Six Ways To Upgrade Your Wardrobe For The New Season
Reboot your style credentials, in preparation for autumn
The new season has officially started at MR PORTER, which means we have good news and bad news. Sadly, the Sale is now over. But, on the bright side, lots of shiny new things have arrived to take its place. Before you race off to fill your shopping carts to the brim, though, be aware that this isn’t stuff you’ll be wearing on your impending summer break. This being August, we’ll hazard a guess that you’re still operating on “shorts-and-sandals mode”. The fashion industry works to a different schedule, however, choosing this point of the year to release its first batch of autumnal clothing. While it might seem strange to be purchasing woollen knits and overcoats deep in the dog days of summer, it pays to be prepared – which is why we’ve picked out a few pieces that should make the task of transitioning into autumn a little easier.
01. THE WORK-TO-WEEKEND COAT
When it comes to style, men tend to be creatures of habit. Trends may come and go, but most of the time, we like to stick to what we know. Thus, the appeal of a classic checked coat – it’s traditional, yet thoroughly relevant. Who’s to know whether you bought this handsome AMI one from a cooler-than-thou Parisian boutique or recovered it from your grandfather’s wardrobe? Suitably, the above option is unlined, making it especially apt for those tricky in-between months that range from jacket only to big-coat weather. Plus, it’s tailored in a slightly loose fit, so you won’t have an issue layering it on over suits during the working week, or sweaters on the weekend.
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02. THE CORDUROY OVERSHIRT
In this crazy business that we call fashion, an overshirt (otherwise known by the dodgy portmanteau “shacket”) is often referred to as a “transitional” garment. Which is true – it’s lighter than a coat or jacket, but a bit bulkier than your average shirting, and therefore a suitable stopgap between the seasons. Which is precisely why it’s landed a spot on this list. If we’re honest, though, an overshirt is a useful addition to your wardrobe whatever the time of year – whether as an extra layer in the depths of December or in lieu of winter-weight outerwear in autumn, making this army-green corduroy variety from British brand Oliver Spencer worthy of your attention (and the contents of your wallet).
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03. THE AUTUMNAL SUEDE JACKET
There’s a reason suede jackets are usually referred to as “investment pieces” – they’re often attached to a hefty price tag. Your return on investment comes in the form of longevity: if you choose the right suede jacket and treat it with proper care, there’s every chance that you’ll still be wearing it a decade or more from now. The sum is also easier to swallow when you realise that they go with everything – there’s scarcely a get-up, smart, casual or somewhere in between, that isn’t greatly improved upon with the addition of a suede jacket. Berluti’s iteration is one of the cleaner-cut varieties out there, and comes in a rich plum colour that’s ever-so autumnal.
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04. THE SMART CARGO TROUSER
It wasn’t difficult to divine the cargo trousers’ comeback; workwear’s resumed popularity, combined with the 1990s revival, trumpeted their return. Thus far, though, rugged, decidedly casual styles (particularly in shorts form) have proliferated. But, as autumn approaches, smarter, more polished iterations have begun to emerge. At first glance, this pair from English tailoring duo Thom Sweeney is lacking in the cargo trouser prerequisite, namely pockets. But closer inspection reveals a grand total of six streamlined pouches, including two especially roomy ones. Think of them as workwear you can actually wear to work.
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05. THE PRE-BROKEN-IN SHOES
Kicking off your sandals (or equivalent) for the last time is the signal that summer has well and truly come to an end. As you mourn your losses, and assess the inclement conditions outside, look on the bright side: autumn offers a greater breadth and depth of footwear to sink your feet into. Chelsea boots, Derbies and even some sturdy loafers are all seasonally appropriate options. But, before you reach for your trusty Red Wing Shoes, it’s wiser to pick a pair that will give your toes time to acclimatise to their new closed homes. Something that requires minimal breaking in during this difficult transition. Something like Marsell’s unstructured leather shoes.
Or try these
06. THE FINE-GAUGE SWEATER
The first sign of grey skies brings out an impulse to hibernate, both sartorially and otherwise. Tempting as it may be, don’t cocoon yourself in cable knit just yet. Instead, exercise some restraint and opt for a fine-gauge sweater that you can comfortable layer under a lightweight jacket or over an Oxford shirt. Even better, if you can find one that’s knitted from merino wool – this Dries Van Noten option, for instance – you’ll be even better placed to take on variable weather. The yarns are naturally temperature-regulating, meaning you’re less likely to overheat if you forget to check the forecast in the morning.