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:

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:

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:

Balmain Ralph Lauren Tom Ford Dolce & Gabbana Alexander McQueen Emporio Armani Giorgio Armani Lanvin Paul 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 Sweat
  • Nudie Jeans Slim Jim Regular-fit Organic Denim Jeans
  • New 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 Rose
  • J.crew Broken In Regular-fit Cotton Chinos
  • Common Projects Tournament Leather-trimmed Canvas Sneakers
Lookbook Inspiration: Knitwear

massimo dutti ss13 zara man february 2013 he by mango summer 2013 allsants ss13 h&m ss13 he by mango winter 2013 h&m casual sunday ben sherman ss12 massimo dutti march 2013

Key Pieces
  • Paul Smith Jeans Jumper In Crew Neck
  • Asos Lambswool Rich Shawl Neck Jumper
  • Hackett V-neck Silk-blend Sweater 185484
  • He By Mango Silk Cotton-blend Sweater
  • Topman Oatmeal Cable Jumper
  • He By Mango Nubuck Elbow Patches Sweater
  • Reiss Walter Mercerised Merino Cardigan Grey
  • J.crew Cable-knit Cashmere Sweater
  • Reiss 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 Shirt
  • He By Mango Nylon Field Jacket
  • Hackett Tapered Cotton And Linen-blend Trousers
  • Bass 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-shirt
  • Reiss Trill Suede Bomber Jacket Stone
  • Lanvin Slim-fit Denim Jeans
  • Ben Sherman Clegg Suede Desert Boots
Lookbook Inspiration: Outerwear

he by mango spring 2013 he by mango ss14 pal zileri ss14 reiss ss14 el burgues ss13 drykorn ss13 he by mango ss14 Todd Snyder ss14 club monaco ss12

Key Pieces
  • Asos Belted Mac
  • Mixed-media Field Jacket
  • Rains Long Jacket
  • Bomber Jacket
  • Replay Denim Jacket – Beige
  • Topman Selected Homme Mac Coat
  • He By Mango Trim Cotton Jacket
  • He By Mango Premium Trim Field Jacket
  • Loro 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 Shirt
  • Reiss Tyler Lightweight Leather Jacket Brown
  • River 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 Jersey
  • Topman Stone Chino Shorts
  • Topman Brown Suede Tassle Loafers
Lookbook Inspiration: Bottoms

reiss ss12 el burgues ss13 jigsaw ss14 he by mango spring 2013 he by mango aw13 he by mango winter 2013 m&s ss14 digel ss14 digel ss12

Key Pieces
  • Asos Skinny Chino
  • Topman Light Brown Skinny Chinos
  • Asos Chino Shorts In Longer Length
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Canvas Chinos
  • Slowear Incotex Four Season Relaxed-fit Cotton-blend Chinos
  • Reiss Florence Cotton Trousers Sand
  • River Island Stone Chino Shorts
  • He By Mango Linen Cotton-blend Bermuda Shorts
  • Slowear 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 Shirt
  • Brioni Striped Silk Tie
  • Folk Slim-fit Flecked Wool And Cotton-blend Trousers
  • He 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 Check
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Oxford
  • Charvet Knitted Silk Tie
  • Bottega Veneta Tapered Cotton-blend Twill Chinos
  • Loro Piana Leather Belt
  • Kg By Kurt Geiger Greengrass Derby Shoes
Lookbook Inspiration: Tailoring

digel aw13 he by mango spring 2013 sarar ss13 reiss ss14 Gieves & Hawkes ss13 gant ss14 cerruti 1881 ss13 digel ss13 he by mango ss14

Key Pieces
  • River Island Oat Brown Skinny Suit Jacket
  • Topman Sand Skinny Suit
  • He By Mango Linen Cotton-blend Emerald Suit
  • Officine Generale Unstructured Cotton-twill Blazer
  • Officine Generale Slim-fit Slub Cotton Blazer
  • Burberry London Stone Slim-fit Cotton Blazer
  • He By Mango Washed Jersey Blazer
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Cotton
  • Dolce & 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.