Spice up your Beard Care Regime

ManCave Natural Grooming have released 3 new Beard Care products into the regime, bringing the range total up to 13 products.

With the introduction of these new products we also see ManCave breaking into the Beard Care sector, a new area of the men’s grooming market for the brand. The ManCave Beard Care range features a Beard Wash, Beard Control and the all-important Beard Oil, with premium ingredients including Argan & Hemp Oil, Vitamin E, Bergamot, Mandarin & Shea Butter.

After the previous success of premium fragrances such as Cedarwood and Lemon & Oak, ManCave have also developed an additional scent exclusively for the new beard collection. BlackSpice is a fresh and woody spice fragrance including natural hints of Black Pepper, Bergamot, Cardamom, Ginger & Patchouli.

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Beard Header

Winter means skin brutality, especially for your face. And it’s winter now, so it’s worth knowing how to take care of that moneymaker of yours and of course your face fuzz. And no, there’s absolutely nothing unmanly about making sure you have cracking skin. But, that doesn’t mean you should adopt your girlfriend’s daily 10-step anti-aging, herbal-infused, citrus-scented, green-masked facial cleaning ritual.

It’s really much simpler than that.

After all, imagine that you are about to approach a pretty girl at a bar / lounge / club. You’re well dressed, confident and ready to charm. But one small problem, you just stepped inside and the tolls of the cold, windy day have cracked your lips, made your cheeks red and irritable, and your nose blotchy and dry. Not a good look, no matter how smooth you are. So don’t handicap that charming personality of yours by not taking care of your style and your skin. From the dimple in your tie to the pimple on your face, remember that your entire appearance is sending a message.

When it comes to your beard care regime, you need to be sure not only are the products good for your beard, but they’re great for your skin.

I’ve blogged about my firm favourite when it comes to grooming ManCave before, it’s great. Versatile. Worthwhile. Proven. And, a little goes a long way.

We’ve been using the new and hot ‘black spice’ range from manCave for around 2 weeks now- they definitely deliver on its promise of providing quality, masculine bathroom products for men at a price that few can argue with. We strongly recommend checking out the full range on their website to find all the ingredients and product details so you can buy with peace-of-mind. You can also check their reviews on Boots and see hundreds of other UK customer lauding their quality and fragrance. Thanks to ManCave we have changed from cavemen to gentlemen in one trip to the bathroom…

For our previous articles on ManCave, please see ‘Climb out the ManCave during Winter‘.

Autumn Look Book 2016

Autumn is quite possibly one of our favourite months for style. You’re not limited when it comes to layers, you can go colour crazy, because lets face it, outside is the same. So, although the weather may not know what it’s doing, we can when it comes to dressing appropriately this season.

Here are our top looks for various occasions this Autumn/Winter at highstreetgent.com.

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If you’d like to know where any of the above items are from, head over to our Twitter / Facebook / Instagram pages to find out more. Or, simply drop us an email: dan@highstreetgent.com.

How Haunted is your House?

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Interactive Quiz Launched To Shed Light On Spooky Happenings

A haunted house site has been launched to coincide with Halloween, allowing users the opportunity to discover how haunted their own house is and find scary real-life stories tailored to their region. The site contains a quiz to help visitors identify any potentially paranormal activity in their own home, as well as a geographic drop-down list to generate a haunting Halloween story based near the visitor’s location.

People looking to find an extra-special spooky story this Halloween will be able to discover real life and death accounts in their own regions of the UK, as well as investigate just how likely it is that they are living in a haunted house themselves, thanks to the launch of a new online tool.

The interactive micro-site, http://howhauntedisyourhouse.com/, has been built by the team at London property specialist, Chestertons, as part of the company’s Halloween celebrations.

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In order to investigate the paranormal potential of their own homes, visitors are invited to take a short quiz, consisting of twelve questions; including factors such as whether they hear noises that they can’t explain and if they have ever spotted odd reflections in windows or mirrors. The quiz reveals what each of the selected factors could mean, if they are indeed an indicator of something out of the norm, before providing an overall likelihood score of the house being haunted.

The interactive site also allows users to select a region of the UK to unveil a true account of one of the most haunted locations or buildings within that region. From millionaire’s manor houses that remain for sale to this day, to whole villages that come to life after dark.

