Anti-Fit, Anti-Style?

Great fit has long been – and forever will be – the key to impeccable style. If you’ve learnt anything from reading FashionBeans over the years, this should be it.

Slim and tailored has become the default fit adopted by the menswear industry in recent years. Designers have made many ill-fated attempts to push, reintroduce and re-establish a slightly fuller cut, but to no avail (as yet anyway).

The sophisticated, continental aesthetic that has defined men’s style of late, particularly in the realm of #menswear, marries well with this streamlined ideal. Our collective penchant for blazers and double-monks has so far kept the cruel cycle of fashion away, helping cement a more refined and elegant approach to style.

However, is AW14 the season where this all changes? Sports luxe has dominated runway shows and brand lookbooks since the turn of the year and the appetite for track pants and trainers is quickly turning into more of a hunger. It seems, finally, menswear’s clean-cut image is under threat.

This year we’ve noticed a gradual move towards trends that are in many ways the complete antithesis of the clean and fitted silhouette that we’ve all religiously embraced. Oversized and longline garments are having a moment, in an effort to challenge the style status quo and make a case for the anti-fit. And so far, it’s proving quite convincing…

Longline Tops & Tees

Earlier this year we recommended the oversized tee as a daring piece worth trying out to freshen things up for spring/summer.

This mini-trend has evolved for AW14: not only has the look progressed to shirts and tops, there’s also more emphasis on extra length rather than general oversizing. It seems size does matter after all.

Buying/Styling Guidelines

Creating an immediately striking, statement look, longline or ‘tall’ tops, at first, appear difficult to wear and pull off – something that really isn’t the case if you follow a few basic styling guidelines:

  • This is a strictly casual look. Don’t try to incorporate long length tees or shirts into a formal or smart-casual ensemble. Classic cuts should be preferred when dressing up, as opposed to this more contemporary, fashion-forward silhouette. Sometimes it really is better to ignore fashion altogether and side with timeless style.
  • Don’t oversize everything. Long length and oversized tops work best when paired with slim or skinny legwear to create a contrast. Oversizing every part of your outfit puts you on a fast track back to the 1990s, and not in a good way.
  • Simplicity is key. A side zip or scoop neck should be the only form of detailing that appears on your tall tee. Skip the baroque patterns and extravagant typography that will undoubtedly be applied to many items in an effort to appear ‘street’. Stick to plain colours and let the length make the statement – there’s no need to overcomplicate things.
  • Wear with confidence. We wax lyrical about how crucial confidence is to good style, but this applies double when we’re talking about statement pieces – and longline clothing is definitely a statement. If you’re going to second guess your wardrobe choice or be constantly pulling the hemline up so that the top doesn’t look as long, then this absolutely isn’t a trend for you.
  • Allsaints Pitt Long Sleeved Crew TshirtAllsaints Pitt Long Sleeved Crew Tshirt
  • Topman Charcoal Zip Hem Long Line SweatshirtTopman Charcoal Zip Hem Long Line Sweatshirt
  • Rick Owens Oversized Long-length Jersey T-shirtRick Owens Oversized Long-length Jersey T-shirt
  • Zanerobe Tall Tee In WhiteZanerobe Tall Tee In White
  • Asos Super Longline Long Sleeve T-shirt With Contrast Raglan SleevesAsos Super Longline Long Sleeve T-shirt With Contrast Raglan Sleeves
  • Asos Longline Polo Shirt In Jersey With Side ZipsAsos Longline Polo Shirt In Jersey With Side Zips
  • Asos Over Shirt In Longline With Baseball CollarAsos Over Shirt In Longline With Baseball Collar
  • Reclaimed Vintage Extreme Longline Checked Shirt With Grandad CollarReclaimed Vintage Extreme Longline Checked Shirt With Grandad Collar
  • Selected Long Line Shirt With Varsity StripeSelected Long Line Shirt With Varsity Stripe
Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Oversized and Long-line Tops, Shirts and T-Shirts Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

forever21 aw14daily paper aw14pull & bear june 2014Public School ss13Public School ss13Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen aw14River Island Studio AW14asosurban outfitters east end boys aw14pull & bear aw14allsaints ss14arno de france aw14bershka october 2014
On The Streets

Long length tees aren’t going to be to everyone’s taste or style (an understatement if ever there was one). They have a defined urban appeal that sits very well alongside the sportier direction menswear design has taken, but they’re certainly never going to dethrone more conventional, classic cuts.

Think of the tall tee as a way of giving the casual side of your wardrobe a reboot and a means of freshening things up, as these gents from our street style gallery have done. Apply the above advice to anything oversized and you’re partway to conquering fashion’s latest obsession:

Men's Oversized/Long-Line Tops, Shirts and T-Shirts Street Style Images

Outfit Inspiration: Timelessness & Tall Tees

It may be the very definition of a trend piece and a through-and-through fashion item, but that doesn’t mean the longline t-shirt won’t work within a timeless capsule wardrobe.

