It’s no secret that “fashion trends” perhaps isn’t the menswear community’s favourite phrase. In a world where investing money in timeless, quality pieces will always trump keeping pace with fashion, jumping onto every passing bandwagon tends to be looked upon with a certain degree of disrespect.
But not all fashion trends are created equal. The key to retaining your sartorial self-respect lies in the ability to successfully differentiate between the fleeting fads and the future classics. In order to give you a nudge in the right direction, we’ve created a carefully selected edit of the men’s fashion trends worth incorporating into your wardrobe this year, and why you should give them a try.
Steve McQueen in all white
One of this summer’s biggest men’s fashion trends is a tricky one to pull off. Get it right and you’re king of the Riviera; get it wrong and you’re Andy Murray on match day.
Despite the risks, going all white is one of the best men’s style moves you can make. It’s also a sure-fire way to keep cool in the heat. Try pairing a crisp white T-shirt with matching chino shorts and a pair of tonal leather sneakers. If it’s all looking too much, throw a navy overshirt on top to tone it down.
Vivid colours aren’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you should stick religiously to a monochrome palette.
Pastel shades are always a great, seasonally-appropriate option for adding a touch of interest to an outfit. And this year pink is the colour you should be opting for. They say it takes a real man to wear pink and while we’re not totally convinced by that statement, it does certainly take a style-savvy one. Try a pink Oxford button-down shirt or sweatshirt for an easy, entry-level addition that will go with everything in your existing wardrobe.
The reasons for embracing the vertical stripe trend showcased by the likes of E.Tautz and Qasimi are twofold. Firstly, it looks great and presents a simple, refined way to experiment with prints. And secondly, it has the nice added bonus of shaving a few pounds off your appearance, making you appear taller and slimmer.
For bonus points, opt for styles with stripes of varying width. Or simply stick to classic stripes, or even seersucker if you prefer to keep things subtle.
From oversized tailoring to retro suede runners – thanks to Balenciaga, the eighties is once again acceptable.
On paper, involving yourself in an eighties revival doesn’t seem like the most well-informed style decision to make. However, as long as you steer clear of the mullets and spandex you should be okay.
Dark or raw denim is a bona fide menswear staple. But when the weather turns hot, it ceases to be practical.
Luckily, this season there is a solution to the problem. It’s a few shades lighter, it’s casual and it goes with almost everything. Mid-wash denim was everywhere in the menswear collections and this time it looks as though it could be here to stay.
Piling on layers when the sun is shining may not sound like the most practical move to make but it can still be an option if done cleverly. And whilst retaining a smart causal look.
Swap out the heavy outerwear for lightweight jackets and overshirts worn over plain tees, polos or shirts. This way you can remove them if you get too hot. Then simply tie them around your waist, shoulders or torso to retain the visual element without the added warmth.
Camp collar shirts
Classic collar short-sleeve shirts can carry with them some unwanted ‘lads down the pub’ connotations for some. This breezy summer option offers a stylish way around that.
Camp collar shirts have been big for several years now, meaning you can rest assured they have some longevity in them and aren’t just a fleeting fad. The flat, lapel collar styling adds a touch of something different to what might otherwise be a bland outfit, creating a subtle focal point to tie a look together. Perfect when worn with tailored swim shorts for a light lunch at a beachside restaurant.
In a world where ill-fitting stonewash jeans, Ikea bags and bulky trainers are being wheeled out at runway shows, normcore has never been more relevant.
It may not be the wisest idea to base a whole wardrobe around the concept but some normcore-inspired trainers (like A.P.C.’s Running Homme, above) or a dad cap would make welcome additions to any wardrobe.
When it comes to shorts, the most common advice men are given is that the hem should fall just above the top of the knee. However, that time-tested advice is beginning to change.
Short shorts are enjoying a timely revival and can work very nicely if you are blessed with the legs to carry them off. If your legs are thicker set, on the other hand, you should stick to regular- or slim-cut styles.
Valstar ‘Valstarino’ deerskin leather bomber jacket with cashmere blend lining
Due to its good looks, ruggedness and timeless appeal, leather will continue to be a trend winter after winter.
