Love ‘em or hate ‘em, trends are what keep fashion fresh. Without them, we’d all still be roaming around in loincloths held together with little bits of twine. As a sartorially enlightened man, this is sure to be a chilling thought, which is why you ought to keep a finger on the pulse. Because no matter how impervious you think you are to the ebb and flow of fashion, the truth is that your entire wardrobe has been determined by it somewhere down the line.
That said, we’re not suggesting you should blindly leap into each and every microtrend that happens to float in your direction. As you’re no doubt aware, not all trends have staying power. They’re here for a minute and gone tomorrow, leaving in their wake nothing but a trail of embarrassing photos. And given that roughly 70 percent of all trends fall into this category, it pays to be able to tell the difference.
To help you out, we’ve scoured and sifted through the current fashion landscape to bring you a list of trend-led pieces that are actually worth adding to your wardrobe. These are garments that are very much a part of the zeitgeist, but that we don’t expect to be going anywhere soon. So from fuzzy knitwear to raw denim, here’s what you need to know.
Grungy Flannel Shirt
Grunge is staging a comeback on fashion week runways around the world, but certain elements of the dishevelled aesthetic championed by the likes of Kurt Cobain never stopped being cool.
Distressed denim, baggy sweaters and tousled hair can all look great when worn in the right way, but the flannel shirt is one piece from the grunge look that has remained relevant across the decades and is almost impossible to get wrong. Opt for a slightly oversized fit and team it up with a white tee for best results.
Classic Two-Piece Suit
Over the years, we’ve witnessed the biggest designers in the world slapping weird buckles, embroidery, straps, stripes and god knows what else on suits in an attempt to bring tailoring up to date.
We, however, have always been firm believers in the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ school of thought, so we feel very pleased (and vindicated) to see classically tailored suits reappearing on the runways. A simple two-piece in a neutral colour and a classic fit? Can’t go wrong.
Before you rush out and buy a pair of Dutch-style wooden clogs to parade around your local neighbourhood in, that’s not exactly what we mean. Birkenstock’s Boston ‘clogs’ are essentially closed-toe sandals, and while they’re certainly nothing new, they have been experiencing a huge surge in popularity since just before the pandemic. Given that they make such good house shoes, the timing really couldn’t have been better.
OK, so this isn’t exactly a cutting-edge trend, but it is one that shows no signs of going away. It’s also practical and comfortable, and once you get over the initial knee-jerk disgust response of pairing socks with what are effectively sandals, it’s hard to deny that they actually look pretty good.
Mohair has been having a moment for what feels like forever now. A good five years and fuzzy knitwear is still as relevant as ever and doesn’t seem to be going away. For us, it’s just another cool way to work some texture into your winter wardrobe, and it’s a great alternative to boring plain knits that can feel a little uninspired.
The best part is, you don’t have to go for wild patterns and colours in order for this piece to stand out. You can, of course, but a simple block-colour mohair cardigan paired with an understated outfit acts as a statement piece without having to shout about it.
Check out brands like Needles, Beams Plus, Stüssy and Missoni.
Big coats are trending and it’s very good news for your wardrobe. This is as close as you will get to a genuine menswear cheat code – a way to instantly look stylish and put together with the absolute least amount of effort.
Throw one on over a pair of joggers and a hoodie and instantly elevate a simple sofa look to something that looks like a bit of thought was put into it. Equally, layer it on top of tailoring to complete an autumn/winter outfit.
Leather jackets never really go away, they just fluctuate in mainstream popularity. That means they’re always a safe investment as they’re almost guaranteed to always be relevant (in our lifetimes at least).
Raw Denim Jeans
We love that raw denim is making a comeback. It’s big in outerwear at the moment, but this makes for an opportune moment to break the unwashed indigo legwear back out too.
It looks great, it goes with everything and it’s perfect for heading into the cooler months.
Menswear purists will scoff at the notion of a loafer that features anything but a thin rubber sole, but the chunky loafer trend isn’t going anywhere, and it can look good when done right.
What’s more, it makes what is ordinarily a summer shoe far more winter-appropriate, which means you can enjoy the laid-back charm of a loafer through the autumn and beyond. That’s no bad thing as far as we’re concerned.
Check out Blackstock & Weber, Yuketen, Dr Martens and, if you want to go extreme, Prada.
Again, nothing particularly new here. Double-knee work pants have been on trend for a few years, but every additional season they stick around they become more firmly embedded in the menswear landscape.
If you haven’t bought a pair already, now seems like a pretty safe time to do so. They’re great for adding a little extra personality to casual outfits, and they have the added benefit of being absolutely bombproof as well.
Throwback Adidas Sneakers
The Samba is arguably reaching a point of saturation right now. It has been the shoe of choice for the cool crowd for a minute, but the beauty of its simplicity means it will always be stylish.
Off the back of its popularity, lots of other throwback Adidas shoes are being thrust back into the spotlight, making brightly coloured suede and Three Stripe branding two of the hottest accessories of the moment.