Designers work themselves around the colour wheel each season, but for this autumn and winter they’ve unanimously hit on brown as the colour to wear. Now, ordinarily we might take a more cynical view of this particular hue – isn’t brown, after all, just a little bit boring?
Well, we’re pleased to report that times – and opinions – have changed of late, and brown is absolutely the colour you need in your wardrobe this season. Brown lends itself to a whole gamut of traditional winter fabrics, from textured bouclé, velvets, and herringbones, to fine ribbed corduroys and knitwear, and to mixing casual and formal pieces together, too. And if in doubt, playing with subtle changes in texture and pattern can help you really go to town on layering different earthy shades together, from the darkest chocolate to the lightest toffee.
To get you ahead of the game, here are five wardrobe staples rendered in brown that make for smart investments this season; whether a softly tailored overcoat, or sharp suede bomber, we’ve got you covered.
1. The checked coat: Todd Snyder bouclé overcoat
The former CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist can be relied upon for smart wardrobe pieces with a touch of classic casual Americana. This bouclé wool checked coat is a stand out piece from his current collection. The bold check pattern is bang on trend for outerwear this season and the insulating wool and alpaca cloth gives the coat its practical warmth. Style it over more formal tailored separates for business meetings, then dress it down a notch for casual workdays or weekends by pairing it with a chunky cream rollneck, denim and Derby boots.
£740, shop now
2. The corduroy trousers – Brunello Cucinelli corduroy cargo trousers
Celebrated Italian designer Mr Cucinelli really understands why men prefer the wrapped-up winter season over the sticky summer months. His knowledge and capability to create pieces that work seamlessly together when layered up has become his trademark. These super soft cotton corduroy trousers are a case in point on just how adaptable they can be. The high quality corduroy fabric ensures they fit and hang just as a tailored trouser should, while the straight leg cut gives a sharp, smooth shape. They’re great when worn with a casual trainer (as is Mr C’s preference) or equally handsome with a sturdy suede lace up boot. Corduroy is still big news for autumn, so these are a wise investment that you can layer with knitwear, unstructured blazers, padded gilets or a big sweeping winter coat.
£680, shop now
3. The knitwear – Johnston’s of Elgin wool and cashmere jumper
What does fine Scottish cashmere have in common with Scottish whisky? The answer, of course, is the water. Softness combined with alkalinity make up the unusual quality of Scottish water, and the Elgin mill is fortunate to have it in copious amounts. This ribbed rollneck in this season’s popular camel colour comes in superfine wool and cashmere blend, making it incredibly soft to touch. Note the hidden detail of a contrasting charcoal shade inside the neck. Layer it under dark wool or bold checked blazers, fine suede bomber jackets and navy double breasted Reefer coats. The rollneck is the investment knit of the season and there are few finer than this camel version.
£229, shop now
4. The boots – Mr P. ‘Jacques’ shearling-lined suede boots
Having successfully launched their own ready-to-wear brand last year, it was only a matter of time before Mr Porter launched their own footwear line. They’ve hit the ground running with a well-edited, functional, yet oh-so-stylish collection of Derby shoes and boots. This brown suede pair are made in Italy and lined with cosy shearling and leather, keeping your feet toasty warm even when the temperatures plummet. The smart suede contrasts nicely with the robust rubber crepe soles, which provide plenty of traction and support. They’ll work with many of this season’s trouser shapes, from classic cuffed denim to tailored wool trousers.
£450, shop now
5. The suede bomber – Valstar ‘Valstarino’ unlined suede jacket
There’s a myriad of bomber-style jackets this winter to try, from big and bulky padded versions, to lightweight unlined interpretations. All have their advantages, but this ‘Valstarino’ version is hard to beat. The iconic A-1 flight jacket inspired this Valstar sporty suede bomber, which has remained relatively unchanged since its inception back in 1935. Made in Valstar’s native Italy, the jacket’s slim cut in unlined lightweight suede make it an year-round favourite. Wear on warmer days with a chunky knit underneath and on colder days you can even layer it under your big winter coat. Show off its rich brown hue with fine grey flannel trousers, leather loafers and a navy Merino wool rollneck.
£750, shop now