The world of fashion is known for breaking rules. Sometimes, it even breaks its own. Black is now readily seen alongside blue; tweed is not just for country, but also for town; and denim-on-denim gets a unanimous thumbs up.
This ebb and flow of acceptability has seen a number of once banished pieces make like the prodigal son, welcomed back onto runways with open arms. These are the items you should regret ejecting from your wardrobe – and swiftly replace.
In the last year, jogging bottoms have gone from layabout favourite to Lanvin-endorsed. And the French fashion house isn’t the only co-sign. Paul Smith, Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton have all embraced the athleisure look, and this unlikely transformation from cast-out to couture is thanks to a new breed of slim styles, which swap scratchy cotton for luxury fabrics.
It doesn’t hurt that a certain Mr West is rarely seen out of them. When worn with quality knitwear and even suit jackets, it’s easy to see why the decade of denim domination is over.
The city boy’s power pattern wasn’t always taboo. Favoured by menswear OGs Cary Grant and Clark Gable, the pinstripe’s adoption in the 1980s by a certain breed of bonus-snorting banker meant sartorial banishment when the bubble burst.
Now, pinstripes are re-emerging at the hands of designers like Richard James and Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent, thankfully without the padded shoulders or chest-covering lapels.
Update yours by minding the gap – a thicker chalkstripe is less intense than its slimmer brother – and keep your shirt and tie muted. That means definitely no contrast collars.
Corduroy has a struck an unlikely, ahem, chord with the fashion forward. This old-school fabric has graduated from covering substitute teachers to Pitti Uomo’s best dressed, and it’s largely thanks to director Wes Anderson, whose love of corduroy materialises as much in his films as his real-life wardrobe.
The key to not looking like a visiting professor is swapping your usual hues for jewel tones, if you’re brave, or autumn leaf hues if you’re not. Equally important is the wale – the distance between the ridges. The bigger the gap, the warmer the material, and the squarer your look. Stay fine to, well, stay fine.
Not even Nostradamus could have predicted the return of Madchester’s favourite headwear. It seemed wide-eyed ravers and deep sea trawlermen had sunk the bucket’s fashion fortunes, until skate brands like Stussy and Palace gave it the kiss of life.
With even Polo Ralph Lauren and Moncler Gamme Bleu now giving the hat their own spin, it shows that nothing in fashion ever truly kicks the bucket. Our advice? Avoid garish prints and look for a plain version that can be worn with a laid=back shirt. And don’t actually wear it on a boat.
The death knell sounded for cargo trousers around the time Fred Durst pitched up in versions that could double up as a functional tent. But after a deserved time out, designers like Brunello Cucinelli and Michael Bastian have introduced iterations that are cut slim and preppy.
Pair with a button-down shirt, knitted tie and blazer for an alternative to chinos, or dress down with a sweatshirt. Just keep the pockets empty to avoid that rap-rock silhouette.
Minimal trainers have had their moment and while they’re not disappearing anytime soon, maximalism is flexing its muscles. Alongside joggers, the athleisure trend has seen the rise of busy, bulbous footwear styles, with reissues of Nike’s Air Max 95 and Reebok’s Insta Pump Fury, as well as the soaring popularity of Raf Simons’ and adidas’ opinion-splitting Ozweego.
Not one for dressing down your suit, you’re best top-to-toeing the sportswear line with a tailored tracksuit, or steering Yeezy with black, stacked denim.
Florals made a comeback a couple of summers ago, but the fact they are still going strong and continue to be important in the success of several collections earns them a place on this list.
Like sandals, florals had to overcome an association with femininity before they could bloom in menswear. However, understand that they’re not always on the dress code. Advice Lewis Hamilton should have heeded before trying to wear his into the Royal Box at Wimbledon.