Brown. Why are we so afraid of it? For whatever reason, we men tend to stay stuck in our navy and grey microcosms. But, brown (particularly in winter), is a versatile and surprisingly chic colour choice to build-out your wardrobe. It stands apart from the crowd, but in a discreet and wearable way. It’s slightly retro credentials make it a timely choice, too, what with designer menswear’s current penchant for ‘70s and ‘80s style.
If you’re going to work some earthy tones into your wardrobe, there are two key considerations. The first? Go tonal – brown is at its most sophisticated when it’s layered up in different shades. Whether you dress a tobacco linen suit with a cream jersey t-shirt and chocolate tassel loafers, or pair a tan suede bomber with sand-coloured chinos and a taupe piqué polo – brown layered on brown always looks smooth.
Reversible suede bomber jacket, £2,300, by Connolly; Knitted cotton polo, £170, by John Smedley; Tapered corduroy trousers, £180, by Barena at Mr Porter; Tortoiseshell round frame opticals, £120 by Komono; Leather document folder, £375, by Ettinger
Cashmere check blazer, £775, by Hackett; Cashmere cable knit, £560, by Connolly;
Wool oversized trousers, £235, by Ami Paris; Suede belt, £540, by Brunello Cucinelli; Sunglasses, £290, by Ermenegildo Zegna; Leather document folder, £375, by Ettinger; Heritage 146 watch in steel with brown leather strap, £5,500, by Zenith
Left: Bomber jacket, £895, by Hackett; Cashmere cable knit, £390, by Tod’s; Grey wool check trousers (part of a suit), £3,890, corduroy baseball cap, £290, both by Brunello Cucinelli; Leather brogue derby boots, £510, by Crockett & Jones. Right:Grey Lisle cotton socks, £12, by London Sock Company. Right: Blouson, £750, by Oliver Spencer; Cotton crewneck, £190, by Theory at Mr Porter; Wool check trousers, £500, by Isaia; Suede desert boots, £325, by O’Keeffe; Tortoiseshell opticals, £128.95, by Komono
Cashmere coat, £1,695, by Corneliani; Cashmere knit, £850, by Connolly; Wool trousers, £219, by Boss; Leather Chelsea boots, £470, by Tod’s
Second: texture is everything in building a tonal look. Avoid stripes, checks and bright patterns in favour of subtly contrasting fabrics – whether you’re in tailoring or weekendwear, it’s an infinitely sharper look than an outfit punctuated with loud patterns. Think soft suede jackets over washed denim shirts, mottled wool/silk/linen blazers paired with crisp cotton shirts, or rugged work jackets over clean lightweight merino knits. You can apply this rule to any tonal look too (even navy and grey), if you’re so inclined.
We’ve put together these all-brown looks to show you what we mean, featuring sharp autumn/winter staples guaranteed to tick the right boxes. Take notes from these for some tonal style mileage this season.
For more of The Jackal’s style advice, click here now
Opening credits. Left: Wool/cashmere suit jacket, £1,490, trousers, £300, both by Canali; Cotton shirt, £145, by Gieves & Hawkes; Cashmere knit, £890, wool tie, £200, both by Isaia; Leather Oxfords, £410, by Crockett & Jones. Centre: Wool checked jacket, £2,700, by Isaia; Cotton shirt, £109, by Boss; Wool tie, £85, by Corneliani; Velvet trousers, £220, by Oliver Spencer; Leather derby boots, £680, by Crockett & Jones; Leather suitcase, £1,510, by Globe-Trotter. Right: Wool/cashmere double-breasted suit, £1,025, by Richard James; Merino rollneck, £140, by John Smedley; Corduroy shirt, £215, by Boglioli at Mr Porter; Leather derbies, £410, by Crockett & Jones