Some items are simply vital to a man in his forties in the quest to be stylish. If you or your partner don’t have them, then it is definitely time to stump up! I try in my blog to be positive and avoid the pathetic “you are too old for x when you are y.” The positives do mean becoming a discerning consumer though, so putting your hand into your pocket (not just because it is cold) is almost inevitable. Sound purchases will pay you back time after time. Living in Ireland, I get a better return on autumn clothes than I do summer ones! I enjoy the change of season purely because my dormant overcoats, scarves, gloves etc all come back to life and into use. I have to try and take some positives out of the fact that you will not see the sun again for 150 days! Here are a few must-haves to see you through to April:
Absolute winner. Should come down to just above knee. Can be worn over workwear or jeans at the weekend. Can be fitted or oversized. Oversized is in, but can feel a bit weird. Can be left open or closed. Will last for years if you don’t get it drenched and do dry clean as needed. You can pick a number here cost-wise. A good serving, mid-priced overcoat can be sourced for €250, I would say. I have one budget overcoat and one mid-price in my wardrobe. Both look great and it is power dressing for men. Everyone from H&M to Ted Baker to Paul Smith do their own versions. Navy is safe if it’s doubling up for workwear, but light grey is strikingly handsome. Camel coloured coats are back in style and they look amazing with denim shirts and jeans as the contrast works really well. Patterns are in just now such as the herringbone one below, but pretty much any type of overcoat goes if it fits well. I love them. See my new H&M version below.
Quality over quantity. A cheap scarf doesn’t last and will fray and itch the heck out of your neck (especially post-shave). Go for a good quality wool version or upgrade to cashmere for an extra comfy warm feel. A scarf will make you look sophisticated and will lift your outfit. A classy essential for this time of year. Some great offerings out there, a few of which are made in Scotland or other northern European countries. Provenance is increasingly relevant when buying clothes these days. My Reiss version I am sporting above was made in Germany. Begg & Co offer luxury scarves made in Scotland. I repeat, don’t bother with cheap scarves.
Gloves are underestimated and under-utilised as a fashion accessory by men. They cut a dash in that Silver Screen way and keep your hands warm at the same time….bonus! Looking good and functionality at the same time…double bonus. Having several pairs means you can always find at least one pair when the babysitter arrives and the taxi is waiting. Brown leather gloves are the standard-bearer due to the fact they match everything. Lighter coloured ones do General Custer up your outfit slightly, but that didn’t stop me investing in the pair above from Reiss (by Dents). Custer did have Scottish heritage after all! Making your entrance into the bar with your gloves on does bring a debonair look to proceedings. Well, either that or The Equaliser. I’d gladly take either look. Keep your good ones for when you really want to impress. Just don’t lose them! You will feel like you lost the battle of Little Big Horn if you lose your best gloves.
Essence of masculinity and perfect for autumn and winter. If you are flush and are looking for hard working, durable daytime boots check out the iconic Red Wing from the US or English brand Grenson. Smarter stylish boots for nights out would have to be Chelsea or brogue boots. I have a Paul Smith pair of Italian-made boots several years old, but still perfect and possibly my all-time fave item. If you have 300 smackers to invest go Grenson in my opinion for a pair to work any outfit. Goodyear soles and great workmanship make these a must to invest in. Very cool and stylish. Considering in Northern Europe you can wear boots almost all year round then it’s a no-brainer. For budget versions check out Hudson (my boots above and shearling-lined too for warming 41 yr old clodhoppers) or Kurt Geiger. Budget options can be further sourced online via Asos. Look after your boots with leather cream and TLC and they will stay top of your favourites list. Although a bit of battering can add character as well. All depends on how you like to wear ’em and what look you are after.
The athleisure craze is here to stay. Not sure about doing the trip into town in jogger pants, but sweatshirts are definitely essential for men of all vintages. Versatility is always a big consideration of mine and sweatshirts score very highly. They can be worn ultra casually on a day off or dressed up by having a blazer over them. As a man in his forties I would never put them with sweatpants as I would be running the risk of looking like Steve Carell in Foxcatcher. Grey is the flavour of the month, but navy and patterned
look great too. I recently invested in a Tom Cridland burnt orange sweatshirt. When I say invested, it wasn’t particularly pricey and Tom gives a 30 year guarantee with it as part of the sustainable fashion mantra that the label works under. Check it out on his website. Honorable mentions go to British label Sunspel, Scandi brand Nudie & French connoisseurs of basic style APC for their easy-going, but hugely attractive ranges.