As temperatures begin to take a tumble, it’s time to turn our attention to the wardrobe investments which will help us beat the cold in style.
Yes, the onset of the autumn/winter season may signal red noses and flaking faces ahead, but for those who have grown tired of summer’s T-shirt-and-shorts uniform, the sudden need for layering up will come as a breath of fresh air.
Here are five classic accessories you should be adding to your shopping list now to ensure that you’re well equipped for the year’s closing chapter, and the beginning of next year’s too.
It’s a no-brainer. When the weather takes a turn for the worse, a scarf is your very best friend: as autumn arrives, drape one loosely around your neck to add a flash of pattern or colour to your look and fend off the first chills of the season; but when frosty winds bite, swaddle your scarf tight for optimal warmth.
A woollen scarf is a timeless choice. On a purely functional level, it’s hard to beat the insulating advantages of a tight woollen weave, whether you plump for brushed lambswool or a more rugged fibrous style.
For those feeling a little more flush, cashmere is the obvious option. Don’t do things by halves: if you’re willing to spend that bit extra, make sure that you choose a pure cashmere weave and not a blend. Why? Because there are few things more comforting in the face of snow flurries than a barrier made exclusively from this supremely soft fibre.
Keen to flaunt some fashion cred? For autumn/winter 2015, there are three colours that should be on your radar. For the discerning gent wanting to add some levity to sober office attire, a camel scarf is an elegant choice, while those prepared to go a step bolder should add a burgundy scarf to their line-up. Alternatively, for the modern-day minimalists, light grey is unbeatably versatile, providing a point of contrast to the rest of your look that navy or black scarves rarely do.
If plain colour designs leave you feeling a little cold, consider adding a checked or patterned version to your collection. Heritage checks are fine, but we’d sooner suggest you put those across your tailoring rather than your accessories this season. For something more contemporary, try an oversized or windowpane check, abstract camo, block-stripe, or microprint style.
While women’s styles might often be decorative in purpose, your gloves should first and foremost serve as a practical shield against the warm leather gloves for men– after all, you’re not fit for much with a pair of frost-bitten mitts. Always opt for wool and leather over synthetic fabrications and if in doubt, go for a pair lined with cashmere or fleece for extra warmth and protection.
That said, for autumn’s milder weather, a pair of chic driving gloves make an excellent choice. Made from leather, unlined, and designed to serve as a second skin, these gloves are a slick world away from the clumsily knitted mittens of your childhood. Just make sure that you keep the rest of your look smartly conservative in comparison – that means no double leather (you’re not Billy Idol); a wool overcoat will do nicely.
Want to wear warm driving gloves in colder weather? From buttery soft suede to smooth sheepskin, you’re spoilt for choice this season. A lined pair in black works with any look that involves a shirt (spanning from smart-casual to formal), but for those who want to add interest without the edge, tan leather is the perfect solution. Thanks to water-repelling properties, leather gloves will act as a stylish barrier between your hands and the elements (perfect for throwing snowballs, in fact).
Knitted designs may not be as ‘grown-up’ as their leather counterparts, but they’ll cost you much less and combine far better with your off-duty looks by comparison. Opt for a neutral, flecked pair for visual texture and versatility or try a fair isle or checked style for something more statement-making.