The site is intended to be a fun, light-hearted tool designed to add a little more scare into Britain’s homes this Halloween.


Forgotten about a costume? Left it too late?

Fear not, take a look at this funny article from the guys at Buzz Feed, for a laugh and some inspiration! View article here.

5 Amazing Gin & Tonics you NEED to try

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If you know us, you’ll know we’re massive G&T fans – especially Dan, if he’s not stood with a prosecco in hand, we guarantee he’ll be leaning somewhere with a Gin based drink looking smug waiting for that next Gincident*.

*Gincident – an incident arising from the consumption of gin. (A term populated by us and our friends).

As you’ve noticed now and again we stumble off the high street and down those back alley’s to let you guys know little tumblers of information and lifestyle hacks we find interesting…

So when we stumbled over this amazing article from the Craft Gin Club, it was obvious we were going to share it with you. After all, sales of the favourite British classic are on the incline and we have just celebrated National Gin & Tonic week!

Aaah, gin and tonic…drink for all occasions. From an accompaniment to a summer’s day in the garden, to an after-work refresher, to a Saturday afternoon in the pub – there really is nothing better. But sometimes it’s nice to mix things up just a bit…these five simple recipes will help broaden your G&T horizons. Cheers!


Cucumber and Basil G&T

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45ml gin
40ml elderflower liqueur
Juice of ½ a lime
2 sprigs basil, plus more to garnish
½ cucumber
Tonic water

Method:

Using a vegetable peeler, slice thin ribbons of cucumber and place in a cocktail glass. From the remaining cucumber, cut off 3 chunks to muddle into the cocktail. Squeeze the lime juice into a cocktail shaker and add the gin, St Germain, basil, and cucumber chunks. Muddle the ingredients well, and then add ice.

Shake well, then pour into your glass. Top with tonic and garnish with basil.


Strawberry and Black Pepper G&T

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3 strawberries
Freshly ground black pepper
45ml Gin
Tonic water

Method:

Muddle 2 strawberries and a good twist of freshly ground black pepper in a shaker; pour into an ice-filled glass. Stir in the gin and top with tonic. Garnish with a strawberry.


Blackberry and Lemon G&T

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3 blackberries
5 fresh mint leaves
Juice of ½ lemon
15ml sugar syrup
60ml gin
Tonic water

Method:

Muddle blackberries, mint leaves, lemon juice and sugar syrup in a glass. Fill glass with ice, and add the gin. Top with tonic water, stir gently and serve. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a mint leaf.


Grapefruit and Tarragon G&T

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2 sprigs fresh tarragon, plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
60ml fresh grapefruit juice
60ml gin
Tonic water

Method:

Muddle the tarragon and sugar in a cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice cubes, grapefruit juice and gin and shake. Half fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Pour contents of shaker into glass. Top with tonic water. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit and a sprig of tarragon.


Chili and Lime G&T

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1 red chili
Juice of ¼ lime
45ml gin
Tonic water
Coriander leaves to garnish (optional)

Method:

Slit chili lengthwise and lightly muddle in a glass. Add ice, lime juice and gin. Top with tonic and stir gently. Garnish with coriander leaves if using.


So there you have it, here’s 5 amazing gins you should absolutely go and enjoy this weekend…

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What does your shirt say about you?

The shirt is a key part of any man’s inventory. You probably own at least two (one smart, one casual) and wear them on both a formal and casual basis. Whether heading down the pub in a casual check or an Oxford blue shirt under your blazer for work, this piece of clothing will always be a fail-safe staple. But what does this vital piece of your wardrobe say about you?

Alongside Tophat London, we’re going to take a look at what your shirt says about you and give you a few pointers as to whether your wearing your shirt in the right situation, and what your shirt could say about it. It’s something we should all think about!

You wouldn’t rock up to a corporate job interview in your Hawaiian holiday shirt would you? NO!

Here goes, here’s a generalisation of the basic shirt types, and what your choice could say about you…


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The Casual Shirt

Perfect for throwing on over a t-shirt at the weekend or worn with jeans on a country walk, the casual check (sometimes known as the Lumberjack shirt) says someone who enjoys adding a bit of colour without going over the top. He wants to look good without too much hassle and wants to come across as laid back and friendly. Since the check shirt is so versatile, it allows him to show off his creativity effortlessly. Teamed with vintage wash or black jeans, a pair of plimsolls under a lightweight jacket or over a t-shirt with winter boots and regular fit blue jeans, he has made the check shirt an essential part of his wardrobe.