The easiest way to style it is untucked and layered under a classic bomber jacket. Combine with tailored trousers for a considered hi-lo contrast and finish with rain-ready leather desert boots to create a statement-making casual ensemble that’s effortlessly easy to put together and pull off.

You could even throw on a sweatshirt or crew neck jumper for added warmth, if required. Just remember to keep the t-shirt hem peeking out at the bottom to give this timeless look a contemporary twist:

  • Topman Khaki Lightweight Ma1 Bomber JacketTopman Khaki Lightweight Ma1 Bomber Jacket
  • River Island White Longer Length Crew Neck T-shirtRiver Island White Longer Length Crew Neck T-shirt
  • Reiss Radford Tailored Twill Trousers NavyReiss Radford Tailored Twill Trousers Navy
  • Mark Mcnairy Pebble-grain Leather Desert BootsMark Mcnairy Pebble-grain Leather Desert Boots
Oversized Knits

Next up on our anti-fit hit list is oversized knitwear. One of our five key pieces for AW14, if there’s anything you want to be wearing when temperatures approach freezing, it’s a chunky, loose-fitting, cosy knit – and this is the season you can wear one outside of your own home.

Cardigan, roll neck, crew neck, cable knit – it doesn’t matter what style you opt for so long as it’s slightly oversized. Perfect for cold, off-duty days.

Buying Considerations

You don’t necessarily have to buy manufactured oversized versions here – simply consider taking one size above what you normally wear. Do keep in mind sleeve length though, as this is where purposely oversizing often goes wrong.

As with trousers that pool at the ankles, go too long on the arms and you’re in danger of looking sloppy as opposed to artfully dishevelled (there is a big difference).

Similarly, if you’re a shorter or larger gent this is a trend that you will need to be particularly wary of – you run the risk of swamping yourself or appearing bigger than you actually are, respectively.

  • Asos Longline Jumper With ZipsAsos Longline Jumper With Zips
  • River Island Longline Jumper In Mixed YarnRiver Island Longline Jumper In Mixed Yarn
  • Asos Longline Cardigan In Brushed TextureAsos Longline Cardigan In Brushed Texture
  • Asos Longline Cable JumperAsos Longline Cable Jumper
  • Jack & Jones Waffle Knit Jumper In Mixed YarnsJack & Jones Waffle Knit Jumper In Mixed Yarns
  • Allsaints Anjou Roll Neck JumperAllsaints Anjou Roll Neck Jumper
  • Allsaints Lennith CardiganAllsaints Lennith Cardigan
  • River Island Navy Longer Length JumperRiver Island Navy Longer Length Jumper
  • Vito Cable Knit CardiganVito Cable Knit Cardigan
Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Oversized Knitwear Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

ami ss13scotch & soda AMSTERDAMS BLAUW FALL 2014massimo dutti october 2014allsaints aw14urban outfitters east end boys aw14SAHAJA aw13massimo dutti nyc 5th avenue aw14bershka october 2014primark aw13scotch & soda AMSTERDAMS BLAUW FALL 2014
Outfit Inspiration: The Crew Neck

An oversized crew neck jumper is extremely easy to style and requires almost no thought at all. It’s really a case of going through the motions and following a similar process to what you would if it were a lighter, more conventional knit.

Layer a neutral, textured jumper over the top of a casual shirt, preferably in a rugged fabric such as denim, chambray or flannel. Combine with jeans – if you’ve decided on a shirt in a similar material then you’ll need to contrast the washes – and practical winter boots to complete this stylishly relaxed weekend look:

  • Nn.07 Elliot Herringbone Cotton-flannel ShirtNn.07 Elliot Herringbone Cotton-flannel Shirt
  • Allsaints Oskol Crew JumperAllsaints Oskol Crew Jumper
  • River Island Skinny Sid Jeans In Light WashRiver Island Skinny Sid Jeans In Light Wash
  • Ben Sherman Deon Short BootBen Sherman Deon Short Boot
Outfit Inspiration: The Cardigan

Oversize a thick, chunky cardigan and you’ll forget that winter coats ever existed. Look for the heaviest, weightiest wool you can find to really nail this aesthetic – try trawling vintage and charity shops to nab yourself a genuine bargain.

Don your cardigan-come-coat over a fitted fine-gauge roll neck for a heavily tactile look that’s both smart and comfortable. Anchor with some essential all-weather chinos and a pair of retro-inspired runners for a casual ensemble that is able to transcend from day to night.

