The white sneaker, the leather jacket, the printed tee... Look to those hard-working wardrobe building blocks and assemble your core components to see the seasons through in style. Timeless outfit elements well worth the investment, update your look each season with an edit of on-point pieces to maintain a directional edge.
Boasting a strong shelf life in your wardrobe, building up a robust outerwear arsenal is key. Start with a simple pea coat – whether cropped or mid-length – in darker shades to give a really neutral base, add in a double-breasted trench, and then opt for a heavier long coat – think lined cashmere or pure wool – in camel, charcoal, navy or black. Update your look each autumn/winter with seasonal colours and textures via your accessories.
If the colder weather coat is the more sturdy and stable wardrobe element, you can have a little more fun with your jacket line-up. The trick is knowing what silhouette and style suits your frame and aesthetic.
"A leather biker jacket is the ultimate nod to nonchalant style."
A worthy investment for all-season-round, a leather biker jacket is the ultimate nod to nonchalant style, and the best thing is, it just gets better with age. The utility trend has been evolving through recent years, offering up easy-to-wear options of field and desert jackets, along with parkas with added pockets, zips and patches. Bomber jackets remain key in the classic one-colour aviator style, while varsity elements can add a more preppy edge if you’re after something a little more playful. Having at least one denim jacket on the go is a must for those low-key days, while at the other end, to give your wardrobe a more polished edge, the blazer is super versatile, perfect for workwear or as a topper on an evening look. Keep it simple and sharp with a single-breast cut, and take it to a tailor to make any adjustments for the perfect fit.
Reassess your carry-all situation to suit your style and needs. For a more practical option, the leather backpack is a nifty city style; start out simple with a subtle print or minimal embellishment and go for key brands like Burberry, Valentino and Alexander McQueen. A leather tote is a good day option for both light and heavy travel thanks to its flexible structure – it can usually hold a laptop or tablet if you need it for work, too. Briefcases and laptop bags would be the next step up if needed to keep papers flat and transport technology elegantly – look to Dunhill, Burberry and TOM FORD. And, if you're on the hunt for something a little more directional, the innovative Loewe Puzzle bag boasts a super-cool design, with interchangeable straps allowing it to be worn messenger, over-the-shoulder or satchel style.
Upscale your downtime by investing in cashmere joggers, sweatshirts and cardigans, then mix in key athleisure styles, such as Thom Browne's track pants. A few cosy, luxe hoodies in soft marl are a must, along with checked or plain shirts – just roll the sleeves and pop the collar to keep it casual. Make sure to go for luxury denim too, selvedge with its trademark red stitching has the edge on durability, but this also depends on the cut and brand. Denim experts who go all-out on quality include Jacob Cohën, Acne Studios, Citizens of Humanity, Rag & Bone and 7 For All Mankind.
White low-top sneakers have become something of an art form lately, largely thanks to Common Projects, with the sleek, streamlined Achilles. Look to perennial retro styles too such as Adidas Superstars and Stan Smiths so you never put a fashion foot wrong.
"Up the ante with some high-top action."
If you’ve got that box-fresh look ticked, up the ante with some high-top action. Stick to either black or white to start with; try the Gucci logo or signature stripe, or Giuseppe Zanotti with zip detail. And, if you love a particular style, buy it on repeat and have each pair at differing levels of wear to keep on rotation.
Whether boardroom, ballroom, or just because you like to do dapper, all smart wardrobes need a strong dress shoe as their base. Jet or oak-hued brogues or loafers are essential, whether from Gucci, Church’s, Tod’s or Magnanni. It goes without saying investing in a suit is essential, with navy, dark grey and black on rotation for starters; then try evolving your suiting style with different fabrics, finishes, ties and pocket squares. If you’re going for off-the-peg, make sure to have a tailor handy - our guide to buying a suit online will help.