Autumn is the prime time of year to break out some suede. The heat of summer is behind you, while the freezing temperatures and torrential rain – number one suede’s nemesis – of winter are still to come. What’s more, it’s a key trend this season, worked into everything from sneakers to gillets. Here’s five favourite of our favourite Autumn Winter ‘18 suede pieces to get you started.
1. Valstar suede shirt jacket
What Valstar don’t know about suede isn’t worth knowing. Their classic ‘Valstarino’ suede blouson, designed in 1935 and based on the A1 flying jacket, has set the tempo for every similar style in the past 80 years. A contemporary update, this shirt jacket is a cut in super lightweight suede and is unlined, for a versatile piece that can be worn over striped T-shirts in milder weather, or over a fine rollneck for crisp autumn days. It will also layer up well for colder snaps when teamed with an overcoat. I suggest you wear yours undone and open over a pair of loose pleated trousers, with plain leather sneakers and a fine merino rollneck beneath.
£795, shop now
2. George Cleverley ‘Thomas’ monk strap shoes
Suede shoes are a serious investment. Make that initial outlay count with these handsome monk strap shoes from specialist shoemaker George Cleverley. They’ve been crafting the finest quality shoes since the 1800s, and are well practiced in the art of producing long-lasting English footwear. This dark brown suede pair has a smart cap toe construction and come with studded rubber Dainite soles to keep a firm grip on those notoriously wet and slippery tube station floors. Although these fine sturdy shoes should last you for years to come, treat the skin as you would your own: protect it before facing the elements. When not in use, it’s advisable to keep your suede in shoe bags to protect them from attracting a layer of dust which can ingrain itself into the suede’s fine nap. Wear these with a navy suit, or pair them with cuffed corduroy trousers, a chambray button-down and herringbone wool jacket for a contemporary, preppy look.
£525, shop now
3. Oliver Spencer ‘Gandy’ suede bomber
This Oliver Spencer bomber is cut from super soft suede and follows the design of a classic flight jacket. It’s packed with practical features like the two oversized front patch pockets, and the double ribbed collar can be folded down for a neat look, or popped up for extra warmth on chilly mornings. Spencer has used suede consistently in his collections in recent seasons, reinterpreting the material through a variety of easy-to-wear trans-seasonal pieces. While it’s clearly an investment buy, the ‘Gandy’ is an adaptable jacket that can be worn dressed down with a camel knit, khaki chinos and trainers, or with tailored dark trousers, black boots and a white cotton shirt. The world’s your oyster.
£749, shop now
4. Hackett suede gilet
The beauty of suede is not only in its super soft handle (tailoring-speak for how a material feels) but also in its versatility. This gilet by Hackett is a good example; on a practical level the navy is a forgiving colour as the jacket’s worn over time, and the 100 per cent goat suede can be machine-washed at 30 degrees. Always a bonus. The neck is lined in soft grey jersey cotton for comfort, and the ribbed hem keeps the shape neat. For those drier days it’ll look great over knitwear in a rich autumnal shade of green, brown or burgundy, and for days when the weather can’t make up its mind, it’ll layer comfortably with a checked wool blazer or camel overcoat.
£375, shop now
5. CQP ‘Tarmac’ suede sneakers
We love the simplicity of these CQP ‘Tarmac’ sneakers. Designed in Sweden and handmade in Portugal, they’re crafted in the finest Italian suede, stitched onto a rubber sole. The calf leather lining features a removal inner sole with arch support and extra cushioning. This navy pair is brilliantly versatile and can be teamed with casual denim, as well as smarter tailored trousers. Before venturing outside, whatever the weather, make sure you spray generously with a good suede protector to safeguard the material and avoid marks from the rain. Taken care of well, these will see you through 12 months of the year, no problem.
£270, shop now