The Menswear Trends To Skip This SS16 (And What To Wear Instead)

Menswear might move at a fraction of womenswear’s breakneck pace – its seasonal shifts more subtle than seismic – but that’s not to say each season doesn’t birth new trends. New modes of dressing. New ideas. Like all ideas, some of these trends are commendable, and some, well, some are crap. Which is why we’ve compiled a list of trends to skip if you don’t want your style to suffer. Thank us later. When you’re returning that puce-coloured embroidered silk suit.

Skip: (Unacceptably) Short Shorts

There are limits to athleisure. While sweatshirts, sweatpants and trainers may be tolerable, nay stylish, junk-exposing 1980s gym shorts most definitely aren’t. That didn’t, however, stop Topman Design from trying to make them happen, showing a series of neutral and neon styles cut so short we feared Dick Owens 2.0. Christopher Shannon, the Scouse designer celebrated for his tongue-in-cheek approach to style, also showed shorts that skimmed groins. And were perhaps a little too cheeky.

Fix: Mid-Thigh Shorts

To air your legs without indecent exposure, opt for shorts with a little more surface area. A mid-thigh chino or tailored pair looks neater than a longer, baggier style but still stops short of baring all. Which is – I think we’re all agreed – best for everyone involved. (Related: The Dos and Don’ts of Wearing Shorts)

Men's Shorts - Fashion & Style Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

j.crew ss16suitsupplyhouse of fraser ss16eidos napoli SS15gieves & hawkes ss16reiss ss14

Key Pieces

  • J. Crew 9 Stretch Stanton ShortJ. Crew 9 Stretch Stanton Short
  • Asos Skinny Chino Shorts In Light KhakiAsos Skinny Chino Shorts In Light Khaki
  • River Island Pink Slim Chino Buckle ShortsRiver Island Pink Slim Chino Buckle Shorts
  • River Island Grey Slim Chino ShortsRiver Island Grey Slim Chino Shorts
  • Ami Slim-fit Cotton-twill Chino ShortsAmi Slim-fit Cotton-twill Chino Shorts
  • River Island Tan Skinny Chino ShortsRiver Island Tan Skinny Chino Shorts
  • Uniqlo Men Chino ShortsUniqlo Men Chino Shorts
  • Next Chino ShortsNext Chino Shorts
  • Topman Navy Chino ShortsTopman Navy Chino Shorts

Skip: Full-On Floral

Call it the Gucci effect: ever since creative director Alessandro Michele took the helm of the Italian label, menswear across the board has become enamoured of the designer’s lavish head-to-toe florals. Which are, it should be said, fine to wear if you’re an off-duty mafia don looking for something to set off the stuccoed walls of your Tuscan palazzo. Less so if your name’s Derek and you’re looking for something to throw on to meet your mates camped out in the beer garden.

Fix: A Floral Focal Point

Punchy and poles apart from the austerity of athleisure, floral patterns are the point of difference your warm-weather wardrobe needs. But go easy. Limit your foliage to one piece – a tee, jacket or a pair of trousers – and make it the focal point of your outfit to avoid looking like a V&A exhibition gone walkabout.

Floral Print Clothing - Men's Fashion & Style Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

mango man 2016el burgues ss16dunhill ss15allsaints spring 2016matalan ss16mango man ss15

Key Pieces

  • Replay Crew Sweatshirt All Over Floral Print In BlackReplay Crew Sweatshirt All Over Floral Print In Black
  • J. Crew Short-sleeve Shirt In Spring Vine FloralJ. Crew Short-sleeve Shirt In Spring Vine Floral
  • Allsaints Yuka Short Sleeve ShirtAllsaints Yuka Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Freemans Sporting Club Floral-print Linen ShirtFreemans Sporting Club Floral-print Linen Shirt
  • Reiss 1971 Nightshade Floral Print Shirt KhakiReiss 1971 Nightshade Floral Print Shirt Khaki
  • Ted Baker Floral Reversible Bomber JacketTed Baker Floral Reversible Bomber Jacket
  • River Island White Hand Drawn Floral Print T-shirtRiver Island White Hand Drawn Floral Print T-shirt
  • J. Crew 9 Stanton Short In Printed FloralJ. Crew 9 Stanton Short In Printed Floral
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Floral Print ChinosHe By Mango Slim-fit Floral Print Chinos

Skip: Skirts

As liberating a prospect as genderless fashion is, we’re not sure we’re ready for this one. We weren’t when Marc Jacobs did it. Nor when Vin Diesel unleashed one at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards. And we’re not buying Givenchy’s SS16 angle either. Maybe it’s the sight of all that hair. Or the hardened musculature against the softness of a skirt’s drape. Whatever it is, it’s the stuff of nightmares.

