Get Ahead Of The Game

There was a time when London menswear was little more than a cluster of low-key gatherings, showing a handful of struggling designers’ toiled-over collections to a crowd of press and buyers who, though interested, saw attending these shows as little more than a Friday afternoon job – it’s menswear, right, how much can it really change?

A lot as it happens. And though several brands and designers built on autumn/winter 2014 and burgeoning spring/summer 2015 trends at last week’s London Collections: Men (LC:M), there was plenty more innovation to feast your eyes on for autumn/winter 2015.

Now in its third year, LC:M recently expanded to a four-day schedule for the first time, jam-packed with runway shows, intimate presentations, celebrity-filled dinners and plenty of parties – because it’s not just all work and no play.

Over fifty shows, one too many cocktails, and several Paracetamol later, we look back at the collections and unpick the key trends you can start getting on board with now…

Key Fabric: Shearling

Likely fresh in most of our minds given its popularity for AW14, shearling is set for an even more remarkable return come AW15. Topman Design got the ball rolling at its distinctly 1970s-flavoured show with a statement shearling coat, complete with cuff and trim details.

Later in the day, American brand Coach presented its first foray into ready-to-wear menswear, offering up a range of shearling outerwear in onyx, beige and dark mossy green, each brilliantly executed by Yorkshire-born, New York-based Creative Director Stuart Vevers.

Elsewhere, at Tom Ford’s 1960s-inflected presentation, shearling cropped up again, this time in the shape of a coat, parka and two cropped jackets – the perfect daytime staples to complement Ford’s psychedelic evening wear.

British brands followed suit; Burberry Prorsum proffered some ornate, patterned options while at Margaret Howell, there was a double-breasted shearling cropped coat that was wearable but not without its subtle, eye-catching details. Over at Hackett, Creative Director Jeremy Hackett unveiled two smarter takes on the trend, which came in the form of a shearling gilet and expertly cut double-breasted jacket.

It was James Long, though, who took this 1970s classic, gutted it, and gave it an all-new lease of life. There was a belted double-breasted shearling coat in black, as well as several denim and leather shearing styles, which epitomised Long’s classic with a twist philosophy.

Runway Images

Men's Shearling Jackets and Coats On The AW15 Runways at London Collections: Men

BelstaffBurberry ProrsumCoachHackettJ.W. AndersonJames LongTom FordMargaret HowellTopman Design
Wear It Now: Lookbook Inspiration

With shearling a key trend for both AW14 and AW15, there has never been a better time to invest in shearling outerwear. A classic shearling collared bomber would be ideal for the remainder of winter and transition into spring, ensuring you will get good wear out of it for many more months to come.

Try complementing shearling outerwear with other rugged workerwear pieces such as jeans or flannel shirts, or play on the fabric’s luxe feel by dressing up your jacket with a pair of sharply cut trousers and a roll neck:

Men's Shearling Jackets and Coats Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

topman christmas 2014mango man winter 2014house of fraser aw14river island aw13ti for men aw14reiss aw13hugo boss sportswear aw14river island christmas 2013el burgues aw13louis vuitton pre aw14David Naman aw14gieves & hawkes aw14
Current Pieces
  • He By Mango Faux Shearling Applique JacketHe By Mango Faux Shearling Applique Jacket
  • He By Mango Aviator Bomber JacketHe By Mango Aviator Bomber Jacket
  • Asos Biker Jacket In Faux ShearlingAsos Biker Jacket In Faux Shearling
  • Allsaints Regent Pea CoatAllsaints Regent Pea Coat
  • River Island Red Shearling Collar JacketRiver Island Red Shearling Collar Jacket
  • He By Mango Faux-shearling Hood Waterproof ParkaHe By Mango Faux-shearling Hood Waterproof Parka
  • John Lewis & Co. Made In England Removable Shearling Collar Peacoat NavyJohn Lewis & Co. Made In England Removable Shearling Collar Peacoat Navy
  • Gieves & Hawkes Shearling-collar Wool Pea Coat 210035Gieves & Hawkes Shearling-collar Wool Pea Coat 210035
  • J.crew Faux Shearling-trimmed Wool-felt JacketJ.crew Faux Shearling-trimmed Wool-felt Jacket
Key Print: Checks

If head-to-toe colour has been a trend to master for the past few seasons, then prepare yourself to take on all-over checks for autumn/winter 2015.