Valstar ‘Valstarino’ deerskin leather bomber jacket with cashmere blend lining (also pictured above), £TBC at VALSTAR >
A quality bomber jacket made from the stuff will probably be one of the soundest style investments you’re ever likely to make. It won’t come cheap, but it will last a lifetime. If you haven’t already added one to your collection, this coming winter is the time to do it. And if you really want to stay on trend, why not go for a model with a belted waist?
It’s the type of thing you’re likely to have admired being worn by men on films and television and thought looked great (with the possible exception of Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses). Chances are, though, you’ve never plucked up the courage to try it for yourself.
Cockpit USA R.A.F Sheepskin Bomber Jacket, $1,200 at COCKPIT USA >
Well the timing couldn’t be better because shearling coats and jackets are tipped to be big news again in autumn and winter. It’s in keeping with the current preference for workwear-inspired pieces and will carry you through the colder months in style.
Browns, khakis, greens and stones are the perfect accompaniments to AW18.
The colder months open up a whole host of new wardrobe options in terms of layering. Going tonal with some earthy colours will ensure you’re on trend without falling into the trap of reverting to grey and black the moment the warm weather begins to fade.
Whether you’re scaling the north face of K2 or simply wandering through the city in the November rain, a pair of hiking boots will see you right.
Danner Mountain Light Hiking Boots in Brown, £306 at DANNER >
Heritage brands like Fracap, Diemme and Danner have been instrumental in bringing the traditional leather hiking boot into the fashion spotlight. Now the style is gaining such momentum that Ralph Lauren even kitted the US Winter Olympic team out with a pair each for the opening ceremony.
A Burberry mac is a great-looking and timeless investment piece. But when it comes to actually keeping the rain and cold at bay, there are much better alternatives to be found.
Arc’teryx Partition LT Coat in Black (or Navy), €1,000 at ARC’TERYX >
Technical outerwear is on the rise in menswear. What was once the preserve of mountaineers and geography teachers is now becoming more fashion friendly. This is largely thanks to brands like Arc’teryx Veilance and Nike ACG producing some of the slickest gear to be found.
It’s difficult to imagine a colour better suited to the autumnal months than brown. Perhaps because there isn’t one.
Several designers featured the colour heavily in their AW18 collections, including Louis Vuitton, Ermenegildo Zegna and Britain’s very own Oliver Spencer, who used browns, along with burn oranges and khaki shades to create a series of autumn-appropriate looks with the colour at their core.
Windowpane, Madras and tartan are the checks of choice for the colder months. Think bold, bright and even worn together.
Checks were everywhere at the AW18 menswear shows and will be a big deal during the colder months. But if you don’t fancy emulating some of the more daring looks, you could always just incorporate the pattern via flannel shirts, checked suiting or printed outerwear.
Whether it’s a bold pattern or a striking logo or slogan – jumpers with attitude are one of this winter’s biggest trends.
AMI ‘Big AMI’ Sweatshirt in Grey, £160 at FARFETCH >
Ski-inspired, alpine designs are some of the most popular styles to emerge this year. If you’re planning to try it yourself, you should take care to ensure the rest of your outfit is clean and basic to let the jumper do the talking.
Rolled out by heavy hitters including Moncler, Prada, Marni and Versace, quilted jackets are back for AW18. Only this time they’re bigger and brighter than ever before (which is saying something). We have to say, we still prefer more muted tones such as black or navy, which will offer longevity.
Moncler Maya Down Jacket in Black, £795 at END CLOTHING >
It’s not just that quilted jackets are trending hard, they’re also one of the warmest and most practical options when it comes to selecting a winter coat. So, where once you had to suffer in the name of fashion, this year you can revel in it and stay cosy instead.
Whether it was oversized suiting or wide-leg trousers, pinstripes were everywhere at the menswear shows.
Gieves & Hawkes Navy Pinstriped Wool Suit, £695 at GIEVES & HAWKES >
It’s a welcome return for one of the coolest patterns in tailoring. If business casual is well, too casual, opt for fine quality pinstriped suit. Single breasted is a classic option but to go for the full look, try a double-breasted jacket with peak lapels because tailoring has just gone full circle.