Fix: Relaxed Trousers

At least part of the reason industry-leading designers are pushing skirts must be a reaction against the restrictive discomfort of pipe cleaner trousers. Which we (and our respective manhoods) are totally on board with. But instead of robbing your girlfriend’s wardrobe, we’d suggest alleviating the skinny issue with a pair of roomier trousers or chinos instead. Branch out into straight- and relaxed-leg styles this season and let your pins breathe. (Related: Why you should wear wide-legged trousers)

Men's Relaxed Leg Trousers and Chinos - Men's Fashion & Style Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

jigsaw 2013Brunello Cucinelli ss16primark ss16burton ss16selected summer 2015eidos napoli ss16

Key Pieces

  • Levis Jeans 501 Original Straight Fit Nero Light WashLevis Jeans 501 Original Straight Fit Nero Light Wash
  • Topman Blue Cropped TrousersTopman Blue Cropped Trousers
  • Gap The Khaki Straight FitGap The Khaki Straight Fit
  • Reiss Harry T Modern Fit Trousers GreyReiss Harry T Modern Fit Trousers Grey
  • A.p.c. New Standard Jean Washed IndigoA.p.c. New Standard Jean Washed Indigo
  • J. Crew Broken-in Chino In 1040 Classic FitJ. Crew Broken-in Chino In 1040 Classic Fit
  • Reiss Bennett Straight Leg Chinos StoneReiss Bennett Straight Leg Chinos Stone
  • River Island Navy Relaxed ChinosRiver Island Navy Relaxed Chinos
  • River Island Light Grey Carrot ChinosRiver Island Light Grey Carrot Chinos

Skip: Lace Shirts

Once an easy way for men to announce their financial prowess, wearing lace today just makes you look like Liberace – despite what luxury labels Burberry and Gucci would have you believe. Yes, lace shirts might be part of a movement encouraging us to re-think what it means to be masculine, but that’s not really the point. The point is you have to get your t*ts out. And unless you’ve been eating nothing but chicken breast since last summer, you’ll be doing everyone a big favour by giving this one a wide berth.

Fix: Knitted Polos

Add some textural interest to your top half with a knitted polo in a trim fit. Versatile and irrepressibly preppy, one of these will offer a point of difference without going overboard.

Knitted Polo Shirts Men's Fashion & Style Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

zara 2016scotch & soda ss15dunhill ss15mango 2016tesco f&f aw15burton ss15

Key Pieces

  • Ted Baker Long Sleeve Knitted Polo ShirtTed Baker Long Sleeve Knitted Polo Shirt
  • Asos Muscle Fit Knitted Polo Shirt In Grey Slub CottonAsos Muscle Fit Knitted Polo Shirt In Grey Slub Cotton
  • Tom Ford Knitted Cotton Polo ShirtTom Ford Knitted Cotton Polo Shirt
  • Reiss Hamish Textured Polo Shirt EcruReiss Hamish Textured Polo Shirt Ecru
  • Reiss Goa Mottled Polo Shirt NavyReiss Goa Mottled Polo Shirt Navy
  • Reiss Barnes Cotton Polo Shirt Dark GreyReiss Barnes Cotton Polo Shirt Dark Grey
  • He By Mango Textured Cotton Polo ShirtHe By Mango Textured Cotton Polo Shirt
  • River Island White Ribbed Popper Polo ShirtRiver Island White Ribbed Popper Polo Shirt
  • River Island Camel Textured Polo ShirtRiver Island Camel Textured Polo Shirt

Skip: Frankly Batshit Bags

We know not everything that’s sent down the runway is intended for the assembly line. Which is why, when we first locked eyes on pieces like J.W. Anderson’s metal charm bags and KTZ’s oversized medical bags, we smiled knowingly to ourselves (“Those designers, so crafty!”) and thought nothing more of them, content in the belief they’d never see the light of day (or a shop floor). Turns out – in the case of former at least – we were wrong. You can pick up a J.W. Anderson metal charm bag on the designer’s website for a modest £535. Can you carry anything in it? No. Is it a metal frame with tools and trinkets dangling from it? Yes. Are our minds blown? Fully.

