This years summer season has certainly been enlightening – in more ways than one. The menswear colour palette has expanded and monochromes were left back on the rack. Colour blocking rose to prominence and was championed everywhere from high street to high price.
Last season looks set to be a harbinger of what we can expect from future trends. The incoming autumn and winter months certainly look set to have a sprinkle of this new found vibrancy, a bold move considering how accustomed we have become to the tried and tested earthy tones of bygone autumn-winter collections. Winter is bored of letting summer have all the fun.
The winter coat is the first to be targeted by the colour revolution. From duffle coats to overcoats, they’ve all been treated to a makeover aimed at adding some figurative sunshine to the cold winter days.
On The Runway
Burberry has really pushed coloured coats in their fall 2011 collection. They’ve also shown a huge amount of faith in them as they play a featured role in the new Prorsum fall 2011 promotional campaign:
The range of colours on show at Louis Vuitton was a far cry from the palette on show at Burberry. Vuitton stuck solely with orange although when put in context of the collection as a whole, it was practically all muted black; the orange coats were definite head turners, showing how to use single burst of colour as a stand-out statement piece.
The backdrop for the Paul Smith show was a giant image of the moon, clearly something special and out of the ordinary was going to be on display. And Mr Smith rarely disappoints. The eclectic selection of models, the space-inspired silver puffer jackets and of course the orange and yellow outerwear were just a few of the delights offered up that seemingly wowed the crowds.
The Best of the Rest
Wrapping up the runway section is a select few shots from a variety of collections that gave nod to the coloured coat.
Left to right; Yohji Yamamoto; Buckler; Calvin Klein
How to Wear
Integrating such a statement piece into your wardrobe may seem a little daunting at first. Bright colours and winter are seldom seen together. Colour in fall collections is usually limited to dark red hues, which often resemble something closer to maroon rather than the standard sanguine shade.
The subdued palette that has become the winter norm is, however, going to be essential when attempting to pull off brighter outwear this winter. Dark and neutral coloured trousers are vital when touting colour up top.
Before I go onto some outfit inspiration I’d whole-heartedly suggest reading through some guides on how to pull off colour courtesy of our very own boss of basics, Matt Allinson:
- Men’s Fashion Basics – Part 41 – An Introduction To Colour
- Men’s Fashion Basics – Part 43 – Combining Colours
FashionBeans Coloured Coats Look Book
To start off, I’m going for an ‘on the way to the office look’. Protecting your perfect tie knot and shirt tuck is the prime function of any office-bound overcoat. The Burberry single-breasted blue button-up [Burberry Image Centre] is perfect for this; the colour is not too overt and so maintains an air of formality.
Underneath I’d suggest a shirt, tie and double-breasted blazer combo. Double-breasted is really making a bit of a comeback next season (not that it should have ever left) and was ever present on the catwalk for fall.
For bonus style points, don’t forget to add a complimentary pocket square; a colour similar to the tie would be on the money here.
Look number two is all about playing off military undertones. The orange Burberry duffle [Burberry Image Right] is the perfect inspiration for this. A pair of dark jeans paired with boots and a pair of leather gloves will support the statement jacket. Simply ensure colour is absent everywhere but the coat, otherwise clashes are sure to occur.
The third and final look is going to be using the hooded yellow coat from buckler [Best of the Rest Image Centre]. I’m going to break a few of my own rules here and really create a fun outfit, loosely based on the incoming heritage trend – taking the conservative out of the country if you will.
Leaving the coat open, layer a burgundy-red country quilted jacket underneath. On the bottom, navy chinos will create some stability coupled with some panelled high-tops for the casual and comfort conscious.
Unfortunately, many stores are yet to release their autumn/winter ranges, or are just beginning to roll out previews. Therefore, product picks are a little thin on the ground currently leaf-absent ground. We have thrown in some slightly spring-orientated jackets – think windbreakers and deck jackets – as these are great for all year round.
It remains to be seen how far the high street will endorse coloured coats. With autumn ranges beginning to make an appearance, the wait shouldn’t be too long, hopefully. The high fashion circles have already started stocking a selection of these statement coats. Burberry is setting the pace early this year and we face an interesting wait to whether or not it will pay dividends.
I fully expect to see the colour palette broadened this fall (in every area of the wardrobe), and quite possibly to the extent that we saw in the summer.
What I want to know from you guys is:
- Are you a strict monochrome man with a loathing for anything that remotely resembles a summer hue?
- Or are you over the moon with this infusion of colour?
- How will you be making a statement with colour this winter?
- Alternatively, are you in the middle and believe colour should remain in reserve of the spring/summer season?
As usual let us know in the comments below…