Look, man. Summer is over. We know it sucks a little because your tan has already started to fade, your hopes of hitting the park with a portable bbq have been dashed, and your laptop has become super slow thanks to there being 36 tabs open on Google Chrome, all of which are hellbent on finding some winter sun, but it isn’t all bad. Au contraire. You see, autumn is here and autumn always brings a good time.
TV shows are awesome, Time Magazine will be full of (unintentionally) hilarious pieces on spiced pumpkin treats, your Facebook feed is gonna fill up with cheap, city break, flight deals and, best of all, you’ll get to enjoy the teeny-tiny comfort of rocking long-sleeves without your pits turning into waterfalls. Yup. It’s autumn clothing time, the season that welcomes epic overcoats, chunky-knitwear, cardigans under suits, cheery-coloured beanies and, to top it all off, it’s still bright enough to stroll the streets wearing sunglasses even though it’s bitterly cold. Sunglasses and layers - it’s the greatest double team since Simon met Garfunkle.
So, whether you’re looking to get snapped by an online magazine running a #streetstyle competition, heading to an Airbnb on Rue De Somewhere in Paris, or you’re going for a long weekend in the country to embrace all those breathtaking colors, reconnect with nature, and drink ale in the sort of pub-pub where the landlord still lets people light up cigars inside, we’ve got you covered, dude. How so? By curating the most important autumn style lessons you need to know in what is unquestionably the coolest season of the year.
Lesson 1: Layering Up
Layering is an art. Period. Get caught short on the layer front and you’ll find yourself shivering uncontrollably as you try to brave the cold in your favourite Versace-inspired satin tee, but miss-time a chunky roll-neck jumper and you’ll feel that dreaded finger of sweat run down your spine as you head to work on the Tube. The trick is to pile on loads of thin layers that you can rip off or put back on as you navigate the awkward autumn climes. The ideal pieces to throw together would be a thick button-down Oxford shirt, a thin earthy-hued sweater, something to chuck on top - whether that be a thin trenchy or a chore jacket - and start rocking some chunky socks like the goddamn autumnal king you are. You could even pop a charmer scarf and fluorescent, fisherman-style beanie in your pocket too. It’s going to get cold eventually. And when it does, you’ll want a couple of stylish extras you can whip on (or off) when the temperature calls for it.
Lesson 2: Learn The Power Of Everyday Casual
If summer style is all about shorts, short sleeves, your favourite sun-washed baseball cap and a pair of classic Vans paired with bare ankles, and winter is just about not freezing on your commute (#glovesandbalaclava), then autumn is all about looking good, even on those casual days of doing nought but running menial errands. That’s the beauty of autumn layers. You want to rock a couple more layers than you did in July, but not so many that you become the Michelin Man of winter, which means nailing the sweet spot of effortless cool. You might just be popping out to get a pint of milk, six eggs, an avo, and some sourdough bread, but should you bump into that gorgeous someone you have a crush on - or, more crucially, your ex - you’ll want to look super-handsome without looking like you tried. So, pop on a forest green Henley shirt, one of those denim-slash-suede jackets with the faux-sheepskin collars, jeans with rolled up cuffs, a pair of brogue boots and go strut your stuff down the Tesco Metro aisles. You’ll thank us later.
Lesson 3: Not All Wool Is Born Equal
A good wool jumper is as necessary as oxygen, so it’s time you learned the difference between wool and wool, and there’s no wool quite like the merino. This crazy cool fabric comes from the pelts of burly merino sheep, whose wool is known for being long, smooth and hollow. This is good because it means your crewneck jumper will be dry and crisp enough to insulate your torso when the weather turns nippy and then yet kind enough to let your body breathe (and not sweat) when you step onto that overcrowded train carriage at rush hour. It’s a material you can wear from the first day of autumn right through to the last days of spring, maybe even the first moments of summer. Basically, it’s Mother Nature showing off how intelligent she is.
Lesson 4: Every Guy Needs A Great Fall Jacket
Just in case you skipped over the subheading above, we said a great jacket. Not a coat, not a blazer, or a puffa, or a trench, but the sort of trans-seasonal jacket that looks so good in the mirror you won’t want - or have - to take it off until it’s summer vacay time. It’s about hunting for something thin enough to be worn over three layers and yet warm enough to cocoon you on its own come those unplanned-for-cooler-moments. As for style, well, that all depends on what you are confident stepping out in on all occasions: weekend getaways, pub catch-ups with your “we don’t do this often enough” uni mates, second-date nights, standing in the stands of your favourite rugby/football/underwater-hockey team, everything. That might be a single-breasted denim jacket, one of the bomber variety, the sort of leather number that makes people think there’s a Harley Sportster parked outside your Shoreditch apartment, a sherpa-inspired trucker jacket, a vintage mustard-coloured corduroy piece, or even a suede-blouson jacket. As for the colour, neutral shades will make it more adaptable, and that’s what you want. Jackets like these can only be worn for a few months each year, so make sure invest in one that’s more adaptable than a method-acting chameleon; something like dark green, olive, grey, camel, blue or brown (you feel a bit awks walking into a store and asking the assistant if they have any mocha jackets, but it will be worth the pink cheeks - trust).
Lesson 5: Nothing Beats A Good Boot
Rule No.16: Autumn is all about boots. That’s why we’re of the opinion you can never have too much of this clobber in your collection. In fact, in an ideal world, the bottom of your wardrobe should be lined with:
- A chic pair of deserts for those sunny days.
- A pair of brogue-detailed lace-ups for when your SO’s parents are in town and you think traditional low-top Oxford’s are a tad too much.
- Some sturdier combat-soled boots for those more clement days.
- And a pair of hiking boots that ask the question “am I a hiking boot or not?” - the sort that can be worn just as confidently to a beer fest with sudsy floors as they can on an off-grid hike into the foliage-ridden wilderness.
If you’re not really a boot person, however, but you’ve conceded to the notion you need at least one pair of boots, our advice would read like this: buy a streamlined pair with as little going on as possible, preferably in dark brown or black, so that you can shoehorn your way into them whether it’s a suit occasion or you’re just going out in jeans and a jumper. Oh, and as Spiderman said in the autumn of 2012, “with great boots comes (the need for) great socks.” Okay, he probably didn’t say but, still, the last thing you want to feel is your foot slipping around in your boot as you try to walk normally on a first date.
Lesson 6: When In Doubt, Thicken Out
Not everyone has a knack for fashion. We get that. In fact, go on any of your mate’s Facebook pages, click on their profile picture, head left instead of right, and you’ll be comforted by the notion everyone has made a few faux-pas. That said, if you’re looking down the barrel of autumn style and your palms are starting to get a bit clammy, take a deep breath and just buy the things you’ve been wearing religiously every spring and summer for the past three years, only in thicker, more autumn-friendly fabrics. It’s as simple as swapping out your poplin shirts for those that embrace a slightly thicker wool-cotton cocktail, waving bye to your chinos in favour of jeans, popping your summer suits back into their moth-repellent bags and investing in some woolier versions, thickening up your sweaters and… well… you get the gist. And should that fail, you can always just give the beer and comfort foods a good go and thicken yourself up a bit. Whatever’s easiest.
And there we have it. All the tips you could possibly need to start showing off your epic autumn style while slurping down on warm cider, snacking on some spiced pumpkin pie and trying to convince everyone sat around the crackling bonfire that you can be responsible with fireworks.
Thanks for reading. For more ideas on how to embrace the endless summer, chase the horizon and keep your skin sun-kissed all year round, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and sign-up for a naughty-little newsletter below! (you’ll get a cheeky 10% off if you do).