s Morpeth jacket has old-school vibes running all the way through it into the matching joggers, which make for athleisure so nice it deserves to be shown off outside the gym.
Don’t sweat it with the rest of your outfit, a simple grey T-shirt is the perfect neutral base, while minimalist white sneakers — now less a trend, more a style perennial – will stay that shade of crystal white if you never wear them out of the house.
The Autumn Staycation
The quilted jacket may have been invented by an American, but it was this fair isle that inspired it. The originator in question was searching for a jacket that could keep him warm and mobile while he was out shooting in the British countryside, making it the ideal choice for a staycation.
Giving the style a modern twist, the Reiss Kadir jacket takes the form of a single-breasted blazer, loaded up with mid-weight padding for much-needed warmth during the cooler months. Keep your look smart-casual by wearing it with a pair of neutral-coloured chinos and a grandad collar shirt, both of which are comfortable but smart enough to stroll into a country pub.
Of course, you’re going to need a bag to stow all your outdoor essentials. The utility-style Harrison backpack will go with any outfit and comes with a reinforced base, so you don’t have to worry about chucking it around the hotel room.
The Reiss AW19 collection has started arriving in store and online now.