All the leaves are brown
Melissa Chrys looks at what's new in menswear this autumn
As the weather cools down, let us turn our attention to the gentlemen of the city, because if there's one good thing about autumn and winter, it's that things get a little more formal.
With the sweltering summer behind us, we bid farewell to lightweight suit pants and rolled up shirtsleeves. What's better than seeing a man fully suited and booted, umbrella in hand, scarf knotted with manly elegance, striding through town? I don't know about you, but it's certainly something I look forward to seeing. And don't forget the shoes!
After months and months of seeing hairy, unkempt feet poking out of thongs, I am personally looking forward to seeing men's feet back in their shoes! So, with all this in mind, let us discuss what lies in store for menswear during the autumn / winter season.
At the recent autumn / winter shows in Paris and Milan this year, the buzz words for men were casual, understated elegance. Elegance, hey? Not the first word to pop into your mind when you think of menswear, but it sounds pretty good to me. The looks that dominated the runways were plaids, corduroy, fur and leather - which were all given a retro styling.
As usual, looks varied from extravagant to restrained, but overall, designers served up a selection of looks that were practical and interesting, with a mix of fabrics and the odd splash of colour thrown in for good measure. But what does this mean for the regular man? Well, it means you should probably go shopping. It also means, we can look forward to a winter of men dressing like men, and looks that are neat and classy without being stuffy and overly formal. Here are my top tips for dressing this season:
Get some knits in your kit
Knits are big news this season. And they are physically big too; look for chunky, oversized cardigans with neat embellishments like vintage buttons and cute pockets. Cable knits are also making their way back onto the scene, as are those funky ski-lodge staples of the '70s - the alpine knit. A word of warning however: don't be surprised if your girlfriend steals any of these items off you - the knit is big news in womenswear too.
All the leaves are brown
This season's colour palette screams autumn, with various shades of brown, yellow and mustard taking centre stage. You'll also see lots of maroon, olive and navy, and of course shades of grey still abound. But camel - that deliciously flattering shade of brown - is by far the biggest colour trend of the season.
Camel is king
As I noted above - camel is the biggest and most important trend of the season. It's also a very flattering shade and can be easily added to your wardrobe through a jacket or even just a pair of shoes. The best thing about the colour is that it's easy to dress up or down - which means less thinking for you! The Polo Ralph Lauren jacket is a perfect investment. It can be worn with jeans and skate shoes for a casual look, or you can dress it up with a smart shirt and pair of pants for a night on the town.
Just like the Backstreet Boys, cords are back - but in a good way. Gone is the wide, chunky corduroy of the '90s. The latest incarnation has been given a more retro feel, the cords are thinner, pants are skinnier and come in an enormous array of shades. I recommend a pair in light grey or navy blue to see you through winter. But if you're feeling adventurous, why not experiment with some colour and get yourself a pair in olive green or deep merlot?
This season the check shirt will tick all the boxes. Easy to dress up or down and available in an endless assortment of shades and combinations, the plaid shirt is a simple way to inject some instant currency to your look. Wear with jeans for a smart casual look, or try it with your favourite grey suit for some serious style cred.
The shoe fits
I know most guys don't care that much about shoes, but you should, they're terribly important. This season the desert boot continues to impress, but there are a number of new contenders also vying for the top spot. Don't underestimate the loafer, which was prominent on a number of catwalks this year. Boots in general are also everywhere and have been reinvigorated with some interesting military / urban styling.
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