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How To Buy Entry-level Luxury Goods

Aspiration is little solace in the face of a red-nudging bank balance. Though what exactly goes into a luxury object’s eye-watering price tag is unclear, trust that it’s not just parts and labour. But before you look up kidney prices on eBay, know that you can buy into your favourite brand on a budget.

From the entry-level garments that mark the brand at its best, to affordable accessories, or the diffusion line with a distinct identity beyond ‘cut-price’, these are the pieces that get you behind the velvet rope. Without shaking out your pockets first.

Acne Studios – College Sweatshirt

Sweatshirts are probably the thing that Acne Studios do better than anything else. Not only do they encapsulate the brand’s ethos of easy wearability but they also express that peculiarly Scandinavian, less is more approach to dressing.

The college sweatshirt is the key buy here; it comes in a range of colours but only one classic fit. Best of all you can wear it with pretty much anything.

Available at Mr Porter, priced £130.

Acne Studios - College Sweatshirt

Saint Laurent – Cross Bracelet

Saint Laurent has rock ‘n’ roll running through its veins, but key pieces from Hedi Slimane’s collections (leather trousers and Cuban heeled boots) are hard for most people to pull off, both aesthetically and financially.

This delicate leather bracelet is subtle enough to work with most outfits but distinctive enough to obviously be part of Hedi’s rock ‘n’ roll legacy.

Available at MATCHESFASHION.COM, priced £85.

Saint Laurent - Cross Bracelet

AMI – Breton Top

Classic French fashion staples exist somewhere beyond the realm of trends and therefore remain perpetually stylish.

While Alexendre Matiussi might be most famous for his AMI logo interpretation of the tricolour, this simple Breton top is even more French than red, white and blue stripes andscores you a versatile wardrobe staple. All for under £100.

Pair it with jeans and trainers for the ultimate in off-duty chic.

Available at Mr Porter, priced £95.

AMI - Breton Top

Gucci – Belt

Gucci’s most recent, 1970s-inspired collection was good enough to draw comparisons to Tom Ford’s tenure at the brand. In fact, Gucci look set to reclaim their position at the top of the fashion food chain, in part thanks to an ostentatious approaching to branding.

It’s not one for anyone who lives for understated dressing; buying into Gucci means logos, logos and more logos. That makes the clever choice a belt with interlocking Gs – a classic Gucci item reimagined for the current nostalgia trip.

Available at MATCHESFASHION.COM, priced £190.

Gucci Belt

Maison Kitsuné – Parisien T-Shirt

The record label-cum-fashion house has turned reworking preppy classics into an art form.

If you’re not French then Maison Kitsuné are here to help you pretend that you are, with a handy slogan declaring yourself a ‘Parisien’. If you paid attention in French class you might just be able to pull this one off. It’s Americana, but with a dash of Gallic humour.

Available at MATCHESFASHION.COM, priced £47.

Maison Kitsune – Parisien T-Shirt

Comme Des Garçons – PLAY Converse

In the last few years the designer collab trainer has become an industry unto itself. With some team-ups pushing prices into the nosebleed hundreds, the element of affordability has seemingly been abandoned.

Thankfully, the ubiquitous Converse is collaborating with avant-garde Japanese label Comme Des Garçons. The PLAY label’s ‘heart with eyes’ logo has become iconic in its own right, but it’s never looked better than it does on the side of a Chuck Taylor.

Available at Selfridges, priced £84.99.

Comme Des Garcons - PLAY Converse

Bottega Veneta – Card Holder

Few brands revel in unabashed luxury like Bottega Veneta. The Italian brand has become synonymous with intrecciato leather, an ancient technique of weaving thin strips of leather together to form a new textured material.

This lengthy and time-consuming process means that the end product is always expensive, but to get some Bottega Veneta into your wardrobe the best bet is with a wallet or card holder. Which will at least leave you something to store inside it.

Available at Mr Porter, priced £170.

Bottega Veneta - Card Case

Loewe Textured-leather tote

TOP 5 Tote Bags For Men 2020

Now that the backpack’s seen off the briefcase, it’s time to upgrade your bag arsenal. And the tote should be next on your wishlist. It was one of the dominating trends on AW15 runways, from Bally’s retro interpretation to vintage black leather at Balenciaga and a plethora of colours, fabrics and cuts at Burberry Prorsum.

As ever, designer style has trickled down and you can now grab a luxe tote on the high street too. Although the silhouette doesn’t stray from tradition, materials do. Which means heavy canvas and leather.

The perfect bag has straps short enough to hold by your side without it brushing the floor, but should still be slingable across your shoulder when you’re manhandling a coffee and croissant.

Vintage Luxe

We’re a far cry from the heavily branded products of the early noughties, but there is a certain appeal to a bag with an understated logo. Loewe’s textured leather tote gives off the essence of a hand-made vintage piece rather than an off-the-rack item. “I’m really into the Loewe logo, but as a rule would shy away from big branding. This one is subtle enough,” says Chris Hobbs, menswear fashion editor at MATCHESFASHION.COM.

The modern tote’s key is practicality, and as you’d expect from a house with Loewe’s leather pedigree, this will battle weather and the daily commute admirably. Team it with slim-fit trousers, a crisp shirt, a heritage knit cardigan and a pair of leather brogues for an update to your office wear.

Loewe Textured-Leather Tote, available at Matches Fashion, priced £850.

Loewe Textured-leather tote

Briefcase Alternative

You’re not your dad, so update how you get your stuff to work. Reiss’ canvas tote is your basic briefcase re-packaged as a fashion accessory, with exterior and interior pockets so that you can easily organise and store your laptop, iPad, notebook and keys.

“It has spacious compartments, while the leather trim and handles appeal to the more fashion-forward dresser,” says Nick Keyte, head of menswear buying at John Lewis. “The navy colour palette adds an essential day-to-evening versatility.”

Pair with your suit or dress down with a grey sweater and slim-fit flannel trousers.

Reiss Trapper Canvas Tote Bag, available at John Lewis, priced £130.

Reiss Trapper Canvas Tote Bag

Urban Print

The current trend for cloth tote bags originates in Japan and works perfectly for the man who’s outgrown the rucksack but doesn’t carry enough on him to warrant a holdall. Don’t let the fabric put you off. Cheap Monday’s tote accessorises with your streetwear, without bruising your wallet.

“Team a monochromatic style with a black overcoat, black jeans, white Oxford shirt and some black and white runners,” says Luke McCarthy, style editor at The Idle Man. “It’s a great mixture of both presentable and street-ready pieces.”

Cheap Monday Tote Bag with Opposites Print, available at The Idle Man, priced £5.

