MENSWEAR: Autumn Essentials

Hey Billy here,

Summer is coming to a close, the weather is getting colder and students are going back to school. It's time to start preparing for the upcoming autumn season so pack up your shorts and get those sweaters out! It is a great season to express your sense of style. With this being said, I have taken it upon myself to make your life a little bit easier by compiling a list of pieces I feel are essential for this upcoming season, with an afrocentric twist of course.

As autumn brings chilly weather, it would probably be best to start your search looking for great outerwear. That would be your jackets, sweaters, crew necks and blazers. Not only will these items keep you warm, but they can also make or break your outfit.
Crew necks come in quite handy during this season. They have the ease of t-shirts and the warmth of a good quality sweater. Designs on crew necks can range from simplistic to very elaborate, so there's something for everyone. To add a little character to them, wear a polo underneath and have the collar of the shirt hanging over the crew neck.
From L-R: MaXhosa by Laduma Sweater from Agnes&Lola , Motherland Crooks Jacket, Ohema Ohene Blazer
Style Tip: If you are looking to stand out from the crowd, adding a blazer by Ohema Ohene to your ensemble will make a HUGE difference. Perfect for turning a casual look into something semi-formal. 

As with every season, shirts are a must. Don't limit yourself to long sleeves, you can don all types of shirts including button up shirts, t-shirts, polo's, thermals and sometimes tank tops. To save money, I recycle some of my summer shirts that work well in the fall before buying new shirts that fit the season. On less chilly days, I tend to wear a short sleeve shirt underneath a cardigan, long sleeve button up or jacket, that way if it gets warmer, I can take off the outerwear and put it back on when needed.
From L-R: Laurence Airline Shirt from Agnes&Lola, Motherland Krooks Tee, Laurence Airline Shirt from Agnes&Lola
For colder days, I like to layer up with pieces that can easily be taken apart when it gets warmer without ruining the style of the outfit. I might wear an undershirt, button up shirt and a jumper making sure the collar of the shirt hangs over the jumper. I'd finish the look with a denim jacket. As the day gets warmer, I can remove the denim jacket just showing the jumper and the collar of the shirt. If it then becomes even warmer, I can remove the jumper and have on my shirt and then if some reason it becomes even warmer I will then roll up the sleeves. It's like having 4 outfits in 1 and the best part is that it can always be put back together.

To some, trousers aren't really seen as a focus when getting dressed. Most guys will stick to a neutral colour that matches everything, and won't give them a second thought after that. Truth is trousers can play an important part in an outfit. Something simple like rolling up the trouser legs, just above the ankle can make all the difference to an outfit. Tucking in the trouser legs into your boots instead of just leaving them hanging over will show that you actually made an effort to look good.
Trousers can also be the focal point of an outfit. You could wear a bright pair of trousers, like the printed skinnies by Ohema Ohene, a pair of solid coloured sneakers and a plain shirt. This outfit is not only fashionable but easy to put together.
Ohema Ohene Skinny Fit Trousers

Style Tip: Make sure you know what trouser style works for you. The styles consist of: Skinny, Slim Fit, Slim Straight, Straight, Regular, Boot Cut, Husky, etc. as well as the dimensions: waist x height (28x30, 34x32, etc.)

There are many styles of shoes you can wear this season, but it's always convenient to have a good pair of boots. They go well with most autumnal outfits and they keep your feet warm. They are sturdy, taking on any challenging surface you encounter and the extra height always boosts my confidence. I recommend dark colours for this season; that would be your browns, blacks and maroons.
Clockwise from top: Ohema Ohene Sneakers, Haus of Hercules Slippers and Loafers from Agnes&Lola

Sneakers can also work during autumn. Ohema Ohene stock darker coloured sneakers which work perfectly with this season. If you are looking for a more formal look, loafers will be your best bet. Agnes and Lola have some great loafers for this season.

Now for my favourite part of any outfit, accessories! I enjoy using accessories because they can make a dull and simple outfit pop! There are so many accessory choices for this season: you have hats, bags, ties, jewellery, scarves, glasses, belts and wallets. There are many styles and designs to choose from and many outlets to buy them from. You can also create and design your own DIY pieces to bring uniqueness to your outfits. I would say just have fun with your outfit and make it your own. Experiment with different styles until you find one that expresses you in the best way.
Clockwise from top: StylesAfrik Reversible Snood, Bot I Lam Messenger bag from Agnes&Lola, Ohema Ohene Cufflinks
Style Tip: A good messenger bag or rucksack will come in quite handy this season. Perfect for carrying around those extra layers and winter accessories.

I hope this list of Autumn Essentials helps you get an idea of the basics you need for this upcoming season. Look out for future posts on AW13 trends and the statement pieces that will define your wardrobe.

Billy Busari

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