At Topman Design, Design Director Gordon Richardson showed slim tartan suits in a grunge-inspired palette of red, mustard and grey, while Tom Ford served up a slice of swinging 1960s era London with sharp, mod-inspired micro check tailoring.

Tapping a slightly seedier source for inspiration, Dunhill’s John Ray looked to London’s Soho in the sixties to create his drably luxurious layered check looks. There was a wide-collared check shirt underneath a cropped mac in a contrasting, larger check, as well as a charcoal check overcoat.

Meanwhile, at Shaun Samson, Woolrich plaids dominated the up-and-coming designer’s West Coast-inspired, early 1990s grungy aesthetic.

Runway Images

Men's Checked Pieces On The AW15 Runways at London Collections: Men

DuchampDunhillHackettHardy Amieshentsch manShaun Samsontiger of swedentom fordtopman design
Wear It Now: Lookbook Inspiration

The easiest way to work checks into your day-to-day looks is via tailoring. Whether it’s a razor sharp blazer, pair of trousers or full suit, checks will add interest and texture to your formal wear collection.

The great thing about this trend is you can make as much or as little of a statement as you feel comfortable with. Muted Prince of Wales checks in dark palettes make a versatile addition to a professional nine-to-five wardrobe, while bold coloured tartans will quickly bring your off-duty attire to life:

Men's Checked Clothing Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

gieves & hawkes aw14club monaco winter 2014el burgue aw14scapa ss15luigi bianchi mantova aw14brooks brothers aw14tomorrowland aw14suitsupply aw14charles tyrwhitt 2014river island aw14luigi bianchi mantova aw14ravazzolo aw14
Current Pieces
  • Guide Wool Herringbone Check Blazer In Slim FitGuide Wool Herringbone Check Blazer In Slim Fit
  • Topman Made In England Grey Check Heritage Fit Suit JacketTopman Made In England Grey Check Heritage Fit Suit Jacket
  • Selected Tartan Suit TrousersSelected Tartan Suit Trousers
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Check Wool-blend BlazerHe By Mango Slim-fit Check Wool-blend Blazer
  • Selected Check Suit Jacket In Skinny FitSelected Check Suit Jacket In Skinny Fit
  • Kingsman Brown Single-breasted Brushed-wool Checked BlazerKingsman Brown Single-breasted Brushed-wool Checked Blazer
  • Beams Plus Checked Cotton TrousersBeams Plus Checked Cotton Trousers
  • Ben Sherman Yellow Check Wool Sartorial Car CoatBen Sherman Yellow Check Wool Sartorial Car Coat
  • Ben Sherman Blackwatch Check PeacoatBen Sherman Blackwatch Check Peacoat
  • Ted Baker Sloany Deluxe Check Suit JacketTed Baker Sloany Deluxe Check Suit Jacket
  • Ted Baker Luboc Large Scale Check CoatTed Baker Luboc Large Scale Check Coat
  • Ted Baker Bingtro Debonair Check TrousersTed Baker Bingtro Debonair Check Trousers
Key Colour: Pink

And we don’t just mean a salmon pink button-down shirt. Designers were all about hot, shocking, in your face pink for autumn/winter 2015 and, frankly, not since before the birth of Barbie has the colour ever looked so butch.

Kooky knitwear label Sibling burst onto this season’s schedule with a predominantly pink collection that was raucous, riotous and flew right in the face of what we might usually consider masculine and wearable. Gym-buff models sported pink short suits, cardigans and blazers which, when worn together, were too much – but if worn separately against neutral pieces, they could work really well.

Father and son duo Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford also put their own spin on manning-up pink. Their collection, inspired by outsiders and tearaways, featured an immaculately tailored, angular and all-over pink overcoat that was tough as nails.

At Lou Dalton, there was a softer, more modest rendition of the trend in the form of a pale coral jumper, printed scarf, coat and trousers – options for those looking to dip their toes in the water, rather than dive in head first. Likewise, Dunhill, Tiger Of Sweden and Burberry offered up subtle pink accessories and easy to wear staples that would slot seamlessly into any modern wardrobe.

Runway Images

Men's Pink Pieces On The AW15 Runways at London Collections: Men

burberry prorsumCasely Hayforddunhilllou daltonsiblingtiger of sweden
Wear It Now: Lookbook Inspiration

Want to dip your toe in the trend? A hot pink tie would look great set against your timeless navy suit and light blue shirt combination (see below).

