You’ve packed away the swim shorts, sun loungers and suitcases, and your calendar’s suddenly looking desperately bereft of BBQ commitments.
Summer may be over for an additional year but there’s no time for back to school blues. Why? Because you’ve got an autumn wardrobe to sort out.
Here, we’ve done the hard work for you, separating the seasonal wheat from the chaff to bring you a collection of trendproof and versatile pieces that every man should have in his cold-weather arsenal.
1. The Rain Jacket
Drowned rat is a look even David Gandy would be hard pushed to tug off, and while an umbrella is totally worth adding to your accessories collection, a wearable waterproof layer is far less prone to go walkabout.
One of the best rain jackets smartly blend function with fine design, so you possibly can stay dry without looking like an ungainly tourist. Top of the shopping list must be styles which can be 100 per cent waterproof, come equipped with ample pockets and are also easy on the attention you needn’t worry about anything techier unless you’re planning a mountain trek.
Italian outerwear experts Stone Island offer a superb polyurethane-fleece composite jacket that not only keeps you dry but toasty too, while Scandi specialists Rains and Stutterheim both produce simple, wearable designs in several vibrant colours and lengths.
Rains Short Waterproof Jacket
Rains Long Jacket
Stone Island Shadow Project Navy Garment-dyed Anti-drop Coat
Stutterheim Stockholm Raincoat
Fjallraven Greenland Jacket Autumn Leaf
Patagonia Torrentshell Waterproof Shell Jacket
Private White V.c. Corduroy-trimmed Waxed-cotton Jacket
A.p.c. Cotton And Wool-blend Gabardine Raincoat
Aspesi Waterproof Hooded Field Jacket
2. Smart Boots
Looking good underfoot isn’t much of a difficulty 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 through rain and snow, look to add a pair of well-built brogue, Derby or Chelsea boots to your shoe rack.
Not only do boots offer more coverage than a pair of shoes, they’re just as versatile: dress them up with a smart trouser or even a suit and they’ll slot in just fine at most formal events, or keep things casual by teaming with a pair of selvedge jeans with the hems rolled up.
In the case of the finer points, ditch delicate suede for resilient grain or matte leather and persist with classic black, rich tan or chocolate brown for optimal versatility. For enhanced durability (and to make sure you’re not coughing up for one more pair of boots next autumn), keep an eye out for Goodyear-welted styles with a rubber or leather and rubber sole that are solidly built and offer loads of grip for braving spells of adverse weather.
Don’t forget that an example of fine craftsmanship is only nearly as good as the care it receives: regularly polishing and protecting your leather boots is significant to lengthen their lifespan and maintain their appearance, especially considering they will likely be dealing with torrential downpours and even snow as we progress into the depths of winter.
For quality on a budget, try Marks & Spencer and ASOS, or go premium with a pair from storied British shoemakers like Cheaney, Church’s, Tricker’s or John Lobb.
Reiss Tenor Chelsea Boots Black
Aldo Graegleah Leather Derby Boots
Asos Boots In Tan Leather With Toecap And Warm Lining
Cheaney Godfrey Leather Chelsea Boots
Churchs Beijing Leather Chelsea Boots
Grenson Fred Triple-welt Pebble-grain Leather Brogue Boots
M&s Collection Leather Chukka Brogues
Trickers Stow Brogue Derby Boot
River Island Black Leather Smart Worker Boots
3. Wool Trousers
Not all trousers are created equal. While colour and cut may be the most common considerations, fabric must also rank high in your list in order for you to maintain your crown jewels from the cold.
Though some cotton trousers like those made from twill, for example are hardy enough for winter, wool styles promise one of the best combination of warmth and comfort. This season more designers joined the unofficial campaign for a wider leg cut, and although it makes for a (roomy) statement look, it’s not for everybody.
To ensure longevity, opt for a slim not skinny cut instead and wear with a shirt and blazer for buttoned-up occasions or a white tee and leather bomber jacket for an on-point high-low combo.
Colour-wise, these usually look best in timeless black, navy and grey, but shades of deep green and burgundy also work well. To add some textural interest to your lower half, keep an eye out for a flecked or melange designs.
British brands are often best for this heritage style, so try the likes of Reiss, M&S, Oliver Spencer and Paul Smith for wool and wool-blends styles which might be the definition of understated luxury.
