Dressing for the
Shoulder Season

As the last rays of summer slip through our collective fingers, the cool ushering in of autumn requires a few key tweaks to one’s sartorial wardrobe.

Logan King

No matter where you are in the world, as the summer reclines and autumn begins to cooly impose itself, your wardrobe must react accordingly. ‘Transitional dressing’ is a phrase that the fashion industry likes to use to describe this filler time in the sandwich of seasons, but when you have constructed a timeless sartorial wardrobe like we aim to achieve at Alexander Kraft Monte Carlo, it’s less about dramatic changes and more about smart styling tweaks and key new additions to your wardrobe, both of which will stand you in good stead until the coldest depths of winter necessitate a different approach.

Autumn poses a few conundrums, most notably a mercurial change in temperature from one day to the next during the early weeks of September, not to mention sporadic threats of rain showers. Fluctuating between uncomfortably hot and distractingly cold is a spectrum nobody likes to pin ball on, so clever layering using a variety of fabrics spanning different weights is a must. Lightweight linens have been sartorial soldiers for the past few months but come September, they have marched their last parade, to be replaced by the stylish cavalry of wool and cashmere jackets and sweaters.

The key elements

The industrially well-funded hedonists of the 1950s and 60s, messrs Agnelli, Sachs et al understood the importance of dressing seasonally. They could flip their wardrobes with ease, staggering out of an end-of-season knees up at Les Caves in an open linen shirt, before donning a Prince of Wales check blazer and fine crew neck for lunch at Milan’s ​​Trattoria Torre di Pisa a week later. Year after year, they would return to timeless trusted silhouettes in beautiful natural fabrics that could be styled a multitude of ways…

The Jackets

The Check Jacket

The check jacket is a perennial favourite at Alexander Kraft Monte Carlo, combining the heritage patterns of the Scottish Highlands with a modern cut that can be styled up or down depending on the situation. Check naturally lends itself to a more casual aesthetic, given that it used to be the outerwear uniform of estate staff. This season, we have produced a beautiful notch lapel jacket in a light tonal brown Prince of Wales check, which is an evolution of the original Glen Urquhart check. Sartorial sleuths will have you know that the check dates back to 1840 and was designed by one Elizabeth MacDougall, a native of the village of Lewston found at the foot of the glen. Worn by the local men of the area, it was spotted by Countess Caroline of Seafield who was looking for something to dress her grounds staff. Inherently smart, and cut from thick rugged wool, she adopted it straight away. It wasn’t until the then-Prince of Wales, King Edward VII, visited the estate on a hunting excursion, that he too fell in love with the pattern, wearing it so often that it garnered the name ‘Prince of Wales check’.

Navy Wool/Cashmere jacket

If there is a more versatile jacket than this season’s navy wool and cashmere style, then we want to see it! Softly tailored with a flatteringly svelte silhouette and featuring a notch lapel and three slanted flap pockets, this style is slightly more refined than your typical sports jacket yet just as versatile. The deep navy pile of the cashmere blend make it incredibly comfortable to wear layered over a shirt or knitwear. It’s one of those items that you’ll keep coming back to day after day because it can be worn casually with a polo and white cotton chinos on warm autumnal days, or dressed up with a crisp shirt, crew neck knit and flannel trousers when the mercury drops.

The Grey Signature Jacket

That the colour grey has somehow earned a reputation for being boring is a travesty if you ask us. Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to autumnal style. Versatile, understated, and inherently sophisticated, it’s a tone that is easily assimilated with navy, neutrals, and autumnal tones. We’ve used it to great effect in the case of our Signature jacket, with broad notch lapels and three slanted flap pockets. Cut in a flattering silhouette from a soft wool flannel, it’s an elegant option for smart daytime engagements when a suit would be too businesslike.

The Sweaters

Besides bolstering your transitional wardrobe with the aforementioned jackets, this time of year is ripe for the reintroduction of lightweight knitwear. While we love a chunky cable knit in the depths of winter, September and October are better suited to fine gauge, understated sweaters that can be worn beneath a jacket or as an outer layer themselves.

Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater

Our Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater provides not only warmth but also incredible lightness and a highly luxurious feel. Lovingly crafted in Northern Italy from a pure, medium-weight cashmere yarn, this timeless crew neck style can be worn either completely casually with jeans or cotton trousers, or in a slightly dressier way with matching flannel trousers and/or underneath a sports jacket or even a suit. It’s a beautiful tonal way to dress down a grey or charcoal flannel suit but it’s also a fine match with tapered jeans and loafers. This season we’ve crafted in a very elegant cream tone as well as a chic grey hue, that is a dream to wear with navy elements such as our softly tailored cashmere jacket, as well as lighter autumnal tones such as tobacco and tan.

Navy Cashmere Shawl Neck Sweater

The shawl collar cardigan is one of those iconic mid-winter silhouettes, typically knit from a chunky wool yarn and certainly too warm and bulky for this time of year. However, the result of some sartorial propagation has led to the creation of our Navy Shawl Neck Sweater, featuring a roll collar that frames the wearer’s face and can be worn comfortably next to the skin or layered over a white or denim shirt for a smarter look. Constructed from 100% new cashmere, it’s a chic match layered beneath our navy cashmere jacket with white or cream chinos.

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