Ensure you’re transitioning with the weather with these autumn style essentials, guaranteed to keep you feeling toasty and looking frosty.
Autumn is a tricky time in Asia. Across the region temperatures either plummet towards winter lows, or gently descend, sometimes at a painfully slow pace, as gents long to leave the sweat of summer behind and embrace the contrast of the cooler months. This means that you need to be prepared for whatever the elements throw at you, and that might mean a nip in the air, a monsoon shower, or a lingering summer sun.
Because of the contrast between seasons (for most of the region at least) you’ll always be trying to balance your summer gear with your winter look. The best solution is, rather than have an entire autumn wardrobe, add a few select items that help you transition, so that you don’t end up as the one guy at the barbecue in a great coat or the one lad on the cigar terrace getting hypothermia. Start from the ground up with a decent pair of boots that will keep your feet dry and your style on message, and then work up, adding comfort-driven items that allow you to layer (or de-layer) in a second. The wind also whips up so it’s good to have an outer layer that can battle the elements on your behalf, as well as a few touches that embrace the season and don’t surrender to winter – not just yet anyway.
Persol 714 Steve McQueen
Made famous by the original strong silent type, Persol’s 714 were the original folding sunglasses, and this limited edition version, made in Italy with polarised lenses and frames in a hue the brand calls “Light Havana” ensures a look that transcends seasonality.
Taylor Stitch Ranch Boot
Another autumn vital is a pair of boots that can not only weather the worst that the season can throw at you but that can also transition depending on your daily style choices. A Chelsea style boot is always a great choice because it’s high enough to keep most water out and also looks great with jeans, slacks, and even a suit. The Ranch Boot from Taylor Stitch is made with ‘saddle tan’ or ‘espresso grizzly’ leather outers and traditional re-soleable Goodyear welt construction and features a sheepskin lining and foam insole for ultimate comfort. Don’t forget, they’ll only look better with age.
Levis 501 Original Jeans
A pair of stonewashed jeans are just the ticket for autumn in Asia; not only is this massive fashion movement from the 1990s making its 20-year renaissance, but the lighter shades help reflect a lighter transition between the seasons – this is Asia after all, not too many snow blizzards. Try the Levis 501 Original Fits, which sit at the waist and have an iconic straight leg profile, button fly, and five pockets. They’re an American icon for an Asian season and pair well with both a pair of white sneakers for days when summer seems to linger and boots when winter is coming.
Aquascutum Corby Trench Coat
Whether you’re spending your days in the office or you’re jumping around town from meeting to meeting, a trench coat can be your best friend during the fickle months of autumn. It frees up a hand otherwise dominated by an umbrella, and often keeps you drier than one, while also adding a lengthening, slimming touch to your profile. With lines that are at once traditional and contemporary, the Corby trench coat from Aquascutum, available in navy and camel, is constructed in a shower-proof cotton blend and takes its inspiration from military design with its raglan sleeves and double-breasted cut. Done up with its belt at the waist, it adds functionality to a formal look, and undone, it catches the eye and adds a touch of elegance over a pair of jeans and boots.
Khaki Stretch Corduroy Blazer
This might surprise you but a corduroy sports coat is also a great little weapon to fend off the fickle weather. Another fashion item that’s enjoying a newfound popularity, mainly because of the casulisation of men’s fashion, especially in Asia, this blazer from Jachs NY is lightweight yet sturdy enough not to look like you’ve pinched your grandfather’s dancing tux. With casual yet elegant lines, and thick enough to keep the first of winter’s winds away, the jacket features slim lapels and a tailored fit that better suits taller lads and is another great match for denim, this time in darker shades.
Bleu de Chauffe Messenger Bag
If summer is all about linen and light materials and winter is wool coats and scarfs, then autumn is the time to don those leather accessories. Made from vegetable-tanned textured leather, this messenger bag from Bleu de Chauffe is the perfect office addition. Casual enough to meet the season’s needs but without straying your look into backpack country, the satchel boasts two snap-fastening outer pockets for life’s little essentials, and room within for a 13-inch laptop.
For when it gets chilly outside (or inside where the AC still thinks it’s the heart of summer) it’s always handy to have a cardigan. Again, this might be something you associate with Granny and her evening chills but if you go with a solid, earthy colour, and a relatively tailored fit that ensures the jumper doesn’t balloon around the hips and shoulders, then you’ll look every part the modern gentleman while also staying toasty. The Wool-Blend Cardigan from Acne Studios, which is knitted from a soft wool blend with touches of cashmere and nylon, has lines that are just retro enough to be cool, and timeless enough that you can wear it to work without people thinking you’ve given up.
Belstaff Reeve Jacket
With autumn being the month for you leather lotharios out there, you might consider a leather jacket. It’s heavy enough to keep out the cold, cool enough to leave open, and brings a sophisticated swagger to your look – no, not all leather jackets tell the world you’ve just been initiated into a bike gang. In fact, the ‘cafe racer’ style, known for its clean, minimalist lines and mandarin collar, is perfect for the transition season. Belstaff, one of the UK’s coolest brands, makes a great moto-inspired jacket and if it’s good enough for the likes of Brad Pitt, Steve McQueen, and David Beckham, we think it’ll look great on you. Made from Nappa lambskin, the leather is super soft and begs to be worn on the last nights you’ll be dining alfresco.
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