Fashion, by its very definition, is all about change and transition as the seasons roll from summer to winter. Unfortunately for me, the weather in Singapore has other ideas, so you can see my predicament as I sit here, Mont Blanc fountain pen poised meaningfully over a pristine sheet of Smythson paper… okay, okay, I’m hunched over an ageing Macbook in a poky London office. Nevertheless, here I am tasked with furnishing you with a Autumn/Winter style guide for a place where 30 degrees is considered a bit nippy. No matter; I like a challenge, so strap yourselves in for the very nearly climate-appropriate Autumn/Winter style guide.
For the past few seasons we’ve adopted the dapper Mad Man super-slim, ultra-slick suits that fit tighter than your mate who never buys a round. So far, so Don Draper, but, unless you’re 70kg dripping wet, spray on trousers along with jacket buttons straining to keep your developing moobs from escaping isn’t quite the slick 50’s ad agency exec look you might think it is.
So for those of us who use the late summer months to acquire that extra layer of ballast should the winter larder dwindle, you’ll be pleased to know the catwalk (not normally known for its forgiving silhouettes) is allowing men to breathe out again by going all relaxed and bohemian with their tailoring.
British designer Oliver Spencer, who recently styled Jack Sparrow’s dad Keith Richards on the latest Stones’ tour, has a range of tailoring options in a huge selection of cloths in deconstructed silhouettes that are still smart enough for the office but equally relaxed for those “straight to the cocktail bar from work” nights. For those of you that like something a little more functional, check out his recent collaboration with British cycling brand Vulpine, a performance blazer in showerproof fabric designed with the urban, urbane cyclist in mind.
There’s also a strong trend for mixing and matching fabrics and colours between your jacket and trousers; this could mean a Navy blazer with grey flannel trousers or a bold Prince of Wales check double-breasted blazer coupled with cobalt blue chinos for braver souls.
Chunky alpine sweaters and heavy wool jumpers aren’t going to work when the mercury is pushing 90, but don’t despair, you still have lots of choice among finer knits and sweatshirts.
John Smedley and Pringle, despite being 200 years old, are always relevant thanks to their continued presence at men’s fashion week in London. A fine gauge cashmere or merino sweater will team beautifully with a tailored blazer to give a much more informal look than teaming with a shirt, but is still smart enough for a business meeting at the Fullerton.
If you’re looking for something a little more deconstructed then try teaming with a blazer and lightweight sweatshirt rather than knitwear.
Womenswear stalwarts Whistles have launched their first menswear collection and have a great selection of smarter sweatshirts styled specifically with tailoring pieces to create a dressed-up sporty look that’s modern and fresh.
Move over brogues and make way for the Chelsea boot. Once the preserve of the Victorian equestrian set, it was adopted by 60’s Mod culture and is back with winkle-picking vengeance.
Choose a toe shape that’s not too pointed and wear with slim denim or chinos that just covers the top of the boot. Head to Mr Porter to view a selection of the most luxurious and exclusive styles from the likes of Gucci and Lanvin, before accepting the fact that you’re not Kanye West (king of modern Chelsea boots) and instead head to asos.com where you’ll find over 100 options at more wallet-friendly prices.
Until next time.