Pump up the vol­ume

From over­sized coats to stompy shoes, the au­tumn mes­sage is be bold or don’t bother. These eight key looks will help re­boot your wardrobe. By Si­mon Chil­vers

The Guardian - G2 - - Style -

An over­sized coat

Coats this sea­son have gone some­what di­rec­tional: think vol­ume and over­sized or some­thing punchy and bold. I’m call­ing the former the “drown me” coat and can con­firm it’s bril­liant for lay­er­ing. There’s a fab­u­lous ex­am­ple in the new film Amer­i­can An­i­mals of a too-big trench that show­cases per­fectly the breezi­ness of this shape. Mean­while, Top­man has an abun­dance of coats pre­fixed with the word “over­sized”. It also has a red dou­ble-breasted be­low-the-knee coat, which if you squint is not a mil­lion miles from the de­li­cious ketchup over­coat that opened the Mai­son Margiela au­tumn/win­ter men’s show. Ba­si­cally, be bold or don’t bother.

Brown rather than black

The Ital­ian la­bel Marni opened its show with a sil­ver-haired model in a su­per-long, brown dou­ble­breasted coat. It looked divine. Note: brown clothes and grey hair are a win­ning com­bi­na­tion. Haider Ack­er­mann’s Ber­luti col­lec­tion teamed brown with duck-egg blue; I’m propos­ing this as colour combo of the sea­son. Brown is also be­ing cham­pi­oned by Dr Klem­perer in Luca Guadagnino’s Sus­piria re­make – the trailer is enough to make the most sea­soned fash­ion fan re­quire a lie-down. Uniqlo U (the line de­signed by Christophe Le­maire) has an ex­tremely pleas­ing brown ch­ester­field coat for £129.90 along­side other brown pieces worth in­ves­ti­gat­ing. And brown ac­tu­ally works bril­liantly with, yes, black.

Anni Al­bers-in­spired knitwear

Tate Mod­ern’s forth­com­ing ret­ro­spec­tive of the Ger­man tex­tile artist Anni Al­bers should be a fan­tas­tic show­case of more than 350 ob­jects. But what is the fash­ion con­nec­tion? Well, there are whiffs of Al­bers’ trade­marks rip­pling through some of the best knitwear this au­tumn. For in­spi­ra­tion, look at knitwear de­signed by Raf Si­mons for Calvin Klein, in brown, which fea­tures a float­ing jacquard de­sign with loose strands art­fully hang­ing from it, or Saint Lau­rent’s monochro­matic crew neck with in­tar­sia stripes, which re­sem­bles the artist’s wo­ven de­signs. This look can also be found at Zara in a grey mul­ti­thread num­ber, or an ecru-and-black drop-shoul­dered jacquard jumper, both just un­der £50.

A tiny bag

Small bags may be out for women, but, for men, teeny-tiny ac­ces­sories (an evo­lu­tion from the bum­bag trend) are all the rage. Ja­son Hughes, the fash­ion ed­i­tor at Wall­pa­per* (who has a mini Prada bag in blue), con­curs: “It’s very free­ing and lib­er­at­ing, a re­fresh­ing an­ti­dote to car­ry­ing a cum­ber­some tote with all that ev­ery­day junk in it.” Un­der­stand­ably, a small bag may seem a bit use­less. Un­less you’re head­ing out straight from work, in which case leave that cum­ber­some tote at the of­fice – for more leg room at the theatre etc. Trav­el­ling? Much eas­ier to lo­cate your pass­port in your mi­nus­cule bag than that hulk­ing ruck­sack – also easy to sneak it on the plane as an ex­tra bag if you wear it around your per­son. Prada’s is about £300, but you can get de­cent vari­a­tions on this theme from Cos.

Easy tai­lor­ing

What to do about In­sta-fash­ion, clothes de­signed for your feed rather than for look­ing chic? There are signs of a shift brew­ing. Vogue Hommes Paris ad­dressed this no­tion with the cover line: “Chic is back.” The Row, the women’s la­bel by the Olsen twins, known for lux­ury min­i­mal­ism, is launch­ing menswear, while Ric­cardo Tisci’s first Burberry show last month fea­tured a se­ries of looks built around clean lines and tai­lor­ing. The con­cept is achiev­able via Ar­ket (sizes come up small) and Cos, which both of­fer mod­ern ver­sions of tai­lored jack­ets that feel re­laxed rather than stuffy. Ease is surely the epit­ome of chic.

Stompy footwear

I’ll keep this brief. There is noth­ing ex­cit­ing to say about Chelsea boots or cult flashy sneak­ers. In­stead, buy some shoes or boots that have a chunky sole – some­thing that makes you walk as if you’re tak­ing part in a Rick Owens show. The brand Marsèll is very good at this, as is Prada. My lat­est stom­pers are from Gren­son’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with Craig Green. The high street is full of Dr Martens-in­spired treads from Of­fice to Asos. That’s all.

State­ment trousers

De­sign­ers at all price lev­els are mak­ing this area of menswear more in­ter­est­ing. There are lash­ings of cropped trousers: still rel­e­vant. Wider shapes are also mak­ing waves. Fan­tas­tic Man has an en­tire fea­ture ded­i­cated to the re­turn of high-waisted slacks, while Stella McCart­ney and Wales Bon­ner are mak­ing a case for com­bats – chic ones. There’s a lot go­ing for this idea: if your bag is mi­nus­cule, you can put your wal­let in your trousers, and they look sub­lime with a stompy shoe and an Anni Al­bers-style knit.

The right head­gear

More of a side­note, as it’s not for ev­ery­one, but the talk­ing point this sea­son is the bal­a­clava. In­spired by Calvin Klein’s ver­sion, it is ad­mit­tedly niche, but will see you through a bl­iz­zard with full fash­ion rep­u­ta­tion in­tact. Al­ter­na­tively, you could go head­scarf (Gucci), bucket hat (Prada) or even gimp mask (Moschino) – each claims to be run­way-ap­proved. But if I were to ar­gue the case for a play­ful hat this sea­son, it would the bob­ble beanie. See Acne De­sign for fancy, or River Is­land for a bar­gain. I’m sure there is an age limit on this, but age lim­its are al­ways very last sea­son.

Ber­luti AW18 State­ment trousers Wales Bon­ner AW18 Brown rather than black A tiny bag Prada AW18

An over­sizedd coat Mai­son Margiela AW18

Cot­ton work­wear

De­tach­able leather belt bag, Cos, £69 blazer, Ar­ket, £75

Brown Ch­ester­field coat, Uniqlo U, £129.90

Sweater with multi-thread de­tail, Zara, £49.99

Black combs tech boots, Dr Martens, £90

Red over­sized coat, Top­man, £95

Stompy shoes Craig Green x Gren­son AW18 Easy tai­lor­ing Burberry SS19

Anni Al­bersin­spired knitwear and the right head­gear Calvin Klein AW18

Yel­low ca­bleknit bob­ble beanie hat, River Is­land, £12

Wide-leg cargo trousers, Zara, £29.99

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