Although it might not be obvious from stepping outside, the winter chill is apparently soon due to succumb to the moderately milder and slightly less wet climes of spring. This period of transition is an ideal time to consider the new season’s multitude of menswear styles and begin to purge and reorganise our wardrobes accordingly.
Planning ahead in this manner provides greater scope for locating items that integrate seamlessly with our chosen aesthetic, taking pride of place on our clothing racks and nestling comfortably alongside existing spring/summer staples.
Though the time to store the duffels, pea coats and parkas for another year may be fast approaching, spring’s somewhat unpredictable weather means ignoring outerwear altogether is not recommended. The need for fewer layers may exclude certain textural combinations but it does have its advantages: you can create stronger lines and a cleaner silhouette, which is synonymous with the warmer months.
With all the recent talk of neon suits and floral prints, it is easy to overlook the trusty jacket’s relatively reserved appearance. Today we breakdown three key outerwear styles that are not only experiencing a surge in popularity this spring, but also fit in with FashionBeans’ ethos of investing in timeless pieces that are suitable for many more to come.
1. The Harrington Jacket
Emblematic of sixties’ mod culture and famously favoured by the likes of Steve McQueen and Daniel Craig, the Harrington jacket’s sharp collar and fitted cuffs/waistband are perfect for spring’s mixture of sun and showers.
The Harrington’s timeless quality and proven longevity not only lies in its stylish cut and iconic Fraser tartan lining but also in its more practical attributes of durability and versatility. It works just as well with the casual and comfortable combination of a sweater and indigo jeans as it does with a crisp button-down shirt and chinos.
Variety in terms of both colour and fit increases its style stock further, with a huge number of colour ways now available. The traditional versions come in beige, tan or navy whilst bolder and brighter options will suit more modern tastes (British racing green is a personal favourite). The classic slim fit Harrington is the G9 by Baracuta, whose recent acquisition by WP Lavori has injected a new lease of life into the brand, especially with Kenichi Kesano’s stunning designs for the subsidiary Blue label.
Its elegant and straight cut silhouette lends itself to the contemporary style seen in many recent collections, so it comes as no surprise that the Harrington has been included in spring/summer 2013 campaigns by the likes of Nicole Fahri, Tom Ford and Trussardi.
If you don’t already have a Harrington jacket in your outerwear arsenal, now may well be the time to pull the trigger and invest.
Harrington Lookbook: 2013
Men’s Harrington Jackets
- Baracuta Harrington Jacket
- Baracuta G9 Mod Slim Fit Harrington Jacket Light Blue
- Baracuta G9 Mod Slim Fit Harrington Jacket Light Blue
- Richard Nicoll Mens Blue Cotton Canvas Harrington Jacket
- Polo Ralph Lauren Harrington Jacket
- Asos Harrington Jacket
- Harrington Jacket
- New Look Light Brown Twill Harrington Jacket
- French Connection Harrington – Light Jacket – Beige
- Burton Burgundy Smart Harrington Jacket
- Ben Sherman Plectrum Harrington Bomber
- Autograph Pure Cotton Harrington Jacket
2. The Suede Bomber Jacket
Now coming in all manner of fabrics, shapes and sizes the bomber jacket is one of menswear’s must have items for 2013. The bomber’s design is naturally suited to the slim fit and sports luxe style that is ever present in current campaigns – from high street outlets to high fashion catwalk collections. In addition to the present trend of bomber jackets constructed using contrast sleeves and unconventional materials, another more familiar figure appears to have made a return to popularity: the suede bomber jacket.
Suede’s soft and tactile napped finish offers a unique texture, something that can be used to provide a new and refreshing dimension to the typically seasonal mix of cotton and linen. Despite its less than practical lack of protection against the April showers, the suede bomber does get better with age and signs of wear and distress act to add character and individuality, an aesthetic particularly suited to those aiming for a more bohemian or casual look.
Although associated with iconic 1970s style, the suede bomber has been revamped and updated for the modern era. Ribbed collars and cuffs create a more mature version of the varsity jacket, whilst an expanded colour palette of greys, blues and even reds provides potential for a true statement piece. Beat the brisk spring weather by pairing with a snug roll neck jumper or keep it classic by incorporating a white Henley t-shirt and slim jeans.
Suede Bomber Lookbook: 2013
Men’s Suede Bomber Jackets
- Selected Suede Jacket
- Jack & Jones Originals Suede Baseball Jacket
- Topman Stone Suede Tipped Bomber Jacket
- Reiss Oakland Short Suede Zip Through Jacket Navy
- Paul Smith London Suede Bomber Jacket
- Ami Contrasting Raglan Sleeve Jacket 152904
- Marc By Marc Jacobs Marc By Marc Jacobs Mens Summer Suede Jacket
- Ami Suede Bomber Jacket
- Brioni Suede Bomber Jacket
3. The Windcheater
A more pragmatic and utilitarian solution to your outerwear dilemma may lie in the form of the windcheater. A lightweight and weather resistant option, the windcheater’s lustrous synthetic construction may be a less formal choice than those previously outlined, but its loose fit and off duty aesthetic does lend itself to infinite layering possibilities.
A perfect riposte to springtime’s capricious climate, windcheaters often include technical features such as adjustable hoods, high fastening collars and elastic waistband/cuffs. While these functional details provide protection against the elements, the jacket’s street style edge and vibrant colour palette prevent it from falling foul of anorak ambiguity.
The windcheater’s universal appeal means that there is a broad array of available styles, from heritage fisherman jackets complete with waxed exteriors to ultra modern, high specification pieces with a minimal design ethos. The range in price is also wide, with entry-level offerings coming from brands such as Topman and Uniqlo, whilst the likes of Nigel Cabourn and Stone Island are revered for their high-end alternatives.
Don’t be afraid to be brave with your colour selection, the windcheater was designed to be seen after all. Set foot outside in seafaring style by wearing with a wool cardigan, chinos and deck shoes or keep it clean by teaming with tailored shorts and a polo shirt.
Windcheater Lookbook: 2013
Men’s Windcheater Jackets
- American Apparel Nylon Taffeta A-way Jacket
- Farah Vintage Dayton Red Jacket
- Shore Leave Navy Ripstop Windbreaker
- Burton Crosshatch Blue Windcheater Jacket
- Farah Vintage Jacket With Hood
- Revolution Hooded Leif Jacket
- Reiss 1971 Parachute Garment Dyed Harrington Cobalt
- Topman Boxfresh Expedition Jacket
- Ben Sherman Lightweight Nylon Jacket
- Uniqlo Men Marine Parka+
- Easy Zip Jacket
- Folk Hooded Rain Jacket
As well as being hotly tipped for spring/summer 2013, the above have a proven track record as time served wardrobe staples that, with the correct care, will last for years to come.
In addition to their signature silhouettes, emphasis on fit and high quality fabrics, all three are also versatile enough to cope equally well with both active urban lifestyles and more adverse countryside conditions.
So, which is your pick of the bunch? Or do you have other outerwear options in mind for this spring? Let me know in the comments section below.