As temperatures begin to take a tumble, it’s time to turn our attention to the wardrobe investments which will help us beat the cold in style. Yes, the onset of the autumn/winter season may signal red noses and flaking faces ahead, but for those who have grown tired of summer’s T-shirt-and-shorts uniform, the sudden need for layering up will come as a breath of fresh air.
Here are four classic accessories you should be adding to your shopping list now to ensure that you’re well equipped for the year’s closing chapter, and the beginning of next year’s too.
A woollen scarf is a timeless choice. On a purely functional level, it’s hard to beat the insulating advantages of a tight woollen weave, whether you plump for brushed lambswool or a more rugged fibrous style. For those feeling a little more flush, cashmere is the obvious option. Don’t do things by halves: if you’re willing to spend that bit extra, make sure that you choose a pure cashmere weave and not a blend. Why? Because there are few things more comforting in the face of snow flurries than a barrier made exclusively from this supremely soft fibre.
Keen to flaunt some fashion cred? For autumn/winter 2015, there are three colours that should be on your radar. For the discerning gent wanting to add some levity to sober office attire, a camel scarf is an elegant choice, while those prepared to go a step bolder should add a burgundy scarf to their line-up. Alternatively, for the modern-day minimalists, light grey is unbeatably versatile, providing a point of contrast to the rest of your look that navy or black scarves rarely do.
For autumn’s milder weather, a pair of chic driving gloves make an excellent choice. Made from leather, unlined, and designed to serve as a second skin, these gloves are a slick world away from the clumsily knitted mittens of your childhood. Just make sure that you keep the rest of your look smartly conservative in comparison – that means no double leather (you’re not Billy Idol); a wool overcoat will do nicely.
Want to wear leather gloves in colder weather? From buttery soft suede to smooth sheepskin, you’re spoilt for choice this season. A lined pair in black works with any look that involves a shirt (spanning from smart-casual to formal), but for those who want to add interest without the edge, tan leather is the perfect solution. Thanks to water-repelling properties, leather gloves will act as a stylish barrier between your hands and the elements (perfect for throwing snowballs, in fact).
Chosen wisely, your winter headwear will not only fend off the worst of the season’s weather (thereby keeping your quiff intact), but also provide a natty way to round out your look. However, with so much choice – from beanies to bowlers – which type of hat should you reach for?
It may not be the first style that springs to mind but, teamed with a wool overcoat, a sleek baseball cap will nod towards menswear’s current preoccupation with upscale casualwear. That doesn’t mean dusting off your summer snapback though; this season, you’ll need to take your cap up a notch or two. Minimal wool or leather styles in black, navy, camel or charcoal work particularly well.
Opt for a fitted version and remember that stripes are ok, tacky slogans less so. Feel free to experiment with bold colour too – beanies in red, bright white, orange and cobalt can all add a pleasing clash to an otherwise understated casual look.
Finally, and for complete coverage, why not try your hand at a trapper hat? A practical, rather than aesthetic, option, avoid checked styles (one step at a time, gents…) and instead go for a plain colour lined with contrasting fur. If that’s still too tame for your liking, plump for a lightly quilted design for an added dose of texture.
Just because leaving the house without a jacket or coat is no longer an option, that doesn’t mean you should leave your sunglasses purchase until your next sunny getaway. It may not be generously beaming its rays as often, but during the colder months the low-sitting sun still manages to make a few cameo appearances, bringing glare and UV rays along with it.
A surprise hit of spring/summer 2015, coloured lenses continue to be a solid, up-to-the-minute option that cannot fail to make a statement. However, if you’re after reflective protection only, err on the side of understatement and choose a plain mirrored lens style instead.
For a more timeless alternative, a pair of black or tortoiseshell wayfarers, clubmasters or aviators will travel with you from season to season, year after year, transcending fleeting trends.