Streetwear is booming. From Stüssy to Supreme, Off-White to A Bathing Ape, brands whose clothes take their cue from the sidewalks are front and centre in a fashion industry where traditional show formats are falling out of favour.
Which is all the more reason to pay as much mind to what’s going on outside show venues, as within them. Sure, what designers send down the runway merits your attention, but as long as it’s buyers, editors and A-list Instagrammers that make trends stick, then front row and street style looks are as much an indication of what we’ll be wearing next season as what’s lining the racks backstage.
To that end, we sent our steel-elbowed photographers to London, Pitti, Milan and Paris to sidestep the peacocks and pinpoint the very best of spring/summer 2018 street style. Other than the fact that, yes, Nick Wooster is sticking with the clean-shaven look (more on that later), this is everything you need to know.
Printed Short-Sleeved Shirts
Hawaiian or floral, abstract or figurative, printed shirts were staple fare this season. Most were short-sleeved and cut oversized – partly as a nod to the trend Kim Jones pioneered at Louis Vuitton a couple of years ago, and partly because who the hell in their right mind opts to wear all-over skin tight fabric in face-melting heat?
The popularity of this type of shirt isn’t surprising. Worn buttoned up with a pair of chinos, or open over a white T-shirt, a printed short-sleeved shirt is pretty much an instant outfit that’s eye-catching and mercifully low on effort. All of which means less time dressing, more time swanning around looking suave.
- Reiss Oakhart Floral Printed Shirt
- J. Crew Wallace & Barnes Short-sleeve Camp-collar Shirt In Silk-linen
- H&m Short-sleeve Shirt Regular Fit
- Aeo Printed Short Sleeve Shirt
- Tods Camp-collar Printed Cotton-voile Shirt
- Topman Blue Wave Print Casual Shirt
- River Island Navy Floral Print Revere Collar Short Sleeve
- Topman Print Shirt
- Next Black Short Sleeve Big Geo Print Shirt
Once the preserve of Eurotrash, stag parties and every dad’s holiday wardrobe, slogan and boldly branded T-shirts are no longer anathema to fashion. Thanks to Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy, design collective Vetements and a raft of cult streetwear labels, wearing your political affiliations/sense of humour/brand loyalty on your chest is not only acceptable, it’s de rigueur.
During this season’s fashion weeks, highlights included a fresh-as Louis Vuitton x Fragment style, Orlebar Brown’s cheery ‘Sun’s Out’ design and our personal favourite, Victor Cruz’ ‘Oddy Knocky’ tee – or Nadsat (otherwise known as A Clockwork Orange lingo) for ‘alone’. Cryptic? Yes. Cool? Immeasurably.
- Topman Black Not You Embroidery T-shirt
- Sacai Oddy Knocky T-shirt
- Amiri Printed Brushed Melange Jersey T-shirt
- Ami Slim-fit Cotton-jersey T-shirt
- Wood Wood Destruct Tee
- Bedwin & The Heartbreakers Rayder Los Angeles Tee
- River Island Black Unknown Future Print T-shirt
- French Connection Ca Va Slogan T-shirt
- H&m Printed T-shirt
We would say the massive number of white T-shirts, shirts, shorts and trousers we spotted over the last few weeks was down to the colour’s ability to keep you cool but, since summer is pretty much over already (at least in the UK), we’ll skip past that reason.
Instead, we’ll chalk white’s prevalence up to its ability to bring the most disparate pieces together in perfect colour harmony. And, you know, how well it shows off that caramel tan you’ve worked so hard on after hours lying on a sunb-, er, the beach. Lying on the beach.
- Alpha Industries Ma-1 Vf 59 Flight Jacket
- H&m Sweatshirt
- Topman White Denim Jacket
- He By Mango Regular-fit Cotton Blazer
- Reiss Torino Cuban-collar Shirt
- Sunspel Slim-fit Cotton-jersey T-shirt
- Campbell White Slim-fit Stretch Chinos
- Reiss Johnny Slim-fit Jeans
- Next Chino Shorts
There is every chance that, a few years from now, socks, as we know them, will be ‘vintage’. If that sounds alarmist, ridiculous even, consider that – like everything else in fashion – socks are subject to trends, and if previous sock trends included multicoloured argyle socks (mid-Noughties) and chunky marl boot socks (2010-), then today’s lean is to wear none at all. Well, not quite none, but only, like, a fraction of a pair.
Invisible socks – those handy cotton-elastane foot wraps that prevent sweat from your naked feet ruining your handmade Italian brogues – are proving to be catnip to the menswear cognoscenti. Make like them and team yours with a pair of cropped trousers, all the better to show off your socklessness.
- Zara Cropped Chino Trousers
- Topman Selected Homme Khaki Cropped Smart Trousers
- He By Mango Cotton Crop Chinos
- Dsquared2 Cool Guy Cropped Jeans
- H&m Cropped Selvedge Jeans
- Topman Navy Melange Smart Joggers
- Falke Step Invisible Cotton-blend Socks
- Boss Stay-on Shoeliner Invisible Socks
- Topman Calvin Klein Black No Show Socks 2 Pack
Up until now, the month-long international fashion week circuit has been a sticky-fingered sneakerhead’s dream: all those rare drops and limited editions just waiting to be liberated mid-show from the back seat of an unmanned Mercedes-Benz.
This season, however, menswear’s main players stepped back in time, swapping just-dropped kicks for old-school classics. From Vans Old Skools to Converse All Stars, Adidas Stan Smiths to the Nike Cortez, fashionable feet showed that – no matter how innovative a self-lacing mesh sock dart – the originals can’t be knocked off court.
- Adidas Stan Smith
- Converse Jack Purcell
- Vans Old Skool
- Converse 1970s Chuck Taylor All Star Canvas High-top Sneakers
- Nike Air Max 1 Ultra 2.0 Canvas Sneakers
- Nike Classic Cortez Nylon Og
- Adidas Samba Original Shoes
- Adidas Adidas Originals Superstar Trainer
- Vans Authentic Plimsolls In Black Vee3bka
Damir Doma – or, depending on your reference points, every Jedi knight from Star Wars – has a lot to answer for. From kimono blazers to belted shawl cardigans, wraparound outerwear is taking menswear by storm, and we’re all for it.
Why wouldn’t you want a jacket to as closely as possible resemble a dressing gown? Offering supreme comfort and a look that’s both insouciant and elegant (not to mention that instant shoulder-defining, waist-cinching silhouette), this is one trend we’d wager has staying power.
We know what you’re thinking. Trite, right? How can a few men with undone shirt collars constitute a trend?
Because as much as this might seem like a trivial coincidence, it is actually a tectonic shift. Just a few years ago, men spent hours, maybe days scouring the web for the perfect tie pin or watching YouTube tutorials on how to create a flawless half Windsor. Now, however, it’s all about the air tie (and a little exposed chest). Time to stow the throat-choking knots away and hit the bench press instead. (We’ll let you make the call on the depilatory cream.)
Stubble Is The New Beard
How do you know when the beard trend is dead? When a Geordie Shore cast member spends nearly £10,000 on a transplant in the hopes of making his bushier.
No, that didn’t happen at fashion week, but it did take place just a couple of months prior. Which, along with the fact that Gandalf-level growth just doesn’t mesh well with menswear’s much more casual new direction, means beards are done. In their stead? Stubble. Maybe a short beard. Definitely nothing longer than a centimetre. After all, if Wooster’s lost his whiskers, then you know what’s up.
Photos by Yu Yang for FashionBeans.com