The between-seasons period, i.e. the troublesome time of year when you can wake up to Spring sunshine in the morning and swim your way home through a monsoon in the evening, i.e. every conscientious dresser’s worst nightmare, i.e. now, need not be as daunting as it often seems to be. In fact – contrary to glossy magazines who run innumerable articles on the ‘art’ or ‘science’ behind transseasonal dressing – all it takes to navigate this tricky time is a little common sense and a lot of good style (which, if you’re reading this, you probably already have in abundance!).
In practical terms, this means thinking twice before putting on your suede Gucci loafers, if there’s a chance of showers later in the day. It means having something that’s cooler than your wool winter coat, but cosier than your sleeveless summer vest for when the mercury is jumping up and down between five and twenty-five degrees centigrade. It means having a good stock of Spring essentials that will carry you out of the colder months and see you into Summer. Or even, given the erratic nature of the British Summer, see you back around into Winter again.
This translates into having a selection of basics that you can wear all year round, that you will find particularly useful for the not-quite-summer-yet-but-thank-goodness-we’re-not-freezing-anymore season. With all of these pieces, it’s worth splashing out on premium products, as they are all versatile essentials that every man should have in his wardrobe.
Apesi at mrporter.com; Pretty Green; The Lost Explorer at mrporter.com
A hard-wearing utility shirt – a.k.a. an overshirt, or a shacket – is not only the perfect coat substitute for when warm weather threatens, it’s also a sure-fire shortcut to a classic slim masculine silhouette. Khaki (tellingly, the colour of choice for explorers in tropical climes!) is light enough to keep you warm, but also will keep its colour in a sudden downpour. This Aspesi field jacket (£325) is a classic take, whereas this military jacket (£100) by Liam Gallagher’s brand Pretty Green takes inspiration from one of Britain’s greatest fashion icons, Mr. John Lennon himself. Sandy camel is a cooler alternative to khaki, we love this organic cotton offering (£225) by The Lost Explorer for Mr. Porter.
Helmut Lang at matchesfashion.com; Burberry; Reiss
The trench coat began life, as its name implies, in the trenches of WWI, where officers found it useful for keeping the mud and rain off their uniforms. This led naturally into the trench becoming a cornerstone of autumnal dressing. Happily for you, the trench is also perfect for Spring, especially given its water-resistant properties. Buy in a shorter, smarter looking cut, and consider grey as a chic alternative to classic beige. These grey-blue renditions by Helmut Lang (£1,095 at matchesfashion.com) and trench coat experts Burberry (£1,450). This navy mac from Reiss (£140) would be great company for a business suit worn over a white t shirt.
Hackett London at John Lewis; Ami at Mr. Porter; Baracuta
There is a reason why the mods of the 1960s – a subculture renowned for its stylish outerwear, such as the iconic fishtail parka, worn to protect wearers’ expensive suits from the elements when zipping about on a moped – loved the Harrington jacket so much. It’s warm without being suffocating, light without being flimsy, and unbeatable when it comes to layering over shirts and jumpers. This tan take on the Harrington by Hackett London (£175 at John Lewis) is a nice alternative to classic dark red and navy, as is this grey jacket by Ami (£420 at Mr. Porter). Baracuta is the original Harrington brand – and this beige jacket (£295) proves it’s still the best.
Long-sleeved floral shirt
Paul Smith at John Lewis; No. 21 at Farfetch; Alexander McQueen at Mr. Porter
A short-sleeved floral shirt is a weapon that all men should have in their sartorial arsenal for Summer. It’s less long-sleeved cousin, although less well-publicised, is perfect for the pre-summer period. The trick: roll sleeves up in warmer weather, button cuffs down when it’s cooler. Paul Smith (£120 at John Lewis) is the undisputed master of long-sleeved floral shirts, but this minimalist, sky blue number by No. 21 (£250 at Farfetch) is a cool and unconventional alternative. For a daring monochrome look, it’s hard to beat the legendary British house of McQueen (£215 at Mr. Porter).
Alexandre Mattiusi at SSENSE; Rag & Bone at Mr. Porter; Dolce & Gabbana at Farfetch
Warm enough for windy-weather pursuits, and comfy enough for summer sports; smart joggers (not the grey trackies you wear for Sunday morning video games that you’ve had in your wardrobe since 2006) are an often undervalued springtime staple. Whether you like yours in subdued black, as per Alexandre Mattiussi (£210 at SSENSE), or in lighter hues, such as this olive green pair by Rag & Bone (£210 at Mr. Porter), now is the time to show off your sweatpants. Consider also this bolder, smart-meets-streetwear design from Dolce & Gabbana (£695 at Farfetch).
Leather Chelsea Boots
It is a universal truth that a pair of shoes can make or break an outfit. Make sure you incline towards the former by opting for a classic footwear silhouette. Chelsea boots are a British classic and will ensure that you look stylish from head to toe. A stretchy fabric insert affords these shoes a bit of give around the ankle, making them great for spring/summer rambling. Opt for leather over suede in case of unexpected showers.
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