Introduction

Spring’s here! It’s exciting – arguably the best season for fashion has arrived. The dashes of colour are in equal proportion to the dashes of flesh. And a change in leather jacket propriety highlights that brighter horizons are for tomorrow.

The British are known for their pre-emptive, often-eccentric attitudes to summer dress. Temperatures can push barely nine and you’ll be sure to spot hordes in vest tops or no tops. The flip-flop phenomenon from holidays gone by makes an appearance, as do the sunglasses. Water fights, trips to the beach and a diet of ice cream all happen; but still it’s only nine degrees.

But that’s where we’re different. We know that a vest top paired with joggers and a pair of flip-flops isn’t a good look; any look reminiscent of a big fat gypsy wedding rarely is. We recognise oddly unaltered trends from spring/summer circa 2010 making an untimely reappearance. All of a sudden “so last year.” We rarely put these people down, simply because spring is one the hardest seasons to get right.

Getting the most out of anything in life is a man’s prerogative. It’s his mission, his mantra and his high order. He (the generic man) learns to categorise skills by the transferable. In this take on spring activity, we show you how to get the most out of your winter wardrobe in the not-so wintery months.

How to: Transcend Seasons

Transcending seasons is by no means a budget-attempt at any effort. It’s all about carrying over your popular items from winter, and implementing them into your spring looks – building a transferable wardrobe and doing just that. It’s really simple [basics considered], and almost instantly broadens the once bare spring section of your wardrobe.

Building a Spring Wardrobe

The first step is to separate the transferable from the non. Organise all of your knitwear, cardigans, chinos, jeans, jackets etc. in to what can be taken forward and what is going to be folded up and stored in your wardrobe. Take into consideration the fit, the style, the material, the prints and the cuts – we have been previewing all the latest trends here on Fashionbeans, as well as showing you all the essential S/S items you need, so you should all be clued up by now.

Key pieces from winter will remain popular for the spring season. Knit jumpers, which are great for unpredictable English weather, can be implemented into trends such as the Fisherman look. If you rocked the oversized trend in A/W, any relaxed fitting clothing is perfect to carry over to spring and can be used to develop the relaxed trend. Any chinos you have stocked in your A/W wardrobe can also be carried over to spring, with the choice to roll up and wear sockless with brogues or toms, or for the braver guys; with a pair of colourful socks. In particular, any coloured chinos you own are perfect for spring and summer.

Don’t transfer anything that’s going to cause more sweat than swagger, but make sure you keep a good mix of clothing in which you can work with dependant on the weather and your mood. Unstructured blazers, lightweight trenches and knitwear are more than suitable for brisk spring days and cool evenings, whilst boots and brogues can still be worn effortlessly with chinos and even shorts [see below]. We think it is time to retire your wool overcoat until later this year though.

Layering

A trap many men fall in to is: marriage neglect. You shouldn’t neglect layering simply on the basis that it’s a season outside of winter.

You will begin to notice that many of the cuts and patterns are carried over from one season to the next. Aztec and Fair Isle type prints previously seen on gloves and scarves are now to be featured on tees and backpacks. Like-wise, paisley and floral prints were being introduced last season with the Mod look and 60s revival; with floral set to take centre stage again in the coming seasons.

Add dimension to your look by layering your winter wear with pieces suitable for warmer weather. For example: pair that cable knit jumper, which was popular last season, with a fisherman’s jacket, a pair of chino shorts and brogues.

Or you could layer that cotton blazer from A/W over a t-shirt; wear with shorts for a less than up-tight take on tailoring. You can still layer in spring, just layer with lighter pieces to avoid generating that much needed warmth of the winter seasons.

We have put together a dedicated look book to show you three key ways to bring A/W items in to the yearned-for months of sun, sea and slip on shoes:

Look 1:
Blazers (a timeless piece whatever the season) can easily be incorporated into all your new S/S looks:

  • All Saints Hudson Blazer
  • Your Eyes Lie Shed T-Shirt
  • FENNEL SEED TAILORED SHORTS

Look 2:
Take your dark denim jacket or Harrington into the new season and pair with smart shorts:

  • nudie jeans Mens Terry Sharp Used Blue Denim Jacket
  • DDT Raw Scoop
  • CHOCOLATE BROWN TAILORED SHORTS

Look 3:
Top tip: Unbuttoning a coat and rolling up chinos can instantly change the seasons of an existing look. This would be perfect for a brisk spring day:

  • Carhartt Heritage State Coat
  • Off White Cable Knit Jumper
  • humor Mens Zanka Army Green Chino Trousers
Using A/W Accessories

Your seasonal-transcendent wardrobe is not limited to clothing.