Cheap Monday Tote Bag with Opposites Print

Sustainable Fabric

Catherine Dang’s totes offer laid-back luxury. They’re made of sustainable materials like cork and IKAT fabrics, so you can accessorise with a clean conscience. And because of the technique and the nature of the materials used, each item is slightly different than the next. So you know no one else is biting your style.

The BEECH collection of tote bags comes in grey and white or blue and white stripes. “The grey stripe is probably my favourite,” says menswear stylist and blogger Karlmond Tang, aka Mr.Boy.

“It goes well with denim, goes well with smart trousers or a clean crisp shirt, goes well with a long black coat and a simple black jumper.”

Beech Grey Bag, available at catherinedang.com, priced €215.

Beech Grey Bag

Modern Minimalism

Marni’s soft leather totes offer smart design without complicating things. Which makes them super-versatile. The navy tone works with everything else in your wardrobe while the robust handles and detailing should outflank any suggestions that you’ve picked up your girlfriend’s bag by mistake.

It’s also functional, with space for your office essentials and an extra sweater so you can transition straight out in the evening. “Marni’s version is roomy enough for the thousands of things I manage to cram into my bag on a daily basis,” says Hobbs. “I’d wear it over my shoulder – or even in my hand – with my Raey flares, a shrunken knit and Converse trainers.”

Marni Soft Leather Tote, available at Matches Fashion, priced £790.

Marni Soft Leather Tote

Top 10 Distressed Jeans For Men

Beaten-up and broken-in, that’s the theme of this season’s denim, which comes packing rock ‘n’ roll vibes.

From shredded legs to neat knee slices, distressed denim is available in a whole host of forms, running the gamut from authentic workerwear styles to designs you’d expect to see on Sid Vicious.

In the market for a rough and ready pair of jeans for the months ahead? Check out ten of our favourites:

 

1. Nudie Jeans Steady Eddie Fredrik Replica Jeans

Want an authentic pair of worn-in jeans without having to go through the process yourself? Step forward Nudie Jeans.

The Swedish label’s Steady Eddie Replica model is based on a style worn by a chap named Fredrik for 18 months, meaning the abrasions and ripped detailing feels completely natural.

Coming in a versatile grey tone selvedge, they’re sure to match with everything else in your off-duty wardrobe. Try teaming with a plaid flannel shirt, padded parka and pair of Red Wings for a look that’s ready to deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at you.

Available at Nudie Jeans, priced £230.

Nudie Jeans Steady Eddie Fredrik Replica Jeans

2. Edwin Jeans ED-55 Relaxed Tapered-Fit Bronco

For a more subtle scattering of rips, opt for this deep blue pair from Japanese specialist Edwin.

Crafted from high quality 12oz denim, they come in a loose fit that tapers from the knee to ensure they feel relaxed and comfortable, not sloppy. We see these becoming our weekend go-tos once the weather turns.

Available at ASOS, priced £110.

Edwin Jeans ED-55 Relaxed Tapered Fit Bronco

3. Antioch Black Ripped Skinny Jeans

Prepare to relive your grungy teenage phase thanks to these jeans by London-based menswear label Antioch.

By adding rips and cuts to a simple pair of black skinnies, the brand has embraced the days of long fringes and obscure band tees, while keeping things fresh and modern with a slimline silhouette.

Available at Topman, priced £48.

Antioch Black Ripped Skinny Jeans

4. AllSaints Keiko Cigarette Jeans

Edgy British brand AllSaints has taken a pared-back approach to its signature Cigarette jeans this season, opting for minimal fading and just two slashes to the knees.

With such subtle distressing, these are easily dressed up with a button-down shirt, leather jacket and Chelsea boots for a night out.

Available at AllSaints, priced £98.

All Saints Keiko Cigarette Jeans

5. Levi’s 1969 606 Highlander Jeans

Even Levi’s can’t resist getting in on the action, and the heritage denim label is well placed to take on the trend with its Vintage 606 model.

At the time of being introduced in the 1960s, it was considered to be the first skinny jean style in production. The streamlined silhouette remains the same today, finished off with a lone rip to the knee.

Available at Levi’s, priced £165.

Levi's 1969 606 Highlander Jeans

6. Cheap Monday Tight Rip Black Jeans

Renowned for its affordable skinny jeans, Swedish label Cheap Monday has slashed the knees on its signature fit for autumn/winter 2015.

Cut from over-dyed black stretch denim, the five pocket style also features antique finish rivets and buttons for a vintage feel.

Available at Cheap Monday, priced £55.

Cheap Monday Tight Rip Black Jeans

7. Diesel Tepphar 0830K Carrot Jeans

Diesel’s Tepphar jeans are destroyed in all the right ways. In addition to looking like they’ve gained their rips from a few hard days’ work, the low crotch and short front fly gives them a relaxed, authentic finish.

Slip on with a plain tee and leather boots for an everyday workerwear aesthetic.

Available at Diesel, priced £220.

Diesel Tepphar 0830K Carrot Jeans

8. Zara Ripped Jeans

If you’re worried about feeling the chill while sporting holes, seek out a pair with ripped panels – like this pair from Zara.

The cutouts are backed with black fabric, offering the same distressed effect without revealing any skin. We’re also fond of the washed out grey shade, which works perfectly alongside an autumnal colour palette.

Available at Zara, priced £39.99.

Zara Ripped Jeans

9. Dr Denim Snap Light Stone Destroyed Jeans

Family-owned label Dr Denim has been turning out stylish and affordable jeans since 2004.

The Swedish firm’s take on ripped jeans is no different with a sharp drainpipe leg and bold slices to the knees resulting in a solid wardrobe go-to for the coming months. The unisex Snap style can also be sized up for a more relaxed fit.

Available at Dr Denim, priced £50.

Dr Denim Snap Light Stone Destroyed Jeans

10. ASOS Skinny Jeans with Knee Rips

White jeans in winter are almost guaranteed to get a little bit dirty and beaten up, so start the ball rolling with this pre-ripped pair from ASOS’ in-house design team.

The frayed detailing adds to the effortless vibe, while the stretch denim guarantees comfort and a snug fit.

Available at ASOS, priced £28.

ASOS Skinny Jeans with Knee Rips

11 Ways For Treating Men’s Dry Skin This Winter

Winter is coming. You don’t need to be dressed head-to-toe in black furs and clocking-in at The Wall to notice that fact. Just look at the signs. Grey clouds loom and grey faces abound. While we can’t do much about the weather, the latter problem falls right under our jurisdiction. So remembering to take your umbrella to work is up to you. But saving your face? We’ve got this.

When the weather outside is frightful, it’s a feat to look anything but scary, especially when it comes to your complexion. In fact, you can consider a low mercury reading your face’s kryptonite. It causes dryness. Unrelenting dryness. Even for those lucky sods who don’t usually suffer from dry skin in the first place.

