We wouldn’t advise following fashion trends. In fact, we pride ourselves on doing the exact opposite. But, if you’re looking to inject a bit of freshness into your wardrobe, or want to spice up your everyday staples, it is worth paying attention to what’s going on in the often confusing world of clothing.
This isn’t a list of disposable, flash-in-the-pan trends. Rather, we’ve decided to focus on the future classics that just so happen to be having their time in the spotlight right now. These are the trending pieces we’d wear ourselves – they’re easy to incorporate into your existing rotation and will remain stylish for years to come.
From the return of military style to the continued relaxing of silhouettes, these are this year’s most wearable men’s fashion trends.
Button-Through Polo Shirts
Polo shirts are always a good option for summer. From the classic pique, tennis-inspired style to modern open collar takes, polos are easy to wear and combine well with shorts, chinos and virtually everything else you throw at them.
This season though, button-through polos are where it’s at. Slightly dressier thanks to a placket that mimics a classic shirt, button-through polos are ideal for dressing up weekend wear or playing down tailoring, adding a touch of the Riviera to your suit.
Varsity jackets have been cool for going-on a century. Short in the body and with ribbed hems and cuffs, they’ve always worked as part of a preppy look. Think jeans, penny loafers, crisp white tees and black Wayfarer sunglasses.
And as they were originally designed to show off American football and baseball teams’ insignia, they also present an easy way to add a bit of colour to your summer wardrobe. A number of brands have peddled them this spring/summer including Louis Vuitton and Dior, but some of the best varsity jackets can be found in vintage shops, so get hunting.
The workwear trend has been around for quite a while now, and it’s not likely to disappear any time soon. The trouble is, flannel shirts, chore jackets and heavy-duty combat trousers tend to work better in the fall and winter months.
So how do you get your workwear fix in the summer? The answer is the utility vest. With multiple pockets and a zip closure, this is a garment usually reserved for fishermen, hikers or smugglers in a galaxy far, far away. But if you want to add an element of functional style to your summer rig, it’ll serve you well.
Cardigans always have a bad rap, mostly because of stuffy connotations and the fact it’s the knitwear of choice for your nan. But for this spring/summer at least, a number of designers opted to reinvent the style, cutting it with an oversized silhouette any 90s grunge kid would be proud of.
With dropped shoulders and a slightly longer length, you can treat this style of cardigan as a replacement for a lightweight jacket, perfect for keeping warm on those cool spring evenings.
In the last few years, practically every fashion trend has gone oversized. From T-shirts to trousers, the rejection of the slim and skinny fits that dominated menswear for years almost complete. And tailoring is no different.
The slouchy suit is cut fuller than your typical suit, with dropped shoulders, a relaxed waist and an unstructured fit. As such, think about wearing it slightly differently. It works well with lightweight knitwear, tees and sneakers – more so than smarter shirts and shoes – and if you want to turn the style stakes up a notch, it’s ideal for wearing to a fancy dinner date or team drinks.
Who likes short shorts? Well, not Fendi, Zegna and a plethora of other tastemaking high-fashion houses. Not if their recent shows were anything to go by. This season we’ll be seeing the return of longer, wider shorts, echoing a broader shift that has been taking place across all areas of menswear for some time.
The key to nailing it is making sure you get the length just right. Aim for a couple of inches above the top of the kneecap and opt for tailored styles that can be paired with either casual or smarter pieces with ease.
All-black tailoring is notoriously tricky to pull off, and often only looks suitable at a funeral. It can be done well though as proven by the likes of Louis Vuitton, Dunhill and Paul Smith in their spring/summer shows.
The trick is to dress it down, if you can. Wear it with black knitted polos and combine with black penny loafers or sneakers for a look that’s equal parts Sicilian mobster as it is James Bond villain.
In line with hiking clothing and the rise of the gorpcore fashion trend, technical sandals don’t look like they’re going away any time soon. A more functional alternative to leather sandals, these often feature rubber soles and waterproof nylon straps, which velcro around the foot for a secure fit.
Ideal for long walks, wearing to the beach or for just lounging around at the weekend, they’re more versatile than you might first think.
Yes, summer is normally a time when you want to wear more colour, but for the world’s top designers, this season is all about neutral, tonal dressing. Basically, pick a shade and stick with it.