You may have some accessories in which you wore regularly last season, which you’d still love to wear this spring. WARNING: Stay clear of accessories such as gloves, knit scarves or snoods and beanie hats – need we say “duh”?

Look more towards timeless accessories that remain perfect through all seasons, such as trilby hats, flat caps, lightweight acrylic scarves, belts, socks and bags.

Socks can be that perfect accessory to create an unexpected dash of colour all year round. A lightweight acrylic scarf can be the perfect finishing touch to an outfit that will separate your look from all the other shorts and t-shirt combinations we will see throughout the warmer months. Using a lightweight version will not add bulk, whilst layering it loosely around your neck will add depth to your look without making you feel uncomfortable.

If you’re going to be looking at building your accessory department now, start with three key pieces; scarves, hats and finally, socks.

Here are some examples you can carry through any season when well considered:

  • Monti Blue Toned Summer Scarf
  • Brown Vintage Trilby
  • Gene Meyer Purple Striped Socks
  • paul smith accessories Mens Multistripe Brown Socks
  • Happy Socks Argyle Socks
  • Hartford Khaki Spot Light Cotton Scarf
  • Fred Perry Black Straw Trilby Hat
  • Alexander McQueen Skull Print Scarf
  • PS by Paul Smith Striped Seersucker Trilby
Key Look: Shorts & Knits

This is a very popular look for this spring, and you should be glad it is! Why? Because knits were so popular in A/W that if you don’t at least own one knitted jumper, where were you?

This preppy mini-trend of shorts and knits allows you to use current pieces that you’ve already purchased, meaning you can spend your well-earned cash crossing something else off your wish list.

For colder days, pair a dark green cable knit with some dark brown chinos, adding military inspired accessories to top the look. Or if the sun is shining and you’re looking towards adding colour, wear a neutral cable knit jumper with a bright coloured pair of chino shorts for a pop of colour which will take you from the warmer day to the colder evenings in the pub garden.

Remember not to neglect your layering; you need to consider what will be underneath your knit – even if you do not take it off – as adding a statement tee or polo means you have the option lose the knit and still look just as good, should the weather turn for the best.

Here are some key products to establish this trend:

  • Navy Short Sleeve Knit T-Shirt
  • A.P.C. Striped Sweater
  • All Saints Channel Crew
  • Fred Perry Chino Shorts
  • All Saints Growl Shorts
  • Supremebeing Denim Short
Footwear

There really are no strict rules for this skill. You can transfer footwear from A/W over to S/S just as easily as jumpers or gilets. “Boots for winter, sandals for summer” is an attitude that should be swiftly neglected.

Pairing boots with shorts is going to be a huge look throughout S/S 11; it’s something you should be looking to try in your outfits as soon as possible. Pairing your favourite military boots from last season with a pair of shorts is really going to add masculinity to your leg-baring look.

Sandals are fine for summer, but if you’re wearing knits this season in a military trend attempt, sandals aren’t going to add anything extra to your look. Wearing cropped or lightweight military boot styles with shorts can also help hit workwear trends – something that has been hugely popular throughout the year, and will continue to be this spring.

Do not limit yourself to the boots of yester-season. Boat, hiking, desert, chukka and just about every type of boot are all becoming key parts of designer S/S collections. If you are looking to invest in a new pair for the season, try the spring/summer variations in a beautiful suede material instead of leather. They will still work in the A/W seasons, they will separate you from the crowd, and they are great for adding some texture and depth to any outfit.

Reading ahead in class saw nothing but a reserved seat at the teacher’s top table, reading ahead in fashion sees you at the top of ours.

  • DR MARTENS Stride Dan Milkshake Boots
  • Mens Schuh Havana Brogue Boot Boots
  • Cropped Military Boot
  • ASOS Lace Up Desert Boots
  • Tricker's Forest Green Leather Brogue Stow Boots
  • FOLK Cally Chocolate & Tobacco Boots
  • River Island Washed Canvas Military Boots
  • Quoddy Leather Lace-Up Boots
  • MAST BOAT BOOT
Lookbook

Lookbook is an indispensable source of inspiration and a tool you need to be making the most of as you consider transitioning seasons. Take note of these key looks that have made the most of their full-year wardrobe:

Men's Lookbook - Wearing Winter Items in Spring/Summer

Sign-Off

Remember there really aren’t any strict rules to follow. Just use your initiative, what pieces are going to make it look like you’ve forgotten your calendar, and what pieces can you transfer over to S/S? We’ve provided you with examples of key pieces to start with, but experiment and let loose with some of your favourite pieces from A/W. Have fun!

Paul McGregor
www.brighterman.com