Then there’s the cluster of peripheral issues orbiting winter: moving from cold outside to hot inside isn’t your skin’s favourite trip; woolly jumpers can worsen issues in your dermis; the short days; the long working hours. That face made beautiful by the summer sun is long behind you. But there are some clever tricks worth deploying that’ll keep you looking good by the time the work Christmas party comes around. Novelty jumper or no.

So wrap up warm (not too warm, mind; your skin doesn’t like it). Put the kettle on. Pull on your slipper socks. By the time you’re done with our dry skin survival guide, your face will be a picture of summer in the midst of winter. Here’s to looking hot.

 

1. It’s Shower Time

While we wouldn’t advocate wearing a stopwatch while you wash, it pays to keep an eye on the time in the shower. “Shower for too long and you’ll remove important oils from your skin,” says consultant dermatologist at Cadogan, Dr. Anjali Mahto.

“The same goes for heat: high temperatures aren’t good. Keep it short and warm.” Start the day by giving your skin a fighting chance.

Keep shower time to a minimum if you want to combat dry skin

2. Soap On The Water

Not that we’re trying to give you shower anxiety here, but, according to skin scientists, soap can actually be your enemy during the winter months too. “Products containing soap and fragrance can also strip oils from the skin,” says Mahto. “As a general rule, the nicer it smells, the more irritant it’s likely to contain.”

That’s not carte blanche to quit washing, of course. Opt instead for something less irritating like Bulldog’s Original Shower Gel to stop your skin feeling rough.

BullDog Original Shower Gel

3. Counter-Measures

If you’re a stickler for certain brands and unwilling to swap out your favourite shower gel (irritating soap or no), then your only option is to go nuts during the next phase of your morning routine.

Almond oil, when applied to your face on a daily basis, delivers anti-inflammatory linoleic acid – this in turn reduces redness and soreness, countering much of the adverse effect soap can have on your skin.

Sweet Almond Oil

4. Precision Creaming

Didn’t fancy the almond oil? Us neither. When it comes to regular moisturisers, Dr. Mahto says the optimal deployment is in the precision of your timing. “Immediately after your shower, when your skin is crying out for lost oils, is the best time to apply your cream,” she says.

“There are plenty of great brands, but on the men’s side, my experience is that ClarinsMen Super Moisture Balm is highly effective.” Get it all up in your face within five minutes of exiting the shower for best results.

Clarin’s Men Super Moisture Balm

5. Pull The Wool

There are so many factors causing skin dryness that you can get tired arms from pointing fingers. One you might not be aware of is your clothing. “Fabrics in your attire can irritate your skin,” says Mahto.

“This is especially true in people particularly prone to dry skin or skin irritations. Wool is the most problematic. If it feels itchy when you put it on, that’s your skin reacting to the material.”Best layer with cotton and leave that woollen scarf behind.

Wool can irritate skin. Cotton knits can help negate the effects of dry skin

6. Hands To The Floor

No men’s grooming guide is complete without mentioning that yes, we have hands and feet, and yes, you really do need to do something about them. It isn’t ‘girly’ to decide that you’d prefer to keep the skin there rather than leave it behind in gloves and socks.

“These are such neglected areas,” says Mahto. “Use a pumice stone on your feet and apply a cream afterwards. And carry a small hand cream with you if you don’t have good cotton gloves.” You’ve been told.

The Body Shop Hemp Hand and Feet Creams

The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector - click to buy The Body Shop Hemp Foot Protector - click to buy The Body Shop Foot File - Click to buy

7. Mind The Chap

Believe it or not, despite Britain’s thick blanket of clouds, skin-damaging UV rays still break through the winter smog and can wreak havoc on your skin. “You should still be thinking about SPF during winter,” says Mahto.

Get a good lip balm with SPF to start, as sun exposure can exacerbate chapping. Then invest in a moisturiser like Kiehl’s Facial Fuel SPF 15 to bolster your defence.

JACK BLACK INTENSE THERAPY LIP BALM SPF25 - click to buy Kiehls Facial Fuel - click to buy

8. ‘Tis The Season

Speaking of UV, if you’re a snow sports type of guy, then this is especially important for you. “Just because it’s cold up there, that doesn’t mean you’re not exposed to harmful sun rays for hours a day,” says Mahto.

The slopes are a dry skin party and every skier deciding to eschew the sun cream is invited. Don’t be that guy with the goggle-shaped burn and flaking skin.

It's important to wear suncream while skiing

9. Layer Like A Player

It’s not just the cold that causes problems. Anyone who uses public transport will know that trains and busses are hotter than the sun between October and March. While it’s nice to have a break from the lip-quivering cold, this does nothing for the moisture in your skin.

“Going from cold to hot doesn’t help the situation,” says Mahto. Your move is simple: layer smart so you can easily adapt to fluxing temperatures, be that at home, at work or on the waking nightmare that is the bus to work.

Getting your layers right will stop you overheating and rying out your skin

10. Training Face

So it turns out exercise isn’t just the key to handsome biceps. Working out is good for your appearance, improving skin elasticity, adding a little oomph to your dermis and improving moisture delivery to your face.

Problem is, according to experts at McMaster University, too much exercise actually does the opposite. Stick to a few hours a week.

Exercise can help improve moisture delivery to your face and skin

11. And A ittle Unfair Advantage…

You only need pick up a women’s mag to learn that beauty starts on the inside, or something. But rather than buying those expensive collagen shots, pore over this finding from a study published last year: the right combination of fruits in a smoothie, when consumed daily, can actually give the appearance of a tan while improving skin health. That’s no small bonus in the winter months.

Blend carrots, orange and lemon juice and some milk for a payload of carotenoids – a compound that adds colour to your skin. A healthy glow without having to emigrate to Australia.

Blend carrots, orange and lemon juice and some milk to help give the appearance of healthy skin

6 Best Pieces On The High Street This Season

Fashion can be a risky business. Trends shift and a misplaced investment in luxury fashion can leave you mocked by your bank balance as well as your mates. But with high street brands producing their own, let’s say ‘homages’ to the runways, you can dip a toe this season without scalding yourself. It’s time to shop smarter.

Shearling

Animal hides are expensive. Like suede and fur, even budget shearling can leave you out of pocket. Faux fabrics are not only a good option for the cautious, but also an ethical and cost-effective choice.

We’re particularly taken by this faux shearling overcoat from Topman, which for £85 is a decent facsimile of the real thing. With designer versions nudging five figures, the savings here are as extreme as the weather this jacket can do battle with.

Camel Faux Shearling Jacket, available at Topman, priced £85.

Camel Faux Shearling Jacket

Colour-Block Knitwear

Valentino’s AW15 show took colour-blocking to new levels, and this season the high street is awash with autumnal knits that utilise the same optical technique.

