You may look at the boldly-dressed attendees of London, Paris and Milan fashion weeks, and scoff. It can border on the absurd at first scan. Look a little closer, however, and you’ll often find that the folk of the front row don’t dress a world away from the rest of us.
For every ridiculous look begging for blog inches, there are commendable moves to be mined – wearable, up-to-the-minute looks for the weekend, the workplace and beyond. Our photographers were at this season’s shows and captured the best street style trends – worn correctly, they’ll steer you stylishly away from amateur-photographer-cum-sneaker-blogger-cum-instafluencer.
A menu of neutrals sounds all sorts of bland but in practice, a creamy dish can be extremely palatable – a fact proven by the banquet of magnolia outfits spotted this show season.
Head-to-toe neutrals work when there are various tones at play. Wear camel, coffee and off-white in tandem as opposed to going one-note and looking like one of those blanket-covered sand raiders in Star Wars. The easiest way to pull off the trend is by picking two shades: use a lighter sweater or tee to break up a two-piece, or darker legwear to contrast with what’s up top.
Either way, you’ll build a tonal look using staples that should already be hanging in your wardrobe: your camel coat, your coffee chinos and so on. The benefits are twofold; firstly, neutrals have long been safe territory, and their versatility makes them preferable to trend-led colours. Plus, there’s an increased chance to introduce some texture, of which more later on.
From the weather to our faces to our wardrobes, there’s a colour shortage in winter. Or at least that was the case until this season, when street corners across London, Paris and Milan played host to some standout primary-coloured outerwear.
Darker, everyday looks get an immediate lift thanks to a brighter hue on top, moving monochrome mediocrity to something sunnier and more memorable. The rules are simple. Stick to outerwear that’s classic in design – a worker jacket, bomber, overcoat or similar – to house the vibrancy in a familiar, fail-safe shell. Then, ensure it’s your only pop of colour: any more, and you risk scorching your look (and retinas) beyond repair.
Don’t add that hot pink puffer jacket to cart just yet, though. Rich, autumnal shades like burnt orange, burgundy and forest green are far easier to wear, and right on-trend this year. Just remember to bear in mind your skin tone before you pull the trigger on any purchase.
As rapper Ice Cube once famously spoke (well, spat), “you better check yourself before you wreck yourself.” And, after seeing a slew of squared-off pieces at this season’s shows, that’s sage style advice for 2018.
Although usually limited to the odd accessory, checks are being worn en masse in fully coordinated looks: shirts, scarves, coats, trousers, the lot. A brave move, sure, but also one that shows you can create volume and depth using classic pieces.
The conservative dresser can drop a piece in here and there – a navy windowpane jacket to chime with blue trousers and accessories, say. But if you’re going for a full-body check-up, ensure every piece is of the same pattern with at least one item – a plain T-shirt or jumper, for instance – to act as a buffer against the gridlock.
By now, the bomber jacket is less a trend piece and more a bona fide wardrobe essential. And the mainstream embrace of this military staple has encouraged guys to draft other pieces from the armed forces’ arsenal of menswear.
Outside the AW18 shows, many guys tooled up with camo accents and flight jackets, while others stepped aboard the good ship Dunkirk with World War II-inspired military overcoats layered over classic tailoring. However, if you’re not partial to full regalia, you can still settle for street style’s front-line colour: khaki.
There are two routes available here. You can pair your military-inspired menswear with other standard issue garb: bomber jackets with cargo trousers, rugged boots with overcoats and the like. This way, the overall look is united by similar pieces, and an earthy palette of browns, greens and greys ties it all together with little thought required.
If that’s a little too G.I. Joe for your tastes, try anchoring a single military-inspired piece against a flank of staples in neutral colours. That way, you can allude to the battlefield without heading for the trenches. Who said basic training was difficult?
Good In The Hood
Despite large-scale protests from the snootier end of men’s style, tailoring and sportswear is here to stay. It’s a trend. It’s a thing. It’s never looked better.
A hoodie and an overcoat, at odds on paper, are compatible thanks to the relaxation of dress codes at large: just as a structured coat can add polish to any outfit, sportswear can simmer down a look for a comfortable, high-low approach to smart-casual.
The rule is to keep things muted. A neutral overcoat in camel, navy or grey will not only work with all the other pieces in your wardrobe (and nail the cost-per-wear ratio), but also offers the perfect foil to any heavy branding on your hoodie. Then, ensure both pieces complement each other colour-wise, and you’ll silence the haters for good.
All The Feels
Men have a real problem discussing their feelings. So this season, the menswear glitterati just wore them instead.
Yes, texture was the order of the day, as heavy-gauge knitwear and tactile outerwear added interest and memorability to staple looks. It isn’t as difficult as you’d think, either. The trick here is to dial down on colour, detail and embellishment and make texture your headline act. That way, you can wear several fabrics to bring depth to an outfit without overdoing it.
Some materials are always going to be trickier than others – that’s a given – but corduroy, suede and shearling are three easy to wear options that’ll let you get touchy-feely in a good way.