You’ve tearfully packed away the swim shorts, sun loungers and suitcases, and your calendar’s suddenly looking bereft of BBQ commitments.
Summer may be over for another year, but there’s no time for back to school blues. Why? Because you’ve got an autumn wardrobe to sort out.
Here, I’ve done the hard work for you, separating the seasonal wheat from the chaff to harvest a selection of versatile, trend-proof pieces that every man should have in his cold-weather arsenal.
‘Drowned rat’ is a look even David Gandy would be hard pushed to pull off. And while an umbrella is absolutely worth adding to your accessories collection, a wearable waterproof layer has the added benefit of being much less likely to go walkabout.
The best rain jackets smartly blend function with fine design, so you can stay dry without looking like an awkward tourist. Top of the shopping list should be styles that are 100 per cent waterproof (not water-resistant or showerproof), come equipped with ample pockets, taped seams, and are also easy on the eye – you needn’t worry about anything techier unless you’re planning a mountain trek.
Barbour, Joules or Belstaff would be my first port of call, look for a wax jacket in a timeless design that will last for decades to come.
Nothing keeps you warm like a quality knit. For most of us it’s still a little early to break out the big guns, so stick to lighter gauge knitwear until winter hits in earnest. Jumpers and cardigans in temperature-regulating merino wool, breathable cotton-blends and unbeatably plush cashmere are all worth considering.
If you’re looking to invest, prioritise versatile colours such as navy, grey, brown or beige, which will match with everything in your wardrobe. If you’ve already got your neutral bases covered, consider acquiring a more seasonal option in burgundy, bottle green or burnt orange to give your cold-weather looks a seasonal lift.
Unlike their chunkier cousins, lightweight knits – whether you opt for a cardigan or jumper – can be easily layered over a shirt or tee and worn under a jacket or blazer without running the risk of looking like a fitness magazine’s unfortunate ‘before’ picture.
If you’ve followed Man About Town for a while you’ll be well aware I’m a huge gilet fan. Since moving to the countryside, my love of the trusty bodywarmer has only grown and it’s a versatile piece that I’m increasingly reliant on for added warmth. A gilet changes the game when it comes to layering, it’s easy to remove and stick in your day bag or can be incorporated within almost any outfit, whether that’s layered under a peacoat, wax jacket or even blazer for a smarter, yet equally warm get up.
The secret to dressing well for autumn is keeping your style adaptable. Denim has been in the mix since the mid-19th century so has had more than enough practice at flitting between whatever mother nature throws at you.
Handsome and rugged in equal parts (but enough about us), denim jeans are a wardrobe classic well worth adding to your collection of staples. Steer smart with a darker wash and add some rugged outdoor appeal by bulking up with something weightier before finishing with dark denim and brogue boots.
However you chose to wear yours, remember that the colour (or the wash, to use the denim-head term) will influence how formal it appears. As with most pieces, the darker the finish, the smarter it is.
Looking good underfoot isn’t much of an issue when the sun’s shining, but you’ll need to rethink your footwear strategy once the leaves start falling. For something that’s smart and stylish but won’t wither in the rain and snow, add a pair of well-built brogues, Derby or Chelsea boots to your shoe rack.