Menswear trends are often harder to spot than women’s trends, but to make life a little easier, here’s a break down to keep our gentlemen look fabulous this summer.
Snow white for spring: Christopher Bailey, as head designer of Burberry, is proving that old and established doesn’t need to be stuffy. Burberry brought back white in its most blanched form as models strutted down the catwalk in tailored white shirts with some embroidery. There’s nothing feminine about it, but dare we say casually artistic? Dolce and Gabbana added some trim to a suit’s lapels, also stating that white is the color of the season for suits.
Denim tailoring: Although it sounds shamefully casual and slightly eccentric, denim tailoring is a new spin on that ubiquitous denim jacket of the 80s and early 90s. Lanvin started with fully tailored suits featuring more tailored jackets to be paired with shorts. Denim tailoring differs in the usage of fabric and cuts, the fabrics used are lighter and woven differently than typical denim made for jeans. Denim with some sheen is for classy evening pieces, yet what’s noticeable is that all the denim comes in darker washes.
White stripes: Thick white pin stripes on corals, dark pinks and blues are the trademark for summer shirts. Paul Smith and Dries Van Noten’s models strolled down the catwalk with confidence, showing how serious office wear can be playful and relaxed for the season. It is a youthful look that can be pulled off by gentlemen of any age, but older men should focus on incorporating strong pin stripes into maybe a jacket whereas younger men can have fun with it in whole outfits.
Retro Americana: Never mind that you may not be American; Retro Americana is about paying homage to preppy goodness and wholesome appearances circa 1943. Think seersucker shorts and boat shoes, clean tailored lines using red, blue and white. This time round, any gentleman seeking inspiration from the catwalks should look for pieces that border on the retro: a baseball jacket with slim fitting jeans or a khaki cotton suit like those spotted at Ralph Lauren. It’s all about trying to look like Elvis before the drugs.
The relaxed woodsman: Imagine a yuppie investment banker who in the face of the global recession has decided to change both his career and his look.
The relaxed woodsman is about making fine tailoring and a very pulled together look a bit rumpled and artsy, maybe even slightly dirty from camping in the woods. Plaid shirts are still around from last winter in lighter fabrics. Worn under an old denim jacket (not to be confused with tailored denim jackets) and with rolled up khakis, The relaxed woodsman is taking the recession in full stride, but with a touch of lumberjack elegance.
Formal sportswear: A tennis sweater and golf jacket are pieces to invest in for balmy summer nights. Tennis sweaters have deep classic V-necks, often with wide trim, and should be worn with chinos or jeans and a polo shirt for a classic look. Lacoste always does them best – as they have been for decades -but there’s nothing old fashioned about the new tennis sweater in bright green, pink or purple. Slightly over the top you might say? Not if paired with white jeans or beige khakis. Golf jackets were spotted all over the runway to emphasize preppy clean lines in muted shades of purple, grey and blue. Hitting just above the hips, there’s nothing to suggest that you borrowed grandpa’s jacket.
The ankle-grazing khaki: Trendsetters and designers have been playing with trouser lengths and fit, but noticeably now is the slim legged ankle grazing trouser. Although easier to pull off by slimmer men, the shorter hem shows off shoes and is definitely a summer look. In a khaki fabric and shade, it’s a definite summer 2009 staple for the man who likes to play with fashion while retaining a sense of the classic. Seen on every catwalk, men can pick from high end and high street brands. Another suggestion would be to simply hem regular length trousers to the desired length.
The trouser short: Not only are trousers lengths hitting ankles, designers are playing with the whole notion of the summer suit. Jackets were paired with trouser cut shorts to suggest that global warming is going to get a little too violent this summer. Don’t wear this to the office if your boss is conservative, and make sure your shoes are well polished. Preferably, the trouser short should be worn during weekends and at beach parties and summer weddings.