Our Pick Of The New Season Accessories
The MR PORTER team choose their favourite autumnal amenities
Sigh… it’s time to get back to work again (well, sure, we’re writing this from our office, so we’re at work, but you get it). The summer’s over, the sun’s setting earlier, the spritzes have dried up – you know the drill. Time to stock up on socks and ease those sandy toes back into your hard-soled brogues. Of course, it’s not all bad. Autumn brings with it delightfully coloured leaves, cinnamon-flavoured everything and a new season’s worth of excellent clothing, shoes and accessories. We’re particularly excited about the accessories – this is the season of layering, after all. And since we’re not kids anymore, it’s not entirely necessary to complete re-tog now that we’re back at it – just add some little bits and pieces to perk you up as the sun goes down on summer. Here’s what the team at MR PORTER is looking forward to getting their hands on.
Back to school, and back (hopefully) to some respectable temperatures, means that we can start wearing clothes again in New York, maybe, please? I’ve been chomping at the bit to get back into my tailored clothes. And, well, if you’ve ever seen the beginning of The Talented Mr Ripley, or really any part of Mr James Coburn’s appearance in Charade, you can probably feel me on how amazing a green cord suit is with a crisp white shirt and dark knit tie. That’s me all fall, with a replacement for my ages-old Filson tote and a fresh pair of desert boots.
The gilet has to be the ultimate piece of transitional kit. It can be worn as outerwear when there’s a nip in the air, making it ideal for early autumn. It can also be added as a mid-layer once winter comes in earnest, meaning it’s a good investment for the future. This smart, insulated example by Aspesi will hold its place in any outfit. I’ll be sure to arm myself with one – even if it is, by its nature, lacking in sleeves. Ahead of the approaching leaf-kicking season, I’ll swap my sneakers for a pair of these hiking-style leather boots. And to keep all my personal effects to hand, this camo-print body bag by Paul Smith is more than up to the task. This gear should keep me marching till, well, March.
The things I’ve chosen are on my (very long term) Wish List rather than in my shopping bag – mostly because the total cost of them would mean I was, say, a hotel tycoon rather than a fashion writer. And “back to work” would actually mean something to me because I'd have spent the past month “summering” somewhere exotic, skirting my private island on a superyacht, as opposed to writing about shirts in an office in west London. Still, this Cartier Tank is very nice, isn’t it? And so is this cashmere blazer from The Row – I saw the collection in real life a few months ago in Paris and, truly, the tailoring (the fabrication of which is so deft it’s is almost liquid-like) is mind-bogglingly beautiful and looks like the kind of thing I imagine a hot vampire might wear. Lastly, I’ll be covering my face with this pollution defense booster from 111Skin. Because if I can’t leave the fug of the city, at least I can try and stop it ageing me.
September is always a tricky month: your mind is still on holiday, but your diary is full of meetings and catching up on works seems impossible. That’s why, to sweeten the return to reality (cue Soul II Soul), I suggest the three steps below:
01. Create a playlist with the music you loved this summer. Mine includes Mr Sam Smith’s “How Do You Sleep?” and Tyler, the Creator’s “Earfquake”. Listen to these with a portable Bang & Olufsen speaker. I always have it in my backpack, so I can listen to it at home, at work and during my commute (it has a string you can attach to your bag so you can listen while you’re cycling).
02. Try new healthy recipes you learnt while travelling. I love food and most of all I love discovering new regional dishes while I travel. When I'm back at work, I enjoy recreating recipes from the places I've travelled to, which I have written down in my faithful leatherbound notebook. I usually write with a very cheap Bic, but in the office, I love attending meetings with a Montblanc pen.
03. Change the scent around you. Bring the smells you found during your holidays to your desk. During my last visit to Sicily, I fell in love with the smell of the fig plant (very different from the smell of the fruit). Diptyque’s Green Figuier candle is able to incorporate this delicious fragrance in a green vase, with earthy notes of woody bark and leaves, balanced perfectly by sweet fruit.
And if all this doesn’t help, then I suggest immediately booking another holiday.
September is a sad month. It beckons the end of summer – all those glorious days spent in the sunshine finding the answer to life’s most difficult questions at the bottom of a wine glass. Yet, here we are. Time to sober up. Sadly, I’ve put on a few extra pounds over what I call the al fresco months, so in a bid to shed a bit of extra baggage so I can fit into my blazer come party season, I’ve decided to start cycling to work. This, of course, calls for a complete reevaluation of my working-week wardrobe. Time to shelve the patent (easily scratched) Derbies in favour of something a little more practical. These Rockaway sneakers by Acne Studios are made out of hard-wearing canvas and easy on the eye, plus they’ll look good with tailored trousers. Also on my list, this A.P.C. backpack – it’s practical and smart enough for the office. Lastly, Byredo’s Mojave Ghost fragrance; now I’m flirting with danger and living in the fast lane, I fancied something a little bit up-tempo that’ll get the adrenaline going. Wish me luck, lads.
It’s a little bit dull, but the fact of the matter is this: when September starts looming, you need to do an inventory of all the workaday items you’ve managed to destroy in the previous year and replace them. My Officine Generale chinos have done me a good four-and-a-bit years’ service at MR PORTER, but I think it’s now time to invest in a slightly fresher and more client-facing pair. And, as it’s still quite hot at MR PORTER HQ, I’ll be pairing them with a new linen shirt from J.Crew, which, take note, will also likely come in handy for next summer’s weddings. And, finally, because there’s nothing wrong with mixing business with pleasure – and, also, because I’ve seen our ever-on-the-pulse buyer Mr Daniel Todd wearing a pair of these round the office, and so know now that it’s officially allowed – a pair of clogs. How do you spell it again? Oh, yes: LOL.