Consider throwing a denim jacket, gilet or even a waistcoat between the knits as an opportunity to bring some additional warmth and layering to the mix:

  • Burton Navy Roll Neck JumperBurton Navy Roll Neck Jumper
  • Tomorrowland Fair Isle Knitted Shawl-collar CardiganTomorrowland Fair Isle Knitted Shawl-collar Cardigan
  • Allsaints Stove ChinosAllsaints Stove Chinos
  • Common Projects Mens Black Suede And Mesh Track SneakersCommon Projects Mens Black Suede And Mesh Track Sneakers
Looser/Oversized Outerwear

One area of the wardrobe where this notion of anti-fit has really stamped its mark is outerwear – particularly when it comes to more traditional, structured topcoats.

Spotted in collection previews from Berluti and A.P.C. to Brioni and Bally, it’s clear that longer, wider and slouchier overcoats are set to become a major trend this winter:

Men's Oversized and Raglan Shoulder Coats On AW14 Runways

apc aw14gieves and hawkes aw14bally aw14berluit aw14ami aw14brioni aw14

Where once these were the epitome of conservative, tailored style, the overcoat is really becoming a jack-of-all-trades silhouette, playing both the smart and casual side of the field extremely well.

This most recent development has seen the coat cut in a more relaxed manner. The fit has been loosened up and is now much less structured, with shoulders being dropped through the introduction of a raglan sleeve. Due to its more relaxed, rakish nature, this is definitely an item you’ll want to keep well away from the office – leave the daily grind to the more form fitting old guard.

From single- and double-breasted to belted variations, there is something for everyone on the current market, so it really comes down to personal preference.

Buying Considerations

Single-breasted takes are probably the easiest to pull off – the extra material on top of the naturally wide and imposing double-breasted cut certainly makes them more of a challenge. Throwing a belt into the mix offers a good halfway point; being able to cinch the coat in at the waist can help accentuate your physique and offers a fitted safety net if you’re approaching this trend with caution.

Once again be careful about just taking the next size up. With oversized pieces it’s a balancing act between a loose and relaxed silhouette, and the item still fitting you in the right places (sleeve length and through the sides, in particular), which isn’t easy.

The raglan sleeve certainly goes a long way to securing that slouchy aesthetic we crave, and intentionally oversized pieces are the easiest way to achieve this effect. Use our lookbook below as a visual guide to what you should be aiming for.

  • Asos Wool Overcoat In OversizeAsos Wool Overcoat In Oversize
  • Libertine-libertine Toddler Wool Mac Jacket In GraphiteLibertine-libertine Toddler Wool Mac Jacket In Graphite
  • American Apparel Long Wool CoatAmerican Apparel Long Wool Coat
  • Topman Grey Wool Blend Trench CoatTopman Grey Wool Blend Trench Coat
  • Asos Wool Overcoat In NavyAsos Wool Overcoat In Navy
  • Topman Tmd Red Long Double Breasted CoatTopman Tmd Red Long Double Breasted Coat
  • River Island Navy Design Forum Wool Pea CoatRiver Island Navy Design Forum Wool Pea Coat
  • River Island Black Smart Wool-blend Single Breasted CoatRiver Island Black Smart Wool-blend Single Breasted Coat
  • Acne Studios Charles Oversized Wool And Cashmere-blend CoatAcne Studios Charles Oversized Wool And Cashmere-blend Coat
Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Oversized and Slouchy Outerwear/Coats Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

sandro aw14crombie aw14zara aw13Hentsch Man AW14sisley aw14h&m aw14sandro aw14topman aw14customellow aw14allsaints september 2014toast aw14river island aw14
Outfit Inspiration: Sports Luxe

The oversized topcoat is a far more casual style than the slim-fitting, office-appropriate Crombie that has been your daily go-to for the last few winters.

With this in mind, a raglan-sleeved version will quickly become your default weekend wrap-around and bring a refined edge to the most laid-back ensemble.

As previously mentioned, sports luxe is currently dominating menswear and sweats are no longer loungewear reserved, so long as they’re cut slim and tapered.

Dress up your cuffed trackies with a slim-fit Oxford shirt and anchor with some simple all-white trainers. Finish the outfit with a statement drop-shouldered, oversized overcoat to blur the sportswear lines and nail the anti-fit trend.

Swap the sweats for denim if you desire a more classic look:

  • Topman Navy Drop Shoulder Wool Blend CoatTopman Navy Drop Shoulder Wool Blend Coat
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Oxford ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Oxford Shirt
  • Acne Studios Johna Cotton-blend SweatpantsAcne Studios Johna Cotton-blend Sweatpants
  • Reiss Jack Purcell Leather Jack Purcell Trainers WhiteReiss Jack Purcell Leather Jack Purcell Trainers White
Final Word

The anti-fit trend isn’t going to appeal to everyone. It’s the complete opposite to everything we’ve ever taught you, and that’s likely to put many off.

That being said, if you’re looking for a stand-out piece or a way to revive your off-duty wear this autumn/winter then this could well be it.

But what are your thoughts on the anti-fit trend – is it something you’ll be trying out this season? Or is it totally against everything you know and love about modern menswear?

Leave us a comment below with your thoughts…