In view of that, autumn (or fall if you prefer) is indeed a season ripe with a seemingly contradictory sine qua non of natural evolution and change being stylishly framed by what you could call a perennial contingent of reassuring sartorial familiarities (i.e. tweed blazers, handsome topcoats) and nostalgic comforts (i.e. Thanksgiving, walking in the park, et al).
It is, as such, not only “the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” (as Keats poetically proclaimed) but also an eagerly anticipated event that is marked by its call for a transitional changing of the sartorial guard to which its demands are always heralded in with insatiable fervour by the (style-conscious) masses at-large — it is the years final style swan song, as it were, before the cold, muted and dreary doldrums of winter settle in.
That having been said, I do believe that it is high time we all hastened ourselves to returning to our sartorial roots and reintroducing into our daily styling repertoire those select few true blue (seminal) wardrobe staples — those in which keep us warm and looking sharp year-after-year — that we have come to dutifully revere and adore for their abilities to effortlessly marry form and function in a timeless and aesthetically pleasing manner that makes all those dwindling daylight hours and frozen nights much more colourful, bearable, and fashionably framed.
Inasmuch, mastering the art of (smart-casual) layering in the city, so as to be capable of effortlessly cutting a transitional dash in the cold and office, indeed requires considerable tact and skill and is something that becomes considerably easier to come to terms with managing as the years go by and we instil better habits, become more experienced, and ultimately edit down our wardrobe stable of seasonal essentials into a smaller yet more dependable and arguably ageless contingent of wears that we can draw from (and rely upon) with unwavering confidence.
Be that as it may, a finely curated wardrobe can only take a man so far given he is otherwise deprived of a discerning eye in which he can put to good use in immediately taking stock of what in his wardrobe is, and is not, appropriate to wear in both town and at the office (rather then at leisure or in the country) seeing as the way a gentleman takes to dressing in the city (as well as for business) will indeed vary quite vastly in its prescribed occasional specificity, comportment and social discourse then that of the manner in which he takes to attiring himself to better suit a more laid-back bucolic lifestyle.
Taking that into consideration, on one hand you have that quintessential lineup of romantic, nostalgia-tinged, natty heritage country wears — or as I prefer to call them ‘The Legends of Fall’ — that all make for a very warm, casual, and comforting wardrobe which is traditionally designed (in structure, colour and texture) specifically with the principle of aesthetically blending into the vibrant yet homely palette of the countryside and its accompanying life of leisure in mind; And on the other hand you have a smartly considered, structured, sartorially understated, and dystopian-hued contingent of specialized city and business wears whose styling and richness in fabrication are apt reflections of the cosmopolitan landscape and (formal) lifestyle they are tasked with accentuating.
Framed as such, it is only appropriate then that autumn — the harvest season — is when the year’s most varied, enterprising and bounteous crop of menswear trends and garments surface in magazines and line shelves worldwide to both the equitable delight and dismay of men everywhere. In speaking specifically unto the latter and of dressing both appropriately for the season and in a stylish manner so as to maintain ones standards within a professional environment in the city, it is certainly understandable how this varietal overload can (as such) become quite problematic for those who are not innately equipped with a discerning eye who simply just want to look good and keep warm during lengthy commutes to the city, days in the office, and nights out on the town — and all with minimal effort.
For those individuals, sometimes its difficult to know where to begin or rather where to draw the line when the options tabled are near boundless and the traditional borders broken down and never (relatively) redefined.
Being safe (yet never boring), investment worthy and always in fashionable vogue, my advice to just such a man would be to pay heed to what follows below as this feature is seething at the edges with versatile accoutrements of the highest order that will both maximize any cost-per-wear investment ratio presented and help the aforementioned style-conscious gentlemanly urbanite better navigate his fully-dressed (as in besuited), metropolitan domain with ease.
Taken in as a whole, you could say that these traditional, tried-and-true yet sensibly styled menswear basics were borne from a mystic sartorial Pit of Lazarus in that they gave an enduring agelessness and popularity that never truly wanes — their iconic forms are simply just reinvented and purposed to better reflect the tastes of each successive generation.
