Orange Is The New Black

As we move into the latter part of summer, the thought of packing our brighter clothes away and pulling our dark chunky knitwear out from storage is enough to give any man the blues. But if London Collections: Men (LC:M) was anything to go by earlier this year, it won’t be all doom and gloom this autumn.

Orange is set to be one of AW14’s biggest colour trends, which definitely gets the thumbs up from us. This zesty hue will cheer anyone up on a grey day in December, especially when combined with deeper shades such as navy. We’re particularly looking forward to tucking a thick amber coloured scarf into our new charcoal double-breasted overcoat.

But that’s not to say we can’t make a head start on the trend now. Here’s how to work citric colours into your look as you make the transition into autumn, proving orange really is the new black…

On The AW14 Runways

From dazzling acidic shades to subtle apricot hues, orange could be seen across the runways at the global fashion weeks.

Here in London, Richard Nicoll sent an entirely wearable pale orange shirt down the catwalk, which would pair well with a sharply tailored light blue suit – one of our top five picks for summer 2014.

At the other end of the scale, a far brighter and bolder approach to the trend was taken at Topman Design, where block-colour styling, vivid knits and orange outerwear took centre stage.

Definitely not for the faint-hearted, Topman’s take on autumn’s hottest hue will appeal to the more confident among us. But don’t write off statement outerwear just yet – a burnt orange overcoat or duffle anchored with a neutral suit and shirt is something even the most reserved gent can successfully pull off, especially as your coat will be removed once you reach the office.

Elsewhere, Christopher Kane and Tom Ford included chunky orange roll necks within their collections; DSquared2 adopted a similar approach to Topman with a range of bright orange bombers; and Etro took the trend one step further with an intricately patterned dark orange suit:

Orange On The SS15 Menswear Runways

Burberry ProrsumChristopher KaneDsquared2Topman DesignTom FordEtro
Looking Ahead: SS15 Runways

Looking ahead, orange is set to be even bigger news this time next year. Nearly every shade you can think of was applied to a plethora of garments at the SS15 collection previews, with our favourites being the lightweight bombers on show at Christopher Raeburn, Canali and Hermes.

A jacket like this would be ideal for making an effortless statement in late summer and early autumn, and would look great teamed with neutral legwear such as grey chinos or indigo jeans.

Other key pieces included tailoring at Burberry; wardrobe staples at Carven and DSquared2; and shorts (whether swim or tailored) at Dunhill and Calvin Klein:

Orange On The SS15 Menswear Runways

Burberry ProrsumCalvin Klein CollectionCanaliCarvenChristopher RaeburnDsquared2HermesDunhillTopman Design
How To Wear

Now we’ve seen how orange was styled on the AW14/SS15 high fashion runways, let’s bring things back down to the high street and focus our attention on the remainder of the summer season.

To do this, we’re going to break down the key pieces you can add to your wardrobe now, along with inspiration on how to pull them off.

Transitional Outerwear

First stop, your transitional jacket. An absolute staple that every man needs in his wardrobe, a cropped piece of outerwear will see you through both the autumn and spring months in style and comfort.

An unlined parka or thigh-length mac/trench is perfect for those late summer showers, as well as being a stylish yet practical choice for festival season. Trying teaming yours with neutral surrounding pieces – think grey or navy legwear and a classic white tee/polo – to let your jacket take centre stage.

Alternatively, an orange bomber or varsity jacket will make an awe-inducing addition to your transeasonal collection. Throw either over a light blue chambray shirt and finish with slim-fit black jeans to nail SS15’s future double denim trend and AW14’s major colour trend in a single look.

