Seeing Red

One of the best things about leaving winter behind is the fact we can start introducing colour and vibrancy back into our wardrobes. And, if the SS14 collection previews were anything to go by, we’ll all be seeing red this summer.

Fiery hues lit up the menswear runways in London, Paris and Milan, with everything from knitwear to tailoring crafted in a palette that included classic shades of ruby and crimson as well as dark berry tones, blood orange hues and even striking shades of hot pink.

So from work to weekend dressing, we look at how to incorporate these warmer colours into your wardrobe this spring/summer…

Primary Red

Out of all the primary colours, red is considered one of the most powerful. Often associated with passion and danger, it’s a hue that is sure to get you noticed. There are, of course, different ways of wearing the shade, whether you choose to add bursts of the colour to your outfit or go all-out in top-to-toe rouge.

Yet no matter if you’re searching for casual classics or sharp tailoring, red is a bold and vibrant choice – perfect for a guy who’s comfortable in his skin and exudes confidence.

If that describes you, look to the likes of Burberry Prorsum, Tom Ford, Moschino and Saint Laurent for inspiration this season. Each of these designers applied red hues to statement garments such as trousers, outerwear or tailoring, anchoring them with staples in white, blue or black that allowed the shade to really come to life against a neutral backdrop.

Taking this one step further, a couple of design houses sent models down the runway in all-red ensembles. Canali opted for a tonal take on the trend, combining a red printed jumper with black/red striped trousers for a striking look that worked well due to the patterns providing definition between each piece.

Elsewhere, D&G opted for a vivid high shine double-breasted suit in crimson, which was one of the highlights of Milan fashion week but definitely not one for the faint-hearted.

For those less confident with colour, another great way of incorporating red into your look is through the use of accessories. Perfect for breaking up or injecting life into your outfit, why not opt for a pocket square, belt or even a hat (à la Vivienne Westwood) in a classic red shade this season?

On The Runways

burberry burberry louis vuitton moschino moschino dolce & gabbana McQ by Alexander McQueen tom ford vivienne westwood canali saint laurent giorgio armani

Lookbook Inspiration

lbm 1911 ss14 digel ss14 m&s ss14 avva ss14 penfield ss14 penfield ss13 ami ss14 farah 1920 ss14 club monaco aw12

Key Pieces
  • Noose & Monkey Skinny Suit Jacket
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt With Long Sleeves
  • Asos Chino Shorts In Mid Length
  • A.p.c. Crew-neck Sweater 190380
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Polka-dot Silk Tie 193082
  • 120% Lino Short-sleeved Linen Shirt 183820
Cherry Red

If you feel confident taking it up a notch, opt for a brighter tone such as cherry red. Playful and vibrant, this is a sweet shade that will inject personality into your summer attire.

The more sartorially assured among us can consider investing in a cherry red two-piece suit. A favourite of John Varvatos, it’s not appropriate for the boardroom but it would certainly be a stylish head-turner at all your summer events such as garden parties.

Not only that, a full suit can easily be split into separates, providing you with two bold statement pieces that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

Otherwise, a slightly more accessible way of wearing cherry red would be to reach for casual basics in the shade, such as a simple t-shirt or pair of shorts. Combine with neutrals or layer underneath darker pieces to help tone down and slightly neutralise the colour’s effect.

On The Runways

canali canali canali moschino john varvatos tom ford

Lookbook Inspiration

tommy hilfiger ss12 florentino ss14 matalan ss13 tommy hilfiger ss12 he by mango spring 2013 asos ss14 florentino ss14 drykorn ss13 el burgues ss14

Key Pieces
  • Beams Plus Windproof Lightweight Jacket
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Garment-dyed Chinos
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Slim-fit Cotton-piqué Polo Shirt 196507
  • Robinson Les Bains Oxford Short-length Swim Shorts
  • Atkinsons Linen Pocket Handkerchief
  • Tods Gommino Nubuck Leather Driving Shoes
Berry Shades

Taking a slight U-turn from the conventional red colour, wine-inspired berry shades are another on trend way of adding warmth to your summer look. They’re also going to be big news come autumn/winter 2014, so there has never been a better time to introduce them to your wardrobe.

Seen on everything from cropped jackets at J.Crew to sharp separates at Prada to full suits at Marc Jacobs and Moschino, these rich and sophisticated tones really pop against summer neutrals such as white/beige and look superb when combined with your grey and navy staples.

