2015, some say, was the year that put a spanner in the works of fashion. But while womenswear may be reeling from Raf Simons’ departure at Dior and Lanvin ousting Alber Elbaz, menswear is, by all accounts, crushing it.
Not only was there the launch of a menswear-dedicated fashion week in New York, but Yeezy went on sale in October and lauded style icons Derek Zoolander and Hansel graced the Valentino AW15 runway. Which, put together, is almost as good as scoring a bin bag jumpsuit at a Derelicte sample sale.
But that’s not to say the past twelve months weren’t without their awkward moments: Antonio Banderas enrolling at CSM, for example, or Lewis Hamilton at the Met Gala. So, to make sense of it all, we charted the year the best way we know how: looking at the trends that made it.
Here are the ones that killed it, and the ones we want to see killed off.
Killed It: Tonal Looks
Although we’d dissuade you from dousing yourself in it, Lynx was onto something with its ‘Bring the Quiet’ campaign unveiled earlier this year. In a world where greater and greater chunks of our time are devoured by ceaselessly tapping smartphone screens and searching for the optimal work-life balance, ways of making things simpler are always welcome.
Cue head-to-toe tonal looks, the trend – incubated on the runways of Dolce & Gabbana and Lanvin – that told us it was cool to dress in shades of just one colour. Providing, of course, you changed up your textures.
You can scrap that colour wheel.
Get The Look
- Reigning Champ Loopback Cotton-jersey Coach Jacket
- Berluti Unstructured Cashmere Overcoat
- Reiss Sonnie Wool-rich Peacoat Grey
- Adidas Neoprene Crew Sweat
- Gant Rugger Lambswool Crew Knit
- Saturdays Jeremiah Cpo Overshirt
- Uniqlo Men Supima Cotton Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-shirt
- M&s Collection Super Slim Fit Forward Point Collar Stretch Shirt
- Uniqlo Men Extra Fine Merino Polo Neck Sweater
- Rag & Bone Skinny-fit Tapered Fit 1 Distressed Stretch-denim Jeans
- Paul Smith London Soho Slim-fit Stretch-cotton Twill Trousers
- Reiss Medway Classic Twill Chinos Grey
Killed It: Military Green
This particular shade of green has done such wonders for menswear that we like to think of it as the Audie L. Murphy of military-inspired trends.
Inherently masculine and versatile to boot, military green was deployed across everything from shirts and shearling jackets to trousers and tailoring this year, making us look every inch the field marshal we like to think we are.
Get The Look
- Ted Baker Ossain Herringbone Wool-blend Peacoat
- River Island Khaki Green Shirt Jacket
- Topman Bellfield Khaki Jacket
- Burton Montague Burton Forest Wool Blazer
- Neil Barrett Wool Rollneck Sweater
- Reiss Bless Crew Neck T-shirt Green
- Acne Studios Ace Skinny-fit Cotton-blend Corduroy Trousers
- Nn.07 Marco Slim-fit Cotton-twill Chinos
- Topman Selected Homme Green Trousers
- Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Melton-wool Baseball Cap
- Asos Backpack In Khaki Faux Suede
- Givenchy Wool And Silk-blend Tie
Killed It: Athleisure
Great trend, terrible name. Yes, ‘athleisure’ may be one of the most awkward portmanteaus ever conceived but, as a trend, it’s the loopback cotton-smooth transition from casual to smart we’d all been waiting so long for.
Partly due to an industry-wide 1990s revival, and partly due to us wearing sportswear outside the four walls of a gym, athleisure has elevated casualwear classics to the forefront of cutting-edge style. Which isn’t, by the way, licence to wear a Lonsdale sweat suit to your local.
Get The Look
- Fred Perry Texture Mix Track Jacket
- Nike Tech Fleece Varsity Jacket 1mm
- Nikelab Tech Crew
- Nike Cotton-blend Tech Fleece Sweatshirt
- Topman Grey Peached Classic Fit Hoodie
- Acne Studios Johna Cotton-blend Jersey Hoodie
- Reiss 1971 Blinder Drawstring Joggers Grey
- Nike Slim-fit Cotton-blend Tech-fleece Sweatpants
- Y-3 Classic Logo Sweat Pant
- Reebok Furylite Black Trainers
- Adidas Originals Superstar 80s Primeknit Trainers
- Nike Running Free 5.0 Mesh Sneakers
Killed It: Denim-On-Denim
After years spent flouncing around almost exclusively in skinny suits and silk scarves, 2015 was the year menswear went back to basics. And denim – fashion’s century-old workhorse – lead the charge, with designers like Miuccia Prada and Tom Ford turning their attention from eveningwear to raw denim.