Shore Leave, the house brand from Urban Outfitters, nails the look with this merino knit (in the equally on-trend combo of burgundy and mustard) for a fraction of the cost. But know where runway emulations end and pair with raw denim and a dark overcoat. You canoverdo the pattern thing.

Shore Leave by Urban Outfitters Ian Camel Panel Knit Jumper, available at Urban Outfitters, priced £40.

Shore Leave by Urban Outfitters Ian Camel Panel Knit Jumper

Selvedge Denim

Selvedge jeans have long been the preserve of denim nerds, who empty their savings to flash those tell-tale stripes on their turn-ups. But they’re now a little easier to get hold of, thanks to high street giants like Topman and Uniqlo flexing their supply chain muscle.

For under £35 you can now get selvedge jeans in a range of finishes and fits, leaving plenty of cash to flaunt alongside your rolled up hems.

Regular Fit Selvedge Jeans, available at Uniqlo, priced £34.90.

Regular Fit Selvedge Jeans

Neoprene

After a decade fetishing heritage, menswear’s stepped into the future. Modern materials like neoprene and scuba are a quick way to update your wardrobe and inject some edginess into your look. But Valentino and Neil Barrett’s neoprene sweats will set you back upwards of £300, which is a heavy investment in something that’s likely to date quickly.

Instead, take a deep dive into ASOS’s future-facing sweatshirts with faux leather panelling for a more affordable statement piece, or a simple black neoprene bomber that will ensure you look current and classic simultaneously.

ASOS Oversized Scuba Sweatshirt With Embossed Panel, available at ASOS, priced £27.

ASOS Oversized Scuba Sweatshirt With Embossed Panel

ASOS Bomber Jacket In Neoprene, available at ASOS, priced £60.

ASOS Bomber Jacket In Neoprene

White Trainers

The ultimate in understated footwear, the white leather trainer is this season’s most ubiquitous shoe style. But doing simplicity right is often expensive. High-end versions from brands like Common Projects, or Raf Simons’ take on the adidas Stan Smith, cost a minimum of £250.

Swerve them for Sweden’s king of high street minimalism, Cos, which offers a white leather trainer so versatile it will soon become a wardrobe staple. Especially since it’s under £80.

Lace Up Leather Sneakers, available at COS, priced £79.

Lace Up Leather Sneakers

Folio

The resurgence in handheld bags has been a contentious trend to say the least. But love it or loathe it, these folios are an excellent example of how one simple accessory can elevate an entire look.

Exactly what kind of documents men need to carry around is debatable, but in a more practical sense, these pouches double up as an excellent way to cart your iPad, wallet and keys without unsightly bulges to your tailoring (we won’t call it a purse if you don’t).

Bottega Venetta, Saint Laurent and Givenchy options cost well into three figures, but River Island’s sleek faux leather version is a bargain at £25, leaving plenty of cash to splash out on some documents. If not an iPad.

River Island Faux Leather Document Holder, available at ASOS, priced £25.

River Island Faux Leather Document Holder

6 Ways To Wear The Colour Trend Of The Season You Should Know

Seasonally-appropriate and surprisingly versatile, this masculine shade will make a welcome addition to any cold-weather wardrobe. Here, we show you six foolproof ways you can introduce military green to your looks this season, along with the key pieces you should be considering picking up in the hue.

 

1. The Flight Jacket

There’s no surprise that the flight jacket works so well in military green, considering the outerwear style was originally designed for pilots in the US Air Force.

Today, the silhouette’s timeless appeal and strong heritage remains, looking as rich and masculine as ever in the earthy tone.

If, like most of us, you’re not an actual pilot, you can still work this piece into your daily rotation with ease – throw it on with jeans and a T-shirt for an effortlessly cool off-duty look, or dress it up with an Oxford shirt, slim-cut chinos and leather Derby boots for a superb high-low combination.

Keep an eye out for styles with shearling collars to nail two key AW15 trends in one.

Men's Military Green Bomber Jacket - How To Wear

Get The Look

Belstaff Flight Detachable Collar Jacket, available at Selfridges, priced £595.

Belstaff Flight Detachable Collar Jacket

2. The Lightweight Parka

Another outerwear style with a strong military heritage is the parka, with the modern fishtail silhouette originally used to protect the United States Army from the elements during the Korean War.

Today, the parka has been adopted by city dwellers and country explorers alike, who still appreciate the cover and protection it provides against inclement weather.

An extremely versatile addition to your transitional season wardrobe, a lightweight unlined version looks just as good thrown over a jeans and sweatshirt combination as it does a suit for those brisk morning commutes.

Men's Military Green Bomber Jacket - How To Wear

Get The Look

Hooded Cotton Parka, available at Mango, priced £139.99.

Hooded Cotton Parka

3. The Trousers

Looking to branch out from the safety of navy and grey legwear? Try a pair of slim-cut chinos in a rich green shade.

Striking yet sophisticated, they’re sure to make you stand out in an understated way this season, and are arguably just as versatile as your classic khaki pair.

With blue and green a key colour combination for 2015, try teaming yours with a chambray shirt or cobalt blue bomber jacket for an on-point everyday look. Finish with a pair of brown shoes or boots as the rich, earthy tones will complement each other perfectly.

Men's Military Green Bomber Jacket - How To Wear

Get The Look

Satin Chinos, available at Massimo Dutti, priced £49.95.

satin chinos

4. The Roll Neck

With autumn just around the corner, it’s time to welcome knitwear back into our lives. The roll neck is another menswear classic that is returning this season, with its retro vibe and gentlemanly feel bringing a touch of sophistication to your cold-weather wardrobe.

Military green looks even better carried on a thick, chunky knit, especially when teamed with equally heavyweight trousers. To keep the heritage feel flowing from head-to-toe, complete your ensemble with smart leather brogue boots – perfect for taking you from the office to after-work drinks.

Men's Military Green Bomber Jacket - How To Wear

Get The Look

Green Turtleneck, available at Suit Supply, priced £129.

green turtleneck

5. The Suit

Topping our list of new suit colours to try this season, a dark green two-piece offers a sure-fire way to stand out amongst a sea of navy blue and grey.

The great thing about this tone is that not only does it work well with your go-to white shirt and blue tie combination, but it also sits beautifully alongside rich reds, oranges, browns and mustards, when you want to take a more dressed-down approach.

Opt for a design in a heavyweight fabric and it will see you right through to next spring.

Men's Military Green Bomber Jacket - How To Wear

Get The Look

British Tweed Suit Jacket, available at Ben Sherman, priced £250.

ben sherman tweed suit

6. The Blazer

If a full suit is too much for you, a dark green blazer will make a great addition to your separates collection.

Texture is key with this shade; flecked wool versions, like the one from Burton below, offer natural texture, bringing character and interest to your smart-casual looks.

