Keen to conquer the cold weather without having your bank account frozen?
It’s no mean feat. Blustery winds and sheets of rain mean more layers required, which in turn means a bank balance that plummets faster than a thermometer’s mercury in winter. But there are ways of bolstering your wardrobe for the colder months without bankrupting yourself. By refining your wish list to a watertight edit of what you need and what you want, you can ensure you’ve got the essential bases covered before splurging on the desirables.
Below, we’ve split some of autumn/winter’s most wearable, versatile and up-to-the-minute pieces into three distinct budget tiers. Consider it your roadmap to style this season.
£300 Or Less
A typical budget for most students or young professionals, as well as those who have other priorities that come first: rent/mortgage, bills, kids. When confined to a modest limit such as this, it’s important to prioritise value for money and versatility.
Dressed up, down and in-between, an overshirt does overtime so you don’t have to.
The overshirt has its roots in honest-to-goodness workwear; and considering it was built for toiling harder than you ever will sat at a desk, one of these is guaranteed to keep the worst of the cold weather at arm’s length.
Available in everything from heavy cotton twill and wool to sturdy synthetics, there’s plenty of choice on the market whether you’re looking for something to dress up a T-shirt or a jacket alternative to pair with your smartest trousers.
Recommended Budget: ~£100
- Cos Cotton-poplin Shirt Jacket
- Allsaints Merchant Shirt
- River Island Long Sleeve Shirt Jacket
- River Island Red Check Zip Through Shirt Jacket
- River Island Dark Grey Shirt Jacket
- He By Mango Denim-effect Jacket
- Topman Ltd Indigo Coach Jacket
- Mki Ripstop Fatigue Overshirt
- Mki Miyuki Zoku Zipped Shirt Jacket
Sure, summer’s lightweight chinos will see you through the onset of autumn, but you’ll need stronger stuff to weather what winter’s bound to throw at you. And twill – owing to its distinctive diagonal weave – is well positioned to bolster your bottom half while keeping you looking sharp.
If this is the only legwear purchase you’re making this season, hunt down a versatile option like a brushed twill trouser in beige, navy, stone or charcoal. Unlike coarser takes on the material, the brushed variety works just as well dressed up with a shirt and blazer as it does dressed down with a rugged knit and waxed field jacket.
Recommended Budget: ~£100
- J. Crew Bowery Classic Pant In Heather Cotton Twill
- J. Crew Brushed Cotton Twill Melange Chino In 484 Fit
- Collezione Flat Front Brushed Twill Chinos
- Gant Rugger Slim-fit Cotton-twill Chinos
- M&s Collection Wool Blend Contemporary Slim Fit Flat Front Twill Trousers
- Reiss Tullum Heavyweight Twill Chinos Grey
- Reiss Medway Classic Twill Chinos Navy
- Norse Projects Aros Light Twill Chino
- Austin Reed Stone Twill Slim Fit Chino
A Roll Neck Jumper
We’re still racking our brains as to why some guys won’t get on board with the roll neck. Snug, second-skin comfortable, flattering on body shapes from rugby forwards to runway models, and ideal for layering as a knit or in place of a shirt, there’s not much it doesn’t do.
Try a fine to mid-gauge style if your wardrobe caters mostly for days spent at the office (and evenings sipping on a Tom Collins), or go for a chunkier thick gauge option if your style steers more casual and rugged.
Plain colour styles will – unsurprisingly – slot into your autumn/winter looks with ease, while colour-block, geometric or otherwise patterned roll necks probably won’t offer as impressive cost-per-wear but can pack some punch where it’s needed.
Recommended Budget: ~£60
- Suitsupply Green Turtleneck
- Mki Cashmere Merino Roll Neck Knit
- He By Mango Textured Sweater
- John Smedley Fairisle Pattern Roll Neck Knit
- Topman Burgundy Cotton Roll Neck Jumper
- River Island Dark Green Colour Block Roll Neck Jumper
- River Island Black Jersey Roll Neck
- Reiss Observatory Merino Roll Neck Jumper Airforce Blue
- J. Crew Lambswool Rollneck Sweater
A Wool Scarf
Think scarves are superfluous? Think again. Unless you’re gearing up for a round of SAS training, these winter warmers not only provide an extra line of defence against the chill, but also offer a simple way to shift gears on your look, instantly taking it from dull to dapper.
Stick with plain colour or lightly patterned styles if this is the sole scarf you’re buying this season; boldly printed, patterned or coloured options are totally doable but working them into both on- and off-duty looks isn’t exactly a cakewalk.
And know your wools: merino will wick away any unexpected sweat, while something like cashmere guarantees luxurious comfort.
Recommended Budget: ~£40
- Polo Ralph Lauren Two-tone Wool-blend Scarf
- John Lewis & Co. Popcorn Wool Scarf Green
- Jigsaw Selvedge Wool Check Scarf
- Ted Baker Stripe Merino Wool Scarf Blue
- J. Crew Lambswool Marled Striped Scarf
- Johnstons Lambs Wool Scarf
- Blue Harbour Pure Lambswool Block Checked Scarf
- Uniqlo Unisex 100% Cashmere Scarf
- M&s Collection Pure Cashmere Fringe Trim Scarf
£300 To £600
If you’ve got a little more cash padding your pockets, it’s worth checking out some of this season’s most talked about pieces.