Finally, with coloured blazers and sports coats trending this year, why not consider adding an orange one to your wardrobe? A legitimate alternative to increasingly popular burgundy jackets, a burnt orange version would not only look great in the last of the summer sun, but also complement the rich earthy shades and outdoors-inspired pieces that are prominent every autumn/winter.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Orange Shirts, T-Shirts, Polo Shirts and Knitwear Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

Gant Rugger SS13Belstaff SS14Drykorn AW12ASOS SS14ASOS SS14Selected AW13
Street Style Inspiration

Here’s how some of the stylish gents on the street have been wearing their own orange outerwear:

Men's Orange Shirts, T-Shirts, Polo Shirts and Knitwear Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

Key Pieces
  • Jack Wills Farnaby Wax JacketJack Wills Farnaby Wax Jacket
  • Rains Long JacketRains Long Jacket
  • The North Face Stratos JacketThe North Face Stratos Jacket
  • Patagonia Torrentshell Plus JacketPatagonia Torrentshell Plus Jacket
  • Topman Rains Orange Long Waterproof JacketTopman Rains Orange Long Waterproof Jacket
  • Brixton clyde Coach JacketBrixton clyde Coach Jacket
  • D Squared Jailbreak JacketD Squared Jailbreak Jacket
  • Ben Sherman Shawl Collar Harrington JacketBen Sherman Shawl Collar Harrington Jacket
  • Victorinox Mens Clipper Ii JacketVictorinox Mens Clipper Ii Jacket
Wardrobe Basics

From simple tees to sporty polos, basics offer a great opportunity to channel orange tones throughout your wardrobe. Team a coral t-shirt with a pair of slim-fit charcoal jeans to put the focus firmly on your upper half, while simultaneously neutralising the effect of the colour with a more serious shade.

As temperatures begin to dip, you’ll more than likely want to reach for a long-sleeved orange top. One of our high summer alternatives, combine a Henley with skinny indigo jeans and beaten-up Converse for a laid-back weekend ensemble. Alternatively, try wearing it under a neutral grey sports coat with navy chinos for a more refined look with bags of character.

An orange polo shirt is another summer essential that will look great worn with slim-fitting tailored trousers. Keep your collar buttoned-up to the top for a modish preppy take that never goes out of style.

If you fancy trying out a slightly smarter approach to the trend, why not opt for a shirt in an orangey hue? A gingham or chambray version in a shade such as apricot or peach will really pop when set against a tailored slate-grey suit.

Go tie-less and button up your orange shirt to nail two trends in one. Alternatively, wear your collar open, lose the suit jacket and roll up your trouser cuffs for those warm Indian summer afternoons.

If you’d rather give this trend a go at the weekend, consider a short-sleeved orange shirt and navy tailored shorts combination. Perfect for holidaying, keep it sophisticated by slipping on some finely crafted suede loafers in stone.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Orange Shirts, T-Shirts, Polo Shirts and Knitwear Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

Drykorn SS14Reiss AW13Reiss AW14Massimo Dutti Esquestrian AW14Drykorn SS14Perry Ellis SS14J.Crew SS14Ovadia & Sons SS14H&M SS13Jigsaw SS14Loewe SS13Jigsaw SS14
Key Pieces
  • Worland Aloha Pocket Tee In OrangeWorland Aloha Pocket Tee In Orange
  • Jack Wills T-shirt With Pocket In Vintage JerseyJack Wills T-shirt With Pocket In Vintage Jersey
  • Reiss Sandy Classic Stripe T-shirtReiss Sandy Classic Stripe T-shirt
  • New Look Polo Shirt In Acid WashNew Look Polo Shirt In Acid Wash
  • Fred Perry Tournament Polo Shirt – HollandFred Perry Tournament Polo Shirt - Holland
  • He By Mango Contrast Trim Polo ShirtHe By Mango Contrast Trim Polo Shirt
  • Ben Sherman Plain Chambray Long Sleeve ShirtBen Sherman Plain Chambray Long Sleeve Shirt
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Orange Micro Check ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Orange Micro Check Shirt
  • J. Crew Lightweight Garment-dyed ShirtJ. Crew Lightweight Garment-dyed Shirt
  • Ben Sherman Stripe Crew Neck SweaterBen Sherman Stripe Crew Neck Sweater
  • He By Mango Raw Edge Cotton SweaterHe By Mango Raw Edge Cotton Sweater
  • Ted Baker Iymnot Crew Neck SweaterTed Baker Iymnot Crew Neck Sweater
Legwear

Orange legwear – whether in the form of shorts, chinos or trousers – is designed to make a statement. It needs to be worn with rock solid confidence, though, because it’s guaranteed to garner attention.

