So, autumn hath arrived. It has presented itself at my door like a dinner guest arriving at least an hour early. The transition from coming home from work and sitting in the evening sunshine, to coming from home from work and putting all the houselights on has been brisk and harsh.
Amidst the backdrop of the rugby world cup, the phrase “you can only play what is in front of you,” is trotted out with stultifying regularity. However, the phrase is apt when it comes to dressing for autumn in northern Europe. Well, at least the particularly windy and rainy part in which I have chosen to live. Autumn is here in front of me and I shall have to take it on head on, preferably with style.
There is no dramatic boxing away of summer clothing in my house in September. I gather it does happen in some households, even in this part of the world where you could fit a cigarette paper between the difference in a spring, summer and autumn day sometimes. There are subtle sartorial differences required in the sometimes brutal transition between summer and autumn. However, these are mainly tweaks as most menswear covers a lot of bases. How I tweak my gameplan for the autumn onslaught is (briefly) as follows-
Get the layers on
T-shirt only weather is behind me and that is probably where it shall remain until April next year. Still, the t-shirt will see action at home (my recently insulated house ensures that) for sure, but will still be the base layer for other activities. This is where plain coloured t-shirts excel. A plain tee under and overshirt or jumper/knit will always look smart and contemporary. They will also work well under a leather jacket or overcoat. The modern man will rarely be separated from his good t-shirts. Just layer it.
Boots on the ground
White sneakers, loafers and driving shoes are so last week. They are simply not practical for rain and dropping temperatures. Autumn is boot season and always will be.
The only time when I am not booted is during work hours. At weekends and days off you won’t see me without my Red Wing, Tricker’s or Danner boots. Autumn provides underfoot conditions that dictate the footwear terms. The plus side is that boots and the necessary accompanying denim seem to enhance my feelings of masculinity. The non-toxic variety of course.
The coat is on
It would be foolhardy to be gallivanting around in the Irish autumn without a coat. It is all fun and games until somebody (me) gets soaked. Waterproofing is the ideal outerwear attribute in these parts, while on clear days the overcoat sees action. The latter obviously has the sartorial upper hand, but sometimes a waxed jacket or full on waterproof is needed.
I have invested in a few overcoats over the years and would recommend you have one or two to hand. The packaway cagoule is my choice for commuting (I alternate between walking, bus and car travel) and it’s only out when needed. I do prefer the chilly, dry days where the overcoat can make me feel like the king of New York on the commute.
Do invest in a decent umbrella too. It might save your overcoat from a drenching. The wool-based materials often used in overcoats don’t tend to react well to a soaking. It just makes them smell and shortens their life which we don’t want. In my experience an umbrella under £20 or €25 is not worth it and will only let you down. It is worth having a decent one in the bag.
A few spots you may try for autumnal bits are-
If it is sunny where you are, then please send some my way!
Thanks for reading,