Building a great autumn/winter wardrobe can be tricky, and different for everyone. The trick is to make it work for you, and your lifestyle. So, we teamed up with stylish gentlemen Solomon Ian-Sangala, David Evans and Efe Efeturi to give us their style story, along with their tips on building a unique autumn/winter wardrobe with the new AW20 Shirt Department collection.
When I was a child, I always wanted to dress well and look the part, even if it meant accessorising my school uniform — be it having my school trousers tailored or polishing my own shoes, I wanted to look smart.
Fashion gives people voices to express themselves however they wish. Sometimes it is overlooked in the respects of highly academic individuals, but the psychology behind fashion is really intriguing. How and what we wear and who made it can impact us as well as our actions. Fashion is more than just clothes, to me, it symbols empowerment. Fashion can be anything we want it to be.
The saying “dress like you’re going somewhere better later” has always resonated with me. I like to base my outfits around staple pieces that I feel every gent should have in their wardrobe: oxford shirts, denim jackets, leather jackets, tailored chinos and so forth. Simplicity is key when putting together an outfit, so I build upon these staples and add classic extras to them.
For my Shirt Department look, I opted for a smart-casual styling of the white Oxford Shirt paired with navy chinos, a gilet, classic Barbour wax jacket and brown brogues. It’s a brilliant combination, and the shirt is great because of how many different ways you can style it up.
I also opted for a Rugged Casual shirt, which is perfect for a cycle through town as it is relaxed, breathable, and not too smart. It gives the man who feels a t-shirt is too casual, a great alternative. It can be dressed up or dressed down and that is what makes it perfect!
Dressing up, whether for an evening out, a formal dinner, a country walk or a visit to friends, is one of life’s pleasures. We are how we appear to others and dressing up gives us the chance to show ourselves in our best light. Casual and yet stylish, showing we have made an effort, is a skill that is easy to acquire and has huge benefits. Selecting the best shirt for an event is fun and choosing the clothes to go with it allows us to show ourselves to others as we’d like them to see us.
I find a plain shirt gives most styling options, and I will pair it with patterns containing the colour of the shirt. The casual chambray or denim shirt is a must and will go with knitwear and comfortable jeans or chinos, a work shirt with a jacket and possibly a tie.
A patterned shirt, on the other hand, like those in the Smart Casual style, will be the key to the whole look. Matching patterns can be tricky, but the secret is to take the main colour from the shirt and choose trousers, jacket or knitwear which are predominantly of that colour. The bolder the pattern the plainer the rest of the outfit should be. These Smart Casual shirts look smart and crisp, and are ideal for casually looking as if you’ve made an effort. It’s a shirt I can put on and forget about, knowing that I look good without feeling too formal and rigid.
The key to a great autumn/winter wardrobe is mixing practical and stylish. Tartans and checks are the basis of a great seasonal look, paired with chunky knitwear and quality outerwear that looks good and keeps out the wet and cold.
It’s best to plan your wardrobe so that everything has a place. Buy well and buy sustainably by making sure that each item is well-made and looks good with other pieces that you wear.
Style is more about a feeling than something you can grasp. It’s an effective tool to give you presence, by owning it and wearing your style, you give yourself an identity which puts you on your own platform.
I’ve loved fashion since I was a child, when I would often get dressed up and go to bed fully clothed (that’s according to my Dad, anyway). My personal style isn’t boxed, so I like to keep it relevant and that’s colourful, simplistic and essential when it needs to be, but all with a little bit of grit in it.
When creating a great autumn/winter wardrobe, essentials and layering are key. It makes sense to style according to the season but in doing that you need not to feel puffy by just layering until you feel warm. Instead, if it's cold, I like to get minimal layers in with great quality to do the job of keeping me warm and picking up pieces that layer right.
For my Shirt Department styling, I think the Tartan Shirt, paired with denim pants, is a great piece. It can go off as a casual, relaxing but manly look. So stylish and effective, while being comfortable all at the same time.
The Crest Shirt is so synonymous with the British countryside. It makes absorbing everything else the theme, why still feeling stylish and classic. For me, it is the ultimate symbol of style in the great outdoors — perfect for a countryside escape.
As simple as it might appear, the shirts in this collection connect with the space to give off a certain vibe, which aids the mood and how you feel when you put them on.