Bring On Spring

It’s official – according to the astronomical definition, spring began on the 20th March for the Northern Hemisphere. And, after a historically stormy start to the year, it’s safe to say that we Brits have been looking forward to it.

A change of season, and particularly the transition into spring, often brings with it a change in mindset and the re-evaluation of your current wardrobe. Now is the time to consider swapping the heavyweight fabrics and overcoats you have relied on so heavily for months for lighter weight materials and warm-weather attire.

Of course, the fashion industry has been trying to convince us it was spring/summer since the turn of the year, with SS14 collections already released and some retailers now even running ‘mid-season’ sales.

So today we take a look at five key pieces that you should consider adding to your wardrobe for the warmer months ahead. From timeless to trend-led, there’s something for everyone…

1. Lightweight Scarves

Always a divisive subject, the lightweight scarf is perplexing to some, essential to others. An accessory born out of nothing more than fashion – as unlike your winter versions they offer no real practical benefits – this particular type of neck wear is used purely to make a statement or add personality to your look.

An item that oozes flair and extravagance, the fabric you decide on gives the scarf its character. A silk take is smart, flamboyant and has modish undertones. On the other hand, a cotton or linen version conjures images of the Riviera and has a slightly more relaxed feel.

A lightweight scarf has the potential to become one of your trademarks this spring/summer, and will bring a touch of sophisticated panache to any ensemble. Whether you use yours with tailoring, a leather jacket or shorts and a tee, you can drape it, tie it or wrap it to suit your outfit and personal style.

Wear with a measured degree of nonchalance and don’t shy away – confidence, as ever, is key.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Spring Lightweight Scarves Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

new look ss14sarar ss14pal zileri ss14ted baker ss14angelo nardelli ss14massimo duti march 2014reiss ss14he by mango ss14zara man august 2013
Key Styles
  • Jack & Jones ScarfJack & Jones Scarf
  • He By Mango Printed Wool ScarfHe By Mango Printed Wool Scarf
  • Reiss Weber Striped Lightweight Scarf GreenReiss Weber Striped Lightweight Scarf Green
  • Ted Baker Coucou Printed Silk ScarfTed Baker Coucou Printed Silk Scarf
  • He By Mango Camo-print ScarfHe By Mango Camo-print Scarf
  • Etro Paisley-print Modal Linen And Silk-blend ScarfEtro Paisley-print Modal Linen And Silk-blend Scarf
  • Tiger Of Sweden Trionni Linen ScarfTiger Of Sweden Trionni Linen Scarf
  • Etro Silk-mix ScarfEtro Silk-mix Scarf
  • Hugo Boss Lightweight ScarfHugo Boss Lightweight Scarf
2. Floral Print

Often cruelly associated with the dreaded ‘pulling’ or ‘going out’ shirt, floral print has a reputation that precedes it. Yet remove the unnecessary loudness (along with the bootcut jeans and pointy shoes) from the equation and a floral shirt makes a stylish and bold addition to any modern gent’s wardrobe.

It’s not just shirts that are having a botanical moment this season, though. This most natural of prints has been applied to everything from trousers and shorts to pocket squares and polos. Whichever piece you choose to don, the key is to avoid print overload/clashing and anchor it with classic, muted pieces.

For a contemporary floral take, try combining the print with another key SS14 trend: the bomber jacket. French brand Ami, in particular, has produced some exquisite versions, with a highlight coming in the form of their leather and floral mix bomber – a piece that cannot fail to garner attention and will instantly lift any look.

If you’re not one for making an obvious statement but fancy trying this print, consider floral accessories. A jacquard pocket square, micro-print tie or even a paisley lightweight scarf will add a patterned punch to your looks without forcing you to compromise your own personal style.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Spring Floral Print Clothing and Accessories Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

