As autumn wraps up, there will be those amongst you tempted to shuffle your earthy colours to the back of your wardrobe, leaving your burnt oranges and dark greens to languish until September 2018 rolls around. Don’t. The king of this colourway – brown – may be branded boring, but it is actually one of the most rugged, diverse and interesting hues you can use to give your winter outfit a bit of pep.
Here are 5 ways to make brown the cornerstone of your get up…
One of the toughest materials known to man – not to mention the coolest – leather looks best in brown. Of course, there are other colours cowhide can shine in – the classic black, for one, never goes amiss – but there’s something about tanning leather in a natural, earthy hue that affords it an air of adventure – and we all could do with a little more adventure in our lives.
Wear brown leather as a simple jacket – the style possibilities are endless – or pull on a heavy pair of brown boots, where any brogue detailing will show up better than on leather. And, of course, a leather belt is a must – and you should go brown to add a little interest to your outfit.
Much-maligned in some circles – although don’t ask us why – tweed is another rough and ready multi-purpose material that also looks great. Closely associated with countrywear, the natural habitat of tweed is undeniably in the field, but even in the city – deployed sparingly and with thought – this material can look great. And the best colour for it? Brown.
Why not pair a tweed jacket with some more neutral chinos to water down the country aesthetic? Or thrown on a pair of tweed trousers with a thick knit jumper as winter approaches? Or, if you are wearing tweed out in the countryside, try this brown flat cap.
An autumnal favourite, your seasonal knitwear obsession should now be in fully swing. And, with its warming qualities and natural provenance, there is no better colour in which to wear knitwear than the earthy brown.
Invest in a big, comfy roll-neck jumper this winter, and do so in a deep, rich brown. Or, for a look that could work around the office, but bring a touch of character and winter warmth to your wardrobe, opt for a smart cardigan. Or finally, if your 9 to 5 is still very much a suit-and-tie affair, opt for a knitted brown tie.
Leather’s cousin, suede is cowhide for those with a softer side. Notoriously difficult to maintain, this is a material destined to look old before its time – and there is no better colour to shoulder this rustic look than the rugged brown. Just be careful what you buy…
With boots, we’d suggest a style that looks a little rough and ready to begin with – such as the semi-casual and perennially-stylish Chelsea Boot. With jackets, anything too smart will age badly, so ditch the collar and opt for a casual bomber. And in terms of accessories, a suede belt is a bad decision – as it will buff and shine unevenly against your belt loops. Instead, go for a pair of brown suede gloves – sophisticated, warm – and with a touch of the huntsman about them.
As with leather, linen is a natural material which undeniably looks better and fresher in a natural colour. Accepted, a floaty navy shirt or pair of pink linen shorts look the part, but there’s something true behind the charm of an olive or cream piece of linen clothing that makes it look that little bit better.
Brown, of course, fits the bill. So why not lighten up the colour a few shades, and go for a light brown linen shirt to throw on in summer, or as a layering piece during the colder months. Similarly, an overshirt is a good bet, making use of linen’s surprisingly insulative properties. Or, if you want to keep things on a formal footing, a linen suit can look especially smart – as long as you keep the wrinkles out.