Style Guide: Timeless Tips for Autumn-Winter Tailoring
Once more we find ourselves in the throes of mid-winter. Misery inducing though this may initially seem, there are some plus points to be had, particularly for the savvy sartorialists amongst you. Winter, perhaps more than any other season, offers stylish gents the opportunity to channel a sophisticated understanding of the natural world in their attire. A changeable and at best nippy climate demands a number of tailoring solutions, from lightweight flannel trousers to rainproof trenchcoats, whilst the changing state of the world around us offers the opportunity to channel a rich variety of seasonal autumnal colours and textures in our tailored clothes. What follows are some tips as to how to do it right.
There’s something extremely satisfying about experimenting with rich, soft textures in winter; thanks to the moderate temperatures, in tailoring anything goes – the heavier the fabric the better. From robust and crispy mohair and wool blends for durable jackets or glossy lounge suits, to rustic tweed blazers woven from huge, chunky yarns or soft four-ply cashmere cardigans paired with soft merino flannel trousers; there’s so much texture out there to enrich your winter wardrobe. Aim to shop for clothes cut in soft and warming cloths that have the uniquely comforting wintery feeling about them. If nothing else this season, I’d recommend investing in one killer cashmere blazer, a couple of pairs of charcoal or grey flannel trousers (they’ll go anywhere and do anything – formal or casual), and maybe one good winter three piece or double-breasted two piece suit, woven in something firm like a twill or winter-weight herringbone worsted. Don’t shy away from tonal checks or stripes either on formal suiting – flannel chalkstripes and windowpane checks are surprisingly easy to wear and add a wintery sophistication to seasonal tailoring that many guys won’t dare attempt.
There are a number of winter staples which every wardrobe will benefit from; classic navy for jackets or staple business suits, soft grey for trousers and sophisticated lounge suits, or even warm taupe and chocolate tones which can lend one’s tailored wardrobe a sophisticated touch when the mercury falls. Where one can really experiment however, is with a rusty, earthy autumnal palette. Blazers and sportscoats look great in earthy tweeds, with rusty orange checks, soft olive and forest greens, deep browns and ochre worked in. Trousers in wool flannel, dark cotton moleskin or fine-wale navy or olive green corduroy are equally on-point for the winter season. Channelling a touch of autumn through one’s jackets, trousers (and even footwear and accessories – think robust tan boots and rich woven wool ties) demonstrates a gentlemanly awareness and sensitivity in one’s style that is extremely appealing.
Autumn-winter is the season for overcoats and everyone needs a good overcoat in their arsenal – and I’m not talking about some drab, single breasted, notched lapelled cheap charcoal covert coat here either. There is so much more to a tailored coat than just a boring grey throw-on. Having fun with imposing, long, double-breasted overcoats in bold cloths can make a man feel a million dollars. Look for checked greatcoats or heavy camel polo-coats; complete with turn-back cuffs, chunky pocket flaps, pleated or belted backs and substantial lapels – they look the nuts. Even the most flamboyant overcoats are deceptively easy to wear; throw on your killer coat over a jumper and a pair of jeans on a Saturday and all of a sudden you’re making three times the style statement that you were – with minimal effort. Spend some money on this one and you’ll get a great return on your investment.
This brings me onto another winter style-tip that’s a personal favourite; loud checked fabrics. Checks are everywhere for Autumn-Winter 14 and there’s something both powerful and cool about a guy who can rock a loud checked jacket (preferably in a seasonal colour palette) over a classic, understated navy roll-neck. Failing that, get your grey flannels out, throw on a soft white shirt and run with your boldest checked or patterned jacket; think dogstooth checks, overchecks, glenchecks or the superlative Prince-of-Wales check. Pick and choose from these seasonal style tips and the world will be your sartorial oyster – at least until the sun breaks through the clouds anyhow.