Words by Benjamin Armitage
Autumn’s arrival heralds the opportunity for a new season refresh. As temperatures drop in October, and the trees lining the streets and parks turn that rustic shade of golden brown, we naturally reach for warmer layers from our wardrobes, gravitating towards woolens and corduroy and cozy textures. Here at Trunk, the emerging chill is a happy reminder that our favorite season has arrived, for now is the time to start layering our best cold weather clothing.
Perhaps more than any other season, autumn offers the opportunity for a formulaic approach to dressing. Cozy crew neck sweaters can be worn under blazers, trench coats or, on colder days, heavy overcoats, while layering a flannel shirt under the sweater will not only add extra warmth, but will look smart, too. Pair this with either chinos or flannel trousers, sneakers or suede boots, and you have the building blocks to form a modular wardrobe.
But beyond autumn, this mix and match approach to style is how we curate our buy every season at Trunk. Rather than following trends, we select specific types of garments, fabrics and colourways that create a cohesive look to make it easier for our customers, while all of our in-house garments are designed to be seamlessly paired with the pieces you already own.
Simply adding just a few of these wardrobe essentials will freshen up your closet for the forthcoming winter. Here, we decode the key pieces to look out for this season — and how to wear them.
The overshirt has become a go-to over the last few seasons, thanks to its smart utilitarian style and everyday versatility. An ideal companion for trans-seasonal dressing, this wardrobe staple is designed to be layered, worn over a shirt and sweater on cooler days, or styled as a lightweight jacket underneath a coat. The overshirt is also easy to pack away and store in your tote bag lest the weather turn especially chilly — the lightweight fabrication means that it’s easier than carrying a jacket or a bulky sweater around.
This Barena version is an ideal choice for such occasions; in a classic military green hue, it’s crafted from a heavy cotton twill fabric that will age and wear beautifully over time. We suggest wearing it on casual, off-duty days — paired with chinos and sneakers and a shirt and sweater.
The heavy knit
Not just for the depths of winter, a heavy knit cardigan can be particularly useful come late summer and early autumn. As the temperatures tend to vary from day to day (especially here in London) , this functional layering piece can easily be added or removed when worn over a shirt or sweater, and is a particularly indulgent and cosy alternative to a blazer or jacket.
This version from the Japanese brand Batoner is a somewhat subversive take on the classic shawl collar cardigan. It's unique A-line silhouette, smooth collar and single button fastening gives it a contemporary edge, whilst the brands signature heavy ribbing helps it to retain shape and creates a wonderful drape when worn open. Come colder weather, it can be styled under outerwear as an extra layer that is both warm and breathable.
At Trunk, we have a colour palette that we very much like to stick to — think easy-wearing greys, navys and olives along with neutrals and earthy colours such as beiges and browns. When it comes to looking our best and standing out from the crowd, we believe that tonal dressing is far more stylish than gaudy pattern and colour. And by tonal dressing, we mean the careful art of mixing together colours, textures and patterns in similar hues and shades.
This Lardini jacket, from our new AW21 collection, is a perfect example. Cut from 100% wool in their usual 'easy' style, it features a Price of Wales check woven in a tonal colour palette of dark beige, brown and orange. It's a particularly autumnal take on the classic pattern, and one that will pair best with like colours. We've paired it with our brown Welbeck pleated trousers, a pair of Alden plain toes in colour 8 and to add contrast our new made in Italy Trunk Enford polo in dark navy. The look is smart, but one that is soothed by the tonality of colours and soft fabrics.
The corduroy blazer
Corduroy has long been a staple in menswear. First introduced in Britain in the 18th century, autumn's favourite fabric is usually associated with trousers and clothing to wear in the countryside. But now designers are exploring new ways to use the textured cloth; from shirts to baseball caps, corduroy has broken free from its historical restraints to reinvent the smart casual wardrobe.
Weber + Weber has updated their popular blazer-style Austrian jacket with an easy flair; in a mid-grey Italian corduroy that highlights those wonderful wales and provides heaps of texture. Pair with an equally textured crew neck sweater — we suggest our Berwick jumper for a smart casual autumnal look that's fit for any day of the week.
The flannel trouser
The grey flannel trouser has long been a menswear mainstay and should be a central part of any man's wardrobe. Unlike most smart trousers, the milled texture of grey flannel allows them to be worn with more casual outfits, such as a textured knit and sneakers with a lightweight jacket or sport coat.
Whilst our own flannel Welbeck trousers offer a more classic interpretation, this version from Barena is an intentionally casual take, with the inclusion of an elasticated drawstring waistband and a comfortable, roomy fit. With office dress codes now more relaxed then ever, we dare say that these could pass in most workplaces, but are probably best suited to the weekend. Wear them with our fuzzy Trunk Walden Geelong sweater (coming soon) and a lightweight jacket in crisp cotton, like our new Trunk Ebury jacket.