Introduction

Although you may currently be wrapping yourself in swathes of fabric in order to protect yourself from the (seemingly never-ending) snow, we want to give you an insight into the sort of trends we will be seeing when the seasons start to thaw out.

One of the trends for spring/summer 2013 that appears to have divided opinion in a big way (with more haters than appreciators) is the notion of sleeveless blazers and jackets.

Although the overwhelming feeling towards this trend has been negative (including my own opinion if I am absolutely honest), in the interest of fairness and the hope that there is at least one supporter out there, we are going to breakdown exactly who was advocating the sleeveless blazer and discuss the possibility of this unconventional piece becoming popular next season.

On The Runways

Due to the sheer number of collections which featured sleeveless blazers and jackets on the high fashion runways, it’s clear that several designers feel this trend is something to watch out for. Everyone from James Long to Jil Sander to Matthew Miller produced their own unique take, but by far the biggest proponent for this trend was Versace.

The Versace collection featured several outfits that provided an inspired twist on the shorts suit look, matching tailored shorts with sleeveless double-breasted blazers and hi-top trainers.

Most of the blazers were paired with shirts in the same fabric and colour to create a two-piece feel, and they appeared in several variants including a soft grey hue, a more vivid deep green, a wide pinstripe pattern (with matching shirt) and a single-breasted subtle geometric pattern.

The collection by Versace also featured several sleeveless jackets that were utilised as separates, including a pearlised peppermint jacket, a neon pink leather double-breasted blazer and an ambitious asymmetric biker-style jacket in mint green:

Versace Menswear SS13 - Sleeveless Blazers & Jackets

Versace SS13 Runway Video

Key Show: Givenchy

The collection from Givenchy featured a selection of sleeveless blazers, but these were slightly more oversized compared with those at Versace.

Shown in more wearable shades of black and pale pink, they tended to be paired with oversized shirts that hung lower than the bottom of the blazer, or the blazer itself came in an oversized cut that finished as low as knee-length.

Blazers were matched with trousers in the same colour and fabric, again creating a two-piece suit feel, and overall the look was striking but not as wearable:

Givenchy Menswear SS13 - Sleeveless Jackets & Blazers

Key Show: Jil Sander

Finally, we have to mention Jil Sander’s collection as she featured sleeveless blazers in an even more striking and individual way.

Her looks came even more oversized than those at Givenchy, with sleeveless blazers in shades of black, navy blue, white and cream finishing around mid-thigh. These blazers were either paired with slim-fit trousers or oversized shorts and, continuing the theme, oversized poplin shirts for a modern Edwardian feel:

Jil Sander Menswear SS13 - Sleeveless Jackets & Blazers

The Fashion Press/Community

As you can probably imagine, feedback on the idea of a sleeveless blazer hasn’t been overwhelmingly positive. A lot of critics have argued that the idea of a sleeveless blazer is a contradiction in itself – if it’s cold enough outside to warrant wearing a blazer, then why would any sensible man opt for a jacket or blazer without sleeves?

I must admit that before researching this article I was in the camp that believes a sleeveless blazer is a bit of a pointless garment, probably only worn by a man who feels he needs to show off “the guns”. However, after further consideration and a closer inspection of the Versace collection in particular, some of the looks created do work quite well and I like the combination of the shorts suit with casual hi-top trainers.

I agree wearing such a blazer without anything underneath is a tad too far but perhaps the look could work if they were layered over other garments? That being said, whether or not it is a wearable look is a different question entirely.

As Shortlist magazine writes, “the sleeveless blazer is not the easiest trend to pull off” but the fact that so many designers featured this type of blazer/jacket in their collections suggests that there may actually be a place for them come SS13.

Not only that, we have already seen a couple of collection lookbooks featuring sleeveless blazers on FashionBeans. The first is probably expected as it comes from Kris Van Assche, but the second was featured in none other than River Island’s latest SS13 lookbook (below left), meaning that if one high street giant has already picked up on the trend, will others be soon to follow?

river island ss13KRISVANASSCHE x Lee SS13
Current Examples

This is definitely a piece we will only realistically see as we progress into the high summer season, so for now the only place we can find examples is high fashion boutique LN-CC:

Men's Sleeveless Blazers Available To Purchase Now

Final Word

The sleeveless blazers and jackets trend is certainly one that has polarised opinion, and I cannot see it going down well with the FashionBeans readership, who are renowned for their classic and timeless style.

But what do you guys out there think? Is this the epitome of a flash in the pan trend that won’t take off at all, or can you see it steadily gaining momentum next season?

As always, we want to hear your thoughts and opinions…