This is a jacket that will combine effortlessly with everything you already own, from grey trousers to dark denim to beige chinos – so mix and match to create your perfect combination.

Men's Military Green Bomber Jacket - How To Wear

Get The Look

Forrest Wool Blazer, available at Burton, priced £85.

burton blazer

How To Buy Better Quality Men’s Clothing

There’s a somewhat confusing – some might say cloak and dagger – relationship between price and quality when it comes to clothing.

Bulging marketing budgets, elaborate shop fittings and slick ad campaigns can whack a hefty premium on top of what you buy, with many big-name brands marking up their products by up to 500 per cent. Add to that a staggering array of fabrics, finishes and details and it’s little wonder we can’t tell if what we’re buying is actually worth the money.

The golden rule to not getting caught out? Never use price as a guide. Chances are you’ve worked hard for the cash so what’s the point in coughing up for subpar wares? This is our bible for finding top-notch clothing and accessories that are built to last.

 

Materials: Know Your Stuff

While a punchy colour or tongue-in-cheek print might draw you in, fabric is the first thing to check once you get up close and personal with a potential purchase. What a garment’s made from is one of the major factors in determining the number that ends up on its price tag, so if you’re about to shell out over £100 for an acrylic cardigan or pleather bag, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.

When it comes to knitwear, quality sheep’s wool, cashmere, linen and silk are all worth splashing out on, while acrylic, nylon and viscose should be avoided if you’re spending top whack.

Men's Cashmere JumperA quality cashmere jumper will always be a wise investmentWHISTLES AW14

Cotton sits somewhere in the middle; it’s best to feel the fabric in person, as value for money can vary hugely between brands. For unbeatable softness, look for fine gauge knitwear and keep an eye out for Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton (which has longer fibres and won’t bobble or break apart as easily) and Sea Island cotton (one of the softest and sturdiest cottons available). James Perse, Sunspel and John Smedley are just some of the key brands which specialise in knitwear and tees crafted from these high-end fabrics.

Men's Cashmere JumperEgyptian, Pima and Sea Island cotton pieces are supremely soft and durableSUNSPEL SEA ISLAND COTTON T-SHIRT

Also keep an eye out for: mercerised cotton, which has a finer feel and is more lustrous and resistant to shrinkage due to chemical washes, and merino wool, which is fantastically soft as well as temperature-regulating and moisture-wicking.

Synthetic fabrics – being specifically developed to withstand wear and tear – shouldn’t be automatically shunned. Ideal for coats and jackets made for braving the elements, outerwear crafted from synthetic materials is often lightweight, wind and water-resistant, breathable, and even reflective. Which would you rather brave a British storm in: a cashmere overcoat or a hooded nylon jacket? We rest our case.

Look to the likes of Moncler, Stone Island and Arc’teryx for man-made materials that are worth the expense.

Men's Cashmere JumperMan-made fabrics are ideal for tackling the elements, making them great for outerwearSTONE ISLAND AW15

Don’t Shop Blind

Ultimately, when it comes to materials, bricks and mortar shopping will always have the edge over buying online. Go into stores, touch fabrics, see how they hang on you, and hold them up against each other to compare and contrast.

Yes, purchasing online is convenient but filling out a returns form and waiting in a post office queue isn’t everyone’s idea of a fun lunch break. Unless you already have a good idea of how an item fits and its fabrication, swap cyberspace for old-school shopping.

Men's Cashmere JumperTouching and inspecting garments in store makes it easier to gauge quality

Scrunch Time

Try deploying the ‘scrunch’ test: use your hand to scrunch up an area of the garment and then release. If the wrinkles that initially form don’t disappear and the fabric doesn’t return to its initially smooth appearance, there’s every chance that the quality might not be up to scratch – though bear in mind certain materials (linen, rayon) will crease more easily than others.

And if you’re buying leather, try giving it a shallow scratch with your fingernail; if the scratch holds (it can still be rubbed away with a slightly moistened finger afterwards), then you know it’s going to be soft and pliable.

Men's Cashmere JumperThe ‘scrunch’ test is a good indicator of fabric quality

The Importance Of Provenance

Few of us really know how or where our clothes are actually made, and the country of origin tag can be a clue as to whether the item was mass-produced in a factory, or hand-shirred by artisans. ‘Clue’ is the operative word here – just because something was made in the Far East doesn’t mean it’s bound to fall to pieces. Consider country of origin a rule of thumb, rather than one that’s hard and fast.

For tailoring, shirting, shoes and leather accessories, Italy is in many respects the padre of manufacturers. The brands that produce their clothes there, from Prada to Bottega Veneta, make use of premium raw materials that come out of the country’s mills, supported by years of production expertise.

Vitale Barberis Canonico Italian Fabric MillVITALE BARBERIS CANONICO ITALIAN FABRIC MILL

But just because something’s dall’Italia, doesn’t mean it’s always artisan-crafted in an atelier. The region is also home to well-known yet secretive suppliers such as Staff International and Pier SPA, who make clothing for multiple top-tier brands (Staff famously manufactures for luxury labels Margiela, Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs) which, while good quality, might be more mass-produced than the price tags would lead you to believe.

In contrast, the UK has lost much of its manufacturing clout over the years, with only a small number of larger factories still in operation. This means if you see a ‘Made in UK’ label, you can rest assured it probably hasn’t been produced in vast quantities – not that this alone is a guarantee of quality manufacturing.

Many labels such as Private White V.C., Alan Paine, Hiut Denim, John Smedley and evenDr. Martens and New Balance still produce top-notch wares in these isles.

Men's Private White V.C. Clothing AW15PRIVATE WHITE V.C. AW15

Likewise, a ‘Made in the USA’ label often means quality, from the excellent woollen wares of Pendleton to Schott’s buttery soft leather biker jackets. Thanks to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) strict policies on the usage of the ‘Made in the USA’ label, brands really need to prove their provenance to (legally) use the tag on their wares.

Other renowned US-made brands include Filson, The Hill-Side, Quoddy, Red Wing,Wolverine and Rag & Bone.

Men's Schott NYC Leather Jacket AW15SCHOTT NYC AW15

Elsewhere, Japan and France boast legions of craftspeople, while Spain and Portugal are proving to be globally successful purveyors of quality shoes and accessories.

As you might expect, China and India – especially when coupled with a suspiciously inexpensive price tag – is often still a marker of subpar craftsmanship, not to mention unethical working conditions for factory workers.

That said, there are plenty of exceptions, with brands like Feit and even US luxury playerCoach using exceptional Chinese craftsmanship to produce at a fraction of the price it costs to manufacture in the west.

Men's Feit ShoesFEIT 2015

Is It Well Built?

