We Brits are a funny bunch. First signs of sunshine and we’re outside, lighting the barbeques and reaching for our high summer wardrobes – and rightfully so!
After slogging our way through a long winter layered up in thick knits and outerwear, we’ve more than earned the right to don brighter colours and lighter garments. Which is why we’re excited to try out one of the trends we spotted at London Collections: Men SS14 – colour segmentation.
From block-colour separates to pieces with multi-coloured sections and details, segmented colour is a great way to inject some freshness and excitement into your look this season.
So whether you want to make a statement or are looking for a more refined approach to the trend, we’ve got it covered…
On The Runway
Colour segmentation could be seen everywhere at London Collections, where models acted as canvases for bold and eye-popping art. This vibrant display of block-hues and segmented pieces was enough to make any man with enough confidence want to give it a go.
E. Tautz mixed bright shades with darker colours to create a real impact, although it was the red and green segmented coloured tee constructed from hi-shine fabric that really stole the show. We loved how it was paired with a traditional hat – the perfect mix of contemporary and classic:
As usual, Christopher Shannon took a more daring approach with toxic fluorescent hues making up outfits of a single colour.
Although we’re not ready to advocate wearing these pieces on the high street just yet, it definitely made for an interesting visual showcase:
Elsewhere, Agi & Sam layered tonal hues together for a far more wearable approach to the trend.
We particularly loved the segmented coat in a grey/orange mix. However, it might have been better suited for everyday use if the colours were reversed and the sleeves were slightly more fitted:
Get The Look
It’s important to remember that the high fashion runways are designed to be dramatic and offer the most extreme version of any trend. By the time similar pieces reach the high street they have often been diluted and are far more wearable.
With this in mind, here’s how we recommend creating your own take for SS14…
1. Bright & Bold
There’s no getting around it. If you want to attempt this look, you need to have confidence. In comparison to the way the opposite sex looks at clothing, we guys seem to have some sort of macho opinion of the way we can wear colour, if we choose to wear it at all.
We’re often far more inclined to fill our wardrobes with greys and monochrome hues than citrus orange or seafoam green – the blue spectrum and richer shades of brown/burgundy being the exceptions.
We need to start by scrapping this outdated intimidation of bright colours and welcome them into our personal style. A guy can look just as masculine in fluro yellow or pastel purple, it’s all about the way he wears it. After all, once you’ve mastered segmented colour, everything else is child’s play.
Below you will find some examples of bold colour-blocking and segmentation to get you inspired. Keep in mind your colour wheel, stick to two (three max) solid pieces that complement or coordinate with each other and then experiment:
2. Layering & Anchoring
If you don’t fancy going all out by pairing fluro hues together with hi-shine fabrics, try anchoring bold block-coloured garments with darker shades and more textured materials, which have a mattifying effect.
By keeping the rest of your outfit classic and restrained, it allows the statement piece to take centre stage yet simultaneously reduces its overall impact slightly.
Alternatively, if you’re still building up confidence, you could use a vivid colour for your base piece and then layer more muted tops, knits or tailoring over the top.
For example, a tangerine orange shirt is undeniably eye-catching when used as a standalone top layer, but throw a navy or grey blazer on and its effect is subdued by being restricted to your centre section:
3. Rich/Muted Colour-Blocking
Another pared-back approach that is similar to the layering and anchoring technique above, colour-blocking is just as effective when you utilise darker hues.
Whether you pair a deep navy jacket with burnt orange chinos or a dark shade of crimson with rich brown, combining colours doesn’t always need to be a neon affair:
4. All In The Details
For those still not convinced by the colour segmentation trend, there are many other simple yet stylish ways you can inject some flair into your look this season.
Colour tipping or flecking will brighten up an otherwise refined ensemble, while coloured details/accessories will give your outfit some extra personality. Think collars/cuffs, belts, ties, socks or footwear:
5. Try With Tailoring
There’s no reason why you can’t apply this trend to your formal wardrobe. We’ve seen block-colours and bright hues become more prominent within tailoring in recent years, and the sunnier months offer the perfect time to brighten up your collection.
As we reported in last year’s article on statement suiting, bright tailoring is not for the faint-hearted, particularly when it comes in a single bold hue. However, it definitely stops you from blending into the background and will instantly separate your look from the crowd. Just make sure you bear in mind the occasion and dress code.
For a less shocking approach, we’d suggest teaming different coloured pieces together. Block-coloured separates are ideal for creative workplaces such as media agencies or design studios, and summer pastels/whites can often be as striking as a neon hue in this type of environment.
Tonal pieces also work extremely well and can be combined with minimal fuss or thought. For example, a sky blue blazer looks superb when teamed with classic navy suit trousers:
- Asos Long Sleeve T-shirt With Crew Neck
- John Smedley Senate Cashmere And Silk-blend Cardigan
- Topman Cobalt Flannel Skinny Blazer
- Reiss 1971 Wigmore Crew Neck Jumper Absinth/citrus
- Acne Studios Sten Lightweight Raincoat
- He By Mango Slim-fit Garment-dyed Chinos
- Reiss Nassau B Two Button Textured Blazer
- River Island Light Purple Polo Shirt
- Gant Rugger Washed Cotton-jersey Sweatshirt
- River Island Light Green Raglan Sleeve Jumper
- He By Mango Slim-fit Garment-dyed Chinos
- Richard James Slim-fit Linen Shirt
- Reiss Cutler Knitted Silk Tie
- He By Mango Braided Cotton Belt
- London Collections. Men Sibling X Grenson Nubuck Penny Loafers
With the first real signs of the warmer months under way, there’s no better time to start planning your spring/summer wardrobe. And, if you’re up to the challenge, why not give colour segmentation a shot? What have you got to lose?
Just remember, context is everything. We don’t want any complaints from the manager of your law firm when you turn up to work in a half lime green/half toxic tangerine two-piece suit.