Of course, it’s imperative that you anchor such a bold piece with neutral wardrobe staples; your current collection of white Oxford shirts and tees would be ideal. Team them with a slim-fit pair of shorts/trousers in an apricot or burnt orange hue to create an outfit that’s perfect for evening BBQs in the park, last minute tropical getaways or Sunday afternoon drives with your windows down as the sun sets on the season.

Tip: Black footwear looks particular great set against orange legwear.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Orange Legwear Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

L.B.M. SS13Primark SS13Banana Republic AW13Selected Homme Jeans SS13Drykorn SS13Bal SS13Bal SS13Reserved AW13Matalan SS14El Burgues AW13Scotch & Soda SS14L.B.M. AW14
Key Pieces
  • Pull&bear Chino With BeltPull&bear Chino With Belt
  • Jack Wills Chino ShortsJack Wills Chino Shorts
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Straight-fit Newport Cotton ShortsPolo Ralph Lauren Straight-fit Newport Cotton Shorts
  • Vilebrequin Moorea Mid-length Swim ShortsVilebrequin Moorea Mid-length Swim Shorts
  • River Island Orange Slim TrousersRiver Island Orange Slim Trousers
  • Jaeger Washed Casual ChinosJaeger Washed Casual Chinos
Finishing Touches

Last but never least, don’t forget those all-important accessories. If you don’t quite feel brave enough to rock orange separates, why not opt for a pair of socks in the summery hue? A flash of zesty colour will really pop against a navy suit or pair of grey chinos.

Eyewear is another way to inject the vibrant shade into your look during the transitional months, particularly with brightly coloured frames and lenses being so on-trend right now. A bold pair of orange shades will not only look super-slick, but will protect your eyes from the late summer sun.

If you want to make slightly more of a statement, consider a pair of orange trainers. Colour pop footwear is on trend this year and they will instantly inject a shot of life into any casual outfit:

  • Adidas Originals X Raf Simons Mens Orange Stan SmithAdidas Originals X Raf Simons Mens Orange Stan Smith
  • Miansai Orange Leather And Sterling Silver BraceletMiansai Orange Leather And Sterling Silver Bracelet
  • Sandqvist Enzo Canvas Backpack In OrangeSandqvist Enzo Canvas Backpack In Orange
  • Paul Smith 531 Square-frame Acetate Mirrored SunglassesPaul Smith 531 Square-frame Acetate Mirrored Sunglasses
  • London Undercover Collapsible Bamboo-handle UmbrellaLondon Undercover Collapsible Bamboo-handle Umbrella
  • Falke Airport Wool And Cotton-blend SocksFalke Airport Wool And Cotton-blend Socks
  • He By Mango Braided Cotton BeltHe By Mango Braided Cotton Belt
  • J. Crew Solid Watch StrapJ. Crew Solid Watch Strap
  • Uniform Wares 104 Series WatchwatchUniform Wares 104 Series Watchwatch
Final Word

These days, colour is such an important part of a man’s attire. It allows us to explore new ground, express our personality and convey whatever mood we’re feeling. Yes, summer’s not far from being over, but that doesn’t mean warm-weather shades have to be stored away for another year.

Be bold and daring as you step from summer into autumn and beyond.

So what are your thoughts on the citric-coloured trend? Will you be trying it out this AW14, or taking our advice and getting in on the action earlier?

Let us know in the comment section below…