The Oxford Shirt

An everyday smart casual classic worn by a man who likes to look good effortlessly. Usually worn with chinos and loafers or a tie and blazer, the Oxford shirt can never be classified as scruffy. It’s dare we say it ‘refined’ – which pretty much sums up the person wearing it. The style may be formal but the choice of a thicker fabric, softer collar and less fitted style give the Oxford shirt a more relaxed feel. Even so, when worn with rolled-up sleeves and untucked, he cuts a fine figure in an Oxford shirt.

The Formal Shirt

Elegant and sharp, the formal shirt has been adopted by those who want to look professional whatever the occasion. A classic white formal shirt is a blank canvas to many a work wardrobe. Whether teamed with a tie and cufflinks or worn under a suit, he takes pride in his appearance and wants to be ready for the boardroom. The wearer could either work in an industry that requires formality or simply enjoys the art of dressing smart. And with a choice of many collars and cuffs (see the anatomy of a shirt) and ways to wear the formal shirt who can blame him?

The Button-Down Collar Shirt

Initially introduced by polo players in the late 19th century to keep the collars out of their face during competition, the button-down collar shirt is a mix between sporty and formal. It’s a less dressy shirt collar and is usually worn with a blazer or sports jacket. Whether worn out on the town with black jeans and a black bomber jacket or under a crew neck jumper, the button-down collar indicates someone who likes to look smart but not too formal.

The Short Sleeve Shirt

Short sleeve shirts may have had a bad rap in the past but now they back as an essential staple in every man’s wardrobe. They can look impeccably smart when teamed with dark denim or more casual thrown over a plain t-shirt. You may not even know that someone is wearing a short sleeve shirt if it’s teamed with a blazer. The short sleeve shirt wearer is not afraid to try new things and he’s pragmatic in his approach to style, mixing up his smart and casual wardrobe when the temperature rises.


What does your white shirt suggest?

So we’ve discussed the pinnacle styles, but what does colour say? As we’re working alongside tophatlondon.com and they have some cracking white shirts, with immaculate detailing, we thought we’d consider what  a white shirt may say about you…

For the most part, dressing appropriately is not encouraged, but compulsory. Wearing the appropriate clothes means wearing the right shirt colour, too. And by putting on the right style and shade you’re showing not only your respect for the occasion but also your mood and feelings, as well. So, accepting this to be true, what effect will a white shirt have on the mind of the wearer and the people around them?

White, just like black, is not a colour in the technical sense but rather a neutral medium. Much like the forces of good and evil, white and its natural opponent, black, have been at odds since the dawn of fashion history. While for most guys their first dress shirt is white, black currently enjoys a greater popularity according to survey results (chalk it up to the pessimistic ethos of our time, perhaps).

But, as most of us know, white is traditionally worn by good men as a badge of virtue and innocence. So, wearing one during that first meet-the-parents moment would be a good idea and surely create a wholesome impressions from your future in-laws. No matter how wicked you feel/are deep down, wearing a white dress shirt will definitely exude an aura of goodness in you.

White is one of the few colours that can be worn at any occasion, as long as you maintain its brightness and whiteness at a consistent level since this shade also shows everything in terms of stain, spots and dirt, so it’s quite difficult to wear without developing a sense of paranoia about dirty hands and dripping sandwiches. Yet, if you can keep yourself clean, white is the perfect colour for any man shooting for spotless look.

So if you’re looking for a stunning shirt that you can style in several occasions, you definitely need to pop along over to Tophat London. Take a look at their ranges of shirts here. We guarantee you’ll be buttoned up, ship shape and sharp in no time.

Remember: Think about your shirt and why your wearing it, is it right for the occasion?

The ‘Secret’ to Smelling Great…

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Aftershave is a great tool for polishing your look and making you smell fresh, clean and totally irresistible. So if you find one that works and smells great, why would you want to give it up for something else? There’s no rule that says you can’t wear the same cologne day-in and day-out for the rest of your life. But there are definitely some advantages to changing up your signature scent from time to time.

