The Rail: Transitioning from Summer to Autumn

As the days get shorter and the air cooler, we look at the best ways to transition from Summer to Autumn. It’s a challenging crossover period where days can still be warm with glorious low-lying sun accompanied by cooler mornings and evenings. To battle this, having a number of layers at a convenient reach will be your saving grace. In this edition of The Rail we look at a number of options for your consideration.

Layering is the key- light and flexible layers to adapt to the changing climate. Your choice of base layer takes an important position of being the spring board for the consequent layers. One chance to choose to wear a shirt without a base layer, but when when the weather is flirting with varying temperatures it pays dividends to opt for a lightweight under-shirt.

Having a suitable base layer allows you to continue wearing lighter weight clothing without the need of wearing any knitwear. A suitable jacket such as a lightweight outer shell jacket allows for a light layer to not only wear, but to also carry. If you wish to have more options available to you, lightweight knitwear is always a useful ally that can be worn with or without a jacket.

Featured image (top) from the Corneliani – Autumn/Winter 2017 Collection.


Aim to wear unstructured and unlined tailoring so that the jackets are lighter all round and allow your body to breathe. Lighter weight wool suits are also ideal – no need to weigh yourself down in heavy tweeds or wools just yet. Lightweight flannel is a good compromise and allows you the option to wear right up until the cold snap.

When needing to layer up, go for a merino wool knit that’s light and breathable. Merino wool has a wonderful natural wicking nature and is comfortably breathable. Cardigans are always a smart option as it’s easier to get on and off without disturbing your hair – an alternative variation such as a sleeveless version from Drake’s and Thom Sweeney are highly recommended.


Gentleman: 1936 Type 1 Distressed Denim Jacket, £290, by LEVI’S

Ape: Dancer Point-Collar Cotton-Twill Shirt, £250, by SØRENSEN


Gentleman: Philip Tapered Wool-Twill Trousers, £465, by DRIES VAN NOTEN

Ape: Ayan Satin Cotton-Blend Chino Trousers, £180, by ACNE STUDIOS


It might not be ready just yet for use of knitwear, but as we’ve already established, merino wool is perfect for the fluctuating temperatures between seasons. A lightweight merino knit is an ideal choice for any layering options – add a merino wool jumper to your outfit to give you the perfect combination of style and practicality. John Smedley do a nice variety of collared options that can be adapted to smart or casual scenarios. Equally adaptable for smart occasions, you can quite easily wear with a jacket. Standard crew and v-neck jumpers are the de-rigueur choice and you won’t go wrong. Find a good fitting option to compliment your outfit while not making you too uncomfortable.


Gentleman: Crew-Neck Wool Sweater, £508, by PRADA

Ape: Theon Sea Island Cotton And Cashmere-Blend Sweater, £160, by JOHN SMEDLEY


Denim jackets are a relaxed alternative for an outerwear item that offers a robust layer. Worn on it’s own over a shirt or a merino knit, it can also be paired with a lightweight overcoat to offer a bit more protection if needed. Now that denim jackets have become more accept as a smart/casual option, we say take advantage.

Soft flowing overcoats in a light fabric can be an ideal alternative and great to wear over tailoring if required. You’ll want something light and packable to transfer between climates as well as switching from outdoors to indoors. Advisable to go with a waterproof/water-resistant option incase the weather turns for the worst with options such as from Prada and Oliver Spencer respectively.


Gentleman: Canvas Coat with Detachable Padded Shell Jacket, £1,310, by PRADA

Ape: Beaumont Cotton-Blend Twill Raincoat, £395, by OLIVER SPENCER


The need for a bag to carry your layers has become an essential – and eases the clutter hanging over your arm when moving around. Rather than carrying over your arm or shoulder, fold neatly into a smart holdall or tote.


Gentleman: Full-Grain Leather Holdall, £2,300, by GIORGIO ARMANI

Ape: O’Hare Leather-Trimmed Organic Cotton-Canvas Tote Bag, £185, by WANT LES ESSENTIELS



Gentleman: 746 Round-Frame Titanium And Acetate Sunglasses, £465, by EYEVAN 7285

Ape: Seaford Sunglasses, £125, by CUBITTS

Chris Chasseaud

Chris is the Style & Features Editor at Ape to Gentleman, and one of the UK's leading style commentators. Having worked in the fashion and design world for his entire career he's well placed to deliver sartorial advice.