In The Nude

Despite the floods, bitter cold air and gloomy dark mornings; it’s comforting to know that February’s a short month and spring is on the horizon. So let’s forget about our chunky knits and oh-so-practical coats for a second and get planning ahead for one of this year’s most liberating trends: nude.

No, we’re not talking about ditching our clothes altogether and braving it in the buff. We’re of course talking about those pale, peachy shades of pink and beige.

Read on to find out more about this season’s essential neutral hues and how to factor them into your wardrobe for 2014…

Maturing Menswear

As we’ve written about in recent months, neutrals are a great way to tone a look back and channel a subtle yet stylish panache. It’s clear from just looking at the most recent collections and street style at London Collections: MEN, compared to when the event launched back in 2012, how menswear has really started to find its own identity. It’s begun to grow up.

Here at FashionBeans we’ve always advocated a more mature and sophisticated aesthetic, which is why LC:M has become the go-to for every modern gentleman who is sartorially inclined. But that’s not to say we don’t appreciate a bold trend, or even a dose of quirkiness that adds character to a man’s attire.

With that in mind, seeing nude tones appear in several SS14 and, more recently, AW14 collections at LC:M filled us with excitement. These neutral hues feel like the perfect compromise of refined yet fashion forward dressing.

Nude Tones: On The Runways

It wasn’t just the designers of LC:M that advocated a neutral palette for SS14 – the runways of Paris and Milan proved that nudes are set to be big news internationally this year.

Gucci’s SS14 collection, shown in Milan, consisted predominantly of pink hues, but it was the patent outerwear and a short-sleeved tee with front pocket detailing that were the stand-out pieces.

The common thread? All were in nude, of course:

Gucci SS14 Menswear - Nude Pieces

Meanwhile, SS14 also saw the much-anticipated comeback of designer Stefano Pilati as the head of design at Ermenegildo Zegna.

His grown-up collection mixed Italian tailoring with Parisian style, sending an array of nude tones down the runway such as apricot and cream. Delicious:

Ermenegildo Zegna SS14 Menswear Collection - Nude Tones

Although the Gucci and Zegna collections were two of our favourites from the global fashion weeks, several other high-end designers applied nude tones to a wide variety of designs.

From Mediterranean-inspired pastel tailoring at Dolce & Gabbana to neutral Victorian-esque outerwear at McQueen to cream nautical jackets at Balmain, this is set to become menswear’s dominant palette for SS14:

Menswear SS14 Collections - Nude Tone Pieces

BalmainRalph LaurenTom FordDolce & GabbanaAlexander McQueenEmporio ArmaniGiorgio ArmaniLanvinPaul Smith
Get The Look

So how can we nail this luxurious aesthetic in a way that is affordable?

For a minimalist approach to the nude trend, this stylish plain sweater by Selected fits the bill perfectly. Crafted in nude melange cotton and featuring ribbed knit cuffs and hem, you’ll want to team this neutral knit with slim-fit charcoal denim for maximum style impact:

  • Selected Plain SweatSelected Plain Sweat
  • Nudie Jeans Slim Jim Regular-fit Organic Denim JeansNudie Jeans Slim Jim Regular-fit Organic Denim Jeans
  • New Balance 420 TrainersNew Balance 420 Trainers

For more knitwear inspiration, ideal for the transition from winter to spring, turn to renowned British brand Reiss. Both the ‘Elm’ and ‘Codey’ are crew neck jumpers in rose, one of the cheeriest of the nude shades.

Elm is a lightweight piece of knitwear, perfect for layering, while Codey is a mid-weight sweater that is suited for those first frosty mornings of spring. Team either style with a similar pink-based pair of trousers/shorts for a tonal take on the trend:

  • Reiss Elm Lightweight Crew Neck Jumper RoseReiss Elm Lightweight Crew Neck Jumper Rose
  • J.crew Broken In Regular-fit Cotton ChinosJ.crew Broken In Regular-fit Cotton Chinos
  • Common Projects Tournament Leather-trimmed Canvas SneakersCommon Projects Tournament Leather-trimmed Canvas Sneakers
Lookbook Inspiration: Knitwear