Otherwise, why not consider adding a pink lightweight merino knit jumper to your collection? With the hue set to be a major colour trend for spring/summer 2015 too, this piece would work just as well as a standalone top layer during the warmer months as it would slotted between your shirt and blazer in winter.

Remember, pink comes in a variety of shades, so opt for the tone you are most comfortable with and build up from there:

Men's Pink Clothing Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

mango man aw13m&s ss14tesco f&f 2013brooks brothers ss14el burgues ss13vistula 2014h&m spring 2015m&s ss13john lewis aw14david naman aw13m&s ss14new look aw14
Current Pieces
  • Topman Washed Bright Pink Twill Long Sleeve ShirtTopman Washed Bright Pink Twill Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Levis Vintage 519 Bedford Jeans In Deco RoseLevis Vintage 519 Bedford Jeans In Deco Rose
  • Jack Wills Barberry Slim ChinoJack Wills Barberry Slim Chino
  • Reiss Garbo Silk Dot Pocket Square Dusty PinkReiss Garbo Silk Dot Pocket Square Dusty Pink
  • Reiss Enigma Merino V-neck Jumper Soft PinkReiss Enigma Merino V-neck Jumper Soft Pink
  • Hentsch Man Washed Cotton-jersey SweaterHentsch Man Washed Cotton-jersey Sweater
  • Gant Colour Block Oxford Shirt Pastel PinkGant Colour Block Oxford Shirt Pastel Pink
  • River Island Pink Check Suit JacketRiver Island Pink Check Suit Jacket
  • John Smedley Thymus Scarf – Vibrant PinkJohn Smedley Thymus Scarf - Vibrant Pink
  • Uniqlo Men Cotton Cashmere V-neck CardiganUniqlo Men Cotton Cashmere V-neck Cardigan
  • Uniqlo Men Cotton Cashmere Crew Neck SweaterUniqlo Men Cotton Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater
  • Jigsaw Fine Cotton Twill Zip JacketJigsaw Fine Cotton Twill Zip Jacket
Key Piece: Wide-Legged/Relaxed Trousers

While we wouldn’t brand it entirely wearable, Rory Parnell-Mooney’s collection at MAN laid the foundations for one of autumn/winter 2015’s biggest trends: wide-legged trousers. Taking inspiration from the ascetic wardrobes of monks, as well as punk aesthetics, Parnell-Mooney’s trousers were cut dramatically large in saturated navy and black.

We’ve been hearing about a move towards generously cut tailoring for a while now with nothing much in the way of change from most brands, but it seems AW15 is the season designers intend this trend to stick.

At E. Tautz, Patrick Grant’s ode to the wardrobe of mid-century Northern England’s working class was full of billowing woollen trousers in several shades of grey; some cut straight with a generous break, others slightly neater and cuffed.

It was at Joseph, though, that wide-legged trousers looked their most wearable. Teamed with loose, yet still form-flattering crew neck jumpers, thick ribbed cardigans and double-breasted suit jackets, these broad trouser styles were the definition of classic meets contemporary.

Runway Images

Men's Wide-Legged/Relaxed Trousers On The AW15 Runways at London Collections: Men

Casely HayfordChristopher RaeburndunhillE. Tautzoliver spencerRory Parnell-MooneyJosephJosephJoseph
Wear It Now: Lookbook Inspiration

The key here is to build up to wide-legged trousers, rather than dive straight in with a billowing pair from E. Tautz. Opting for a relaxed- or straight-leg instead of traditional slim-cut styles is a good place to start.

When it comes to styling, just bear in mind your overall silhouette – you don’t want the contrast between your top and bottom half to jar, so steer clear of skin-tight tops or shirts. Instead, look to create balance with thicker gauge knits, fuller-cut tailoring and heavyweight fabrics:

