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Coats & Jackets

Why you need an autumn blazer

Why you need an autumn blazer

It might be balmy right now, but we’re on the cusp of falling leaves and plunging temperatures. It’s the toughest season to dress for, when the weather you picked an outfit for has completely changed by the time you make it to work. The mistake we’ve all made is to either try and eke too much out of your summer wardrobe, only to discover the frailties of thin cotton when the rains come in, or to reach for heavy wool on the first cold morning then spend the rest of the day sweating through it.

Instead, you want something in-between, which is comfortable right now and will still be in three months. “An autumn blazer is your ideal option,” says Thread stylist, Alexander McCalla. “They’re sharp, they’re versatile and they’re fit for almost any occasion. You can dress it up, dress it down, and it lends itself to layering when it’s that bit colder.”

First, think fabric. Unlike summer, which calls for light colours and breathable materials, the unpredictability of autumn requires a little more flexibility. “During autumn you want to focus on layering up and layering down,” says Alexander. It’s all matter of balance – which means going for blends rather than pure cotton or wool. “A mixture gives you the best of both worlds. Just check the percentages. You get the structure from the cotton and the warmth from the wool.”

Because you’ll want your blazer to dress up and down, as well as warm and cool, now’s the time to move away from brights. Darker neutrals, like navy and grey, pair well with almost anything. “Remember it’s a blazer and not a suit jacket, so forget matching the colour of your jacket to your trousers,” says Alexander. A slim cut is smart but make sure you’ve got room for a merino crew neck. “That way as well as warmth, you can use your knitwear to bring rich greens, browns and burgundies,” says Alexander. “They’re great seasonal colours – just copy what the leaves are doing.”

Smarten up the weekend

Photographed: Oliver Spencer Theobald jacket (£359)Ben Sherman crew neck jumper (£70); Levi's 501 jeans (£85)MVP Oxford shirt (£26)Sunspel leather shoes (£135)

“Here, the blazer ties the look together by muting the shirt and jumper patterns. Without it, the knit might be too much. The green of the jumper complements the navy blazer well and the shirt balances it all out nicely. The light blue jeans aren’t too distressed, and the minimalist trainers keep it clean and simple. It’s a great out-and-about weekend look.”

Any-weather smart-casual

Photographed: Oliver Spencer Theobald jacket (£359); MVP Clapton jeans (£40)Sunspel zip-neck jumper (£195)Clarks desert boots (£95)

“Autumn is a great time to play with textures. Here, the desert boots keep it seasonal and darker jeans keep this look refined. There’s no distressing and a slimmer fit works well for more formal occasions. It’s a lesson in how to layer effectively. The jumper keeps you warm and will look great with or without the blazer.”

Weird weather work wear

Photographed: Oliver Spencer Theobald jacket (£359)T.M.Lewin chinos (£59.95)Sunspel polo (£160)Grenson Archie brogues (£235)

“This is a smart-casual look that really works. The contrasting textures are great and the tone of the trousers and blazer differ, so it doesn’t feel like too much of a match. It’s also a nice play on colour. The green of the polo adds interest and means it’s not the same old safe white or blue shirt. It’s finished off with brown brogues – a staple when it comes to smart-casual looks.”


Words: Danielle de Wolfe