Men's Nude Coloured Knitwear Outfit Lookbook Inspiration

massimo dutti ss13zara man february 2013he by mango summer 2013allsants ss13h&m ss13he by mango winter 2013h&m casual sundayben sherman ss12massimo dutti march 2013
Key Pieces
  • Paul Smith Jeans Jumper In Crew NeckPaul Smith Jeans Jumper In Crew Neck
  • Asos Lambswool Rich Shawl Neck JumperAsos Lambswool Rich Shawl Neck Jumper
  • Hackett V-neck Silk-blend Sweater 185484Hackett V-neck Silk-blend Sweater 185484
  • He By Mango Silk Cotton-blend SweaterHe By Mango Silk Cotton-blend Sweater
  • Topman Oatmeal Cable JumperTopman Oatmeal Cable Jumper
  • He By Mango Nubuck Elbow Patches SweaterHe By Mango Nubuck Elbow Patches Sweater
  • Reiss Walter Mercerised Merino Cardigan GreyReiss Walter Mercerised Merino Cardigan Grey
  • J.crew Cable-knit Cashmere SweaterJ.crew Cable-knit Cashmere Sweater
  • Reiss Codey Midweight Crew Neck Jumper RoseReiss Codey Midweight Crew Neck Jumper Rose
Lightweight Outerwear

The transitional period from winter to spring is notoriously difficult to dress for. Fluctuating temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions make it hard to know what to wear from hour to hour, never mind day to day.

The first adjustment you should make to your current wardrobe is to ditch your big winter overcoat for something more practical. Cropper bombers, lightweight macs and rain coats all make excellent top layers as the temperatures begin to rise, providing protection from the elements while ensuring you don’t overheat.

Luckily for us, nude tones look superb when applied to these outerwear silhouettes and offer almost unrivalled versatility. For example, you could easily dress this khaki safari jacket from H.E. By Mango up with a white Oxford shirt, a pair of sharp white trousers and penny loafers:

  • Jack Wills Wadsworth Oxford ShirtJack Wills Wadsworth Oxford Shirt
  • He By Mango Nylon Field JacketHe By Mango Nylon Field Jacket
  • Hackett Tapered Cotton And Linen-blend TrousersHackett Tapered Cotton And Linen-blend Trousers
  • Bass Weejuns Larson Loafers In BurgundyBass Weejuns Larson Loafers In Burgundy

Alternatively, if you want a go-to look for a relaxed spring weekend, this stone suede bomber from Reiss would look great when combined with your wardrobe essentials; a simple white tee, indigo jeans and suede desert boots:

  • River Island White Crew Neck T-shirtRiver Island White Crew Neck T-shirt
  • Reiss Trill Suede Bomber Jacket StoneReiss Trill Suede Bomber Jacket Stone
  • Lanvin Slim-fit Denim JeansLanvin Slim-fit Denim Jeans
  • Ben Sherman Clegg Suede Desert BootsBen Sherman Clegg Suede Desert Boots
Lookbook Inspiration: Outerwear

Men's Nude Tone Outerwear & Lightweight Jackets - Spring/Summer 2014 Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

he by mango spring 2013he by mango ss14pal zileri ss14reiss ss14el burgues ss13drykorn ss13he by mango ss14Todd Snyder ss14club monaco ss12
Key Pieces
  • Asos Belted MacAsos Belted Mac
  • Mixed-media Field JacketMixed-media Field Jacket
  • Rains Long JacketRains Long Jacket
  • Bomber JacketBomber Jacket
  • Replay Denim Jacket – BeigeReplay Denim Jacket - Beige
  • Topman Selected Homme Mac CoatTopman Selected Homme Mac Coat
  • He By Mango Trim Cotton JacketHe By Mango Trim Cotton Jacket
  • He By Mango Premium Trim Field JacketHe By Mango Premium Trim Field Jacket
  • Loro Piana Short Traveller Cotton-blend Parka JacketLoro Piana Short Traveller Cotton-blend Parka Jacket

Still a style staple season after season, beige chinos deserve a place in every style-conscious male’s collection. This slim-fit pair in stone by River Island instantly ticks both boxes: the nude trend and a wardrobe essential.

Wear yours with a faded denim shirt and a lightweight leather jacket to give the look an added edge:

  • He By Mango Slim-fit Bleach Denim ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Bleach Denim Shirt
  • Reiss Tyler Lightweight Leather Jacket BrownReiss Tyler Lightweight Leather Jacket Brown
  • River Island Stone Slim ChinosRiver Island Stone Slim Chinos

As the mercury rises, switch your chinos for a tailored pair of shorts. Pair with a pastel coloured polo shirt and some brown suede loafers for a chic Riviera-inspired look that is perfect for the weekend:

  • Asos Polo In JerseyAsos Polo In Jersey
  • Topman Stone Chino ShortsTopman Stone Chino Shorts
  • Topman Brown Suede Tassle LoafersTopman Brown Suede Tassle Loafers
Lookbook Inspiration: Bottoms

