New Season: discover autumnâ€™s art of accessorising
It seems so simple, but the art of accessorising is an elusive one. The wrong socks, for example, can derail even the finest combo, as anyone whoâ€™s ever seen a bridegroom with white cotton on his ankles will know. Likewise, overdosing on too many accessories can turn you into the sort of over-preened throwback that cycles round town on a penny farthing with a face dipped in moustache wax. Not good.
But get it right and you transform from a well-dressed chap into an enviably dressed one. And thatâ€™s worthwhile. Accessories, you see, are potent. They are each designed to either perform a function or to enhance your sartorial standing. The best ones do both.
Take sunglasses. Weâ€™re yet to find a better pair than Persolâ€™s Steve McQueens, pictured in tortoiseshell and black here. If youâ€™re feeling pasty go for tortoiseshell â€“ black does not marry well with translucent winter skin. Just take them off indoors and donâ€™t use them as a hairband unless youâ€™re a well-tanned tennis pro. Instead, tuck then in the breast pocket of your blazer with an arm facing out.
In a world in which hipster kids wear bow ties, finishing an outfit with a Paul Smith trilby or Polo Ralph Lauren flat cap is a manâ€™s right. Add them to layers of smart casual separates; that way, not only does the hat look less conspicuous (helpful if you are feeling hat shy) but it will pick up on the textures of your outfit.
When it comes to looking after money thereâ€™s not much you can do about income equality in the EU, but you can at least be equable about how you store your plastic. A super slim card slip is the perfect accessory for nights out or suit wearing when you donâ€™t want the extra bulk ruining the line of your silhouette.
Do not underestimate cuff links. The very process of threading the bullet-like metal through the embroidered holes in your cuff is an aesthetically pleasing moment, thick with man-specific momentousness. It is, quite simply, the only jewellery short of a Jack Sparrow style piercing that will key you into history and make you more of a man.
Socks. Gone are the days of black socks with black shoes. But at the same time going all â€śZanyâ€ť in your anklewear choices remains the province of a kids TV presenter. Split the difference: add pattern or colour and do not go over the top. A punchy blue will add zing where a plain black just fades into the background. Note: if you match the colour of your socks with your trousers, it elongates your legs.
Shoes. There is no longer a default option when it comes to footwear but this is a good thing. Brogues, boots and bluchers are joined by desert boots, loafers, oxfords, car shoes and sneakers as well as hikers, pumps, trainers, chukkas and more. Thereâ€™s more variety than ever. Make sense of it in our Shoe Library.
Ties are now as much a symbol of the counter cultural as they are of gentâ€™s club. Wear it with casual knits, wear it with oxford shirts, wear it with New Balance sneakers and maybe even denim. Wear it at the weekend, man. As for how â€“ twist it so the rear blade peaks out, tuck it in your shirt, army style, pull your rear blade ever so slightly lower than the front for rakish appeal; or leave it straight and kissing your belt. Decisions, decisions.
You do not need a watch. Your mobile will tell you the time. So why wear one? Because it is grown up, sophisticated and stylish. Plus â€“ and this is what swings it â€“ it is a great way to add a little colour and texture to your outfit.
Belts. Do not fuss about exactly matching your belt to your shoes (you are not at school) but do make them work together. A brown belt with black shoes does not a happy image make. But a stone suede desert boot and tan belt? Red belt and cherry shoes? No problem.
The net result is that you are better co-ordinated; better functioning; better prepared; and generally better looking. So what are you waiting for? This autumn, be a god of small things. Not seen anything that takes your fancy yet? Then click on the button at the top right of the screen to shop all accessories.