Fix: Functional Bags

Totes. Backpacks. Barrel bags. All of these are viable options for spring, summer and any other season. What’s more, they’ll a) carry things, and b) aren’t so big they’d take out a pensioner with one misjudged step at a pedestrian crossing. If you haven’t already got your hands on one, then remember these two golden rules:

  1. Buy a style that fits with your lifestyle – a leather tote is timeless, but it won’t be for life if you spend yours living in longline tees, tapered sweatpants and sleek trainers.
  2. Colour is key – black, brown and grey are versatile and therefore will work with most of your wardrobe. Bags in punchy colours or loud prints are best left as reserves.

(Related: How to buy a bag that works anywhere)

Functional Bags, Totes, Holdalls, Backpacks Men's Fashion & Style Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

ben sherman ss16river island january 2016zara 2016mango man 2016burton ss16Aquascutum ss16

Key Pieces

  • Allsaints Boundary Leather ToteAllsaints Boundary Leather Tote
  • Reiss Tanner Leather Tote Bag BrownReiss Tanner Leather Tote Bag Brown
  • Ally Capellino Luke Canvas Tote BeigeAlly Capellino Luke Canvas Tote Beige
  • Sandqvist Jordan Leather HoldallSandqvist Jordan Leather Holdall
  • He By Mango Leather Weekend BagHe By Mango Leather Weekend Bag
  • Want Les Essentiels Hartsfield Leather-trimmed Organic Cotton-canvas HoldallWant Les Essentiels Hartsfield Leather-trimmed Organic Cotton-canvas Holdall
  • A.p.c. Jamie Backpack KhakiA.p.c. Jamie Backpack Khaki
  • Exclusive Club Monaco Leather-trimmed Canvas BackpackExclusive Club Monaco Leather-trimmed Canvas Backpack
  • Allsaints Flight Leather BackpackAllsaints Flight Leather Backpack

Skip: Unorthodox Accessories

Menswear designers take inspiration from myriad sources, from art to cinema to architecture to, er, pick-up artists? The recent surge in lie-peddling PUAs’ popularity has had, it seems, some very real knock-on effects, with designers offering some prime peacocking material for the season ahead. At Dunhill, for example, regular-sized boutonnières apparently rated paltry on the peacocking scale. In their place? Pins that looked like they’d been treated to a few months’ worth of Miracle-Gro. Elsewhere, at Junya Watanabe, African beads, bones and fetish objects were the finishing touches. Which, if popping bottles of Dom hasn’t managed to do it, will definitely get you noticed at your Mayfair members’ club of choice.

Fix: Classic Accessories

The fact that wearing accessories – jewellery, watches and hats, in particular – is in many ways a statement in and of itself means you should generally steer subtle in your tastes. This season, a decent minimal watch, a leather cuff or a couple of steel rings is all you need to get noticed. For the right reasons.

Men's Minimal Summer Accessories - Men's Fashion & Style Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

topman spring 2016mvmt watchesmassimo dutti nyc 5th avenue ss15massimo dutti 2014j.crew 2016charles tyrwhitt

Key Pieces

  • River Island Brown Straw Pork Pie HatRiver Island Brown Straw Pork Pie Hat
  • Lock & Co Hatters Classic Woven Straw Panama HatLock & Co Hatters Classic Woven Straw Panama Hat
  • Shore Projects Cowes Mesh Bracelet Strap WatchShore Projects W006s019s Unisex Cowes Mesh Bracelet Strap Watch
  • Daniel Wellington Glasgow Rose Gold/Canvas WatchDaniel Wellington Glasgow Rose Gold Canvas Strap Watch
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Woven Leather Wrap BraceletPaul Smith Shoes & Accessories Woven Leather Wrap Bracelet
  • Miansai Half-layered Brass CuffMiansai Half-layered Brass Cuff

Final Word

Do you agree with our list of trends to skip? Or are there others you’d round up for Room 101? Name and shame below.

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