To the untrained eye, there might not be much separating a plain black £10 cardigan from a plain black £100 one. But the seams should give something away. Try lightly tugging or pulling at them to see if there’s any give; if there is, it’s a bad sign that the garment might’ve been hastily or cheaply constructed.

Generally, you want to hunt out items with tighter, closer, evenly spaced stitches, as this usually means they’re better made and will last longer. Similarly, if there’s any fraying threads on an item before you buy it, step away swiftly.

On items with ribbing, like sweatshirts, bomber jackets and the collars and cuffs of knitwear, give them a gentle tug; if they stretch or sag and don’t spring back, you might want to think twice.

And if the piece in question is patterned, the pattern should match up at the seams; not only does this look a lot better, but it shows that adequate care has been taken in producing the garment.

Stitching on a shirtAlways pay attention to the stitching

Don’t Be Tempted

It’s easy to get dazzled by an in-store celebrity endorsement, one-day flash sale or a limited time offer, but buying on impulse isn’t great logic for making sound investments.

If there’s something you’re dying to get your hands on, try stalling for 30 days and then re-evaluate. If you’ve forgotten about it, then you probably don’t need it. If you’ve decided you definitely can’t live without it, then make sure it’s worth the money.

Ask questions (where was it made? Can you find a similar, better-quality item elsewhere?) and do your homework by scoping out the style online if possible. Googling the item, or similar pieces from the same brand, can help you find forums (like our own) or site reviews chock full of insight worth taking into account.

5 Ways To Buy A Three-Season Suit

With frost coming, your tailoring needs a cold-weather tweak. But cosy suiting isn’t wise if your office comes with central heating. In our mod con world, buying a suit specifically for three months of the year is an expense that can leave you sweating. Instead, you need fabrics suitable from autumn to spring, so you don’t have to shell out every time the seasons switch.

 

Worsted Wool

Wool is nature’s weather-beater. The fibres trap heat, but also encourage airflow, so you stay cool even when transitioning from commute to overheated office.

But weight is crucial, says Julian Fuller, head of menswear design at Debenhams. “The ideal is 280g to 300g Super-100s wool.” You won’t bake, but it’s still heavy enough that you’ll only need an overcoat when the weather turns.

The S number refers to the fabric’s fineness – the higher the number, the more delicate (and less hard-wearing) the material. Super-100s means you won’t wear the trousers out by new year. For extra versatility, a three-piece offers additional protection against snow, but you can ditch the waistcoat if the sun comes back out.

Elverton 4ply Worsted Wool Suit, available at Chester Barrie, priced from £995.

Elverton 4ply Worsted Wool Suit

Merino

Shorn from the eponymous sheep, merino is not only finer than ordinary wool – which makes it super-soft – but also practical. “Merino wool helps to regulate temperature,” says Stuart McCullough, managing director of Woolmark, since it ensures heat escapes when it’s hot, but not when the mercury drops. It’s also springy enough to withstand an afternoon on the back of your chair – should you misjudge the temperature – without creasing.

To ensure the style is as adaptable as the construction, steer classic. A dark grey version will work from bare trees until daffodils pop up, so long as you adjust your accessories; think texture in winter and colour for spring.

This charcoal two-piece by T.M.Lewin features a modern silhouette and 100 per cent merino construction, making it appropriate from equinox to equinox.

Banbury Charcoal Tonic Two-Button Slim-Fit Suit, available at T.M.Lewin, priced £199.

Banbury Charcoal Tonic Two-Button Slim-Fit Suit

Flannel

Flannel is wool brushed with metal combs, which lifts the fabric to give its distinctive texture. This makes it ideal for winter suits, since the raised nap traps heat and lends your tailoring a touch of texture. Traditionally you’d opt for monochrome, but playing with pattern modernises your look.

“Checks and tweeds are returning to the fore this winter,” says McCullough. “It’s great to see them modernised through lighter cloths and contemporary structures.”

For three-season versatility, stick to light shades and midweight fabrics. Soft greys will keep you looking fresh and airy year-round.

Crosby Suit In Windowpane Italian flannel, available at J.Crew, priced £650.

Crosby Suit In Windowpane Italian flannel

Wool-Cashmere Blend

Cashmere is ideal for the colder months, since it’s warm without adding weight. But because the fabric is hand-picked from the eponymous goat’s winter coat, rustling up enough for a suit is costly. Your compromise? Mix in wool for something more versatile.

To pick quality from filler, look for natural fibres and a semi-plain design, says Chris Modoo, creative and buying manager at Savile Row’s Chester Barrie. Because cashmere traps heat, stick to a medium weight to stay warm when it’s frosty without cooking on your commute.

Single-Breasted Pick-And-Pick Suit, available at Oliver Brown, priced £395.

Single-Breasted Pick-And-Pick Suit

Wool-Mohair Blend

“Natural fibres breath in the summer and keep you warm in the winter, so wool is the obvious choice,” says Fuller. “But adding mohair gives a natural crease-free finish.” It also gives your suiting a subtle sheen, so your look pops even when it’s dark out. A touch of colour helps here, too.

“Midnight blue is timeless, and much more sophisticated than black,” says Fuller. Just keep your accessories in the same family and create contrast through texture – a cashmere or flannel navy tie will give your look visual depth, and ensure you don’t veer into footballer-style shine.

Strong Blue Wool & Mohair Hyde Suit, available at Richard James, priced £845.

Strong Blue Wool & Mohair Hyde Suit

The Best Men’s Footwear Styles You Should Know 2019

For many parts of your wardrobe, winter is the time to shine. We’re talking layering, reverse layering, chunky knits, and coats that mean business. A whole lot of ticks there, right?

One minor notch in the “eh, not so good” column is footwear. Winter really does scupper you. You become beholden to the elements. You rely on your smartphone’s inefficient weather app like a newborn fawn does its mother. But, in the immortal words of Tony Soprano, don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t got options.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at autumn/winter 2015’s key footwear styles:

Vibram-Soled Smart Shoes

Italian firm Vibram started off making mountain boots, which is about as tough as tough shoes get. Spurred on by the unfortunate deaths of a group of mountaineering friends who perished with fingers pointed to inadequate footwear as the main assailant, the Italian brand’s namesake, founder Vitale Bramani, was inspired. He began developing a new rubber-based sole, eventually creating the first ‘lug’ sole, which replaced genuinely-quite-dangerous-when-icy leather hobnail shoes and changed the game in terms of grip.

While we’re not advocating you go rock climbing in them, Vibram has nailed heavy-duty formal footwear for those who need to traverse treacherous conditions to go and sit around in the office all day. Which is handy, because we’re unsure if there’s anything worse than falling flat on your arse in public.

