Cuban Collar Shirts
Cuban collars – those wide-open, almost notch-lapel like collars (connotative of Riviera chic, or acid trip Hawaiian shirts, depending on your reference points) – made their comeback in 2013, appearing on the SS14 runways of Louis Vuitton, Missoni and Canali.
But it’s only now, thanks to menswear’s relatively sluggish pace, that we’re seeing them actually hit the streets. It’s high time, too: airy, lightweight and a shade more refined than a crew neck T-shirt, these should top your holiday hit-list.
Denim is back. (Not that it ever really went away.)
Despite reports that show denim sales on a steady decline, fashion weeks saw several of menswear’s finest – including one vlogging super-celebrity – turn out in the tough stuff.
We’re not just talking jeans either. But denim overshirts, Western jackets, boiler suits… the list goes on. If nothing else, the fact these shots were taken in muggy 20+ degree heat proves that not even denim’s durable, absolutely-not-breathable construction dulls its lasting appeal to menswear’s trendsetters.
Luxury fashion, some would argue, is slowly falling to its knees, with blue chip brands like Burberry and Prada beginning to lose their foothold due to plummeting profits.
Other names, though, prove top-tier fashion’s influence is still writ large with designers such as Kim Jones (of Louis Vuitton) and Alessandro Michele (of Gucci) making things like embroidery – an adornment arguably most prevalent in frothy women’s couture and, you know, your nan’s wardrobe – a contemporary look for men.
Scenes outside SS17 shows saw embroidered shirts, jackets and jeans – proof that it’s time to get decorative.
Remember when bomber jackets were ‘edgy’? When they still had something of that military vigour, and tapped into the inherent shock value of skinheads?
Well, designers have cottoned on to the fact that modern-day bombers – owing to their ubiquity – are about as edgy as a comfy fleece jacket. Leading to them creating a slew of fresh takes on the classic MA-1, which run the gamut from all-over printed versions to variations on the sukajan, or souvenir jacket.
We’re not saying plain bombers are dead and buried, but it might be time for some well-earned leave.
They’re here. Finally. After what feels like an eternity (read: five years) of trumpeting wider-legged trousers as menswear’s new ‘thing’, we’re finally waking up to the myriad benefits of freeing our pins from compression garment fits.
Just in time for summer, too – a time of year when pulling on a pair of skinny jeans isn’t entirely unlike being subjected to a particularly cruel Spanish Inquisition torture method.
The SS17 circuit saw lightweight chinos, linen-blend trousers and denim all cut in looser (some tapered, some straight-leg) fits, proving Hedi Slimane’s legacy is finally withering. Your unmentionables have never been happier.
Men’s fashion weeks have their showmen, sure, but in amongst the skirts and Dulux colour palette peacocks are some solid style moves that every man can emulate. Like wearing pretty much the same colour head-to-toe.
Similar to (but not the same as) a monochrome approach, a tonal look – an outfit made up of subtle variations (or tones) of the same colour – carries an obvious benefit to men who spend nearly two months of the year schlepping between fashion capitals: they don’t need to waste time figuring out what goes with what.
So next time you don’t know what to wear, take a hint from these guys, making sure there’s a subtle difference in tone between pieces, and using texture to create clear contrast where colour won’t.
The DB Jacket
Is the suit dead? Redundant? A vestige of a bygone era that now belongs behind a glass display cabinet?
Of course it’s not dead – but we wouldn’t blame you for thinking that based on much of the show coverage in recent seasons. The fact remains that as long as we have corporate offices and weddings, there will be call for a suit.
No, the suit is not dead, but different. Tweed three-pieces have given way to less structured split separates, and athleisure has arm-wrestled dandy styling into submission. Which means the double-breasted jacket still works – but it works just as well (if not better) worn open with a tee, as it does a shirt and tie.
The T-shirt Tuck
As suited-and-booted gets relegated to the back seat (see above), the T-shirt assumes its position as the perfectly acceptable alternative to your trusty Oxford button-down. The only thing is, worn loose, as you usually would a tee, it can look sloppy.
Enter the T-shirt tuck, the simple styling trick that turns a billowing tee into something that won’t jar with even your sharpest tailoring. We’re retiring our irons.
Backpacks, no matter how luxuriously fabricated or functional, aren’t for every man. (Especially those who aren’t still subsisting on Pot Noodles and skipping lectures for lie-ins.)
The tote, however, with its subtle styling, chuck-it-all-in capaciousness and resolutely sophisticated look, has an appeal that’s far more universal.
Despite designers and brands making the case for rucksacks in recent seasons, what men carried to the most recent shows proved the ability to go hands-free just doesn’t quite warrant having to look like a sixth former.
As with suits, to say that smart shoes were dying would be alarmist and, well, patently untrue. But we can’t help thinking that, while not yet nearing Siberian tiger-level threat of extinction, the reign of brogues and Derbies is definitely showing signs of waning.
Why? Because almost half of the men we captured on the streets of major fashion capitals are opting for trainers over classic shoe styles – regardless of whether their look skewed totally casual or tailored. Which means there’ll be less call for that salt bath.
Photos taken by Yu Yang for FashionBeans.