Men's Wide-Legged/Relaxed Trousers Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

scotch & soda AMSTERDAMS BLAUW FALL 2014h&m winter 2011h&m winter 2011bally aw14john lewis aw14gieves & hawkes aw13Mauro Grifoni  aw14berluit aw12allsaints ss14ami aw14
Current Pieces
  • Topman Mid Grey Slim Suit TrousersTopman Mid Grey Slim Suit Trousers
  • Topman Black Straight Leg Smart TrousersTopman Black Straight Leg Smart Trousers
  • Esprit Straight Fit Jeans In Grey WashEsprit Straight Fit Jeans In Grey Wash
  • Gap 1969 Straight Fit Jeans Japanese SelvedgeGap 1969 Straight Fit Jeans Japanese Selvedge
  • Diesel Jeans Larkee Relaxed Fit 607a Stretch Dark WashDiesel Jeans Larkee Relaxed Fit 607a Stretch Dark Wash
  • Gap Herringbone Pant Straight FitGap Herringbone Pant Straight Fit
  • Austin Reed Classic Fit Stone Cotton ChinosAustin Reed Classic Fit Stone Cotton Chinos
  • Folk Straight-leg Cotton TrousersFolk Straight-leg Cotton Trousers
  • Pure Cotton Slim Fit Corduroy Trousers With StormwearPure Cotton Slim Fit Corduroy Trousers With Stormwear
Key Look: Head-To-Toe Neutrals

Proclaiming that black, grey and white are going to be big for the colder, darker months isn’t exactly a surprise. But for autumn/winter 2015, many designers at LC:M pushed neutral head-to-toe looks, which were brought to life via rich textures.

At Alexander McQueen, black and grey ensembles were broken up with contrasting materials – for instance, a knit jumper and tailored trousers, or leather details on an otherwise all-black wool outfit.

Elsewhere, cult favourite Cottweiler, the brainchild of designers Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell, offered up their signature technical sportswear pieces in luxurious fabrics. All-white, Teflon-coated cotton looks may not seem entirely practical but they epitomised sleek, clean design and could be considered the evolution of spring/summer 2014’s big white-on-white trend.

At Joseph, menswear designer Mark Thomas advocated tonal dressing, presenting several all-grey tailoring looks that looked surprisingly multi-dimensional due to the use of different shades of grey for each constituent part: pale grey for the loose-cut suit and a richer, slate grey for the shirt underneath.

Runway Images

Men's Head To Toe Neutral Looks On The AW15 Runways at London Collections: Men

Alexander McQueenaquascutumbelstaffCottweilerdunhillGieves & Hawkeshardy amiesjosephPringle of Scotland
Wear It Now: Lookbook Inspiration

With any tonal outfit, it’s important to vary the tone and texture of each item to provide clear definition.

As the majority of men will already own a wide variety of neutral pieces, this really is a trend that just requires you to experiment with what you already have, while making a few select additions to your wardrobe:

Men's Head To Toe Neutrals and Tonal Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

mango man fall 2014mango man winter 2014m&s aw14gant rugger aw14h&m aw14h&m spring 2015reiss aw14loewe aw13Luigi Bianchi Mantova aw13reiss aw13drykorn aw14Calliope aw14
Current Pieces
  • He By Mango Turtle Neck Wool-blend SweaterHe By Mango Turtle Neck Wool-blend Sweater
  • Allsaints Eren Crew JumperAllsaints Eren Crew Jumper
  • Topman Grey Wool Blend Skinny Fit BlazerTopman Grey Wool Blend Skinny Fit Blazer
  • He By Mango Unstructured Jersey BlazerHe By Mango Unstructured Jersey Blazer
  • Selected Herringbone OvercoatSelected Herringbone Overcoat
  • He By Mango Contrast Wool-blend Duffle CoatHe By Mango Contrast Wool-blend Duffle Coat
  • Reiss Inca Classic Textured Shirt WhiteReiss Inca Classic Textured Shirt White
  • Made In Italy Luxury Italian Wool TrousersMade In Italy Luxury Italian Wool Trousers
  • Reiss Caversham Shawl Collar Jumper OatmealReiss Caversham Shawl Collar Jumper Oatmeal
  • J.crew Bowery Slim-fit Tweed TrousersJ.crew Bowery Slim-fit Tweed Trousers
  • Club Monaco Donegal Wool SweaterClub Monaco Donegal Wool Sweater
  • A.p.c. Wool-blend Flannel OvershirtA.p.c. Wool-blend Flannel Overshirt
Final Word

So, will you be incorporating any of these five trends for autumn/winter 2015? Were there any other trends you spotted this season at LC:M that you’re keen to try out?

Be sure to let us know in the comments section below…