With the menswear season finally come to a close this year, its at no coincidences that its also that time again where men across the world head back into the gym and reassess their wardrobes. The clothes that had just walked down the runway will soon appear in storesand the styling captured in photos will inevitably work its way into our day to day. Yet, with every passing menswear season, not everything shown proves to be a long lasting investment. Sometimes trends are just that, a new innovation that seemingly will not last outside of its debut.
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So in this age of sustainability or rather in the wake of our end of days, making conscious purchasing decisions are more socially relevant than ever before. It’s not just about what looks good now, but more so what will you actually wear. The leather body bags making the rounds in Europe may not necessarily translate to Eastern audiences, and the Japanese styling of oversized Yohji pants may not work for those more suited to a tailored fit.
To say wear what works for you, does not in anyway mean “do not take risk and stay in your lane”- not at all. If anything, its better to try new things than remain in routine. In saying that, adopting newly introduced styles and pieces should not be taken a on board as a means to simply fit in or follow the currents of what the rich can afford. Rather it should be a more conscious purchasing decision, one that can be interchangeable with one’s current wardrobe or at the very least be worn again.To help guide you through the biggest trends happening in menswear at the moment, we have broken down the runway highlights for your style consideration.
The Updated Suit
The era of the sophisticated gentleman has temporarily taken a back seat for now. Although the blazer and trouser look will always be in style, this new wave of “woke” thinking has given allowance to the younger generation of men to be more in touch with their more feminine side. This sort of mentality has given popularity to turtlenecks, statement sweaters and most recently an assortment of outer layers. If you are on the taller side of things, a replacing the fitted blazer altogether with an oversized belted trench coat can immediately translate a formal attire into a more youthful flair. Obviously Burberry is a guarantee for success, but for those looking for a more eccentric appeal – the likes Margiela and Prada have shown some unique trench fits this season,that step outside the cardboard norm. Much of their coats are draped in a more flowing manner and have extra panelling through random pockets and straps to give the otherwise loose fit a little more structure.
However, trench coats do not always carry across to all body types. Due to its length, it can sometimes make a man come across shorter than he really is. If you were somewhat shorter and looking to modernise your suit attire, a shortened jacket that cuts at the hip may be better suited. Take Timothée Chalamet at the 2020 Oscars (or Chalamet ‘s style altogether) – having the matching jacket hit no longer than his waist, heightened his aesthetic and framed him well against literally some of the best looking people in the world. Scandinavian labels such as Acne and Norse have for a long time been serving men well- and this season was no exception. The jackets showcased in the current collections were versatile- in the sense that they can be worn both causally and proper rather easy. Just with a switch of shoe and an outfit and easily move from decadent to street.
Walking down the runway as well as the concrete side walks of any urban city, tool pocketed vests and cargo pants are continually showing up here and there. Although our tone has moved into a more progressive sense, men can still be sensitive in their appearance- and so wearing a Utility inspired outfit practically projects the message that one is fashionable but still masculine. Predominantly beige and browns tones are the colours most compatible with this style trend, it gives the appeal of a rugged look without actually having to put in any hard labour or sweat. The boxy form can be difficult to balance out given the cuts and shaping, so pairing these sorts of top pieces with corduroy pants or even an ill fitting trouser is an easy marriage. Unsurprisingly, this trend is currently making it way across the world- from Korea to Milan, the utility aesthetic seemingly transcends across culture and universally gives off the sense of a proper man. Perhaps it’s the posture or cheekbones of the models wearing the Utility inspired looks this season, but somehow even with the distraction of exaggerated scarves and high boots paired with- the pieces really did speak for themselves. For reference Dolce & Gabbanna have layered multiple models with the utility trend in a incredibly maximalist manner, which despite its frill- the trend still comes across as rather wearable.
Only last year were we seeing brand names being flexed more than ever before. Gucci belts and Supreme bags were being worn as a somewhat badge of showmanship. This year though, style has taken 180 and returned to its humble roots.Menswear has seemingly now retreated into a more cleaner look, finding ourselves spending three digits on a simple white t-shirt. For awhile there, men had become so focused on getting the right fit for pants and making sure that blazers were sitting on the shoulder right that attention to detail on the everyday staples was given the casual side eye. However in this day and age of clean fits where wearing a neutral t-shirt tucked in boot cut pants is the new hoody and jeans – focus on the everyday has been given the spotlight once again. Buying a white or black t-shirt is considerably easy, but purchasing a quality one where the collar or seams do not droop after three washes is a whole different feat. Although it can be deemed rather extravagant, buying a high end t-shirt that won’t need to be continually replaced is fairly justifiable. For those willing, I have done the legwork and can confidently say that COS and Rag & Bone are always the way to go.
