Aleks Cvetkovic’s Style Guide: Autumn Layers – Clutch Cafe  
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Aleks Cvetkovic’s Style Guide: Autumn Layers

Aleks Cvetkovic’s Style Guide: Autumn Layers

Words from Aleks Cvetkovic

Images: Alex Natt

As the mercury starts to fall, Aleks Cvetkovic talks us through three more outfits with an emphasis on new-season layering.

When I tell people “this is my favourite time of year”, generally they look at me as though I’ve lost the plot. Hopefully, unlike most folk, you’ll understand why I’m into shortening days and drizzly afternoons, because as a fellow menswear-head you’ll know that despite the poor weather the onset of autumn means one thing: layers.

I love layers, me. There’s nothing more satisfying after a summer spent perspiring into linen than putting your summer clothes into storage and pulling out hearty jumpers, hefty overcoats and stepping back into denim and corduroy. So, this month, we’ve delved into Clutch’s new arrivals (which are coming in thick and fast, by the way) to create an optimistic homage to autumnal layering, and to foreground some of the new pieces you’ll find in-store, right now.

First up,
meet the OR-4035 Car Coat by Orgueil...

 If you’ve tried these on yourself you’ll know that all Orgueil’s horsehide creations are absolutely bulletproof. This thing practically stands up on its own, but it’s destined to patina like nothing else as you start to give it a beating. Orgueil tan their horsehide in two distinct stages; the top coat is a rich, glossy black, which over time will wear through to show the natural brown base coat beneath.

This is a smart move; not only does the brown undercoat make the black surface coat look even blacker when it’s freshly primed, but the jacket will soften and fade into a lovely dark espresso colour over time. One to invest in and live in this season.

Beneath the car coat sits the first of two knitwear pieces I tried from Mexican brand, Chamula, which was a totally new on me when the Clutch team showed me the buy in-store. Knitted in Mexico from locally sourced merino wool, Chamula is truly passionate about preserving local craft skills. Every sweater is knitted from yarn spun and dyed by hand – so this is the real deal. The beige and orange melange yarn creates a colourful sweater that’s surprisingly versatile to wear

Then we have Clutch’s ecru Warehouse & Co Lot 1101s, a collaboration that I was chuffed to be able to try. Not only are these jeans a great fit, the denim itself has a tactile, slubby quality to it that’s not often seen, and the ecru colour is quite subtle – not too yellow or whitish, as some pale jeans can be. A trusty pair of Paraboot Avignon derbies in dark brown suede complete the picture.

This next look is my personal favourite of the three. Let’s start from the bottom up. On-feet, are these new and frankly joyful Paraboot Michaels with mink fur vamps. No, they’re not an everyday pair of shoes, but you’ll feel like a badass on those dry, sunny winter days when you can pull them on without fear. The trousers are new-in Warehouse & Co, the Lot 1211 U.S. Army trousers in pre-washed olive ‘HBT’ (read: herringbone twill). These were everything you’d want from a pair of serious military-inspired pants; rugged, robust, faded, wide-legged and festooned with handy bellows pockets.

On-top, we layered up a cream waffle-knit Strand Rollneck from Soundman, inspired by a military thermal sweater, over-which sits a much-loved Warehouse 3001 Longhorn type Denim Western Shirt (this is what those Western shirts look like after a year-or-so of wear). 

Then, we have the Kuon navy field jacket – I thought of this piece as “a Barbour on steroids” – in weighty navy Japanese cotton with a Sakioiri trimmed collar and all the bells and whistles you’d expect; bellows pockets, zip and press-stud closure, hand warmers and a superb plaid lining. The hot orange watch cap from H.W Dog was a fun finishing touch, and brought out some of the reddish colours in the coat’s lining too.

For our final look, we’re back to Warehouse & Co, and the new-in Lot. 2143 USN Herringbone Utility Jacket, cut in tough olive herringbone drab. This is an authentic recreation of the original USN utility jacket and it carries all of the same features; a generous revere collar, oversized chest pockets, fold-back button cuffs, a knife-pleat back – the works. It’s the kind of thing you’ll want to take home and stick straight in the washing machine (it’ll come into its own as it starts to fade and soften) although be warned the raw HBT cloth will shrink a little. Thankfully, the wizards at Warehouse have thought of that, so these come up a little big to compensate.

Underneath, the cream rollneck from Soundman makes a reappearance, alongside another stunner of a pullover from Chamula, this time knitted with glorious multi-coloured stripes on a mottled grey ground. Suffice to say this piece is a real mood-lifter, especially on a grim day. Again, it’s knitted from fine merino and is every bit as soft and cosy as its beige/orange counterpart.

To complete the look, I’m wearing my own Hiemat Mechanic’s Hat and Warehouse ‘Duck Digger’ 1001 XX jeans. I purchased these from Clutch a few months back and can highly recommend them as dependable, go-to jeans – they’re an understated model and extremely comfortable to wear. The shoes are Kuon x Oldman Deck Shoes in brown suede; soft, comfy moccasins set on springy Vibram rubber soles.

While we were shooting, I also tried on the Soundman Strand Rollneck in black and the new Reading Gurkha Trousers in olive. I was intrigued by the gurkha waistband, and wanted to take a moment to shout out these too. In the ‘hashtag menswear’ sphere, gurkha waistbands are generally associated with quite fussy tailored trousers, but this pair – sturdy and utilitarian as they are – feel far more grounded and wearable. The military green colour is bang-on, and the cotton drill cloth has been woven from uneven, slubby yarn for a beguiling vintage feel.

There you have it; my take on autumn’s must-have new arrivals. Best make the most of them while you can; there’s nothing like crisp winter weather for breaking out your hardiest wardrobe favourites.