Take a cue from Mother Nature and consider changing your aftershave when the seasons change. When you reach for those wool sweaters in the back of your closet you might also want to reach for a different bottle of cologne than you wore all summer. That’s because heat (body heat and environmental heat) intensifies the scent of aftershave, while cool weather tends to make it fade. That means you should stick to lighter scents in the summer and seek out stronger scents in the winter. Plus, some scents just smell like a particular season — a woody, wintry smell isn’t quite suited to hanging out at a summer picnic, so you should exchange your cologne accordingly.

If changing smells a few times a year isn’t enough, you might also want to consider wearing more than one type of aftershave every day. Think about it — that musky aroma that gets you attention when you go out late at night might not be the best smell for office status meetings or the morning shift at the restaurant. What we’re saying is this: Wear a cologne that suits the occasion, even if that means you have to change it up during the day. The simple rule to follow is that daytime scents should be light (especially if you work around other people) while stronger, bolder scents can be tried out after hours.

All of the aforementioned is  being made easier, with a spritz of help from the Secret Scent Box

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Recognising the struggles of finding a new aftershave, Secret Scent Box have created a monthly subscription box with 3 designer fragrances for you to try in the comfort of your own home.

Each Secret Scent Box contains 3 x 3ml bottles. Each bottle holds 35-40 sprays which give a total of around 100-120 sprays. So across the 3 bottles, if you use 4 sprays per day you have enough perfume to last 30 days !

The size of these spray bottles are perfect: large enough to allow you to make a fully-formed decision about whether you want to buy the full size, and small enough to easily pop in your handbag or pocket for smelling good on the go!

With Secret Scent Box, there are no excuses in mixing up your aftershave regularly.

With some help, we can tell you that aftershaves have a very distinct, very singular smell and it’s all in how they’re formulated. In fact, that’s the main difference between colognes and perfumes: perfumes are typically a blend of three layers of scents, while colognes just have one. This means they’re less complex, and a change in how they’re formulated can be really noticeable. Reformulated? That’s right. Sometimes the cologne maker will substitute some of the ingredients in your favorite fragrance for other ingredients, and it can make the amazing scent you love not so amazing anymore. When that happens, it might be time to find a new smell.

Are the people around you so used to your “signature scent” that they don’t notice how incredible it smells anymore? Even though aftershave should be applied lightly, it’s still meant to be noticed. If you (and others) don’t find your usual aftershave as interesting as you used to, maybe it’s time to try something new.

The Secret Scent Box is priced at £15, which is a lot better than paying £80 for a scent bought on a whim that you realise you don’t like very much when you’re back at home!

If you would like to save money on your first box, enter the discount code HSG15 at the checkout to receive 15% off.

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Additional Information:
Secret Scent Box gives you access to new fragrances to use throughout the month, helping you discover the true smell of each fragrance, how they change throughout the day, how long they last and how much you need to apply. Fragrances smell different on everybody’s skin (due to pH levels) so be sure to test on your own skin and not only your hair and clothes. For just £15 a month it costs just a fraction of the price of buying full size bottles.
Each month you will receive 1 men’s Secret Scent Box containing:
  • 3 x 3ml travel friendly fragrance sprays (9ml in total)
  • Enough fragrance to last 30 days (Ideal for approx. 4 sprays a day)
  • Designer and brand name fragrances
  • At least one new designer or brand name fragrance
  • Delivered in letterbox friendly packaging (no need to be home to receive)
  • FREE delivery to anywhere in the UK!
Subscriptions auto-renew each month. Cancel your subscription anytime.

 

Climb out the ManCave during Winter

Winter means skin brutality, especially for your face. And it’s winter now, so we’re going to talk about how to take care of that moneymaker of yours. And no, there’s absolutely nothing unmanly about making sure you have cracking skin. But that doesn’t mean you should adopt your girlfriend’s daily 10-step anti-aging, herbal-infused, citrus-scented, green-masked facial cleaning ritual. It’s really much simpler than that.

After all, imagine that you are about to approach a pretty girl at a bar / lounge / club. You’re well dressed, confident and ready to charm. But one small problem, you just stepped inside and the tolls of the cold, windy day have cracked your lips, made your cheeks red and irritable, and your nose blotchy and dry. Not a good look, no matter how smooth you are. So don’t handicap that charming personality of yours by not taking care of your style and your skin. From the dimple in your tie to the pimple on your face, remember that your entire appearance is sending a message.