Trucker vests over denim shirts, chambray button-downs teamed with black skinnies, and even a few carefully styled Canadian tuxedoes; safe to say we’re all over it like an indigo rash.
Get The Look
- Allsaints Watzzman Denim Jacket
- Replay Denim Shirt Bleach Wash Western
- Asos Denim Overshirt With Cord Collar In Long Sleeve
- J.crew Denim Jacket
- Freemans Sporting Club Indigo-dyed Dobby Denim Chore Jacket
- A.p.c. Washed-denim Short-sleeved Shirt
- Paul Smith Denim Shirt
- River Island Dark Blue Denim T-shirt
- River Island Navy Denim Mac Coat
- Acne Studios Ace Carter Jean
- Topman Levis Black Slim Fit Jeans
- Uniqlo Men Slim Fit Selvedge Jeans
Killed It: Florals
In the space of just a few seasons, florals – given a generous measure of Givenchy-branded Miracle-Gro – have grown to embed themselves in the very fabric of contemporary menswear.
This year, however, 2014’s fluoro-shaded florals – favoured by the likes of Joey Essex – gave way to less showy, muted takes that lent shirts, trousers and even bomber jackets a dark romance.
Get The Look
- Vito Jersey Blazer With Floral Print In Slim Fit
- Allsaints Transverse Shirt
- Club Monaco Button-down Collar Palm-print Cotton Shirt
- Ted Baker Blenny Floral Shirt
- Reiss 1971 Strelitizia Slim Printed Shirt White
- River Island Navy Floral Print Slim Shirt
- Versus Floral Print Shirt
- Ami All Over Floral Tee
- J.crew Printed Cotton Shirt
- Ted Baker Flowton Two-tone Floral Silk Tie
- Asos Pocket Square In Wool Mix With Floral Print
- Duchamp Summer Floral Socks
Kill Off: Loud Hawaiian Shirts
We wonder if, when Miuccia Prada had the brainwave to reinterpret the Hawaiian shirt for her spring/summer 2014 show, she’d spared a moment to consider the florid sh*tstorm she was about to unleash over the next year.
Her Hawaiian shirts were, admittedly, an acquired taste, but still artful, smartly styled and also, well, you know, Prada. The onslaught of garish Magnum, P.I. prints that followed, however, was not. Those were ugly. Please get rid of them.
Kill Off: Big Beards
Speaking of getting rid, it’s high time you showed full-on facial hair the door. While widespread claims that we’d reached ‘peak beard’ earlier this year may have been a hair premature, there’s no doubt that 2015 was the year we finally reached boiling point with big beards.
They’re unwieldy, rarely kempt, and make you look like a freak show feature attraction when you’re chowing down. So book yourself into the barber’s chair come January and swap for a cleaner, more contemporary shorter beard or stubble. Unless of course you actually make a living out of looking like a Victorian novelist.
Kill Off: Socks With Sliders
Nope. Still not OK. And it won’t ever be, unless your real name is Calvin and you’re partial to chronic.
Even then, you could do yourself a favour by passing on this, a trend that makes you look like the German tourist that still just doesn’t get it.
Kill Off: The Star Wars Onslaught
Before you start pelting us with a turbolaser cannon, know that we’re just as excited about all of this as you are. We’re just not so excited at the prospect of adding a C3P0-inspired snapback to our wardrobe or wheeling a suitcase in the shape of Kylo Ren’s face around Heathrow.
Cult London designer Bobby Abley’s entire Star Wars-inspired SS16 collection, on the other hand, with bated breath we await.
Kill Off: (Not So) Wearable Tech
Despite the tumbleweed response to the Apple Watch in April this year, 2015 has seen wearable tech advance light-years (hello, TAG Heuer Connected). Some, nay, a lot of it is still sorely lacking in the looks department though.
Among the cringeworthy contingent is 3RDi, the camera-enabled headband (below) that makes Google Glass look impossibly understated, and the peculiarly titled Belty Good Vibes, which – in addition to giving you a lol every time you say its name out loud – recommends breathing exercises to decrease stress levels, vibrates when you’ve been sitting for too long and conveniently expands when you’re stuffing your face.
It’s also made from French leather, which, unfortunately doesn’t come even close to making up for how ridiculous you will look when wearing it.
And so we close another chapter in style. But what were the undoubted highlights and unfortunate moments for you this year? And what do you think 2016 is set to bring for menswear?
Give us your predictions below.