zara man february 2014angelo nardelli ss13he by mango ss14florentino ss14pepe jeans ss14penfield ss14uniforms of the dedicated ss14el burgues ss14gant rugger ss14
Key Styles
  • Edwin Floral College Sweatshirt In GreyEdwin Floral College Sweatshirt In Grey
  • New Look Bomber Jacket With Floral PrintNew Look Bomber Jacket With Floral Print
  • Topman Navy Floral Swim ShortsTopman Navy Floral Swim Shorts
  • River Island Grey Marl Floral Sleeve Bomber JacketRiver Island Grey Marl Floral Sleeve Bomber Jacket
  • J.crew Flower-print Cotton ShirtJ.crew Flower-print Cotton Shirt
  • River Island Dark Grey Floral Print T-shirtRiver Island Dark Grey Floral Print T-shirt
  • Gucci Slim-fit Flower-print Cotton-blend TrousersGucci Slim-fit Flower-print Cotton-blend Trousers
  • River Island Navy Floral Jacquard Turn Up ShortsRiver Island Navy Floral Jacquard Turn Up Shorts
  • Ami Floral-print And Leather Bomber Jacket 188416Ami Floral-print And Leather Bomber Jacket 188416
  • Topman Navy Floral Print TieTopman Navy Floral Print Tie
  • Dries Van Noten Floral Print ScarfDries Van Noten Floral Print Scarf
  • He By Mango Flower Pocket SquareHe By Mango Flower Pocket Square
3. Slip-On Trainers

Trainer trends have recently centred around the runner, whether modern and high tech or retro styled. However, this season it’s time to consider a more relaxed option: the slip-on.

In terms of silhouette, think classic Vans – carefree and casual, perfect for the warm-weather months and particularly suited to holidaying. The likes of Lanvin and Common Projects have produced luxe leather versions for SS14, giving the style an upgrade that belies its skateboarding heritage.

These stronger, more sophisticated takes are perfect for dressing down your tailoring or pairing with unstructured suiting. Canvas options, on the other hand, make for the ideal casual summer shoe and can be worn with everything from jeans and a button-down to chino shorts and a tee.

The silhouette’s practical and easy on/off nature readies it for both the beach and airport, while its relaxed feel matches the seasonal mood to a ‘T’. Look for printed or bold coloured options if you want to give your off-duty looks a cool, unexpected injection of personality.

Lookbook Inspiration

j crew ss14j crew ss14j crew ss14David Naman ss14office shoes ss14lacoste ss14
Key Styles
  • Vans Slip-on Trainers In WhiteVans Slip-on Trainers In White
  • Lanvin Men’s White Nubuck Basket Slip-on SneakersLanvin Men’s White Nubuck Basket Slip-on Sneakers
  • Vans Slip-on Trainers In Royal BlueVans Slip-on Trainers In Royal Blue
  • Givenchy Floral Skate ShoesGivenchy Floral Skate Shoes
  • Poste Stefano Slip On Sneaker Black Leather White SolePoste Stefano Slip On Sneaker Black Leather White Sole
  • Kg By Kurt Geiger Grayson Suede Slip On Trainers tanKg By Kurt Geiger Grayson Suede Slip On Trainers tan
  • Ymc Slip-on PlimsollsYmc Slip-on Plimsolls
  • Common Projects Leather Slip-on SneakersCommon Projects Leather Slip-on Sneakers
  • Tim Coppens X Common Projects Paneled Slip-on SneakersTim Coppens X Common Projects Paneled Slip-on Sneakers
4. White Trousers

Spring/summer staple or seriously impractical? Like the lightweight scarf, white trousers have a knack for stirring debate. However, here at FashionBeans, we consider white legwear to be a modern wardrobe essential that can actually be used all year round.

Yes, they are a bold choice, but they’re also incredibly versatile with white offering the perfect backdrop for other colours to shine. Not only that, with all-white looks also enjoying a menswear moment this season, you can combine them with staples you already own such as white tees, Oxford shirts and polos for a crisp and fresh approach to spring style.

Despite playing an important role within current trends, white trousers hold a timeless appeal. They have long been a key component of both preppy- and Riviera-inspired looks, two highly desirable aesthetics, while America’s best dressed President to date, JFK, and our very own heir to the throne, Prince Charles, have also given them their seal of approval – two men who aren’t to be questioned when it comes to style.

