Well, it’s that time of year again. The scent of woodsmoke is in the air, the mercury has begun to plummet in our thermometers, and the heady days of summer are starting to feel like a distant memory as a bite of chill enters the air. It is not quite winter yet, but the sunnier days are becoming fewer and further between… and it’s time to give your wardrobe a serious reappraisal.
Here at A Man Refined, we really love this time of year. Not only do we get to enjoy the beautiful colours and treasures of the autumn, but we also get a chance to start experimenting with our style. This transitional period is ideal for toning down the palette somewhat – bring out those stylish monochromes, those elegant browns and darker shades – as well as for playing with layering, with warming accessories, and with sturdier items which work in several weather conditions.
So, without further ado, let’s take a quick look through seven style essentials for the transitional season of 2018. Move from summer to winter with real class and elegance, and cut a fine figure as you wander through the city’s streets this autumn with these stunning items.
A Light-Gauge Cardigan
Cardigans are having a bit of a renaissance this year. Once seen as a favourite of your grandparents (and very few others), the latest rush of cardigan designs manages to combine luxurious fabrics with flattering and intriguing cuts, as well as a kind of romanticised masculinity that we really love.
Cardigans are ideal for throwing on over a smart t-shirt, and for colder days, they work very elegantly paired with a turtleneck or light sweater. Opt for a mid-length one (although longer dark-coloured cardigans are certainly a fascinating twist that some might want to try) in a breathable Merino wool, and you’ll have a reliable item which will keep you warm on chilly days, and yet which can breathe in the event of an Indian summer.
Checks and Plaids
There’s something decidedly autumnal about check and plaid shirts. Maybe it’s because they put us in mind of a more outdoorsy lifestyle, and the pleasure of spending time among the fall leaves and forest floors.
Whatever the reason, there’s little doubt about the fact that for a casual, laid-back, yet smart look, a quality check or plaid shirt is a great way of injecting some warm colours into your transitional wardrobe. Even the classic flannel ‘lumberjack’ shirts can look great at this time of year, especially when paired with a pair of slim dark jeans, or worn as an overshirt on top of a plain t-shirt (no logos or slogans, please!).
Quality Chukka Boots
While we’re big fans of our high-end Chelsea Boots here, there’s no denying the fact that a decent pair of well-made Chukka boots really fits the bill when it comes to the transitional months. Simple, smart, utilitarian and effortlessly cool, these shoes work well whether you’re at work, out and about in town, or even on an evening date.
The fact that they’re sturdy enough to deal with reasonably heavy use makes them great for exploratory walks around the city, and the range of brown and tan shades they come in is perfect for your autumnal look.
An Elegant Umbrella
When it comes to gentlemanly style, those finer details really do make a big difference. For us, few things suggest elegance and a level of attention to detail quite like a quality umbrella.
In a world where so much is disposable and temporary, and in which your contemporaries will be carrying around cheap, tacky throwaway fold-up brollies bought in a hurry from a corner store, taking a well-made long umbrella into town really speaks volumes. Choose one in either black, dark grey, or navy blue, with a natural wood handle, and you’ll really look the business.
A Light Scarf
During the transitional months, you’ll probably find that a coat is uncalled for, and yet a suit or sweatshirt might not quite cut it either. The perfect solution? A lightweight scarf tied rakishly around your neck and providing both style, warmth, and comfort.
You want to aim for something light and flexible (it’s not yet time for anything heavy!), which is going to keep the back of your neck warm and leave you looking and feeling great. What’s more, scarves are a great way of injecting some colour and personality into your outfit, especially if you’re pairing them with a two-piece suit.
The transition between cotton and denim that takes place between summer and winter can be a jarring one, and many gentlemen wish for a compromise which takes on the best of both worlds. If you want a pair of trousers other than those on your suit, consider a pair of dark coloured chinos this autumn. Reliable, warm enough for colder days and cool enough for sunnier ones, and the perfect balance between the casual and the formal, chinos are a go-to which have their moment to shine at this time of year.
This year, choose slim fitting styles which have a slightly lower leg taper and go for a colour which suits your personality – whether that’s a rich Burgundy, a bottle green, or a classic black or navy, there’s plenty of options open which will ensure you look your best.
A Classic Trench Coat
It’s not yet cold enough out there to slip on your favourite heavy wool overcoat, but you definitely could do with something to throw on over your suit when the wind is blowing and there’s some drizzle in the air. This year, just like every other year (which says a lot, really), there’s no other option quite like the classic trench.
With a huge range of variations in cut and colour, there’s a trench out there for everyone. It’s a timeless and utterly stylish option which no gentleman should be without, and it not only looks sophisticated, it also offers real protection against the elements, too.