Fashion likes to work in circles. Every season or so a trend will crop up that takes you down memory lane – for better or worse – and pieces that you thought were long gone will enjoy a resurgence.
During last autumn/winter, we saw fashion’s cyclical nature in full force. Heritage was the name of the game, as the British countryside was the major influence in many wardrobes. While minor trends, such as a pop colour driven 90s influence, were also prominent. We paid homage to old classics that had suffered from years of stigma; with looks based around the polo neck, humble sweatshirt and contrast shirt collars.
This coming autumn/winter season is set to revisit a plethora of trends from looks gone by – three of which we’re going to help you master – rather than reinventing or reviving trends of yesteryear.
Here are our top 3 returning trends to look out for this AW12:
Top of the list is one of last year’s biggest dividers; the polo neck. After years of style seclusion, the polo neck came back as a key autumn/winter piece thanks to the likes of Jil Sander and Lanvin sending it down the runway.
This year the trend is set to take off in a much bigger way, with more high street retailers getting on board and even more men shaking off preconceived notions. Prada were the major fashion house that presented the polo neck as the standout piece in their show for AW12, pairing one with every single look sent down the runway.
The lookbook below is testament to just how foolish we were to ever ignore it.
The way to style the polo neck is very much in the guise of this year’s Prada and last year’s Lanvin shows – under a shirt. With the top button undone and a fine cotton polo neck underneath the shirt, the look is daring but stylish and a great way to stand out when wearing a suit. You could also dress down the look, opting for a more rugged denim shirt to add a masculine feel to a very metropolitan outfit.
For a casual take on the polo neck, look no further than a bold or chunky knit version worn alongside a well-fitted pair of dark jeans and a solid pair of boots.
For more polo neck styling ideas and inspiration, follow our fail safe advisories from the archive:
The double-breasted blazer was another of last year’s well-welcomed comeback pieces that had many crying to the high heavens. Men the world over falsely assumed the DB was finished, left to rot in the past or at least left solely to the Italians. This was certainly not the case.
The double-breasted jacket appeared throughout the season previews, complete with a slimmed down shape and tapered waist; boxy cuts were, however, left out of the equation this time around. Thankfully.
Double-breasted tailoring is another trend – like the polo neck before it – that is set to be much bigger this year, as it becomes more accessible via high-street alternatives.
A double breast is a great way to add some variety into your suiting and shake up your office looks. Inherently smart and striking, a double-breasted suit will immediately set you apart from the other suit wearers.
Consider wearing separates to take the look to another level, breaking up the monotone of your standard ensemble. A contrast collar shirt and simple silk tie finish off a superb smart look.
Matt Allinson will tell you all-too-often the importance of understanding your frame when looking to invest in this cut: Men’s Fashion Basics: The Double Breasted Jacket.
The military influence in fashion refuses to surrender. It has been on our radar for countless years and 2012 is no different. This season, military inspired attire makes a stronger statement than ever, grabbing our attention with on-trend camouflage prints and style staples like the parka and peacoat.
With the likes of Dior Homme championing the influence heavily within their Fall 2012 collection, entitled “A Solider on My Own”, it’s no wonder compiling a lookbook was easy.
Camouflage is going from strength to strength as it transcends from the closing spring/summer season to this year’s fall/winter. It also looks a safe bet to go on strong through to next year’s spring/summer – a solid investment if you doubted the endurance of this particular recruit.
Of course, camouflage is as bold as it comes when you want to channel some military influence through your looks. A modern take on the trend would be to work it into your outfits through less obvious means such as a tie, pocket square, bag or shoes. Alternatively, you could put a twist on a more traditional piece of camo wear by dressing up a pair of slim, tapered camouflage trousers with a navy double-breasted blazer.
For a slightly subtler nod to the military, work this influence into your look with a double-breasted overcoat or officer coat; pick one out in an olive tone for stronger military connotations. Dress down with knitwear and chinos for a great everyday look that has an edge of refinement about it.
To enlist in some further outfit inspiration, check out our SS12 guide to carrying off camo: The SS12 Camouflage Print Trend.
Trends are now more likely to stick around longer than their usual shelf-life, and are even beginning to transcend between the winter and summer months.
With influences becoming much more consistent, it certainly makes our dwindling bank balance a much less painful sight when we know we’re getting a good few seasons of wear out of an item instead of casting it asunder after a solitary season.
What we want to know is…
Let us know in the comments below to get the debate going.