A Checked Wool Blazer
While a checked wool blazer might not boast the all-rounder appeal of a plain navy style, it’s still a winning option for everything from a date to a client dinner.
Subtle, smaller-spaced checks will likely be easier to team with all the pieces currently in your wardrobe, while boxy windowpane checks and high-contrast colour combinations will suit if this is set to be your smarter statement piece.
Fully lined pure wool jackets are most suited to the autumn/winter months – not only are they sure to keep you insulated as the winter chill sets in, but they also look infinitely smarter than the lightweight, unstructured versions pedalled when the sun is out.
Recommended Budget: ~£200
- Austin Reed Contemporary Fit Grey/navy Overcheck Jacket
- Topman Harris Tweed Monochrome Pure Wool Check Skinny Fit Blazer
- Austin Reed Viyella Black Watch Tartan Wool Jacket
- Reiss Hancock B Wool Check Blazer Grey
- M&s Collection Luxury Pure New Wool 2 Button Prince Of Wales Check Jacket
- Uniqlo Men Wool Blended Checked Blazer
- Chester Barrie Check Notch Collar Tailored Fit Formal Blazer
- He By Mango Check Cool Wool Suit Blazer
- John Lewis Subtle Check Tailored Blazer Fawn
A Pair Of Leather Chelsea Boots
There are certain Victorian hallmarks we’ll happily do without (poverty, tuberculosis and child labour to name a few), but this 19th century-born boot is a keeper.
Combining the ease of wear and sleek, unfussy design of a shoe with the practicality of a boot, Chelsea boots are arguably the best way to stay well-shod through the colder months. Only genuine leather – regularly polished and protected – will do, while colours like black, shades of brown and oxblood are all worth considering.
Recommended Budget: ~£100
- River Island Dark Red Leather Chunky Chelsea Boots
- M&s Collection Luxury Leather Chelsea Boots
- Bertie Ceasars Brushed Leather Chelsea Boots Tan
- Topman Tan Leather Chelsea Boots
- Jack & Jones Radnor Leather Chelsea Boots
- Asos Chelsea Boots In Leather
- Next Brown Chelsea Boot
- Dr. Martens 2976 Originals Black Chelsea Boot
- Office Cramble Chelsea Boots Black Leather
£600 to £1000+
Still got some change spare after all of that? Now’s the time to consider luxury items and accessories that will help to personalise your look.
There’s an irony to sticking an overcoat in the highest price bracket here but the reality is quality wool versions don’t come cheap. Or even near it.
Indisputably smart, insulating and seasonless, buy right and you’ll have your wool coat forever. And by ‘buy right’ we mean swapping oversized cuts for glove-like fits, statement patterns (read: camo or giant houndstooth) for subtle variations (that’d be herringbone) and track-stopping bright colours for hues you can wear with anything (like black, midnight blue, shades of grey and camel).
- Club Monaco Wool-blend Coat
- Sandro Double-breasted Herringbone Wool-blend Overcoat
- Reiss Claremont Wool Overcoat Navy
- Hackett London Double Face Wool Overcoat Navy
- Suitsupply Grey Overcoat
- He By Mango Cotton Cashmere-blend Coat
- Silver Italian Wool Cashmere Epson Coat
- British Fabric Pure Wool Coat
- Uniqlo Men Wool & Cashmere Chesterfield Coat
We’re men of our word; we said twill trousers will style you through most of your iCal engagements this autumn/winter, and we’re sticking to it. But there are times – standing out for all the right reasons at your office Christmas party, for example – only fine wool will do.
Wool, or wool-blend, flat front or single-pleat trousers are a men’s wardrobe mainstay for dressier affairs. Invest in a pair of these and you’ll never have to combine a pristine button-down with past-their-prime jeans ever again.
- Berluti Slim-fit Wool And Cashmere-blend Trousers
- Suitsupply Grey Trousers
- Best Of British For M&s Collection New Pure Wool Tailored Fit Flat Front Twill Trousers
- Calvin Klein Collection Jadkaw Slim-fit Wool Trousers
- Reiss Barnaby T Modern-fit Trousers
- Zilli Snake Trim Wool Trousers
- River Island Grey Wool-blend Herringbone Slim Fit Trousers
- Acne Aron Shetland Trouser
- He By Mango Textured Wool Chinos
Not just for serial killers and Bond villains, leather gloves are pretty much the only way of keeping your hands warm without looking like a man-child, out-of-place intrepid explorer or spectacularly ‘down on your luck’.
Try an unlined driving style for a sleek finish or pick up a fur- or cashmere-lined pair to keep your digits toasty and your look on-point.
- Reiss Gosling Leather Driving Gloves
- Suitsupply Brown Gloves
- Dents Delta Leather Driving Gloves
- He By Mango Tab Leather Gloves
- Selected Leather Gloves
- Collezione Italian Leather Gloves With Thinsulate
- Berluti Cashmere-lined Grained-leather Gloves
- Loro Piana Cashmere-lined Leather Gloves
- Thom Browne Grosgrain Trim Leather Glove
Adding on-trend, versatile pieces to your cold-weather collection needn’t mean extending your overdraft. Gauge your budget against this guide before you go shopping to buy smarter and expand your autumn/winter wardrobe possibilities.
How will you be spending this season? Would you distribute your hard-earned cash differently than we’ve done above?
Share your thoughts below.
What To Spend On This Season
Follow this style roadmap to get the most out of your money
Image: Massimo Dutti AW15