Men's Nude Tone Trousers, Chinos & Shorts - Spring/Summer 2014 Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

reiss ss12el burgues ss13jigsaw ss14he by mango spring 2013he by mango aw13he by mango winter 2013m&s ss14digel ss14digel ss12
Key Pieces
  • Asos Skinny ChinoAsos Skinny Chino
  • Topman Light Brown Skinny ChinosTopman Light Brown Skinny Chinos
  • Asos Chino Shorts In Longer LengthAsos Chino Shorts In Longer Length
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Canvas ChinosHe By Mango Slim-fit Canvas Chinos
  • Slowear Incotex Four Season Relaxed-fit Cotton-blend ChinosSlowear Incotex Four Season Relaxed-fit Cotton-blend Chinos
  • Reiss Florence Cotton Trousers SandReiss Florence Cotton Trousers Sand
  • River Island Stone Chino ShortsRiver Island Stone Chino Shorts
  • He By Mango Linen Cotton-blend Bermuda ShortsHe By Mango Linen Cotton-blend Bermuda Shorts
  • Slowear Incotex Slim-fit Linen And Cotton-blend ShortsSlowear Incotex Slim-fit Linen And Cotton-blend Shorts

A nude colour such as pale pink is perfect for subtly livening up your work attire. Here we match a lightweight shirt from Reiss with a beautiful red stripe tie from Brioni.

Offering a contemporary twist to a formal look, this stylish combination will ensure you never fade to grey in the office or on your morning commute. Pair with the new capsule wardrobe essential, tailored trousers, and polish off with leather brogues:

  • Reiss Reiss Drive Slim Fit Cotton-rich ShirtReiss Reiss Drive Slim Fit Cotton-rich Shirt
  • Brioni Striped Silk TieBrioni Striped Silk Tie
  • Folk Slim-fit Flecked Wool And Cotton-blend TrousersFolk Slim-fit Flecked Wool And Cotton-blend Trousers
  • He By Mango Brogueing Leather BlucherHe By Mango Brogueing Leather Blucher

Alternatively, for the confident among you: go bold with rich nudes this spring/summer. This sharply-cut linen blazer in a peachy-pink hue will be a statement piece that remains in your wardrobe for many years to come.

We would suggest teaming with tailored white trousers, a gingham shirt and solid tie for a preppy-inspired take on business-casual:

  • Asos Smart Shirt In Long Sleeve With Gingham CheckAsos Smart Shirt In Long Sleeve With Gingham Check
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In OxfordAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Oxford
  • Charvet Knitted Silk TieCharvet Knitted Silk Tie
  • Bottega Veneta Tapered Cotton-blend Twill ChinosBottega Veneta Tapered Cotton-blend Twill Chinos
  • Loro Piana Leather BeltLoro Piana Leather Belt
  • Kg By Kurt Geiger Greengrass Derby ShoesKg By Kurt Geiger Greengrass Derby Shoes
Lookbook Inspiration: Tailoring

Men's Nude Tone Tailoring - Spring/Summer 2014 Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

digel aw13he by mango spring 2013sarar ss13reiss ss14Gieves & Hawkes ss13gant ss14cerruti 1881 ss13digel ss13he by mango ss14
Key Pieces
  • River Island Oat Brown Skinny Suit JacketRiver Island Oat Brown Skinny Suit Jacket
  • Topman Sand Skinny SuitTopman Sand Skinny Suit
  • He By Mango Linen Cotton-blend Emerald SuitHe By Mango Linen Cotton-blend Emerald Suit
  • Officine Generale Unstructured Cotton-twill BlazerOfficine Generale Unstructured Cotton-twill Blazer
  • Officine Generale Slim-fit Slub Cotton BlazerOfficine Generale Slim-fit Slub Cotton Blazer
  • Burberry London Stone Slim-fit Cotton BlazerBurberry London Stone Slim-fit Cotton Blazer
  • He By Mango Washed Jersey BlazerHe By Mango Washed Jersey Blazer
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In CottonAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Cotton
  • Dolce & Gabbana Peaked-lapel Single-breasted Blazer 190141Dolce & Gabbana Peaked-lapel Single-breasted Blazer 190141
Final Thought

After a long winter filled with grey days, stormy nights and a never-ending supply of clothes in dark colours, we’re ready for blue skies and pastel tones.

Whether you opt for peachy pinks, neutral nudes or basic beige; the key is to dress in washed-out pieces that will take you from the tail end of winter right through to the beginning of autumn.

If all else fails, perhaps go with the alternative option and brave it in the buff. Just don’t blame us if you spend summer in the slammer – you have been warned.