It’s not saying goodbye to summer that we hate (like you, we’re rather over melting into a puddle on public transport). It’s not the onset of autumn that we dread, either (quite the opposite when you see the new season knits on offer). No, it’s sumtumn, or err, autmmer – that awkward transitional period when it’s possible to experience multiple climates moments apart – that we’d rather avoid.
That inbetweener period from one season to the next can be made markedly easier, however, by stocking up on a few versatile and practical essentials slightly earlier than those less savvy.
To help you move seamlessly and stylishly through the next few weeks and months, consider investing in these 10 key new season pieces now.
Light Gauge Cardigan
One of the easiest knits to work into an existing wardrobe, a cardigan is ideal for throwing on over a T-shirt for added ballast or for buttoning up over a shirt and tie as a precursor to the return of the suit jacket.
For an example that will work right now, choose a lightweight version crafted from a breathable Merino wool or cotton-blend to ensure you’ll look good, but won’t overheat in the event of an unpredictable Indian summer.
Lumberjack-inspired shirts have held their own for years – since they were worn by, well, lumberjacks, actually. Add to that the fact that plaid is proving to be more than just a fleeting fashion trend, and it’s easy to see why it makes sense to get the autumnal vibes going early.
High-quality flannel shirts look effortlessly stylish teamed with a pair of selvedge jeans, and can even be used as a makeshift top layer when the chill doesn’t quite call for a jacket.
The move from leg-bearing summer shorts into heavyweight jeans can be a jarring one, so strike the sartorial middle ground by opting for a pair of chinos in a dark shade instead.
Prioritise slim-fitting styles in autumnal hues such as green, burgundy and ever-reliable navy for a look that is fully in tune with the season (and unlike lighter shades, won’t make it look like you’ve had an accident should the heavens open).
Sweats aren’t just for the track any more, with both heritage sportswear and contemporary labels having transformed gym kit through premium fabrics, modern cuts and unique detailing.
Worn together with other off-duty staples, hoodies and sweatshirts constitute an ideal no-fuss wardrobe for those on the move. Equally, try using styles cut from something premium like loopback cotton to bring a relaxed edge to a shirt or cropped trousers.
During the transitional months, it’s often the case that a coat feels like too much, while a sweatshirt feels too little. To take the edge off the early autumn chill, reach for a lightweight scarf.
The high street has a strong selection of relaxed options that can be thrown on at any moment. For now, sidestep anything thick and bulky in favour of lightweight models that won’t cause you to sweat through your shirt, but will help fight that back-of-the-neck wind.
Chukka boots are rightly counted among the modern wardrobe essentials that every man should own. Coming into their own during the autumn months, a reassuringly sturdy pair in brown work just as well for rainy days in the city as they do an after-work date.
For a more casual lean, opt for desert boots, which feature a crepe rubber sole. Either way, choose leather uppers to withstand anything that Mother Nature throws at you – or a hefty dose of shoe protector if siding with suede.
No well-curated wardrobe is without pieces that got their start on the front line. The military-inspired overshirt has made one of the biggest advances in menswear of late, and it’s easy to see why.
Usually crafted from thick cotton, recruit one that’s cut slim so it doesn’t look baggy layered over a T-shirt now, but still roomy enough to wear over a sweatshirt when the mercury dips.
Long-Sleeved Polo Shirt
If there’s any lesson to be taken from the last few years in menswear, it’s that it is entirely possible to look smart without ever fully suiting up.
One of the chief proponents of this has been the long sleeve polo shirt. Premium materials like cashmere mean this autumn staple can lift a pair of chinos when worn solo, while also being suitable to slip effortlessly under a blazer.
Lightweight Rain Coat
It stands to reason that people on an island best described as ‘soggy’ would excel in the wetter half of the year, but this is not always the case. Many guys still wait until temperatures are in single digits to invest in outerwear.
A lightweight, waterproof jacket such as a mac or trench coat is always a sound investment, and significantly less cumbersome than a jumper or thicker winter coat to remove on the commute.
Because, well, weather. Of course, we could leave it there, but as we’re in the business of offering advice to our fellow man, we won’t.
If you’re conscious of being caught looking out of place carrying a large brolly when the sun decides to shine, choose a space-saving, collapsible option that can be easily stowed in a backpack so that nothing dampens your style credentials.