The 2007 film Ghost Rider has much to recommend it, not least a typically nuanced lead performance by Nicholas Cage. But there’s one particularly memorable scene where an eyewitness says of Cage’s motorcycle-riding, flaming skull-headed spirit of vengeance, totally deadpan: “It was an edge look, but he totally pulled it off.”
Which is what onlookers will say of you after reading this guide to some of this year’s slightly more directional trends. We say ‘slightly’ because this is FashionBeans, after all, so we’re not going to suddenly advise wearing a romper or anything like that. But if you’re ready to veer off the well-trodden track of classic menswear, then this is your advanced style sat-nav.
Lest you get confused and start wearing a T-shirt over a coat, reverse layering is more to do with length than the order in which you put stuff on. For example, you might wear a longline T-shirt under a shorter sweatshirt, or a knit under a cropped bomber.
Reverse layering is easier than, say, reverse parking, but there are still some hazards to be aware of. As with plain old layering, the fabrics should get thicker the further away they are from your body, and vice versa.
It’s also a good idea to keep the direction of layers consistent – i.e. from long to short. If you reverse the flow with your mid-layers, you run the risk of looking a little muddled. The exception might be wearing an oversized coat on top. But having gone to the trouble of attempting reverse layering, why would you want to cover up?
Finally, make sure that your jacket or sweatshirt doesn’t pinch too much at the bottom. Otherwise, any T-shirt will flare out like you’re wearing a miniskirt.
While figure-hugging legwear isn’t tapering off completely, the options this season are, well, wider.
“Slimmer trousers still very much have their place, but wide-leg [versions] are beginning to come through,” says River Island senior menswear designer Gregg Dodd.
They might seem like a big statement, but wide- or straight-leg trousers aren’t all that hard to pull off. Literally, as in you won’t have to dislocate your ankle, or call the fire brigade to cut you out. But also as in ‘style successfully’.
“Balance them out with something more fitted up top to avoid looking like you’re wearing a tent,” says Dodd. A shorter jacket will also show that you really do have a waist under all that material, while hefty footwear will prevent your shoes being swamped.
Broadly speaking, it can help to take your first steps in trousers made from a more rugged fabric such as workwear denim or a militaristic khaki-coloured twill. That way, they’ll come over more Nigel Cabourn and less foppish Oxford bag, like you’ve been raiding army surplus stores and not revisiting Brideshead.
Remember how we told you ad infinitum that proper fit is the holiest menswear commandment? Yeah, forget that. Just for a minute.
“Whether in streetwear or runway collections, oversized garments are everywhere,” says Mark Macdonald, a buyer at fashion and lifestyle concept store 18 Montrose.
The oversized tailoring at Balenciaga and other designer names is, however, strictly for black belts only. Start with casual outfits devoid of loud colours or logos: the silhouette will be statement enough.
“Buy T-shirts and sweatshirts one size up,” suggests Macdonald. “These can even be tucked into trousers for that retro look that’s so popular amongst designers and stylists alike.” A T-shirt or sweatshirt is also relatively low-cost and -risk.
Be mindful, though, of things like sleeve length. And with a tailored overcoat, merely sizing up won’t work: you need one that’s been specifically designed with that boxy vibe.
On a related note, while oversized might be everything right now, you don’t want everything in your outfit to be oversized. The same principle as with wide-leg trousers applies, but in reverse: slim or tapered legwear will provide contrast and stop you resembling Tom Hanks at the end of Big.
Pastel tones are particularly prevalent for spring/summer 2017, and none more than pink.
To call wearing pink ‘fashion-forward’ seems a little retrosexual. But at the same time, few other shades are as gendered, rightly or wrongly. And while women can wear blue without a moment’s hesitation, pink will still make most men think twice.
Pink doesn’t need to be such a head-scratcher, though. For starters, the dustier shades that are doing the rounds this season are much more subtle than full-on fuschia.
Then think about the nature of the item in question. While pink suits were on the Gucci and Topman Design runways, the majority of items in stores are T-shirts, sweatshirts and joggers, which, helpfully, have an athletic sensibility that offsets any perceived effeminacy. Similarly, a denim jacket has masculine connotations, whether cowboy, worker or trucker.
Then there’s the issue of what to wear it with. Bomber jackets and jeans will add some edge to the softness. And as with any bold shade, anchor it with darker colours such as navy, grey or even military green to underscore that you’re GI Joe, not Jane.
Full disclosure: most guys in the FashionBeans office think that this trend is dumber than watching a double bill of Dumb And Dumber and Dumb & Dumber To with the sound on mute. And the sequel is terrible, which makes it even dumberer.
But if you’re going to do it, do it right. That means if channelling Ryan Gosling with a scorpion souvenir jacket, then turn down the rest of your outfit. And if your jeans are ripped, patched, bleached or paint-splattered, then keep the top half relatively magnolia – as in subdued, not actual cream.
Yes, the whole point of embellishment is to garner maximal looks and likes. But nothing’s more profoundly uncool than trying too hard. Part of the trick is to wear these standout pieces nonchalantly, like they’re the most battered beaters in your wardrobe.
Besides, throw everything and the vajazzled kitchen sink at your ensemble and expect to wind up more Eurotrash than the contents of Cristiano Ronaldo’s rubbish bin.
Unlike social media followings, when it comes to style, sometimes more is less.