Our primer on perfecting your autumn wardrobe, from versatile coats, cozy knits, and all-purpose boots, to the colour you’ll be wearing till spring.
1. The Perfect Fall Jacket
A transitional coat may sound like an indulgence, and that’s precisely what this utility jacket by Burberry Prorsum is — and isn’t.
Made of rich, bonded felt and sporting patch pockets, it’s effortlessly stylish, but it’s also hardworking and versatile. It’s a quintessential layering piece, ideal for crisper temperatures when worn over a T-shirt or a sweater.
Of course, when it finally does snow, you may just want to add a scarf and keep it in the rotation.
2. A Versatile Overcoat
There’s no bigger decision than what to wear over your suit, Monday through Friday.
The updated single-breasted overcoat just happens to work on the weekends, too.
1. Even without the chic leather detailing, this trim navy overcoat would be the kind of approachable, high-fashion piece you can throw on with a pair of sweats and sneakers and still look dressed — as opposed to dressed for the gym.
2. The beauty of a well-tailored grey peak-collar overcoat like this Paul Smith version is that it will never feel dated or out of place. Wear it with blue jeans and a sweater (like this guy) or just about anything else in your closet.
3. If you’re going to wear a suit, cover it with a top layer that’s just as sharp — and well-fitted. This classic charcoal version falls perfectly: The hem hits mid-thigh and the overall silhouette is slim.
3. Everyday Sweatshirts
No longer a gym staple, the classic sweatshirt makes for an indispensable layer when the weather cools off.
4. The Essential Sweater
There are wardrobe basics, and then there are those lust-worthy staples that make the transition from the depths of summer to fall’s crisper months seamless. This Prada sweater is one of them, made of Shetland wool and cut narrower than more classic crewnecks. It’s another reason to root for the mercury to drop.
5. Grunge-Era Items
The flannel shirt — cut trimmer and made to be worn, not tied around your waist — gets an update from designers with a soft spot for nineties-era grunge.
“Flannel shirts never truly go out of style. They just keep being reinterpreted over and over again. Ours is overdyed, then sprayed, and then baked to give it a harder edge.”
— Public School designer Dao-Yi Chow
6. Chelsea Boots
Sleeker and more modern than ever, the Chelsea boot works just as well with a suit as with beat-up jeans.
Here, Grenson creative director and CEO Tim Little‘s three tips on keeping your boots looking good.
Rule 1: The Right Pants Are Key
“You want a narrow pants bottom, so that the pants sit tight, just a little way up the leg of the boot. You need to see just enough of the elastic gusset to know it’s a Chelsea boot — otherwise it just looks like a very plain shoe.”
Rule 2: Invest In Shoes Trees
“They help shoes keep their shape, but they also stop them from cracking, because the leather doesn’t crease as it dries out. If you can, try to find trees with a high instep, as the Chelsea’s shape is all about that gorgeous curve running up the front of the boot from the toe.”
Rule 3: Avoid Quick Fixes
“My pair goes back to the Grenson factory, where they are re-lasted. There are also some very good independent guys around — just be sure to ask if they put the boots on a last as they repair them. Most don’t, so you end up with a nice new sole but a misshapen upper.”
Trust us: It isn’t just for Ivy League professors anymore. The classic fabric is looking thoroughly modern in slim-cut pieces that smarten up any wardrobe.
A Brief Glossary
Harris: A high-quality, hand-woven tweed, rougher than other varieties. Originally made with pure virgin wool in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides.
Donegal: Known for its thick slubs of coloured yarn woven into the fabric. Also called Irish tweed.
Herringbone: The most classic tweed pattern, introduced in the 1800s. Recognisable by its characteristic parallel lines that form V shapes.
1. Proof that incorporating tweed into your look doesn’t have to mean putting on a suit and tie. Made for colour-phobes, a snap-button jacket like this one adds texture and pattern in a minimalist way.
2. Forget the itchy stuff your mum used to force on you. This shirt and blazer are cut from plush, higher-end weaves that are undeniably comfortable.
3. Never worry about getting this nubby fabric wet — it’s made to repel water. A dress coat like this one can withstand the elements while elevating even the most casual basics.
4. Wearing a tweed suit without looking like a codger is simple. Just opt for an expertly tailored, contemporary cut and pair it with a can’t-miss white shirt.
8. Dark-Washed Denim
No denim packs more attitude and effortless cool than a pair of black jeans. Light or midnight, this season they’re the only ones that matter.
Why, When, and How to Clean Your Jeans
Frank Pizzurro, owner of Brooklyn Denim Co., weighs in: “We are not big fans of never washing your jeans. When they’re caked with dirt, the fibres break down, which causes the fabric to rip easier.
Our suggestion is to wear them three to six months — this will maximise the fades without destroying the fabric.
At that point, wash in cold water, inside out with a small amount of mild detergent, rinse thoroughly, and hang dry.”
9. Camel: The Colour Of The Moment
Fall’s richer, more luxe shade of tan adds polish to any outfit.
Wear it with grey, navy, or black — just don’t dress head to toe in it.
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