Whilst studying, wearing a Kathmandu puffer jacket was essentially every college student’s uniform- it was all about comfort over style back then. Upon graduating-I had made a mental note that unless hiking or as a costume requirement that a puffer would never be worn again. Come 2020 though, and the Duffle coat has most certainly had an upgrade. Almost all major designers had showed some sort of variant of the puffer. It was almost as if they all gathered for some extravagant dinner and agreed that puffer was the way to go this season. Obviously for an actual practical fit, Kathmandu and Northface are standard no brainers. However if you were looking for a more versatility – Moncler have certainly made it known that Duffle coats are their trademark.
To compete in the growing market though, anther notable standouts this season was arguably Armani – whom made dressing for the cold look like a worthy Met Gala theme.Within their designs, the teams have introduced plenty of shapes, sizes, colours and oddly even added some toggle aesthetics to be considered.Admittedly at first glance, the added extras seem somewhat unnecessary but take a double look and it’s somehow it becomes that bit of extra we all need.
Straps and Harnessing
Almost out of the blue, were straps and body harnesses introduced to menswear. At first it was barely taken with a grain a salt, with most critics laughing at the trend labeling it unfitting for men and suggesting that it should remain in the dominatrix world. However much to credit of Louis Vuitton and Dior, the once abstract accessory has now turned into the final compliment to finish an outfit. This trend is a clear example of “its not for everyone”- as for a large majority wearing a body harness can come across as ridiculous and misplaced. Yet for those with the right attitude, styling and body shape – the leather straps and belts can work to their advantage. Generally speaking, wearing these sorts of harnesses are very much so a hit or miss. To play things on the safe side, I would recommend wearing one that carries across from one shoulder to the opposite rib and leaving it at that. It’s a trend that we all have to gradually ease into, however if you were wanting to wear more extravagant straps and belts, by all mean go right ahead- but do not say you were not warned.
On the topic of accessories, menswear designers have now found a solution to the man purse. For so long, men were juggling the battle of its too much to carry in my pockets and too little to carry around a back pack all day. However with some innovation and logic, the body bag has now entered the picture.The body bag this year outshone every other bag in collections across the four capitals this year- come to think of it, I can only assume that others were even shown. For the most part, wearing a black or white body bag is enough appeal that having a coloured one is not all that necessary.Scanning the collections this season though, the body bags were strongest with more street style looks. More often or not, seeing it paired with suits came across as poor styling, almost similar to wearing polished Derby shoes with ripped shorts.It should be mentioned as well, that despite similarities- the body bag is much so different to a fanny pack. Wearing a structured body bag in either a cylinder or lunchbox-esque shape across the chest may an investment worth looking into. Otherwise a simple tote can never go wrong.
Colour is seemingly new territory for men. Light pink had come once before, but it was short lived and passed almost as soon as it came. Nowadays though, with individuality being more pronounce than ever – bold colours are being slowly introduced and transitioning themselves into the male norm. It’s not uncommon for a man to wear a monotone lime suit or even pair his black jeans with a printed yellow jumper. If anything bold choices as such are now deemed considerably fashion forward, as oppose to the flamboyant connotation it once had before. This trend although somewhat new, is seemingly becoming a staple and from the looks of thing is planning on staying around for quite some time. Bold colours are more so worn on the upper body, however when wearing bold coloured pants (unless patterned) its always a good idea to balance it with a matching coat or jacket – otherwise it can sometimes come across as a confused juxtaposition or worse someone trying way too hard. Essentially if you were going to wear colour, either wear a statement piece or commit and wear an entire look that honours the colour chosen.
For those still taking baby steps into the colour world and not yet ready to commit to an orange coat, I would recommend sporting a printed oversized scarf during this fall winter season. With scarves currently being designed in all sorts of manners, it’s a subtle way to not only introduce colour but also provide another layer of texture and pattern to take an outfit to another level. With the simple addition of incorporating a printed oversized scarf, it will help colour block an outfit and be the statement piece to take away.
Words by Quade Au – www.quadeau.com
Photographer: Kevin Roldan – www.kevinaroldan.com
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