The grass is always greener on the other side. People experiencing the fall (and ensuing winter) would give a lot up to spend it in the tropics, but people living along the equator wish they had the opportunity to layer their outfits and saunter through golden tree-lined streets.
The fashion world is, after all, Eurocentric. When fall and winter arrive in the northern hemisphere, fashion magazines and blogs start churning out articles on heavier apparel – leaving the tropical reader little to work with. Guilty as we are in publishing tips on scarves, cardigans, and even cold-climate grooming, we at HSD also values our Asian readers, who come predominantly from climates that barely change throughout the year.
So here it is! A dedication to those living in tropical climates. You too can experience the mood of fall without packing on thick layers and sweating buckets (or look like a deranged individual). Here’s the article on how!
CO-OPT COLORS AND PRINTS
If you’ve been following our FSD2015 series, you’d probably already know about the hottest trends this season. Amongst those are long car coats and leather chaps which obviously make no sense in warm weather, but you can at least co-opt the colors and prints of the season into your tropical wardrobe.
Instead of a regular white dress shirt, try one in burgundy and match it with grey pants and oxblood oxfords. Same goes for your pants and even shorts. If you already have to put on business jackets for work, forgo the blacks and greys! Explore herringbone or houndstooth, or else ones in maroon.
GET LIGHTER VERSIONS
Items that use heavy fabrics can often be replaced with lighter versions that will give you the fall quotient without making you sweat. Roll-necks are in this fall, but often feature on thick pullovers. Borrow some of that 70s style with a lightweight turtleneck tee instead, and roll up your sleeves.
Coats may seem out of the question, but you have options! Consider an unlined parka or mac raincoat that imitates the look without trapping too much heat. And where better to get ideas than our feature on braving the rain in style?
GET THE RIGHT TEXTURES
Texture is essential in evoking the warm-by-the-fire quality of fall. If you’re in one of those over-climatized office spaces so common in the tropics, get some warmth with a cream-coloured cable knit cardigan, or even one in muted leopard print.
Best thing about cardigans is that you can put them on and take them off with little hassle, which is great for those unpredictable air conditioners. Finish the look with a matching knitted tie.
If you don’t need to be in business wear all the time, swap your jeans out for corduroy pants. Corduroy comes in different thicknesses, but you’ll always get the snug, soft texture. Boots are must-have footwear for the winter, but they’re probably overkill on really hot days.
For the look without the heat, replace them with lighter chelsea boots, or suede chukkas. Like corduroy, the texture of suede evokes that warm, fuzzy autumn quality without feeling heavy.
Another easy way to recreate fall in the tropics is via accessories. If it’s too warm to put on a Fair Isle jumper, carry the iconic style over to your socks. Scarves are another accessory to consider, even if the temperature’s high. No need to wrap the neck – simply drape a light, long scarf over the shoulders in one of the season’s hues, and you’ll be golden.
Leather accents are indispensable for the season. To accentuate the woven textures so symbolic of the season, switch out plain old leather belts for woven ones, preferably with a D-ring clasp buckles. Instead of timepieces with metal bands, put on ones with leather bands. Continue the leather theme with your briefcase or bags.
If you’re adventurous, you might want to throw in a textured felt hat to your fall ensemble. Black’s the easiest to match with your clothing, but a dark red or brown one is most trendy for the season. Wooden cufflinks give otherwise tame suits an autumn-worthy detail, as do pocket squares in rich, comforting prints like ikat, kilim, or Persian paisley.
This article is part of our Fall Style Diary series. For seven weeks in the fall/winter season, His Style Diary will be offering some nifty advice on how to best seize the final trimester of 2015. Our focus is, of course, style – the colors and fabrics to wear this season, must-have fall accessories, and even something for those who live in the tropics but still wish to get into the mood of autumn.
Next instalment: Hairstyles for Fall. Stay tuned by following the tag “FSD2015”!