Fashion month matters when it comes to discerning the colours, cuts and key pieces we’ll be wearing in the future, but with so many designers showing such a broad spectrum of highly stylised looks, much of what’s pinned as the pinnacle of trendy often never actually gets put into production.
Arguably a more accurate barometer for the current state of menswear is what’s available on the high street, from budget retailers to mid-market brands.
Here’s our edit of the trends to buy into this season, without the need to cough up a month’s rent or track down an exclusive boutique.
With a new set of Pantones dubbed the colours to cop each season, it can be hard work keeping abreast of which hues you need to hunt down. Thankfully, this season’s trend for all-black, all-white, and black and white looks allows you to sidestep the seasonal colour switch ups – and still look stylish.
ASOS, River Island, Next and AllSaints all put their own distinctive spin on monochrome in their SS15 lookbooks, ranging from beach-ready white-on-white ensembles to edgier, rock-infused looks with a healthy dose of attitude.
All-black outfits, despite their connotations of adolescent goths for some, will always look classic, while all-white getups are ideal if you want something summer-appropriate that strikes the balance between subtle and statement-making.
Key to both, though, is mixing up textures (try synthetics with cotton or suede with denim, for example) and also checking whether or not a full monochrome aesthetic is suited to your skin tone. If you find yours isn’t really up to a single-colour ensemble, then try mixing in a piece or two in grey to help soften and pull your look together.
As for black and white outfits, choose one of the two as the dominant hue – for example, the colour of your suit or your jacket and trousers – and then add complementary surrounding pieces in the other colour, such as a vest, T-shirt, short-sleeved shirt or pair of shoes.
Summer dressing never looked so slick.
Get The Look
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Jersey
- Gap Essential Crewneck T-shirt
- He By Mango Cotton Chinos
- Allsaints Stout Jacket
- He By Mango Classic-fit Stretch Cotton Tailored Shirt
- Topman Limited Edition Black Double Breasted Skinny Fit Suit Jacket
- Next Polo Shirt
- Uniqlo Men Sweat Shirt
- River Island White Slim Chino Shorts
- Zara Buttoned Cardigan With Contrast Piping
- Reiss Medway Classic Twill Chinos Black
- Burton Black Harrington Jacket
2. Printed Short-Sleeved Shirts
Consider yourselves schooled, naysayers – the short-sleeved shirt is now officially a summertime staple, according to the high street. From Primark to H&M, Reiss to River Island, this once maligned separate is on its way to becoming a menswear mainstay.
While plain colour versions are definitely popular, it’s printed styles that a lot of household names are pushing this summer. AllSaints put a characteristically muted spin on the classic Hawaiian silhouette, while Burton and H&M have produced especially wearable leaf print and micro print designs, respectively.
Not entirely confident you can pull one of these off? Then remember the two Fs: fit and framing. Nailing the printed short-sleeved shirt means finding one that fits perfectly (not too baggy or tight, but form-flattering with the sleeves ending a couple of centimetres above your elbow) and is framed by comparatively ‘quiet’ pieces that won’t compete for attention – think plain colour staples in neutral hues.
Get The Look
- Burton Blue Floral Print Shirt
- New Look Blue Leaf Print Denim Short Sleeve Shirt
- Allsaints Poison Short Sleeve Shirt
- H&m Short-sleeved Cotton Shirt
- He By Mango Slim-fit Short-sleeve Printed Shirt
- Asos Shirt In Short Sleeve With Indigo Ditsy Floral Print
- Asos Floral Shirt In Short Sleeve
- Uniqlo Men Linen Cotton Short Sleeve Shirt
- Reiss Beluga Checked Cuban Collar Shirt White
- J. Crew J.crew Printed Cotton Shirt
- Autograph Luxury Pure Cotton Short Sleeve Floral Shirt
- River Island Grey Leaf Print Short Sleeve Shirt
3. The Popover Shirt
For something so versatile, the popover shirt isn’t as prevalent as it probably should be. The best way to bridge the smart-casual divide when it’s hot, a popover is dressier than a tee but not as stifling as an Oxford button-down.
What’s more, it’ll pair with shorts and sandals just as well as with a linen blazer, lightweight chinos and loafers.
Swedish giant H&M is stocking some lightweight navy versions this season while J.Crew’s spring/summer 2015 collection includes a chambray style that’s perfect if you want something seasonally-appropriate and workwear-inspired.