Stylishness may vary wildly, but there are plenty of Vibram-soled options that run the full length of the formality spectrum: the dapper Dinkelacker Rio with its water-repellent brogue upper and Vibram Maximum sole; the super-luxe Visvim Black Patrician that looks like a Doc Marten on steroids; and Mark McNairy’s Country Brogue, which combines a traditional brown leather upper with a striking blue welt and contrasting white Vibram sole for the ultimate blend of classic and contemporary.

Of course, while Vibram is the original purveyor of rubber outsoles, every brand from high street to high-end now produces their own take, recognising the modern man’s desire for stylish and practical footwear. So, whether you’re a brogue, Derby or Oxford kind of guy, you’re sure to find something suitable on the current market.

Just think of all the bruised egos and arses saved.

Men's Vibram, Rubber, Commando, Lug Soled Shoes Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

APC aw15 armani collezioni aw15 debenhams ss15 zara tailoring autumn 2015 mango man aw15 falconnable 2015 boglioli aw15 river island aw15 bensimon aw15 aquascutum aw14 boss orange aw15 m&s aw15

Leather Brogue Boots

With Red Wing’s ubiquity in many parts of the UK reaching Taylor Swiftian altitude, it’s time we considered branching out when it comes to boot styles. The brogue boot’s duality and durability mark it out as a key piece of cold-weather kit: perfect for grizzly pint-nights, a wet walk to work on chilly Monday mornings, or even dressing down your suit if your office is a little more left-leaning.

Mostly indebted to the old guard of British shoemakers, the fact that the brogue boot doesn’t look or feel like something cooked up by a demented army surplus store with a predilection for tortured foot-arches is only the half of it: they tend to be comparatively cheap, too. Clarks’ brilliantly monikered Montacute Lord boots clock in at just £90, while Bertie offers its chunky Cyrus boot in tan or black for around £115.

Of course, should the mood strike you, there’s always the option to take a deep breath and screen calls from your bank having coughed up a cool £395 for Grenson’s superb Triple Welt ‘Fred’ model – a style that is almost guaranteed to last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.

The brogue boot’s outdoorsy roots makes them ideal for teaming with heritage cloths such as wool, cord and tweed, as well as dark denim – particularly if you opt for a rich chocolate brown or tan pair. Just remember to keep your legwear slim and tapered – not to labour the point, but just because they’re called ‘bootcut’ jeans, it doesn’t mean you should buy them. Nobody should buy bootcut jeans.

Men's Leather Brogue Boots Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

hackett aw15 Debenhams aw14 Daniel Hetcher aw15 massimo dutti beyond the hills aw15 digel aw14 massimo dutti november 2014 mango man aw12 primark x farrell aw15 avva aw14 7 diamonds aw14 realm & empire aw14 brax aw14

(Single Or Double) Monk-Straps

Rest easy, denizens of #menswear forums of old, the faithful monk-strap remains a formal classic. Well, quite formal, anyway: you’re more likely to see them on the carefully unstructured, leather-skinned Sprezzatura boys of Italy’s smart-casual scene than in your office or at your common wedding, admittedly, but they’re still a purist’s choice.

Forget connotations of chanting men in ancient temples dressed in ochre robes and oxblood double-buckles – the monk-strap’s original purpose may have been to protect the feet of monks at work, but these days you’re more likely to find them on the FROW than a friar.

Traditionally, monk-straps sat somewhere between dressy and casual on the formality scale – not smart enough for suiting, but too dressy for a casual get-up. Now, though, you can easily team a pair with your tailoring. That said, your average off-the-peg, mid-range, slate-grey suit probably won’t cut the mustard with this one (dressier, often heavier suits, especially three-pieces, work better here), but you’re always welcome to try. As with anything: it’s the way you wear ’em, not what you wear.

Anyway, while the Italians (predictably) rule the roost – Giuseppe Zanotti has a mental gold and black shoe that’d make Liberace blush and Valentino does a pair that’ll make you believe in god – the rest of Europe is hanging tough, too. Footwear faithfuls like Grenson and Church’s have quality, understated offerings and Swedish shoemaker Vagabond is also in on the act, rounding off a very full field.

Men's Monk-Strap Shoes Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

allsaints aw12 suitsupply aw15 asos aw15 banana republic aw15 cerruti 1881 aw15 m&s best of british aw15 boss aw15 brioni aw14 reiss aw14 next spring 2015 allsaints october 2015 burton aw15

Leather Low-Top Sneakers

Never let it be said that sneakers – or trainers, if you’d forgive the apparently outdated nomenclature – are only summer-appropriate. While you’re best off boxing away pairs with delicate mesh insteps, leather variants prove hearty against even a British winter.

We aren’t talking the kind of soft leather you’d usually find on trainers, mind: that particular material will stand up against a quick sprinkling but a sustained splash will see their weight rise exponentially and, most importantly, totally ruin the finish. Thanks to the wonders of technology and clever coating, plenty of brands now offer styles that – while not all claiming to be ‘waterproof’ as such – are impressively water-resistant.

Adidas, as per usual, has the game on lock. Although some of the brand’s trendier options are made of too fine a leather to risk, its Superstars and Stan Smiths are pretty hard-wearing, meaning that they’ll see you right through the dark nights and still-quite-dark days of this season.

Nike, too, has plenty of leather options, including the Air Max 90s – which are trending so hard we’re a bit surprised they don’t yet have their own official hashtag. Oh, and Converse are offering leather Chuck Taylor All-Stars, too: perfect if you’re someone who still goes to college and carries their backpack over only one shoulder.

Men's Leather Low-Top Sneakers/Trainers Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

j.crew october 2015 asos aw15 whistles aw15 m&s autograph aw15 next autumn 2015 burton aw15 beyene 2014 hackett aw15 reiss aw15 h&m modern essentials 2015 mango man aw15 express autumn 2015

Hiking Boots

Their benefits (stability, longevity) are clear but the thing with hiking boots is that they’re usually just straight up hideous. And not even cool hideous like the majority of Rick Owens’ gear. They’re ugly in a ‘really plain family from the Home Counties on the tube who all dress in shabby greens and brown with big rucksacks and faces that let you know that they secretly hate each other but are too dour and lonely to do much about it’ way. Quite a specific ugly, that.

But there are a few that really do look great by anyone’s estimations. Styles like Diemme’s handmade Roccia Vet boot are a real winner, being sturdy and made to meet the physical demands of a hike, but not forsaking sartorial touches like metal hardware, waxed laces and cow leather inners.

Other brands making boots built to last (and not to visually offend) include Timberland, O’Keeffe, Heschung, Fracap and Moncler. As a general rule of thumb, steer clear of styles whose majority surface area is made up of blinding bright neon hues and plump for something a little subtler instead.

Unlike your leather low-tops, a hiking boot should never get anywhere near your tailoring. This is a strictly casual silhouette, which will always look its best combined with equally rugged pieces – think thick flannel shirts teamed with heavyweight twill jackets and raw denim.

