Introduction

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:

Returning Trend #1: Polo Necks

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.

Polo Necks Lookbook

Men's AW12 Polo Necks Lookbook

How To Wear

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:

Smart Outfit

  • Allsaints Reverse Roll Neck JumperAllsaints Reverse Roll Neck Jumper
  • Essential Cotton Rich Shirt In WhiteEssential Cotton Rich Shirt In White
  • Topman Charcoal Slim Two-piece SuitTopman Charcoal Slim Two-piece Suit

Casual Outfit

  • Maison Martin Margiela Chunky Cable-knit Wool SweaterMaison Martin Margiela Chunky Cable-knit Wool Sweater
  • Nudie Jeans Sharp Bengt Dirt Organic Raw Tapered JeansNudie Jeans Sharp Bengt Dirt Organic Raw Tapered Jeans
  • Base London Icy BootsBase London Icy Boots
Men’s Polo Necks
  • Jack & Jones Vintage Jumper With Roll NeckJack & Jones Vintage Jumper With Roll Neck
  • Jeff Banks 24:7 Turtle Neck JumperJeff Banks 24:7 Turtle Neck Jumper
  • Reiss Crosby Wool Roll Neck NavyReiss Crosby Wool Roll Neck Navy
  • Allsaints Link Roll Neck JumperAllsaints Link Roll Neck Jumper
  • Wolsey 1755 Ecru Irish Wool Tiberius Roll Neck KnitWolsey 1755 Ecru Irish Wool Tiberius Roll Neck Knit
  • John Smedley Black Belvoire Merino Roll Neck KnitJohn Smedley Black Belvoire Merino Roll Neck Knit
  • Wooyoungmi Wool Rollneck SweaterWooyoungmi Wool Rollneck Sweater
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Mens Rollneck JumperPolo Ralph Lauren Mens Rollneck Jumper
  • Levis Vintage Clothing Mens Chunky Roll NeckLevis Vintage Clothing Mens Chunky Roll Neck
Returning Trend #2: Double Breasted Tailoring

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.

Double Breasted Lookbook

Men's AW12 Double Breasted Tailoring Lookbook

How To Wear

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.

  • Hartford Double-breasted Wool And Cashmere-blend BlazerHartford Double-breasted Wool And Cashmere-blend Blazer
  • John Varvatos Contrast Collar Shirt 128132John Varvatos Contrast Collar Shirt 128132
  • Drakes Slim Grenadine Silk TieDrakes Slim Grenadine Silk Tie
  • Reiss Hartley T Formal Trousers GreyReiss Hartley T Formal Trousers Grey
  • Burgundy/navy Pocket Squarelar Shirt 128132Burgundy/navy Pocket Squarelar Shirt 128132
  • Paul Smith Shoes Black Polished Leather Toe Cap Earl ShoesPaul Smith Shoes Black Polished Leather Toe Cap Earl Shoes
Men’s Double Breasted Tailoring
  • Topman Dark Sand Double Breasted SuitTopman Dark Sand Double Breasted Suit
  • Burton James And James Prince Of Wales Check Regular Fit SuitBurton James And James Prince Of Wales Check Regular Fit Suit
  • Universal Works Dark Blue Milton Canvas Db Manor BlazerUniversal Works Dark Blue Milton Canvas Db Manor Blazer
  • Grey Puppytooth Suit: Double Breasted JacketGrey Puppytooth Suit: Double Breasted Jacket
  • Reiss Sommerville B Pinstripe Peak Blazer NavyReiss Sommerville B Pinstripe Peak Blazer Navy
  • Reiss Scotsdale 6 Button Db Suit BlueReiss Scotsdale 6 Button Db Suit Blue
  • Allsaints Chancery JacketAllsaints Chancery Jacket
  • Ami Slim-fit Wool And Cashmere-blend Suit JacketAmi Slim-fit Wool And Cashmere-blend Suit Jacket
  • Dolce & Gabbana Double-breasted Wool-tweed BlazerDolce & Gabbana Double-breasted Wool-tweed Blazer
Returning Trend #3: Military

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.

Military Inspired Lookbook

Men's AW12 Military Inspired Lookbook

How To Wear

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.

  • Asos Space Dye Crew Neck JumperAsos Space Dye Crew Neck Jumper
  • Yves Saint Laurent Double-breasted Wool-twill OvercoatYves Saint Laurent Double-breasted Wool-twill Overcoat
  • Reiss Exmouth Garment Dye Clean Chino NavyReiss Exmouth Garment Dye Clean Chino Navy
  • Topman Ben Sherman Quey 2 BootsTopman Ben Sherman Quey 2 Boots
Men’s Military Inspired Picks
  • Allsaints Ernesto ShirtAllsaints Ernesto Shirt
  • Diesel Military Polo ShirtDiesel Military Polo Shirt
  • Vintage Surplus Combat PulloverVintage Surplus Combat Pullover
  • Oliver Spencer Navy Herringbone Wool Clerkenwell Pea CoatOliver Spencer Navy Herringbone Wool Clerkenwell Pea Coat
  • Topman Camouflage Skinny ChinosTopman Camouflage Skinny Chinos
  • Beams Plus Camouflage-print Cotton Bow TieBeams Plus Camouflage-print Cotton Bow Tie
  • Dsquared2 Mens Military ShirtDsquared2 Mens Military Shirt
  • Hugo Boss Parka OuterwearHugo Boss Parka Outerwear
  • Asos Wedge Sole Camo Print Canvas BootsAsos Wedge Sole Camo Print Canvas Boots
Conclusion

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…

  • Are you excited about the return on these three major trends for autumn/winter?
  • Which is your favourite look and how will you be wearing it?
  • Are you more looking forward to rocking one of the newer trends that we’ve showcased on FashionBeans? Which One?

Let us know in the comments below to get the debate going.