Subtle Summer Tones For SS14/15

Although fashion collections, editorials and blogs continue to tell us that spring/summer is the perfect time to wear bold colours and prints, designers such as Gucci and Burberry Prorsum, amongst others, have fully embraced subtle pastel shades and deeper, richer tones this year.

With this in mind, we’re set to break down three trending hues that are ideal for the remainder of the summer season – pink, mustard yellow and pastel/mint green – with one eye on next year, proving that injecting a spot of colour into your wardrobe needn’t mean opting for garish neons and bright primary tones.

Shades Of Pink

From birth we are all told that pink is for girls and blue is for boys. But thankfully mentalities are changing, with this colour appropriation between the sexes constantly being blurred and challenged . Essentially, this has led to pink becoming a hue that men are more comfortable wearing and beginning to fully embrace.

The biggest supporter of pink for SS14 was Gucci. Their signature floral print was applied to a plethora of garments and featured a dusty pink (almost grey) base colour, which helped anchor and neutralise the effect of the motif.

The collection went on to include a slightly brighter pastel shade, which was used on skinny-fit sports trousers and paired with oversized anoraks and heavy duty backpacks for an adventurous, outdoorsy feel. Not a theme traditionally associated with pink or summer.

Gucci also showcased a salmon pink two-piece suit for a confident all-over pastel look, as well as a dusty pink hooded duffle coat with a Velcro fastening, instead of traditional toggles. Teamed with lavender trousers and a dark beige t-shirt, it brought this traditional outerwear silhouette bang up to date.

Lanvin followed suit by sending an all-pink outfit down the runway. A rose pink crew neck t-shirt with different length sleeves created an interesting asymmetrical effect and was teamed with loose-fit trousers in the same shade for a relatively casual take on the trend.

Jil Sander, on the other hand, took a far brighter approach, applying a striking coral pattern to a variety of garments – from all-over print blazers and trousers to shirts and bomber jackets that restricted the motif to the specific sections of the garment. Sander’s use of white as the accompanying colour within each of these outfits allowed the motif to take centre stage while simultaneously helping anchor it.

Other highlights included light pink cropped jackets at Marc Jacobs and Richard James, along with pastel blazers at Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford – all of which would make an effortless statement throughout the warmer months:

Pink Clothing On The SS14 Menswear Runways

tom ford Burberry Prorsum marc jacobs lanvin gucci gucci jil sander Paul Smith Richard James Dsquared2 jil sander Giorgio Armani
SS15 Runways

Turning our attention to next year, pink was again an extremely prominent colour within the SS15 designer collections.

Key pieces include pastel trousers at Brioni and Jonathan Saunders; pink tailored and swim shorts at Lou Dalton and DSquared2, respectively; a beautiful long-sleeved Cuban collar shirt at Versace; and a dusty pink sleeveless cowboy jacket shown at Katie Eary:

Pink Clothing On The SS15 Menswear Runways

Katie Eary Lou Dalton versace Dsquared Jonathan Saunders Brioni
Lookbook Inspiration

Pink is still an adventurous colour choice for any man, even in its watered down pastel shade. But as they say: “It takes a real man to wear pink”, so why not confidently stand out amongst your peers by introducing one or two key pieces into your look this year?

Men's Pink Garments - Spring/Summer Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

pepe jeans ss13 el burgues ss13 he by mango summer 2013 tommy hilfiger tailored ss14 mj bale ss12 ti for men ss14 gant rugger ss13 gant rugger ss13 m&s ss13
Key Pieces
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Shirt In Poplin In Slim FitPolo Ralph Lauren Shirt In Poplin In Slim Fit
  • Topman Pink Crew Neck JumperTopman Pink Crew Neck Jumper
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In OxfordAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Oxford
  • Topman Pink Mini Oxford ShirtTopman Pink Mini Oxford Shirt
  • Peter Millar Winston Jersey Golf ShortsPeter Millar Winston Jersey Golf Shorts
  • Reiss Reno Diamond Textured Socks Soft PinkReiss Reno Diamond Textured Socks Soft Pink
  • Uniqlo Men Dry Shirt Spread Collar Polo ShirtUniqlo Men Dry Shirt Spread Collar Polo Shirt
  • Merino Wool Rich Slim Fit V-neck Jumper With SilkMerino Wool Rich Slim Fit V-neck Jumper With Silk
  • Uniqlo Men Supima Cotton Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-shirtUniqlo Men Supima Cotton Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-shirt
  • River Island Light Pink Textured TieRiver Island Light Pink Textured Tie
  • Tommy Hilfiger Tailored William – Chinos – PinkTommy Hilfiger Tailored William - Chinos - Pink
  • Jigsaw Fine Cotton Twill Zip JacketJigsaw Fine Cotton Twill Zip Jacket
Mustard Yellow

Fashion blogs across the globe have been waxing lyrical about mustard chinos as a bold yet appropriate choice this season – and the sheer number of street style photos featured online suggest that mustard yellow is one colour that many men have no problem wearing on their lower half.