Asos Slim Fit Smart Trousers In 100% Wool
Asos Slim Fit Smart Wool Trousers
Topman Navy Wool Mix Fleck Skinny Chino
Acne Aron Shetland Trouser
Incotex Slim Flannel Trouser
River Island Grey Grid Wool-blend Slim Fit Trousers
Oliver Spencer Fishtail Slim-fit Flecked-wool Trousers
M&s Collection Wool Blend Contemporary Slim Fit Donegal Flat Front Trousers
Reiss Riggs T Flecked Tailored Trousers
4. Lightweight Knitwear
Nothing keeps you warm like a high quality knit. For many of us it’s still slightly early to break out the large guns, so stick with 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 take a position, then prioritise versatile colours reminiscent of navy, grey, brown or beige, which can match with everything in your wardrobe. If you’ve already got your neutral bases covered, consider acquiring a more autumnal option in burgundy, bottle green or burnt orange to offer your cold-weather looks a seasonal lift.
Unlike their chunkier cousins, lightweight knits whether you opt for a cardigan or crew/V-neck jumper might be easily layered over a shirt and tee and worn under a jacket or blazer without you running the risk of looking like a men’s fitness magazine’s unfortunate ‘Beforepicture.
For modestly priced options that deliver great value try Uniqlo, Topman’s Premium line and Charles Tyrwhitt, all of which offer a generous choice of merino, cashmere and cotton styles in a variety of colourways and cuts. Or, for knitwear that actually is a notch above, turn to the masters: John Smedley.
Topman Textured Front Merino Crew Neck Jumper
Reiss Merino Wool Cardigan
Asos Cotton Crew Jumper
M&s Collection Luxury Pure Cashmere V-neck Jumper
Uniqlo Men Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater
Uniqlo Men Extra Fine Merino V-neck Sweater
Silver Grey Cotton Cashmere Jumper
Suitsupply Rust Cotton Cashmere Cardigan
J.crew Crew Neck Cashmere Sweater
5. Checked Blazer
Saying checks are an enormous trend this season seems disingenuous. And yet how else do you explain brands and designers from Cerruti 1881 to Shaun Samson covering their autumn/winter collections within the pattern?
Trend or no, a checked blazer is a tailoring classic worth adding to your collection of smart-casual staples. Steer heritage with a brown or green tweed option (which work extremely well with dark denim and brogue boots for an outdoors-inspired look) or try something a bit more contemporary by opting for a wool blazer in a monochrome check.
More colourful styles are also worth considering but remember to dial down your choice of shirt, trousers and footwear if taking this route.
In the case of motif, the size of the check should roughly match your ambition to draw attention: the bigger the squares, the bolder the statement.
Try Suitsupply, Charles Tyrwhitt and Ted Baker for high quality blazers that don’t cost the earth, while British tailoring stalwarts such as Dunhill, Hardy Amies and Hackett offer some stand-out options at the upper end of the value spectrum.
Suitsupply Havana Red Check
Grey With Navy Check Yorkshire Worsted Jacket
Reiss Roach Double Breasted Blazer
T.m.lewin Warton Olive Check Jacket
Ted Baker Piibald Tonal Check Suit Jacket
M&s Pure Wool Tailored Fit Windowpane Checked Jacket
Hardy Amies Navy Herbert Slim-fit Houndstooth Wool-blend Blazer
Dunhill Belgravia Glen Plaid Wool Blazer
Hackett Blue Slim-fit Check Brushed-wool Blazer
6. Flannel Shirt
Whether it connotes nineties Seattle or noughties Willamsburg for you, the flannel shirt has worked its way from sideline separate to wardrobe staple in recent times. Its appeal in autumn is obvious: you can wear it open over a tee on milder days, or button it up and layer under a canvas chore jacket when the breeze picks up.
Plain colour styles in grey, navy, deep red, military green and beige offers you loads of opportunities for wear, while a classic buffalo check variation still adds instant cool. Try the former with a knitted tie on dress-down days within the office, or play up the latter’s workwear affiliations by teaming with Red Wing boots, twill chinos and a raw denim jacket.
Urban OutfittersUrban Renewal line offers a wide choice of authentic, re-worked flannel shirts in a large variety of colourways and plaids, while outdoor specialists similar to Patagonia and Gitman Vintage are go-tos for top quality plain colour styles.
Bellfield Flannel Tartan Check Shirt
River Island Long Sleeve Flannel Check Shirt
Urban Renewal Vintage Customised Flannel Marsala Shirt
Patagonia Fjord Flannel Shirt
Portuguese Flannel Button Down Bonfirm Shirt
Gitman Vintage Portuguese Flannel Shirt
J.crew Checked Cotton-flannel Shirt
Ami Button-down Collar Cotton-flannel Shirt
Oliver Spencer Clerkenwell Slim-fit Herringbone Cotton-flannel Shirt
The key to dressing (well) for autumn is keeping your style adaptable. Add this dream team of versatile pieces to your line-up and your season’s already off to a very good start.
Do you agree with our fall shortlist? Or do you might have a go-to piece so as to add? Which items will you be investing on this year?