All that having been said, it warrants but one final note that what rests before you today is but an introductory preview of what is to become an ongoing series of fully-fledged features on M+E spanning autumn/winter that will be artistically fashioned with the educated aim of helping you become better acquainted with the enduring merits of each piece as well as why each respective “essential” truly deserves your all due consideration (and hard earned money).
In sequitur, these “Essential Ten(+)” are what I would refer to as timelessly well-rounded, tastefully candid, subtly refined, classically understated everyday sartorial gems rather then ‘flash in the pan’ throwaway trendy wears of the distastefully crass, overtly daring, or ostentatiously postured statement making variety.
Howbeit, here’s to channeling the elusive romantic sartorial élan of gentlemen of the days of yore, modernizing quintessential wardrobe basics that punch above their class, and enjoying this sartorial epithet to the cold weather seasons that both champions and extols upon the simplistic virtues, sartorial nuances, and lasting benefits of adopting a purposefully understated (albeit elegant and timeless) manner of dress that never shouts for attention but rather subtly commands it through its endearing characteristic merit, flattering cuts, and impeccable styling.
True style, after all, is classic, slightly understated and never dates.
**This post will be periodically updated over the coming months with the
accompanying 'Style Dossier' links for each of those below as they go live…
t is often said that with clothing, as with most matters in life, that it is always best to begin with the basics and to build for yourself a solid, failsafe foundation of essentials (and accentuating accessories) that you can always rely upon with unwavering confidence to make you feel as warm (or cool), calm and collected as you look good and appear (professionally) capable.
Be that as it may, I’d wager that you would be hard-pressed in finding a more reliable, specialized, and true-blue cold-weather seasonal wardrobe capsule of elevated basics suited for life in the city/office then that of the one resting before you today whose illustrious roll call of tried-and-true foundation pieces have all become both beyond reproach and (arguably) immune to the trends and fallacies of fashion due in no small part to their storied characteristic personas, refined yet understated designs, and flattering classic forms and silhouettes.
River Island. $110 | Cockpit USA. $590 | Zara. $299
Belstaff. $4000 | Schott NYC. $380 | AMI. $675
(Clockwise From Top Left)
To that end, you could say that this fine, transitional collection of city, street and office bridging garments is cast from that rarified sartorial cloth whose individualistic components each make for an equally comforting, utilitarian and pleasurable affair in wear that many of us have come to eagerly anticipate once again turning to year-after-year whether to accentuate the vibrant, crisp days of autumn or to help marshal us through the frigid doldrums of winter.
They are, inasmuch and to that effect, long ago established in their enduring merit and amongst the finest sartorial accoutrements available today — goldilocks pieces, as it were, that have come to symbiotically marry the discerning tastes of the sartorialist with the explicit environmental needs of the seasons — whose sharply cut albeit hardy silhouettes and elegantly poised yet reliable characters have fully ingratiated themselves into the very spirits and reflective undertones of both the autumnal and winter scenes.
All that having been said, the only question that remains is whether or not you are willing to answer their heroic call by coopting them into your wardrobe arsenal so as to take full advantage of their ability to instantly instil confidence, enhance your sartorial persona, and prove in kind just how enduring the draw of a tastefully nuanced expression of simplicity and understated elegance in dress is.
With that in mind, and given that many amongst us likely spend roughly five days a week in the office/city, it is my hope that this feature (and each subsequent “Style Dossier” to follow in kind) can not only help better position (for many seasons to come) and round-out the wardrobes of style-conscious professional urbanites everywhere but also be a steady voice of (sartorial) reason in a world that (I feel) is slowly teetering in the wrong direction and generally (gulp) lacking in a sense of taste or occasion.
Beyond that, well I would just like to remind you to remember to unplug when possible, to step away from the chorus (i.e. newspapers, social activities, et al) when it all seemingly gets to loud (or brazen), and too enjoy (in the moment that is) the autumnal warmth, foliage, and styling nuances in dress of ladies and gents from Toronto to Tokyo seeing as we could all surely use a little more peace, pleasure and quiet in these otherwise rather quite unpredictable times.