Yet, as the SS14 weeks proved, this hue shouldn’t be restricted to legwear alone. The Burberry Prorsum showcase largely featured bold blue, green and red primary colours that were highly reminiscent of Lego blocks, but Christopher Bailey’s use of mustard yellow helped tone down and neutralise their effect slightly.

These mustard tones were applied to a selection of heavy and fine gauge jumpers, as well as knitted shirts that offered a true 1970s feel. Burberry went on to include some mustard yellow lace-up shoes, referencing this season’s big colour pop footwear trend while showing that the hue works extremely well on accent pieces too.

Elsewhere, Paul Smith sent a muted double-breasted yellow blazer with pale lavender trousers down the runway, along with a selection of mustard mesh-knit jumpers – some of which incorporated square block patterns in varying shades of apricot.

Yet the English designer’s most ambitious use of yellow came in the form of a pair of wide-legged trousers, which were combined with his now infamous mushroom motif sweatshirt and a dark magenta tote bag.

Despite the bold colour choice, the fuller cut of the trousers was extremely flattering and made a nice change to the slim and skinny fits that have dominated menswear in recent years.

Elsewhere, mustard and gold tones were spotted at Fendi, Canali, Ami and J.Crew, who applied them to bombers and sports coats, Billy Reid took a similar approach to Paul Smith with a pair of linen trousers, and Carven went all out with a striking mustard two-piece suit:

Mustard Yellow Clothing On The SS15 Menswear Runways

j crew gucci ami fendi Burberry Prorsum Burberry Prorsum Billy Reid canali carven Paul Smith Paul Smith Paul Smith
SS15 Runways

Mustard is set to develop into a huge colour trend for SS15, after stamping its mark across high fashion collections as diverse as Belstaff and Jonathan Saunders.

FashionBeans’ highlights from the runways included relaxed fit, sports luxe jogging bottoms at Etro; Dunhill’s rich mustard basics, which were combined with Earth tones for a country-inspired aesthetic; along with a selection of jackets and blazers from the likes of Burberry, Hermes and Hardy Amies:

Mustard Yellow Clothing On The SS15 Menswear Runways

etro fendi dunhill Hardy Amies Hermes burberry
Lookbook Inspiration

Admittedly, yellow is a very difficult colour to pull off, but when the tone is slightly darker and more muted, its wearability increases immensely.

Men's Mustard Yellow Garments - Spring/Summer Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

suitsupply ss15 asos reiss 2012 burton ss14 house of fraser ss14 tommy hilfiger ss14 bal ss14 edwin aw13 scotch & soda ss14
Key Pieces
  • Commodity Stock Pocket Tee In Mustard YellowCommodity Stock Pocket Tee In Mustard Yellow
  • Ted Baker Clegan Slim Fit ChinoTed Baker Clegan Slim Fit Chino
  • Asos Lambswool Rich Crew Neck JumperAsos Lambswool Rich Crew Neck Jumper
  • Le Coq Sportif Eclat 89 Trainers In MustardLe Coq Sportif Eclat 89 Trainers In Mustard
  • Dkny JacketDkny Jacket
  • Asos Chino Shorts In Mid LengthAsos Chino Shorts In Mid Length
  • River Island Mustard Yellow Oxford ShirtRiver Island Mustard Yellow Oxford Shirt
  • River Island Mustard Tile Print Short Sleeve ShirtRiver Island Mustard Tile Print Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Barbour Mustard Cable Knit JumperBarbour Mustard Cable Knit Jumper
  • Herschel Retreat BackpackHerschel Retreat Backpack
  • Tods Gommino Suede Driving ShoesTods Gommino Suede Driving Shoes
  • Moss London Mustard With Green Border Knitted HandkerchiefMoss London Mustard With Green Border Knitted Handkerchief
Mint/Pastel Green

As a shade, mint green naturally conveys feelings of coolness and freshness – something that is particularly apt during the hotter months of the year.