An easy way to get dressed in the morning, look out for cool greys, warm stone or deep blue and shape your entire look around it.
A relatively recent phenomenon and one that we can’t get enough of is the tablecloth shirt. Made from, or inspired by vintage tablecloths, these elegant patterned shirts are all we want to wear this summer. Usually with a white base and an intricately hand-stitched, colourful pattern, the tablecloth shirt is a statement in itself.
Simply pair it with slip-on shoes and mid-washed denim, which brings us to our next trend.
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 spring/summer menswear collections and this time it looks as though it could be here to stay.
Sweatpants graduated from the gym to the casual wardrobe with the rise of athleisure a few years ago. But if the fall/winter shows are anything to go by, they’ve moved on once again, becoming a staple part of everyday wear.
Let’s face it, if the past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that the elasticated waistband is one of the greatest inventions of all time. Knowing this, the likes of Dior dressed almost all of its models in sweatpants, mixing them with tailoring and overcoats as well as more laid-back garments like bomber jackets.
A return to the 70s has been one of the overarching trends of the last five years, and it shows no sign of slowing down. For the fall/winter season, it manifests as floral prints a la grandma’s curtains, which is actually a lot more wearable than it sounds. Everyone from Paul Smith to Kenzo has been at it, splashing bold florals onto shorts, shirts and tailoring.
We’d suggest keeping it to one statement piece per outfit and, as always, ensuring the rest of your look is nice and muted.
Checks are always trending in some way, shape or form. But for the colder months this year it’s Black Watch tartan, buffalo and windowpane that are the ones to watch. There are countless ways to work these patterns into your daily wardrobe, but one of the simplest is in the medium of an overshirt or flannel shirt.
Denim is one of the all time great fabrics. Durable and with bags of texture, it likely makes up much of your existing wardrobe, whether in jean, shirt or jacket form. Be that as it may, we wouldn’t normally suggest wearing an entire look consisting of denim. That is, until we saw the fall/winter shows.
A number of brands, including Kenzo – now under the helm of A Bathing Ape founder Nigo – combined workwear pieces in dark indigo, making it look easy. If you’re going to try it, opt for a relaxed silhouette and wear it with confidence.
The parka might be our coat of choice this year. Whether in a mod-inspired fishtail style or something more suited to an arctic exploration, parkas are big, bold and can be thrown over virtually anything. They can dress down tailoring, contrasting with a blazer’s clean lines, but can also dress up casual wear.
For a streetwear-influenced look, try a black technical parka over sweatpants, a hoodie and your sneakers of choice.
Skinny legwear is off the menu and even slim-fits have dwindled over the past few years. In their place, we’ve witnessing a return to the relaxed-fit pants of the 80s and 90s, and before that, the 50s.
Many of us have poured ourselves into tight-fitting jeans for the best part of a decade, and old habits die hard. However, if you embrace a looser leg you might be surprised how much you like it. Not just from a style standpoint, but in terms of comfort too.
Many of fashion week’s finest have sought to reinvent the suit once again this season. Tailoring may have gone out of favour in place of relaxed casual wear, but it continues to come back in a new and interesting ways.
One of the more easiest ways of approaching it is with tonality. The late Virgil Abloh’s final Louis Vuitton show saw models in sea blue velvet and off-white wool tailoring, with matching shirts and ties. But elsewhere we’ve seen dark grey suits paired with matching T-shirts and navy blue worn with complementary knitwear.
Thick, rugged soles have been stomping all over men’s footwear trends of late, and the fall/winter shows were no different. Chunky commando soles transform the shoes they’re welted onto. Penny loafers become subtle statements while Chelsea boots turn into fully equipped winter stompers.
Not to mention the added chunkiness opens up your wardrobe options – allowing you to play with looser fits and heavy layering.
The rise of technical outerwear in the fashion world has been one of the overarching trends of the last few seasons and will continue well into the new year. This time around it’s cropped, zip-up silhouettes taking centre stage – easy for throwing on to nip to the shops or for using as a middle layer underneath your winter coat for added ballast and protection against the elements.
Global names in the world of outerwear like Canada Goose, Woolrich and The North Face will continue to be a solid investment, but also look out for smaller labels like Crescent Down Works and Adsum, as well as fully-fledged outdoor brands like Arc’teryx.