Joe Ottaway’s Style Guide: November

Joe Ottaway’s Style Guide: November


If you’re after a simple shopping list to update your autumn/winter wardrobe, Joe Ottaway is on hand with his top ten essentials…

We’re still a while away from full batten-down-the-hatches season, but it’s worth preparing now for the months ahead. Assuming you’ve already put away your linen shirts, cotton espadrilles, seersucker shorts and straw hats for another year, here are ten things you will need to see out the rest of autumn/winter.

Until you have no option but to channel Ernest Shackleton to keep warm, enjoy the stylish bomber. Few items have withstood the shifting sands like this piece. As with any wardrobe classic that has been around the block, the dizzying array of options on the market can make finding the right one challenging. My favourite style – guaranteed to stay the test of time – is a wool bomber with a shearling collar.

White trousers have traditionally been considered impractical, inappropriate or ill-advised – and sometimes all of the above. I couldn’t disagree more. Corduroy styles are my favourite. Whether the wales (the ribbed lines that make up this quintessential cool-weather fabric) are narrow or wide, they look great in white and aren’t any less equipped to keep you warm than corduroy in any other colour. White denim is another shrewd choice for autumn – for inspo, check out Alessandro Squarzi, an Italian style icon and founder of Fortela Signore.

Versatile, soft and comfortable, this piece is constructed to be smarter than a shirt and more casual than a blazer. Whether your office is more relaxed than before or you need a new go-to for smart-casual weekends, the overshirt has all bases covered. Officine Générale’s Jonas is a bona fide allrounder that will come in handy once temperatures start to drop.

 The Loewe Flow Runner is one of the coolest sneakers of the current moment. Even if you are not a fashion devotee, the olive green version will elevate the simplest of outfits, and is the ideal autumnal update to classic white

The peacoat is one of those rare garments that looks good on anybody. Short in body with a sharp shoulder and cut from a blended wool, it lends itself to unrivalled warmth and softness. I promise it’s a classic coat you’ll wear for years to come.

This is the time of year when we need to replace our summer chinos with a colder-weather go-to. Blackhorse Lane Ateliers selvedge denim is my favourite fabric for winter trousers – not just an evergreen essential, it softens and fades over time to perfectly fit the wearer’s body.

The perfect trans-seasonal essential. If you don’t feel it's cold enough yet to bundle up, but you need an extra layer of warmth, take cues from Italian men who have a sartorial legacy of getting it really right. Over a blazer, under a coat, jacket or knitwear, the gilet has become the modern man’s trademark.

A chunky knit can be one of the most versatile parts of a gent’s wardrobe, whether it’s a cable-knit cardigan or a rugged argyle crewneck. It’s actually a viable alternative to an overcoat. Wear it tucked into a pair of drawstring trousers or layered with outerwear or denim – it’ll look good whatever the weather.

Nothing says ‘Autumn is here’ like Chelsea boots. A good pair will also bridge the gap between smart and casual better than anything else on this list. R.M. Williams's Gardener boots pair beautifully with wool trousers when you mean business or under tried-and-tested denim for every day. The toes on these are scalpel sharp – trim and bevelled, rather than round and bulbous. This means they'll look extra stylish with anything slim and tailored.

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