While the sun is shining, it might seem ludicrous to start planning your cold weather wardrobe. But if we have learnt anything living on this isle of ours, it is that the weather can sporadically leave us confused and ill-prepared. Taking time now to assess your current offering can result in being equipped for any change in weather, and reduce the need to relieve the wife of her pink leopard print umbrella when the rain unexpectedly comes.
Breaking your wardrobe down into autumn/winter and spring/summer is an easy way to prioritise what you need and effectively manage the closet space you have. Assign some time to correctly store away clothes from the previous season, and it will stop you from making any seasonal clothing errors. Shopping on impulse is a quick way to land yourself out of pocket, with a plethora of clothes that aren’t suited to you. Try to invest the majority of your budget in quality, timeless clothing, because undoubtedly these are the pieces that will never let you down.
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Like a style oracle, A Suit That Fits are here to guide you through the transitional period of autumn to ensure you aren’t the one being discussed round the water cooler. From soggy trouser hems to the unsightly windbreaker and suit combos, the fashion road can be hazardous. Help us guide you by avoiding these common men’s autumn style mistakes.
Not only on view in December (don’t get me started). Some men still believe that to stand out among their knitwear wearing peers, that they have to up the comical value. Suddenly you are confronted with an expression of seasonality emblazoned across the chest of a co-worker. Worst still, there is the dreaded tank top or a fair isle chunky knit that should only be seen aboard a boat catching fish.
Don’t take the style advice in this article as only applicable when you get in the office. There are countless men making a ton of style mistakes on their commutes to and from work as well.
For example, don’t fall into the trap that it is acceptable to be wearing that tired old fleece just because you are on the train or tube. Being presentable at all times whether at work or on the commute is key to always being prepared at what life throws at you. What happens if you unexpectedly bump into an important client when you get off the 07:20 to London Bridge? You’ll end up awkwardly removing that cat hair infused fleece was navigating the onrush of busy commuters who will cold heartedly leave you underfoot without blinking an eye.
We as men, have more choice than ever when it comes to knitwear. Due in part to catwalk trends, it has now become acceptable for men to wear a myriad of knits with their business attire. Whether it is a sleek roll neck or a chunkier cable knit. Clever use of knitwear is a great way to layer for an added element of warmth.
Introduce merino wool or cashmere knitwear as a layering piece that will seamlessly compliment your suit or coat and not distract from it. It will offer style, functionality, and be durable enough should you need to keep taking off and on. So whether you bump into someone unexpectedly or your office heating system can’t cope with a change in season. You will always be looking your best.
Yes, of course in autumn there are still some glimpses of sunshine. But this transitional season should see you packing away your summer colours and starting to introduce your winter ones. That means no pastels and no white jeans for example. Opt for brown or light grey chinos that aren’t too dark but won’t look like you have taken style tips from Franco the waiter at your hotel bar on holiday.
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Winter colours are typically very dark so use that, and bold colour summer as your barometer. Your wardrobe should be sitting somewhere in the middle moving towards the darker shades the closer you get to winter. So where you have been wearing some sunny pastel colours during the warmer months, look for the darker version of the same colour. For example, light blue is ideal in the summer, but navy will be better suited for the colder days.
As the chill of an autumnal morning hits you, its ok to travel to work in a Chelsea hat and matching scarf, right?
Wrong. The details of looking your best on a daily basis means paying attention to the small, sometimes overlooked areas of your outfit.
Create an arsenal (no pun intended) of accessories that will protect you from the rain and the cold but not take away from your well-matched outfit
The football scarf can be left at home till the weekend. Make sure you pick a nice wool or cashmere option to have nestled beneath your neck. It’s number one priority is to keep your neck warm, so if that box isn’t ticked, is there much point wearing it? Delivering what it is responsible for is key when shopping accessories.
Socks are always seen as a necessary in your wardrobe but are never really given a second thought when it comes to functionality. Invisible versions are not the only socks you should pack away after summer. Take note of the material of your socks. No doubt there are some thin cotton socks still getting outings on a daily basis. These will only let you down in terms of function, so seek out some light wool options to help keep you warm whilst still looking good.
A dependable umbrella is an absolute godsend. We have all succumbed to buying a £5 umbrella from a shop when we’ve been caught in a downpour. Normally, two days later it has been discarded by a bin after turning inside out from the slipstream of a slow moving bus. You promise yourself you won’t buy another cheap, badly made one, but you nearly always do. Invest in a solid handle, professionally crafted umbrella and for years to come, it won’t let you down.
Gloves are not something to be overlooked lightly. Again, don’t reach for cheap and think it might be different this time. By all means choose leather as your material. But some might feel that if they do they will sit somewhere between Alan Partridge and a Mafia hitman. If that isn’t the look you’re going for, then we would suggest some wool topped leather alternatives. Or just pick a quality wool glove like merino or cashmere.
Hats are a tricky accessory for a lot of people to get right. Always, always go unbranded. Whether it is your favourite football team, a well-known brand or worst, a witty comment of some sort. Play it safe and stick to neutral colours and patterns with no embellishment. Leave the oversized beanies to the kids, and seek out thick materials that still offer comfort. An alternative to the traditional woolly hat is a baker boy or flat cap. It won’t offer the same kind of warmth but would give a distinctively different look to others and should be fine during a transitional season like autumn.
So many times men look at the weather, and throw another layer on top of what they are already wearing to avoid feeling the chill. But this is a quick way to suffocate your well assembled look.