Get The Look
- He By Mango Classic-fit Mao Collar Linen Shirt
- H&m Tunic In A Linen Blend
- J. Crew Brushed Twill Popover Shirt In Heather Sky Herringbone
- J. Crew Japanese Chambray Popover Shirt
- J. Crew Short-sleeve Popover Shirt In Vintage Oxford Cloth
- Asos Shirt In Long Sleeve With 3/4 Length Placket
4. Lightweight Bomber Jackets
Given its popularity over the past five years, the bomber jacket has morphed from burgeoning trend to modern-day wardrobe staple. This season, however, the high street is pushing a sleeker, lighter weight and more refined iteration of this military classic.
Usually fabricated in cotton, linen, synthetics or a blend of these materials, the lightweight bomber is a versatile silhouette that can bring a smarter edge to casual looks, but also help relax a more formal getup.
Being slim and fitted in its cut, you could even layer it underneath another jacket to add some interest – just be sure to save this trick for the tail end of summer and early autumn.
From slick and sporty to understated and tailored, there’s a wide array of options to choose from this summer, with our favourite versions coming in timeless colourways like navy and beige.
Get The Look
- He By Mango Sleeve-pocket Bomber Jacket
- Asos Bomber Jacket
- H&m Bomber Jacket
- Topman Blue Tape Zip Technical Bomber Jacket
- New Look Khaki Bomber Jacket
- Topman Burgundy Cotton Bomber Jacket
- Zara Bomber Jacket
- Reiss Cannes Bomber Jacket Bright Blue
- River Island Navy Blue Twill Bomber Jacket
- J.crew A2 Lightweight Bomber Jacket
- Next Black Bomber Jacket
- River Island Ecru Casual Contrast Neck Bomber Jacket
Although present on the menswear periphery for the last few seasons (mostly in the form of footwear), this exceptionally soft type of leather is set to play a leading role on our streets in the months to come after emerging as a major trend from both the autumn/winter 2015 and spring/summer 2016 fashion weeks.
Suede’s unique texture and ‘easy luxury’ aesthetic make it the ideal option for guys who want to stand out, but not like a sore thumb, and although one of the more expensive trends on our list, you can still find some reasonably priced jackets on the high street, with the most affordable starting from around £100.
Keep your eyes peeled for bomber and workerwear silhouettes in camel and other neutral tones like tan and stone – the material’s natural texture is eye-catching enough, so there’s no need to amp up the colour as well. A bomber in suede will bring character to smart-casual looks while a western cut adds an on-trend 1970s feel to an otherwise fairly pedestrian short-sleeved shirt and chinos combination.
Not convinced a suede jacket is a sound investment given its sensitivity? Then dip into this trend with a pair of suede brogues or Derby shoes instead, with styles available for as low as £39.99 from the likes of H&M.
Get The Look
- Asos Suede Biker Jacket
- Asos Suede Bomber Jacket
- Allsaints Ocarno Suede Jacket
- River Island Stone Holloway Road Suede Bomber
- He By Mango Suede Bomber Jacket
- He By Mango Buttoned Suede Jacket
- He By Mango Suede Slip-on Sneakers
- Topman Navy Suede Tassel Loafers
- Reiss Bradley Suede Driving Shoes Chalk
- Next Suede Derby
- Burton Beige Suede Desert Boots
- H&m Suede Derby Shoes
6. Light Wash Jeans
With denim and the nineties key trends for 2015, it should come as no surprise that light wash jeans are back on the menswear agenda this summer.
Perfectly suited to warm-weather dressing, jeans in mid to light blue shades or bleached out washes offer something different to traditional black or indigo styles, and can hugely expand your outfit possibilities – combining with all of those shirts, tees and jackets that just don’t work with a black or navy base.
It’s imperative you bring this retro style bang up to date by nailing the fit – stick to slim and skinny cuts with a minimal break, since a baggy leg or pooling at the ankle will only make it look like you’ve raided your dad’s wardrobe.
Zara and Mango are two brands that have thrown themselves behind the trend this season, offering a wide range of shades and styles at prices that won’t break the bank.
Get The Look
- He By Mango Slim-fit Light Vintage Tim Jeans
- Allsaints Anhu Iggy Jeans
- He By Mango Slim-fit Light Wash Jan Jeans
- Zara Denim Chino Trousers
- Asos Stretch Slim Jeans In Light Blue Wash
- Zara Sky Blue Jeans
- H&m Jeans Tapered Fit
- H&m Slim Low Jeans
- Burton Mid Wash Slim Jeans
- Uniqlo Men Miracle Air Stretch Skinny Fit Tapered Jeans
- Reiss Blackbird Slim-fit Jeans
- Next Bleach Wash Jeans With Stretch
Big budget shows from industry-leading designers will always have their place in paving the way for menswear, but high street shop windows are, by many accounts, often a better indicator of what’s up-to-the-minute stylish.
Have we missed off any key trends you’ve noticed? And will you be giving any of these a go this summer?
Let us know by commenting below.