How to dress for style (and success) this autumn

Autumn revival
India Price,-Contributing Editor

The perfect pieces and products to bring your look back to life as the seasonal shift begins...

After summer’s late flourish, packing away the shorts and sandals feels like a welcome change of pace. And this season, there’s a degree of formality in fashion that has a grown-up sophistication about it.

So what to wear this autumn? Happily comfort is still king, so it’s less about tweed suits and lace-ups (though knock yourself out if dressing up is your jam), and more about relaxed silhouettes and pieces that will do double duty at work and at play. So suits work just as well as separates, trophy knits don’t require a jacket to smarten up, and loafers – an AW hit in both menswear and womenswear – are as comfy as an old pair of slippers.

Read on to find the top menswear trends for autumn that mix comfort, style and value.

Laid-back loafers

1. Laid-back loafers

With their provenance reputedly dating back to Norwegian fishermen who wore them in the 19th century, the loafer really exploded in fashion terms in the 1950s. By then, worn by preppy Ivy Leaguers and given designer tassels by fashion house Gucci, they became a welcome staple in many a dapper gentleman’s wardrobe. And as we look for fashion inspiration beyond the white trainer, it’s the loafer that’s jockeying for position in terms of comfort and wearability.

Commanding bomber

2. A commanding bomber

Hear us out, but a bomber might be the key to unlocking much of your wardrobe. With its cropped silhouette and structured style, a bomber is the very epitome of smart casual. Choose a checked wool fabric as here, or even suede as here, which both work well for IRL office days when combined with freshly pressed chinos. Wear with jeans to give off-duty dressing a degree of poise.

Surprising suits

3. Surprising suits

Nothing says you mean business better than a suit, but may we suggest you think outside the matchy-matchy outfits of old, and instead invest in separates that can be worn together or repurposed alone for more casual looks? Load up on interesting colours and textures too, like velvet or corduroy, and pair with a crisp T-shirt and trainers rather than more stuffy shirts and ties.

Standout accessories

4. Standout accessories

Here’s your official reminder that brights don’t need to be reserved for summer’s hottest days. There’s no hard and fast rule decreeing that monochrome must be worn in autumn and winter – ring the changes and mix some colours into the accessories you invest in for this new season, even if it’s just the odd scarf, your socks, or a watch. 

Trophy knits

5. Trophy knits

There is no doubting that knitwear is having a menswear moment, so for the forseeable, relegate boring monotone sweaters to the back of the wardrobe and add a fashion flourish with a trophy knit. Intarsia and Fair Isle styles (which involve knitting with different-coloured wools) bring Icelandic fisherman vibes, while classic cable knits add texture rather than colour. Just be sure to handwash anything wool, or expect to hand it over to your offspring after the first wear. See our guide to washing your clothes here.

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