Men's Hiking Boots Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

penfield 2014 suitsupply 2015 massimo dutti apres ski aw14 peuterey aw14 peuterey aw13 Scotch & Soda Amsterdam Blauw aw13 mango man 2014 club monaco autumn 2015 j.crew september 2015 house of fraser aw15 river island aw15 j.crew aw15

5 Ways for Men to Wear Camel You Should

When it comes to menswear, it’s a hoary old cliché to preach about ‘timeless classics’. But camel, that very light brown shade that takes its name from the even-toed ungulate of the same name, goes all the way back to the bible – by which we mean the actual bible, not style ones. Specifically Matthew 3:4, which refers to John the Baptist straight up stunting in a “raiment of camel’s hair, and a leather girdle about his loins”. Fierce. And this roughly 2,000 years BY (Before Yeezus).

Even now, some men still take a bit of converting to camel. Certainly, it’s not as safe as some less showy shades. If you’re among the sartorially meek, then rejoice: the colour is practically omnipresent for the season of our Lord autumn/winter 2015, and we’ve set in stone the commandments you need to follow.

This is the camel gospel according to FashionBeans.

 

On The Runway

There was a veritable herd of designers that came over camel this season, coats in particular. Which is as it should be, says Thom Scherdel, buyer at men’s e-tailer The Idle Man. “The camel coat is a staple and also one of the first styles we put into work for our in-house collection,” he says. “We’re finding that coloured coats are outselling black and navy nearly five to one. We sold out of our camel coat in just two weeks and they’ve only just now come back in stock.”

At Louis Vuitton in Paris, Kim Jones showed a variety of coat styles, mixing them up further by adding prints. Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent included a more conventional but still covetable version in his collection of Parisian scenester wardrobe staples. While Miuccia Prada expanded her remit from coats to shirts.

Elsewhere, Alessandro Michele’s androgynous first collection for Gucci featured some very wearable camel knitwear alongside the only slightly less wearable pussy-bow blouses. And we have to shout out Lacoste’s unexpectedly brilliant Royal Tenenbaumstribute, which included camel trench and teddy bear coats and a suit accessorised with sweatbands. How’s that for ‘sports luxe’?

Camel On The Autumn/Winter 2015 Menswear Runways

burberry prorsum gucci lacoste louis vuitton prada saint laurent

Campaign For Camel

If you’re one of those people who complains about there being too many ads in fashion magazines, then you’re missing the point – and roughly half the fun.

‘Campaigns’ – as they’re rather grandly referred to in the industry – are where brands literally and metaphorically set out their stall for the season. That’s part of the reason The September Issue was the subject and name of a documentary about American Vogue – it’s when the labels traditionally unveil their new ‘creative’ (another fancy word for ad) for the autumn/winter season.

Brands put a lot of stock and cash into these campaigns, assembling top photographers and stylists at great expense to showcase what they consider to be their A-game garms: what’s going to sell, garner attention, or both. As well as being nice to look at, fashion ads are therefore a pretty reliable way to gauge what’s cool for ‘fall/winter’, as our US brethren insist on calling it.

This season, camel is so hot it’s fire. Menswear’s Mad Men have gone crazy for it. Hugo Boss has ensconced top male model Clement Chabernaud in a camel coat and Bottega Veneta is pushing a sharp peak lapel. Meanwhile, at the other end of the pricing spectrum, H&M has a surprisingly luxe-looking dropped shoulder number. And it’s not just coats either: Bally ballyhooed a full camel suit and matching beanie. As did Reiss.

Camel Overcoat - Hugo Boss AW15 Campaign

The Camel Coat

In the beginning was the camel coat. It’s not quite the alpha and omega of go-to essentials, but it’s up there. At the same time, it’s a look-at-me statement piece that can turn any outfit into an ‘alphet’ in a way that common navy or grey outerwear simply can’t. Hence why designers keep coming back to it – as will you.

“A camel coat is definitely a versatile piece, both in terms of colour adjacency and styling options,” says Scherdel. In other words, you can wear it with a lot of things, in a lot of ways.

As you’d expect from a tailored overcoat, you can layer it over a suit. Camel is on the lighter side, so we’d suggest anchoring it with darker colours like navy or charcoal. But, in all honesty, it’ll go well with any of the 50 shades of grey around this season. You knowtone-on-tone grey is a thing, right?

Or, you can go a little more rock ‘n’ roll. “My advice would be to wear it with an all-black ensemble paired with some brown Chelsea boots,” says Scherdel. (Very Saint Laurent of you, Thom.) “Another option would be a grey marl sweatshirt and denim.”

Camel looks really good with denim. Think about it: most blue jeans have contrast stitching that is close to camel, if not bang on. That’s why you often see camel coats styled with denim jackets underneath (both pieces share a certain roughness of texture too).

Men's Camel Overcoat Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

zara aw15 h&m aw15 burton aw15 j.crew september 2015 hackett aw15 river island aw15 j.crew aw15 reiss aw13 banana republic aw15 bensimon aw15 crombie aw15 beyene 2015

Some points on fit: there should be enough room to squeeze a tailored (or denim) jacket under your camel coat, but not much more than that, unless you go for a slouchier raglan sleeve, which is less sharp but undoubtedly more on-trend.

However, although oversized outerwear is all the rage on the runways and among the cognoscenti, in real life coats generally shouldn’t stray below the knee. You want to look modern, not like you should be accessorising with a zimmer frame.

The (Camel) Cult Of Kanye

“When I think camel coat, Kanye is the first person that pops into my head,” says Scherdel.“When he popularised the famous Maison Martin Margiela x H&M one with grey lapels.”

More recently, and on a more casual tip, Kanye wore head-to-toe camel at the MTV VMAs – almost certainly from his Yeezy season 1 collection with adidas, which will have broken the internet by the time you don’t read this.

“Love him or loathe him, Kanye makes ripples in the industry and is certainly a barometer of trends,” says Scherdel. “Personally, I think he’s on-point. Not many rappers would know who Raf Simons was if it wasn’t for ‘Ye.” Amen to that.

Kanye West In Head-To-Toe Camel At MTV VMAs 2015

Alternative Camel Pieces

If you want to tick off two trends for the price of one, Michael Kors, Gant and even Mango Man have all done shearling in camel this season, which sounds like an unholy cross-breed but is in fact totally praiseworthy.

Ben Sherman also has a duffle that’s a mite more affordable than Vuitton’s. And if Gucci knits are a tad too spendy, A.P.C. and Uniqlo both have camel crew neck jumpers (although the latter calls it ‘natural’).

Or you could go for a camel roll neck, like Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year. Killer.

Men's Camel Clothing Outfit Inspiration Lookbook