Yet green is still a criminally underused hue in menswear, and even when men are willing to give it a try, the majority are attracted to deeper shades of jade, racing or emerald green as opposed to paler variants. Until now.

Burberry Prorsum were again a key designer that included frequent use of pistachio ice-cream shades, and their most ambitious garment came in the form of a mint green leather jacket, which was teamed with a bright green tie and glasses to accentuate the outerwear.

The collection went on to feature a thin, translucent mint green vest, unusually worn over a shirt and tie combination. This vest was complemented by darker green accessories, including a watch, tie and soft document holder.

Burberry Prorsum also showcased a gingham mint green and white shirt, paired with a primary green micro-daisy patterned jacket and bold green tie.

Similarly, Dsquared2 included subtle flashes of pastel green within their showcase. Like Burberry, one outfit utilised a green leather bomber jacket as its focal point, which was combined with silk pyjama-style polka dot trousers and an oversized black and white tote bag.

Another ensemble saw a pastel green jumper tied nonchalantly around the waist of the model as he walked the runway. Although this knit wasn’t a primary feature of the outfit, the monotone shades used for the rest of this look allowed the jumper to steal the show.

Elsewhere, Bill Reid, Versace and Agi & Sam made use of soft green separates, while the likes of Etro and Emporio Armani chose to stick to pastel basics such as cotton jumpers and shirts:

Mint/Pastel Green Clothing On The SS14 Menswear Runways

Burberry Prorsum Burberry Prorsum Burberry Prorsum Agi & Sam emporio armani versace dsquared dsquared Etro carven Billy Reid Billy Reid
SS15 Runways

Another colour trend that only looks set to get bigger next year, the sheer amount of pastel green garments on show at the SS15 fashion weeks was astounding.

Our favourite pieces had to be the beautifully cut blazers and suiting spotted at Dolce & Gabbana, Boglioli and Richard James – we can definitely see us adding a jacket to our warm-weather wardrobe this time next year.

Mint green trousers were also extremely popular and look great paired with neutral shades of beige and blue, as proven by Michael Bastian:

Mint/Pastel Green Clothing On The SS15 Menswear Runways

Richard James Hardy Amies Boglioli Bottega Veneta Michael Bastian Dolce & Gabbana
Lookbook Inspiration

Green retains an element of masculinity in all of its variants, so it’s likely to be a colour that men will find extremely wearable. Not only that, green – even in its minty, pistachio shade – will effortlessly transition into autumn/winter, too:

Men's Mint/Pastel Green Garments - Spring/Summer Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

ramsey ss13 he by mango summer 2014 m&s ss13 he by mango summer 2013 drykorn ss13 gant ss14 ti for men ss14 selected homme ss12 ted baker ss13 Boglioli ss15 paul & joe ss13
Key Pieces
  • Moss Blazer Tailored Fit Green Linen JacketBlazer Tailored Fit Green Linen Jacket
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Voile ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Voile Shirt
  • Topman Pastel Green Marl Crew JumperTopman Pastel Green Marl Crew Jumper
  • Suit Dian Granddad Oxford Shirt In GreenSuit Dian Granddad Oxford Shirt In Green
  • Topman Green Contrast Oxford ShirtTopman Green Contrast Oxford Shirt
  • Shore Leave Vancouver Cable Knit Jumper In GreenShore Leave Vancouver Cable Knit Jumper In Green
  • River Island Light Green Polo ShirtRiver Island Light Green Polo Shirt
  • Orlebar Brown Perry Long-sleeved Melange Cotton-jersey T-shirtOrlebar Brown Perry Long-sleeved Melange Cotton-jersey T-shirt
  • River Island Light Green Grandad T-shirtRiver Island Light Green Grandad T-shirt
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Cotton ChinosHe By Mango Slim-fit Cotton Chinos
  • Charvet Knitted Silk TieCharvet Knitted Silk Tie
  • Herschel Settlement Laptop PackHerschel Settlement Laptop Pack
Final Thoughts

You may think that pastel and muted tones pack less of a punch when compared to typical warm-weather shades and patterns, but often the most subtle changes to our look make the biggest impact.

Esquire have been a particularly high profile proponent of pastel shades within the fashion press this season, and although we’ve featured three of the more alternative options available to you today, it’s important to remember there are plenty of others, from powder blue and lavender to calming peach. All are worthy of your wardrobe.

But as always, we want feedback from the people that matter: the readers. Would you consider introducing any of these colours to your spring/summer wardrobe? Have you already done so? Are there any men out there brave enough to try a pastel suit?

Please leave your thoughts and musings below…