The Olive Blazer
Your plate isn’t the only place to fill up on greens. The shade dominated on AW15 runways and lingers, in more muted form, for SS16. For those nervous at the idea of any colour, it’s a way to introduce some brightness without dazzling; an olive blazer over a simple white tee is a shade smarter than your go-to navy option when the sun’s peeking out. Once that’s locked, go green all-over by adding a forest green chino and jade overcoat – the key is keeping the colours a shade or two apart, so you don’t look like you’re in uniform. If that’s too much, start with clashing accessories like an emerald backpack or chartreuse pocket square. Suitsupply Copenhagen Green Plain Blazer, available at Suitsupply, priced £229.
Ideally, those raw jeans you bought at the height of the workwear boom have started to degrade naturally. If not, then you can still jump on the distressed denim trend off-the-rack. You’ve got some options here; for the uninitiated, look to lived-in jeans, which feature the kind of whiskering and fades around the crotch and knees you’d normally have to sacrifice some skin to earn. For ripped-knee acolytes, follow the likes of Baartmans & Siegel and James Long, whose SS16 offerings featured jeans so shredded they looked they’d gone best of three with a woodchipper. Basically, if Kurt Cobain would have worn it, so should you. Nudie Jeans Brute Knut Slim-Fit Organic Jeans, available at Mr Porter, priced £165.
The Souvenir Jacket
The bomber is, if not dead, then at least worth moving to the back of your rotation. This season’s hero piece is the souvenir jacket, or sukajan, a silky take on the style with intricate chinoiserie on the reverse. It originated with US soldiers, who’d commission jackets to mark tours of the Far East that mixed domestic tropes – think bald eagles and the Stars ‘n’ Stripes – with dragons, tigers and East Asian flowers. This season’s best example of cross-cultural pollination is Mr Porter’s super-exclusive hook-up with Japanese brand Sasquatchfabrix, who crafted this Mt Fuji-featuring souvenir jacket for the e-tailer’s showcase of Japanese fashion. Best paired with a white tee and some slashed, black jeans. Sasquatchfabrix + Beams Embroidered Souvenir Jacket, available at Mr Porter, priced £440.
The Light Grey Roll Neck
Your black roll neck served you well through winter, but you should leave the Milk Tray look with the darker weather. A light grey version does the same job – lengthens your torso, lends your tailoring something new, looks as good with a suit as a souvenir jacket – but is a sign that you’ve stepped into spring. Since the weather’s less predictable, look for thin-gauge versions in a natural fabric. Merino is super-soft against your skin, breathes and absorbs sweat when you’re warm, and traps heat to fight that unexpected cold snap. Consider it your ally against inaccurate weathermen. John Smedley Belvoir Roll Neck Merino Wool Sweater, available at Mr Porter, priced £130.
Despite what some folks in our comment section claim, wide-legged trousers are not a designer-led conspiracy to make men look stupid. Sure, when worn wrong, they do everything they shouldn’t; if the proportions are off your body shrinks or grows in ways you definitely don’t want. But balance their volume with a cropped, close-fitting jacket and the perfect pair of shoes – something chunky enough not to get lost, but not so platformed you look like Disco Stu – and they bestow a suave, slim silhouette on even the most gym-shy man. This season, options abound. E Tautz showed a loose denim version, Casely-Hayford made pleats acceptable even for men who don’t remember the war, and Dolce & Gabbana did theirs up in bold florals. But whichever you opt for, pair with neutral separates so they stay the statement piece. ADPT Pleated Chinos In Wide-Leg Fit, available at ASOS, priced £45.
The Rain-Ready Backpack
Part of prepping for spring is taking steps against showers. So unless you think that vegetable-tanned leather briefcase you got for graduation would look better water-stained, you need something designed to handle the elements. Recent seasons have seen functional backpacks transition from the shelves at Blacks to the likes of Balenciaga, whose all-black take is smart enough for work and rubberised to keep your stuff dry. Accessories brand UTC00 is equally adept at blending form and function; the brand’s vibrant second season collection has enough nylon, zips and water-repellent canvas to cope with storms, in colours to catch any street style snapper’s eye. UTC00 Rucksack, available at Zalando, priced £115.
The Oversized Scarf
Voluminous scarves in versatile colours were (literally) big at Missoni, Burberry Prorsum and Saint Laurent this season. Although normally considered an autumn staple, they’re also ideal for adjusting your temperature to suit weather that’s sweltering by day and frozen by night. Team a trench coat or light jacket with a scarf rich in colour to make a statement, or something with a washed-out patterned, taking cues from Missoni, for a 1970s-inspired way to dress down. Just take care not to drift into Tom Baker territory. Burberry Extra Long Icon Check Scarf, available at Harrods, priced £695.