I’ve blogged about my firm favourite when it comes to grooming ‘ManCave’ before, it’s great. Versatile.  Worthwhile. Proven. And, a little goes a long way.

So in this post, we’ll cover the 3 essential steps to help you ensure that your face not only survives winter but your complexion stays as fresh as your chosen attire, and all by using ManCave’s range of grooming products!

Step 1: Identifying Your Skin Type

Have a read below and see what you are, I have quite sensitive skin so I’m reluctant usually in using any products.


The first step to properly caring for your skin is knowing your skin type. Caring for your face without knowing your skin type is the equivalent of shopping for pants without knowing your waist size. Everyone falls into five general skin types:

  • Normal – Consider yourself one of the lucky few. This is the least problematic skin type. Skin is neither oily or flaky and is supple and smooth to the touch.
  • Dry – Tight skin, often showing flakes of dead skin. Typically associated with small pores.
  • Oily – Shiny skin, characterized by a layer of oil that can be associated with larger pores.
  • Combination – The most common skin type where the skin is oily in the “T-zone” shown above and normal to dry in other areas.
  • Sensitive – Reacts easily to products and irritations (both external and ingested), often turning red, itchy or developing a rash.

Back to the product…the best thing about ManCave products is that they use natural active ingredients, such as the effective amino L-Arginine – followed up with 12 essential oils, then each product is completed with a signature key ingredient, ranging from Caffeine, Panthenol, Shea Butter, Borage Oil to the captivating scent of Cedarwood. As the scent is natural, there are no chemicals to irritate or dry your skin out.

Step 2: Cleansing

“I’m fine using soap.”

 

Soap?! No, you’re not fine. The problem with using ordinary soap to wash your face is that it dries your skin more than liquid cleansers. Dry skin not only looks bad, it can clog your pores and cause acne. A cleanser should remove accumulated dirt, excess oil and not contain harsh chemicals or detergents that strip away essential moisture. That moisture is what you need to protect you against the elements.

It’s all about balance. Choose cleansers that will balance out that your natural skin oils or lack thereof, and leave you refreshed. For example, if you’re someone with very oily skin you’ll want to use a lightweight cleanser that doesn’t leave your face feeling like a mucky saucepan. If you’re someone with very sensitive skin, you’ll want to avoid cleansers with harsh chemicals that’ll cause irritation and breakout.

And once you choose a cleanser, the ManCave ‘Face Wash’ or ‘FaceScrub’ for example, is there a proper way to wash your face? Yes, here’s how:

Splash warm water on your face. Warm water opens up your pores and helps you to clean deeper. Using chosen product, lather your face using a gentle circular motion. Scrubbing harder does not equal being cleaner – it will only cause irritation.

Remove the cleanser by rinsing with warm water. Never use hot water on the face as it dries out your skin.

When finished, gently pat your face dry with a clean towel. Avoid rubbing your face as it promotes wrinkles.

After the use of the ManCave FaceWash or FaceScrub, which is simply applied in the shower, your skin will feel fresh and airy (believe me I use it daily). That’s because ManCave’s Willow Bark FaceWash combines natural extracts to refresh, waken and purify skin leaving a fresh, healthy appearance – without drying your skin. Or, ManCave’s natural FaceScrub hydrates and uses Olive Stone to exfoliate your skin helping reduce the occurrence of blocked pores, blackheads and ingrown hairs.

Step 3: Moisturizing

 

Yes, men can moisturize. No, it doesn’t make you any less of a man. You should moisturize – especially during the winter – because your skin is prone to dryness…especially when those cold, bitter winds can make it feel like someone took a piece of sand paper and scrubbed your face with it. So aim to moisturize once or twice a day, especially right after you wash your face.

As with cleansers, make sure you consider your face type when choosing a moisturizing / face lotion. You don’t need to with ManCave. ManCave’s innovative natural oil-free face moisturizer is enriched with bioactives and UV filters to create a soothing easily absorbed formula, thats’ light and suitable for most skin types!

