One of the great differences between men and women when it comes to clothing selections is that whilst women remain keen to keep ‘up to date’; reading fashion bibles, flicking through blogs, gazing at the ensembles of celebrities, fewer and fewer men are at all interested with what the fashion houses are pushing out and more and more seem to be taken with what works; something that has impact. When the seasons change, it is extraordinarily rare for any males of my acquaintance to ask me what is ‘in fashion’ for the coming months. They talk rather of things they’ve ‘always wanted to own’; a particular style of coat or shoe perhaps. Most acquisitions are not in pursuit of a fashionable aesthetic but part of a slow maturation that lifts them from being mere boys into manhood.
Knitted waistcoats did feature in a few collections for the coming season but they’re hardly a recent invention. Less formal than some other styles of waistcoat, the knitted waistcoat is warm and comfortable to wear – essentially it is a sleeveless cardigan – and offers a textural difference in suit ensembles. It is also smarter than the V-neck jumper which can look rather bulky underneath suit jackets and blazers and due to it being available in a number of colours, offers good colour matching/contrasting opportunities. This is an ideal garment of comfort and elegance for the colder seasons.
Although a colour associated with autumn, burgundy is not considered ‘the’ colour of the season. Nevertheless, it is a perfect time of the year to experiment with this attractive tone. It is certainly masculine but has a refined, quietly aristocratic quality that softens greys and blues which can often look harsh in autumns golden light. Burgundy cords look particularly fine with brown brogues and a burgundy waistcoat with a grey flannel suit sounds daring but is actually rather a classic combination. Smaller additions such as a burgundy paisley pocket square or a clubby tie add that touch of the regal. Burgundy is also a wonderful partner for other autumnal colours like forest green, tan and chocolate brown.
Showing flair is easy in autumn; until winter overcoats cover the resplendent ensembles, there is ample opportunity to enjoy, and experiment with, combinations and accessories. I personally think that autumn is the perfect time of the year to wear odd patterned trousers; hounds-tooth, checks and stripes. Whereas summertime seems to call for lower leg simplicity – cooler, paler colours – the introduction of autumnal winds and the natural ‘fuss’ that comes with dressing for the season seems to call for some variation on pant pattern. A classic Prince of Wales check trouser with a blue blazer or perhaps a blue chalk stripe with a brown hounds-tooth jacket.