A useful tip is to add thermal t-shirt underneath your shirt which will create some much needed warmth without the added annoyance of dragging a thick piece of knitwear or worst still an overcoat around with you. You are no doubt wearing a jacket and tie, if so, no one will be able to notice the t-shirt. It could become a key transitional piece that will suck in the man curves whilst keeping you warm.
The key to layering is that each layer needs to removable at a whim. We aren’t trekking the Antarctic (well at least I’m not). So we need versatile items that aren’t too bulky, are durable and easily synchronise within your wardrobe.
If when worn, the layer you have chosen is making your outfit look too bulky, then it doesn’t sound like the right choice. It might be that the piece offers maximum warmth but has let you down when it comes to style and fit. Try making up that same warmth with a mix of layers that compliment and look good together. A thermal t-shirt, thin merino wool jumper and scarf might give you the same warmth as that thick jumper, but it is infinitely more stylish.
It’s almost like there is a Neanderthal side to men, that when the weather turns, an unkempt piece of facial fuzz must adorn their faces. The lumberjack style becomes a daily, ‘manly’ occurrence. You become proud of it, thinking it adds man-points to your status. Even though you live in Clapham, haven’t seen any woodland since you were six and have an irrational fear of squirrels.
By all means, grow a beard. But don’t let it get out of hand. Keeping it trimmed and well maintained will ensure it looks good and doesn’t attract stray animals on the walk back from the pub.
Just because the sun isn’t gracing us as much as it was with its presence. Doesn’t mean shoe fabrics like suede can’t be worn. What you do need to avoid though, is the unsightly water stains that come when caught in an unexpected shower. Weatherproof by using a suede protector for example will wick away water and ensure you are looking presentable despite the inevitable British downpour.
It isn’t just suede. Cheaper leathers used for a lot of high street footwear is going to succumb to the same wet weather fate. Shop around for protectors best suited for your shoes and it’ll mean no more puddle hopping on your commute to work.
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Even so, there are times when you should just leave the lighter footwear at home. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that rain + thin footwear material = wet feet. Plan appropriately for the wetter weather and look for footwear styles that you can rely on. That is; thicker leathers, welted soles and additional toe taps if needed. Walking into a building with wet floors wearing a new pair of shiny soled formal shoes is only going to end up one way. With you on your backside sheepishly looking around to see if anyone noticed. They did, and now the video has just gone viral.
Chelsea boots can offer a fine combination of a men’s flair whilst equally adept at giving some much needed support to those navigating treacherous rain drenched streets. If you work allows a less formal look then don’t spoil your smart casual suit/trainer combo by squelching in on a Monday morning with soaking wet feet.
Wet Trouser Hems
It would be impossible to hop, skip and jump away from all the puddles on your way to work. Occasionally you will get splashed or need to step through one. What you don’t want the result to be is a soggy trouser mess, as the hem of your trousers have now become drenched. The way to avoid this is to ensure that your trousers fit correctly. Reducing the overhang or ‘break’ of your trousers will stop them drooping precariously close to the bottom of your shoes, and the offending puddle.
A Suit That Fits measurement consultations will ensure every customer leaves with the optimum style and fit required for their daily work life. That means no wet hem embarrassments, just great looking trousers.
Windbreaker And Suits
Of course, we reiterate that preparation for wetter days is vital during the British autumn season. But what that doesn’t mean is that the coat you walk the dogs in in the morning is ok to be worn over your suit.
Separate your wardrobe into smart/business clothing and your casual offering. That way you have specific outwear and accessories that look great with your suit or work outfits. A trench coat is a suitable way to have the protection from the rain, but ensure that you aren’t stuck with a bulky overcoat once the sun comes out. It will also leave you less restricted then some bigger coats might, and will take up minimum space in the boot of a car if you drive to work.
If there is one piece of style advice, we would ask everyone to take heed of, it is fit. Understanding what suits your body shape, your height or personal preference is the only way to always get the desired style you want.
When layering for example, you shouldn’t be looking to put on a bigger, bulkier clothing. The layering pieces you’ve chosen should be able to seamlessly fit into your wardrobe. So if your knitwear doesn’t fit under your current jacket size, then it isn’t the right choice. If the coat you want to wear leaves you restricted when moving your arms, then again it isn’t the right fit choice.
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Typically, the high street unfortunately caters for consumers that are less educated about the fit of clothing or just don’t care. To make bulk clothing it has to be made to a singular pattern size, which will only suit a small number of the general public. This is why there is always a superior fit when you go bespoke. The items you have made have been created with your body shape and measurements in mind. So whether you have short legs or a bit of a beer gut, the clothes will accentuate your best bits and cover anything you are not as proud of.
We hope that you can now merrily go on your way through autumn without falling foul of these common style mistakes. Understanding how a well put together outfit can be let down by simple errors, is key to maintaining a presentable exterior at all times. Being presentable, leads to a growth in confidence, and gives a strong impression to people you meet in both your personal and professional life.
Here at A Suit That Fits we can help you look your best on a daily best with our unique bespoke experience. You no longer have to shop the high street for ill-fitting suits that may offer style but little in terms of functionality and fit. With us, you get both. Book an appointment with one of our Fit Experts located nationwide and we will guide you through the experience of having a bespoke suit made to you exact measurements. Should you want more than just a suit, A Suit That Fits also offers bespoke shirts and casualwear as well as luxury accessories. This way you can be kitted out for autumn knowing that no matter what the weather throws at you, you can combat it all in style.