Whether we have yet chosen to admit it to ourselves or not, one thing has become very clear to me within the last week or so, summer is pretty much over! Rapidly disintegrating are the days where a simple shorts and tee combo is considered a justified attempt (although judging by the outfits that surrounded me on a recent shopping trip, it would seem that 80% of the nation are still actually completely in denial). So, if you haven’t already made a start, now is the time to start shopping with your mind firmly set to colder months.
This autumn is the season of the statement coat. I urge you to spend many hours deliberating on styles, cuts and colours as this WILL be one of your most important buys of the season. When making an informed decision on outerwear for autumn months, I personally follow a few very simple rules:
1. Keeping it light – Opting for a lighter/thinner jacket and layering with knitwear for warmth is a great alternative to merely buying a big, bulky winter coat. Layering not only gives you the opportunity to show off more of that wardrobe, but the different textures and colours will help add interest to your outfit and can be a great tool to help portray a particular look or trend.
2. Spare no expense – This rule may sound ever so slightly materialistically shallow, but I stand by it. During those cold months as you make your way from shelter to shelter, your outerwear will almost always stand out as your ‘statement piece’. A faux leather jacket can be smelt a mile off and will therefore portray your entire outfit as cheap. Especially for those timeless pieces such as leathers, trench coats, Barbour jackets etc, save up that little bit extra and pay for quality. If you are however on a budget, visit your local Vintage shops frequently and it will only be a matter of time before you stumble across that
3. Avoid looking dated – This rule is in fact one of the only “rules of fashion” that I genuinely believe in and actively abide by. Not only will your outerwear determine the overall quality of your outfit, it will also (and most importantly) distinguish the general look/image you are trying to achieve. By keeping with (or better yet, ahead) of the current outerwear trends your outfits will always appear fresh and interesting.
THE TRENCH COAT/MAC
Ok, so no surprises here. The trench coat has been around since the early 90’s and during more recent years has become an all year round staple piece. Not only do trench coats carry a very chic elegance with them, they are also great for layering and enhancing that perfect masculine structure. I always recommend that the slightly shorter man opts for a cropped version, or to get that ankle length Burberry you’ve had your eye on cropped by any good tailor.
The classic parka has been re-vamped this season with a wide range of heavy canvas/cotton and waterproof mac versions available. Great for creating a retro mod look.
It’s always nice when we find a style of jacket that works within that smart/casual divide so well. I’m sure many of us are aware of the brand Barbour? I wouldn’t buy a quilted jacket made by anyone else.
A timeless piece using one of my all time favourite fabrics. Of course this jacket can be worn primarily as a formal blazer, but it also works perfectly with a slightly more casual look, especially when layered up. If buying as an alternative to a casual jacket, be sure to buy a size bigger in order to make room for any knitwear worn underneath. It also looks great oversized with just a tee/shirt and the sleeves effortlessly rolled up.
My personal outerwear pick of the season. If it is a statement jacket you are after, look no further.
WAX HUNTING JACKET
Again, Barbour completely owns this style. As well as being extremely practical, the wax jacket fits perfectly within the Equestrian/Woodsman type trends circulating around Menswear this season. Practical as it will keep you dry in the very wet English weather that we just expect nowadays. most often regarded as being theouterwear for the farmers in the highlands, wax hunting jackets will look good in the city this season, and will bring the country into the city, giving a very different look to that we expect to see.
MEN’S FUR/FAUX FUR COATS
A controversial choice for many reasons and I feel that those reasons are best kept for another article on another day. However, I have a strong sense that it is only a matter of seasons before we see fur/faux fur for men making its way into the mainstream (hopefully in the most ‘un-pimp esq’ tone possible).
So that concludes it, my outerwear picks for Autumn/Winter. I hope inspiration levels are shooting through the roof. 😉