The Final Scrub Word

ManCave definitely delivers on its promise of providing quality, masculine bathroom products for men at a price that few can argue with. We strongly recommend checking out the full range on their website to find all the ingredients and product details so you can buy with peace-of-mind. You can also check their reviews on Boots and see hundreds of other UK customer lauding their quality and fragrance. Thanks to ManCave we have changed from cavemen to gentlemen in one trip to the bathroom.

Perfect your Autumn, and Winter will follow

As we’re all aware, we’re right in the thick of Autumn now, and personally I love it…’thick’ and ‘Autumn’ being the operative words. Take heed. It’s the perfect opportunity to grab some inspiration from the weather (as we all do) by layering up and choosing warm colours, that are perfect for this season!

It’s a great time at the moment in the shops as we’re in between so there’s lots of Autumnal items on the racks, but being inter-woven into the shelves is the upcoming Winter ranges. This helps a lot. Many of the items you can buy across season, so the thinner items, such as shirts, denim wear, cardigans, typical of autumn can be twinned with thicker outerwear items of winter like jackets, coats or scarves until its time to ditch all the other items and pull out the thermals.

As ever, I’m going to try and save you a bit of dollar by pointing you in the right direction of some cracking deals that are out there on the high street.

Jacket

The best rain jackets smartly blend function with fine design, so you can stay dry without looking like an awkward tourist. Top of the shopping list should be styles that are 100 per cent waterproof, come equipped with ample pockets and are also easy on the eye – you needn’t worry about anything techier unless you’re planning a mountain trek.

Picture is a burgundy trench coat for a whopping £30.00 at Primark. It twins the autumn colour of burgundy and is perfect for layering.


Knits

Nothing keeps you warm like a quality knit. For most of us it’s still a little early to break out the big guns, so stick to lighter gauge knitwear until winter hits in earnest. Jumpers and cardigans in temperature-regulating merino wool, breathable cotton-blends and unbeatably plush cashmere are all worth considering.

If you’re looking to invest, then prioritise versatile colours such as navy, grey, brown or beige, which will match with everything in your wardrobe. If you’ve already got your neutral bases covered, consider acquiring a more autumnal option in burgundy, bottle green or burnt orange to give your cold-weather looks a seasonal lift.

Pictured are 2 jumpers, the black roll-neck is a thin but dressy piece from Primark for a bargain £6.00. Whilst, the navy jumper is a staple wardrobe item that’s versatile from Tu at Sainsbury’s for £10.00.


Trousers

Not all trousers are created equal. While colour and cut might be the most common considerations, fabric should also rank high on your list if you want to keep your crown jewels from the cold.

To ensure longevity, opt for a slim – not skinny – cut instead and wear with a shirt and blazer for buttoned-up occasions or a white tee and leather bomber jacket for an on-point high-low combo.

Colour-wise, these usually look best in timeless black, navy and grey, but shades of deep green and burgundy also work well. To add some textural interest to your lower half, keep an eye out for a flecked or melange designs.

The thick chino trousers pictured were originally light grey from Topman Sale, I bought a black dye for £4.80, to turn them darker for Autumn. They have an alternative edge with the grey cotton seam still visible, blending tones and keeping it a one-off!


Shoes

Looking good underfoot isn’t much of an issue when the sun’s shining, but you’ll need to rethink your footwear strategy once the leaves start falling. For something that’s smart and stylish but won’t wither through rain and snow, look to add a pair of well-built brogue, Derby or Chelsea boots to your shoe rack.

Not only do boots offer more coverage than a pair of shoes, they’re just as versatile: dress them up with a smart trouser or even a suit and they’ll fit in just fine at most formal events, or keep things casual by teaming with a pair of selvage jeans with the hems rolled up.

The boots pictured are from H&M for £25.00. For quality on a budget, try Marks & Spencer and ASOS, or go premium with a pair from storied British shoemakers like Cheaney, Church’s, Tricker’s or John Lobb.


Accessories

Autumn weather is tricky to predict. Despite visible breath when you leave the house, the sun’s still strong enough to have you sweating by the time you hit your desk. A lightweight scarf lets you layer up against the chill but stows easily in your bag if things heat up.

Try tartan or a bold print to give your outfit that stamp of approval from your personality. Scarf pictured is from eBay £3.25.


The secret to dressing well for autumn is keeping your style adaptable. Add this dream team of versatile pieces to your line-up and your season’s already off to a good start. Plan ahead and these items can also slip into your winter offering.