It’s been an odd year. First, a spring that never seemed to come, then a summer stolen from a few latitudes south, and now an autumn that keeps flirting with winter. On any given day you’re liable to wake up to frost, get soaked on your way to work and then be sweating by your lunch break.

This does not help your what-to-wear decisions. Weird weather is the enemy of dressing well because it contains style’s kryptonite: unpredictability. Overdress and you’ll end up a clammy mess. Undercook your layers and you’ll spend the day shivering. So until we get the kinks in our weather machine ironed out, what is a man to do?

“It’s better to have a few light layers rather than one big coat when the weather’s this changeable,” says Thread stylist Brooke Philips. “That way, you’re prepared no matter what.” The beauty of the more-is-more approach is consistency; you’ll learn the layers that work together in different weather and can quickly become an expert in what to take off, or put on, every time the sky changes colour.

Brooke’s secret weapon? “Quilted mid layers. They’ll go under a coat, but then as the day warms up – say, when you pop out for lunch – they can become your outerwear.” Once the sun’s set and the cold creeps back in, slip the coat back on for your journey home. Their other benefit is portability. If your style tends towards the less technical, a denim jacket is the centuries-old version of the same idea. Like quilting, it’s also lightweight enough to slot into a bag. “If you’re out at the weekend, take a tote bag,” says Brooke. “You can keep it in your pocket, but if the weather changes you can use it to store your jacket.”

 

In versatility terms, jackets have the jump on knitwear because of that great big opening at the front. Whether you go for buttoned-up denim or a zip-up Harrington, on-the-fly adjustments to your ventilation are a godsend when you’re moving between damp streets and sweatbox trains, or heated cars and frigid buses. It’s also a good way to liven up a look by revealing more, or less, of what lies beneath. “Colourful jumpers and shirts are great for between-seasons layering because they add interest without too much effort.”

The true weird weather saviours, however, are accessories. “You’ll never regret buying a good pair of gloves,” says Brooke. “And if you buy them now you can wear them all winter.” Scarves, too, can offer almost as much warmth as a coat, but in an easy-to-remove package. They’re also a great place to experiment with shades you’d normally be wary of, because they feel slightly detached from the rest of your outfit. And you can always take them off as needed.

They’re not just for the not-so-great outdoors, either. Odds are your office is currently playing temperature tennis, as every shift outside has a knock-on effect on how your colleagues feel about the heating. “I keep a jumper and a scarf in the office,” says Brooke. “That way if it was warm in the morning but the temperature suddenly drops, you’re prepared.” Ditto if that guy in your office who wears shorts all year gets his hands on the thermostat.

 

WORDS: NADIA BALAME-PRICE
PHOTOGRAPHY: JON CARDWELL
STYLING: MILLIE RICH