Men’s fashion has taken two very different directions this season.
The first is a sleek tailored approach to which even Hardy Amies would cast an approving eye upon. The second, a totally contrasting ‘rough and ready’, laundered style that ditches the familiar clean-cut approach that often defines the modern male.
The anorak, parka or cagoule (the terms have annoyingly become rather interchangeable) fit spectacularly in to the latter, and serve the dual purpose of being fashionable while remaining practical – a trait which many modern garments have come to lack.
The parka; the first thing that springs to mind is a heavy fur lined coat that keeps you feeling toasty when the snow is your inconvenience. Definitely not the kind of coat that’s going to be your go-to this spring. The anorak however, is set to step up and become your essential coat this season.
To us Brits, and other dwellers of the northern hemisphere, the term ‘April showers’ has many fashion conscious males quaking in their undeniably stylish boots. Rain and fashion are not star-crossed lovers; their love is non-existent let alone unrequited. Fashion however has developed an arsenal of weapons that keeps the damning impact of rain away from our well put-together spring looks.
So far we’ve given a nod to the practicality of the anorak. Its waterproof and wind resistant nature means it makes perfect sense to wear as your winter wardrobe makes one last push for appearance before being pushed aside. Treat the British mercury with the following tongue: “The higher it rises, the harder it falls”. The England football team, Z-list celebrity culture, instant mash, they all had their ‘wave’ of prominence. Make no assumptions that the current weather is anything but a ‘wave’ bound to be endorsing Iceland products by next Thursday.
Practicality only gets you so far (and not very at that) in the cut throat world of fashion. Fortunately the anorak ticks all the boxes for the utility trend – giving it the much-needed stepping-stone to establish itself this season.
Ben Jones has already done a fantastic job of covering the Fisherman look so I shan’t offer mimicry advise, if you are yet to check it out, I strongly urge you to do so:
I will add that this trend really allows you to utilise of many of your winter garments. Just pair cable knits and winter boots with shorts when necessary or even play with the oversizing activity of your wardrobe. A slightly bigger jacket or jumper can look fantastic and add some individuality to your look.
Fashionbeans (if you hadn’t already noticed) is fully endorsing and pushing colour through this spring/summer, and for good reason. Colour really is the big player this season, although it can be a bit of a minefield. Thankfully, Matt Allison has broken down the rules in a compilation of must-read articles that will have you avoiding any faux pas when it comes to colour.
With your now extended know-how in implementing colour into your outfits, I’m going to throw the anorak into the mix as a definite place to add some vibrancy. This season’s coat has really been given the Jil Sander makeover by many labels and slots right into colour block and pop trends.
Make a stand against the wet and dreary spring weather. Don a collection of complimentary colours in all areas to really add a drop of figurative sunshine to your day. Bonus points will definitely be awarded should you adorn some orange; it has made a splash on multiple collections this year. You can tone down slightly and anchor an outfit through the use of a monochrome tee or shirt – a white crisp oxford will never go out of fashion!
Be a little more chic by utilising some traditional tone downed hues. Really show off the anorak’s credentials by adopting one in a colour that the conventional spring trench coat has really flourished in – camel. Pair with some timeless stripes in order to give a subtle nod to the ever prominent nautical trend, and really step out (or be blown away) in style.
For the days when the weather can’t quite decide which side of the mercury it wants to err on, pair a slightly oversized anorak with some tailored shorts. The lightweight material making up the anorak will not leave you drowning in your own sweat (not a nice thought) but it will give you an extra layer should the wind pick up or the rain start to fall. Remember to opt for cropped versions if you want to utilise these with shorts, otherwise it will become too overpowering within the context of your outfits.
Layering is a key skill so remind yourself to do some background reading before venturing in to any spring/summer effort.
There we have it; apparently fashion can occasionally be considerate and throw up some trends that are also practical. Who’d a thought?
When showers strike, many of us reach for our beloved trench coat, and why not? The trench is a timeless, sleek classic that will forever have a hold on men’s fashion. But for those of you who are jumping on the fisherman and spring utility trends of spring/summer 2011, the anorak is here to combat the showers and keep you looking great whilst doing it. Lightweight, easily packed away into a man bag and perfect for throwing on in ALL seasons, the anorak will be a relatively cheap investment that you will get great use out of due to its practicality and versatility.
Forget all connotations of Glastonbury, mud and train spotting; the anorak has been fully launched into the world of fashion.
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