With burgundy often classed as a new ‘neutral’, berry pieces are just as versatile and extremely easy to wear – we’d suggest taking your lead from Gucci and Paul Smith by opting for a lightweight knit or bomber jacket, respectively, this SS14. Perfect for creating an effortless casual statement.

On The Runways

j crew marc jacobs gucci versace paul smith moschino prada valentino topman

Lookbook Inspiration

lbm 1911 ss12 burton ss13 crombie ss14 j lindeberg aw12 calibre aw14 burton ss14

Key Pieces
  • Asos Polo In Jersey
  • Reiss Shirt With Contrast Placket And Collar
  • Topman Berry Ultra Skinny Suit Jacket
  • Valentino Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater
  • River Island Red Berry Contrast Slim Suit Trousers
  • Black Tie Purple Satin Pocket Square

Another slight deviation to the red trend – although equally as warm and popular on the SS14 runways – is coral. Sitting somewhere between red and orange with a vibrant pastel vibe, it’s a refreshing shade for the spring/summer months that works just as well on sharp tailoring as it does casual pieces such as chinos and shorts.

Once again, try building up your confidence by popping a coral pocket square into your top pocket or reaching for a pair of socks in the fresh hue – perfect for giving your sharply tailored navy suit a creative twist.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, invest in a long length jacket (also trending this spring) in a coral shade, as shown in the lookbook below.

Lookbook Inspiration

j crew pre aw13 angelo nardelli ss13 digel ss13 el burgues ss14 customellow ss14 mac denim ss13

Key Pieces
  • Pull & Bear Coloured Denim Shirt
  • Pull&bear Chinos
  • Fred Perry Slim Polo With Twin Tip
  • He By Mango Washed Cotton Bermuda Shorts
  • Levis Vintage Clothing 1950s Cotton-jersey Crew Neck Sweatshirt
  • Paul Smith Jacquard Blazer
Hot Pink

OK, we realised we’ve strayed a bit from red now, but pink is red’s closest sibling in the spectrum. The hue was also extremely big news throughout the SS14 collections. Hot pink was particularly prominent and is the ideal shade for a man who is confident in both his own style and masculinity.

Hot pink can be seen across tailoring this season and has been chosen as the standout colour in many SS14 lookbooks and campaigns. On the runways, blazers in this striking hue were included in collections from Saint Laurent, Tom Ford and Giorgio Armani, all of which combined them with classic black/charcoal trousers to allow the jacket to really shine. Although not for the faint-hearted, a statement piece such as this will instantly separate your look from the crowd this season.

Other bold garments that caught our eye included hot pink outerwear at Kris Van Assche, Kenzo and Lanvin – it seems as though ‘subtle’ was not a word in many designer’s vocabularies for SS14.

However, once again accessories or more casual attire offer more accessible ways of pulling off the look. Kenzo combined a striking sweatshirt in the hue with simple white trousers, creating an off-duty outfit that would be perfect in high summer with the sun shining.

Elsewhere, Paul Smith and Kris Van Assche applied hot pink to short sleeve shirts, with Smith’s colour-blocked version helping tone down the overall effect and tying in nicely with SS14’s other big trend: colour-segmentation.

Ties and pocket squares in this striking shade would look great set against blue suiting while you could also consider colour-pop footwear, if you don’t want to make such an overt statement.

On The Runways

lanvin lanvin tom ford Kris Van Assche Kris Van Assche saint laurent kenzo kenzo giorgio armani

Lookbook Inspiration

unknown ravazzolo ss14 house of fraser ss14 primark ss12 scapa ss13 calibre ss13

Key Pieces
  • Asos T-shirt With Scoop Neck
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Shirt In Poplin Bright Pink Slim Fit
  • Turnbull & Asser Textured Woven-silk Tie
  • Burberry Brit Slim-fit Cotton-jersey Polo Shirt
  • Vilebrequin Moorea Mid-length Swim Shorts
  • Ted Baker Fleamar Long Sleeve Polo
Final Word

With the spring months finally here and our dark winter warmers packed away, it’s time to celebrate the fiery spectrum of red. From berry shades and bursts of cherry to pastel coral and hot fuchsia, we couldn’t be more excited about the colour options for SS14.

So what do you think? Will you be going all out with a blood red suit this spring/summer, or incorporating warmer shades into your look via subtle accessories?

Let us know in the comment section below…