As we progress through Autumn, I’m sorry to say but it’s going to get cold, and wet. Yet despite being warned about dwindling daylight hours and frigid days ahead, it’s easy to let form slip in favour of function when the mercury drops. Wet weather needn’t mean sacrificing your style standards in order to stay dry and keep warm. Lockdown or no lockdown, there’s really no need for ugly ski jackets and plastic shoe coverings to keep composed, here’s a few style rules from me.
Obviously, in wet weather, you’re going to need a solid outer layer for coverage – and no, a hoody is not an acceptable substitute. To stay looking as crisp and dry as possible, you’ll need a trusty waterproof jacket, ideally in wax.
A commuter classic, the classic wax jacket will ward off the worst effects of wet weather while perfectly complementing almost any autumnal get up. Barbour has always been a firm favourite of mine, but for the trend-conscious, or those who prefer a slightly more tailored smart-casual finish, Belstaff takes first prize.
Whichever style you opt for, you need to bear in mind a few things. Firstly, length is crucial: your chosen outerwear needs to, at the very least, cover your knitwear or suit jacket.
Your second but all-important concern should be the fit. You want to ensure you’ll be able to fit a number of layers underneath – think gilets. in late Autumn and chunky roll necks in the depth of Winter – so be sure to allow for this.
It rather goes without saying that knitwear is an autumn winter essential for men, not only for staying warm but also for its use in layering and creating great outfits. As time goes by, you may notice that the number of knitwear pieces in your wardrobe increases; good quality knitwear is becoming more and more accessible for all budgets, and most will be striving to develop a timeless capsule wardrobe that can be reused each and every year.
Consider adding a couple of zip-neck knits to your collection this season. First and foremost they are arguably more comfortable and more adaptable than their roll neck cousin and I’ve always found they come in particularly handy during this unpredictable climate in November.
Wool trousers will change your life this Autumn. Offering a touch of luxury without having to make an overt statement, wool trousers will help instantly upgrade your current legwear collection. More comfortable than jeans without sacrificing warmth or protection, a slim-fitting pair will suit almost any shape or size and if you opt for a neutral colour way, can be combined with almost everything in your current wardrobe.
Whether you decide to tighten the cuff, opt for a more relaxed fit or make a statement with a Autumn-inspired hue, the choices on the current market really are endless and so are the price tags, but as always, I would advise on investing in higher quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Consider a pair in grey, it’s a colour that will work with almost any outfit and can be easily styled up or down depending on the occasion and situation.
Many people continue with their summer kicks well into autumn and winter and then wonder why they’re not weather-repellent. Instead, the rainy season should entail a completely new footwear wardrobe. One of the biggest mistakes many of us are guilty of making is not choosing weather-appropriate shoes. Those beautifully crafted leather-soled brogues might look good, but slipping and falling on your behind is hardly the best way to show them off.
Getting leather soles wet doesn’t spell disaster, but it’s not ideal either. Not only are you more at risk of taking a tumble on slippy surfaces, excess moisture can damage the sole, ultimately reducing the lifespan of your footwear.
I’ve always viewed Autumn as the season for Chelsea boots. Ultra versatile, timeless in their design, they work with many outfits and will prove to be both functional and fashionable!
Sure, taking an umbrella with you when it’s raining is basic common sense, but how many times have you found yourself out and about without one?
Thought so. They may be annoying to have to carry around along with your briefcase/folio and gym bag, but a well-made umbrella is at the core of any solid anti-rain arsenal and every Brit should own one. A coat, even a technical, hooded style, just isn’t an adequate replacement. Think of it this way: your outerwear is extra protection from the elements, while an umbrella is your main shield.
Full-length, wooden-handled styles are arguably the most stylish, though their size can be a little cumbersome if you’re on and off public transport, if that’s the case, a good foldaway design comes highly recommended.
Whatever you do, don’t skimp on quality; you may be prone to misplacing umbrellas but buying a cheap one for that reason isn’t as sound an idea as you might think.
Top Tip: Carry an umbrella sleeve with smaller styles to save you dripping your way through a crowded bar/restaurant/train carriage or, even worse, having to place your umbrella in your bag and soaking it through.
A couple of further tips from me:
Wear a featherweight gilet between your suit jacket and outer layer to ensure your shirt and tie stay dry, while also adding some much-needed insulation.
Waterproof your leather accessories. The majority of us will have invested good money in a leather folio or briefcase, so it’s imperative to keep this in good nick once the weather takes a turn for the worse. Some waterproofing spray will do the trick, ensuring the contents of your bag aren’t unwittingly ruined by the time you get to work. The same goes for leather gloves.
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