“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable we have to change it every six months”
Yes, that’s right, I’m starting an article off with an Oscar Wilde quote. It could be because I’ve just finished reading The Picture of Dorian Gray and now consider myself a wealth of knowledge on the man. It could be because I googled ‘fashion quotes’ and it was the first one I saw without scrolling down. I hate scrolling down. Or maybe, just maybe, it could be because I’m a cultured, educated person who can pull interesting quotes about fashion out of his dome like that.
No, you’re right – I totally googled it.
Regardless of all this, the real reason I opened up with this particular Wilde quote is because it’s true. Now that 2012 is well and truly behind us, it’s time to start thinking about the year, and seasons, ahead. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. As soon as it nears February, all I can think about is spring/summer and what I’m going to be picking up this time around (Madras blazer, people).
However, as 2012 was such a great year for menswear, and men’s fashion as a whole, I think it would a shame to just throw away everything that we learnt, just to make way for the new. There are some pieces that we all decided to get involved with last year that really deserve to be in our rotation all year round.
So, before you start drawing up lists and taking photos for your eBay account, here’s a rundown of the key pieces of 2012 that you should really look to keep rocking this New Year.
1. The Three-Piece Suit
It was only a matter of time before Savile Row had it’s time in the spotlight. With Americana old news and Italian style starting to wane, the moment was ripe for the oldest of fashion houses to step forward. And nothing summed up British elegance better than the three-piece.
Every guy looks great in one, thanks to its ability to tuck in at all the right places, and it allows you to remain sharp once the jacket comes off. For those that like to utilise their suits as separates, it’s also a great investment piece, because there are seven different ways you can wear it.
With such classic style and versatility, why would you want to stop wearing it?
- Topman Three Piece Russo Suit
- Asos Skinny Fit Suit In Black Polywool
- Asos Slim Fit Suit In Houndstooth
- Reiss Riley Two Button Single Breasted Suit Grey
- Burton Burgundy Slim Fit Suit With Waistcoat
- Burton Montague Burton Taupe Slim Fit Heritage Suit
- Asos Slim Fit Suit In Navy
- Topman Black Textured Tux Three Piece Suit
- Topman Navy Russo Three Piece Suit
2. The Brown Suit
There’s an argument to be made that this tailoring trend was gathering momentum in 2011, but 2012 was when the brown suit really hit its stride. Whether it was the perfect summer office suit in linen/cotton, or a windowpane check tweed blazer for the winter, brown was being worn everywhere (and worn well) in 2012.
The advantages of brown tailoring? It’s flattering against any skin tone and can be paired with pretty much every colour you already own – especially blue, and I know how much you guys out there love blue.
In 2013, keep your eyes peeled for bold tones such as tobacco or caramel, which can add an extra pinch of attitude to a look without becoming brash or garish.
- Reiss Pinot B Two Button Cotton Mixer Jacket Taupe
- Asos Slim Fit Suit In Pow Check
- Reiss Malt Textured Suit Mid Brown
- Burton Brown Herringbone Slim Fit Suit
3. The Smart Indigo Chambray Shirt
Oh man, I love this shirt so much.
I’ve always been a fan of chambray shirts for my casual weekend looks, but as soon as I picked up one in a formal cut from Suit Supply, it blew my mind. Due to it being stripped of any unnecessary embellishment/detailing and given a semi-spread collar, it became my secret weapon when paired with a suit.
It looks good with any tie style and can breathe new life and depth into your navy suit. Seriously, I’m not ready to let this one go.
For a more detailed look at the trend, check out Ben Jones’ article on the Gentrification of Denim.
- He By Mango Slim-fit Shirt
- Selected Chambray Shirt
- Asos Smart Shirt In Chambray
- Heritage Chambray Shirt
- Reiss Zackery Long Sleeve Denim Look Shirt Blue
- French Connection Sergei Shirt
4. The Double-Breasted Cut
This time last year, I was inundated with questions from men asking if double-breasted was going to make a comeback for 2012. And you know what I responded with? “Seriously mate, it never went away”. Or at least in my mind it didn’t.
If you take menswear seriously – and I like to think that if you’re a FashionBeans reader then you do – a double-breasted jacket is essential when it comes to those occasions you need to communicate masculinity and power.
Do yourself a favour, and never let it go out of style again.
- Topman Navy Hopsack Double Breasted Suit Jacket
- Asos Slim Fit Double Breasted Blazer
- Universal Works Lantel Tweed Manor Jacket
- Universal Works Grey Herringbone Manor Jacket
- Paul Smith – Ps 1312-169 Grey Jacket
- Luxury Sartorial Pure Wool Double Breasted Blazer
- Alexander Mcqueen Slim-fit Cotton And Wool-blend Blazer
- Uniqlo Men Trench Coat
- Reiss Hummingbird Double Breasted Wool Peacoat Navy
5. Camouflage Print & Double Monk Straps
What everyone considered to be two fleeting trends have really decided to stick around. They were both prominent in some form over the last couple of years, but 2012 was when they broke into mainstream fashion’s consciousness.
Camo print saw a resurgence because it was the perfect pattern to pair everything you already wore – the new ‘neutral’. Double monk straps because they could be worn to any occasion, be it casual or formal, and still look appropriate, stylish and classic.
With new variations, twists and takes on these modern classics already being released, 2013 looks set to become an even bigger year for them.
5a. Camouflage Print
- Marc By Marc Jacobs Clement Camouflage-print Cotton T-shirt
- Passarella Death Squad X Boxfresh Grey Camo Slim Corree Shirt
- Allsaints Nelson Crew Jumper
- Carhartt Mission Long-sleeved Camo Overshirt
- 10 Deep T-shirt Printed Camo
- Topman Camouflage Printed Shorts
- Topman Camouflage Skinny Chinos
- Asos Camo Pocket Square
- Asos Desert Boots In Camo Print
5b. Double Monk Straps
- Allsaints Conduct Shoe
- Grenson Ellery Brown Monk Brogues
- Asos Monk Shoes With Leather Sole
- John Lobb William Leather Monk-strap Shoes
- Oliver Spencer Osa233bw Monk Black Shoes
- Boss Black Carlots Monk Shoes
- Alexander Mcqueen Monk-strap Loafers 148922
- John Lobb William Leather Monk-strap Shoes
- Grenson Double Monk Shoes
So there you have it, a few of the key pieces from 2012 that you should definitely keep rocking throughout 2013. If you happened to miss out on a few of these items, don’t worry, look to invest in them whilst keeping a watchful eye on what’s coming up.
Maybe try a double-breasted navy blazer made from linen or whipcord? Or why not pair an indigo chambray shirt with this summer’s go-to light grey suit? It’s all about the contrast after all.
Let me know what you think in the comments section below. What were your favourite pieces of 2012? And what are you definitely bringing over?