Autumn/winter is here. The mornings are darker. The sun is lower. The temperatures are falling. Dressing for the no-man’s land that is November and it’s schizophrenic weather systems is commonly referred to as transitional style. It’s not freezing, but it’s hardly balmy (although bars and hotels can be). So, what’s in and what’s out for this fortysomething guy?
Sneakers/Trainers/Runners. Especially your white ones. Cleaning white shoes is a drag. Puddles and mud does not do them or you any favours. We want our shoes to last after all. I still see guys out in wet, cold weather in sodden Converse. The weather is giving you a hint…
Boot season is here and it lasts until April or May, so worth having some good ones. Ones you don’t mind getting down and dirty with too, as well as favourites that you mollycoddle with pride to hit the pub or restaurant in. I was only recently caught short in the wellington boot department (any ethical wellie manufacturers out there?). Brogue and chelsea boots don’t cut the mustard in the muddy Irish countryside you know, although they are style essentials for dry days when you are raising your style levels.
Linen and short-sleeved shirts. Put them away. I don’t live on the Amalfi Coast. I am going to have to get over that and contend with a veil of misty rain for six months.
Heavy cotton, denim or twill shirts. Check out Patagonia Farrier shirts. Perfect for a wander at the weekend in relative warmth. Next step up is insulated shirts by Finisterre or McNair. These shirts will take you on all the cool outdoor expeditions and beach strolls you imagine yourself having. More likely to keep you warm on the coffee, pastry and grocery run, but keep on thinking big. An area that is worth investing in. Some great quality gear in this area out there. An overshirt can be worn under a t-shirt and give great warmth and style.
Bare ankles. Season denial at play here. It just looks daft when you don’t have the climate for it. Keep it for June to September or holiday/vacation time. It can be a cool look, but don’t force it.
Socks. Thick ones for the depth of winter for inside those boots. Thinner, good quality ones for inside a work or dress shoe. UK and Ireland has a few options for socks. Check out Corgi, Stor and Finisterre for well-made foot warmers. Just avoid novelty socks, unless your kids buy them for you. Wearing those is called demonstrating selflessness and empathy. Core parenting skills those I’m told.
Coats or jackets that are not either/both warm and waterproof. The time you underestimate the winter weather in this part of the world is the time you end up freezing, wet and miserable. It is not a good look. Women will pity you, not want to be with you.
Shearling, Goretex and overcoats on your top half. Staying warm and dry is the target for the next six months!
Insulated jackets with added shearling on the collar (yes, the wool-like collars are totally on trend and warm) are perfect for winter month snugness. Anything that is not generously lined is of limited use in November.
Gore-Tex jackets for saving your skin from a soaking on commutes and weekend tasks. There is such a thing as cagoule cool, it’s all in the attitude you carry.
Overcoats for warmth and cutting a serious dash in work or out on the town. The coat of a true gent. Make sure you have one for the cold days that are ahead! A camel coloured coat is very near the top of my wish list.
Stay warm, dry & stylish everyone.
Thanks for reading!