Timelord Out on the Town
I’m very much enjoying the return of autumn. It not only means breaking out the tweeds and wools but also my favourite colour palette. I love the rich feel of darker tones, burgundy, bottle green, midnight blue, they have a depth and a weight to them that compliments the autumnal weather, as well as creating a strikingly inquisitive look. They make me feel like a forest wizard waiting for the turn of the season, with it’s new burst of very particular magic which I cannot wait to be part of. I feel I should also note that I am very fond of squirrels and you can get away a lot more quirky animal motifs in the autumn. Honestly I think quirky animal motifs are one of the best things in fashion at the moment and we should have more of it. But that is besides the point!
All of this combines into a seasonal expression of character and intrigue, something that I feel is less attainable at other times of year. As much as I enjoy a cute sailor suit or a fun summer dress, or the pastel colours of early spring, the return of colder – thought not cold – weather allows for layering and that, for me, is the joy of outfit building. I find the summer a much harder time to present a style or character in my outfits, there is only so much you can do with a shorts and shirt combo – I mean you can do quite a lot but it lacks something. It’s a time to explore a full range of looks before the winter comes and big coats, hats and scarves hide the majority of your appearance. Autumn is the time to embrace your adventurous side.
Layering, as I have said many times before, brings depth to an outfit, but you cannot simply throw pieces on willy nilly. Each item tells you a different thing about the wearer. A hoody with alternative boy scout badges – a personal favourite of mine – is different to just a hoody of the shelf. An overcoat blowing open combined with a slightly dangerous trouser gives an air of mystery and intent, though they could just be pretentious. But you see what I mean, selecting a specific item says a specific thing about you and that is important.
I talk a lot about creating an outfit or a look around a character or an idea, and a lot of that is to do with making people see you how you want to be seen. But you don’t have to be the same character over and over, you can vary and change as much as you want. I very much like to look like I’ve just stepped out of an adventure, but that could be anything from hunting for lions in wardrobes to chasing down criminal robots in a dystopian future, both looks are still very much me despite being incredibly different. And that is entirely down to what I layer together. If I pick jeans then that is saying something different to if I pick chinos or tailored trousers, if I wear the, ever so slightly ridiculous, alternative scout hoody, that is saying something very different to if I am wearing the frock coat in the above image. I am telling the people around me how to view me and how, to a certain extent, how to treat me. It’s an important thing to think about.
This being said, there is no right or wrong way to build a look. If you want to be a Hogwarts student but don’t want to look like you’re wearing a school uniform then you find your way of doing that. Personally I’m all about breaking up ideas and splicing them in, you want to wear your quiddich jumper with your plus fours I say go for it, or your Ravenclaw cardigan with that totally on point 50s midi skirt, then do it and it will look excellent because you want it to. If you feel confident then that will finish any look off and make it brilliant. Also I may have been at the Harry Potter convention Leaky Con over the last week so have a bit of Hogwarts on the brain. But my point still stands.
Let’s get to it then. I love this outfit, it really does make me feel like a dapper wizard, or a timelord, which are one and the same I suppose. This look was very much inspired by the Regency Dandies with a touch of the later Victorian fashions thrown in for good measure.
The key element of the outfit is very obviously the green frock coat. It’s an absolute thing of beauty and I got it for £5 in, surprise surprise, a charity shop! It’s actually a designer piece, and fits like a glove. Charity shops are definitely worth giving your time to, as I went about at length in my last article – Thrifty Fashion.
But if you can’t find one like that, you can either go full price and look at tailors or the like, or you can hunt up and down until you find something in a vintage shop. Honestly neither of these options are great so what I would recommend is looking for coat in a similar style from a high street brand. You’re more likely to find something for less and you can still style it the same, even if it does have quite the same cut.
The dark green is really nice, I feel like it carries some gravitas, which is clearly very pretentious, but I like that. It isn’t overbearing despite the more unusual cut of the jacket, in fact it complements the rest of the outfit, the autumnal reds and browns in the shirt and waistcoat are really set off by the dark green.
Moving onto the shirt and waistcoat; both were super cheap and I’m quite proud of how good they look considering how cheap their were. Sales are you friends people. The waistcoat was literally £2 and it’s a really nice brown and grey flecked tweed. It was a little big for me, but some clever tweaks and now it looks much better, so definitely worth picking up. This is why I keep going on about learning how to alter clothes, at least a little bit, because you will be able to get so many more bargains and amazing finds the long run. I really like this waistcoat because it works all year round. It can be an easy spring wear or a smart Christmas day walk to the pub piece and everything inbetween. I picked this up in New Look Mens (shock) but you can get similar ones in Marks and Spencers, Top Man, H&M if you’re lucky (both Top Man and H&M do great smaller sizes for trans guys, nb folks, or just anyone on the slighter side), as well as the more up market places like Tommy Hilfiger. It’s worth shopping around to find something you like, coz it will be worth it.
The shirt is just a burgundy, brushed cotton shirt from H&M that I got years ago but has worn really well. Again, it’s an easy wear and be dressed up or down. I love it with this outfit as it’s proper splash of colour without being OTT, which, when you are being a classy wizard, you do not want.
The trousers are a very simple straight leg which I turned up because, quirky? I’m honestly not sure what colour they are, somewhere between green and brown, maybe a moss green? Anyway, they are kind of here nor there, they work with the look but are almost just background to the rest of it, after all, you can very every piece be a statement, something has to be the base of it all. Plus when you have excitingly patterned socks, you want to show them off to best effect.
The shoes are my comfy, comfy brogues. Everyone should have some comfy, comfy brogues, they make life easier and better in my opinion, though possibly I should take better care of them. Oops! Again they are something of a nonevent in this look, just doing their job quietly in the corner and letting other items take the limelight. What a good pair of shoes they are.
Last thing is the accessories. I went very sparse with them for this look, but picked three statement pieces. The acorn necklace, being the most obvious reference to the season, but also putting a hint of magic into the overall look, is one of my favourite pendants. It’s a bit different and gives a little twist of the unusual to most outfits. The signet ring is a bit showy for me, but with the Regency influence it worked rather well. Lastly the collar pin, which is actually a broach that I bought because it made me look like I was in Babylon 5 – and do you need any other reason to buy something – gives the whole outfit a more modern feel without too much effort.
Overall I think it’s a pretty perfect outfit for an autumn day, or maybe drinks in the evening depending on your fancy.
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If you want more please check out my last articles:
- Thrifty Fashion (Or How to Fill Your Wardrobe for Under £100…ish)
- The Wintersmith (Confidence Breeds Confidence)
Written by Holly Rose Swinyard