Consider wearing yours with lightweight seasonal tailoring and/or a patterned shirt for a refined feel, or keep it relaxed and casual with a denim shirt and loafer pairing. White is set to become the key ‘colour’ within menswear this season, so if you haven’t already taken the plunge, now is the time to do so.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Spring White Trousers Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

he by mango ss14massimo dutti june 2013de fursac ss14sarar ss14calibre ss14j crew ss14reserved ss14jaeger ss13tommy hilfiger tailored ss14
Key Styles
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Garment-dyed ChinosHe By Mango Slim-fit Garment-dyed Chinos
  • Asos Slim ChinosAsos Slim Chinos
  • Asos Slim Fit Suit Trousers In CottonAsos Slim Fit Suit Trousers In Cotton
  • Reiss Wickham Chino Trousers whiteReiss Wickham Chino Trousers white
  • Canali Regular Fit Lightweight Stretch Cotton-blend TrousersCanali Regular Fit Lightweight Stretch Cotton-blend Trousers
  • Loro Piana Slim-fit Cotton-blend ChinosLoro Piana Slim-fit Cotton-blend Chinos
  • Alexander Mcqueen Flat-front Chino Trousers 183922Alexander Mcqueen Flat-front Chino Trousers 183922
  • Hackett Tapered Cotton And Linen-blend TrousersHackett Tapered Cotton And Linen-blend Trousers
  • Ralph Lauren Black Label James Cotton-blend TrousersRalph Lauren Black Label James Cotton-blend Trousers
5. Lightweight Mac/Trench

The inconsistency of the British springtime is well documented. The threat of a sudden downpour often looms large, even when basking in twenty-degree temperatures, creating something of a sartorial dilemma. The solution to this seasonal style impasse comes in the form of the lightweight, waterproof mac or trench.

A piece that works just as well with your nine-to-five office wear as it does your weekend attire, the mac can be dressed up or down with ease.

Offering protection from April showers without the unnecessary bulk, this outerwear silhouette ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to a spring cover-up – and that’s without even considering that the fact that long coats/jackets are trending for SS14.

There are two major considerations when it comes to choosing your perfect style: colour and length.

A classic navy or camel version is completely timeless and will continue to play a major role in your wardrobe for many years to come. Yet a coloured piece offers a sure-fire way to separate your look from the crowd and could be just the thing to inject some life into your personal style. A bold sky blue or rich shade of green/burgundy offers the perfect compromise; subtly different yet versatile enough to be used all year round.

In terms of length, aim for something that finishes just above the knee. This will cover any blazer/jacket you choose to wear underneath and provides adequate protection in both autumn/winter and spring/summer.

Of course, adjust all aspects above to suit your particular body type – shorter gents may prefer a cropped style to visually extend their leg length while tall, skinny gents may look to add bulk to their frame with a double-breasted cut.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Spring Lightweight Macs/Trench Coat Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

pal zileri ss14de fursac ss14massimo dutti march 2013jaeger ss13gant ss14house of fraser ss14reiss ss13ti for men ss14ben sherman ss11
Key Styles
  • Ben Sherman Beige Memory Nylon MacBen Sherman Beige Memory Nylon Mac
  • He By Mango Waterproof Cotton-blend Trench CoatHe By Mango Waterproof Cotton-blend Trench Coat
  • Peter Werth MacPeter Werth Mac
  • Reiss Curzon Concealed Placket Mac NavyReiss Curzon Concealed Placket Mac Navy
  • Aquascutum Corby Single Breasted Raincoat blackAquascutum Corby Single Breasted Raincoat black
  • Ted Baker Trencie Debonair Trench CoatTed Baker Trencie Debonair Trench Coat
  • Topman Burgundy Single Breasted Zip Trench CoatTopman Burgundy Single Breasted Zip Trench Coat
  • Norse Projects Green Thor Cotton-blend Rain CoatNorse Projects Green Thor Cotton-blend Rain Coat
  • Acne Studios Sten Lightweight RaincoatAcne Studios Sten Lightweight Raincoat
Final Word

So there you have it, from the practical to the purely aesthetic, our top five picks for the new season. With spring signalling a time of reflection and rejuvenation, consider giving your style an instant lift with one (or all five) of these pieces showcased today.

But now it is time for your view:

  • Which, if any, of the five pieces above will you be adding to your wardrobe?
  • Are white trousers only suited to warm climates?
  • Is the lightweight scarf pointless or a great way of individualising your look?
  • Will you abandon your runners for a slip-on silhouette this season?

Let us know in the comments section…