Nobody likes crossing paths with someone wearing exactly the same thing as them. It’s embarrassing. And following the latest and greatest menswear trends is a good way to double your chances of it happening to you.

Presenting yourself in a manner that’s both individual and up to date requires digging a little deeper. Diving below the surface of the mainstream menswear tide and getting stuck into what lies beneath.

These are your microtrends – the under-the-radar style moves that can take you one step ahead of the crowd. Here’s what you need to know for the season ahead.

Perforated Uppers

Holy sneakers, Batman! Literally. Perforated toe boxes on shoes are nothing new. Just look at the Air Force 1 for proof of that. Even so, they’re enjoying a resurgence in popularity at present and we certainly aren’t complaining. Blame it on the 90s style revival, blame it on the fetishisation of anything remotely retro. Whatever the cause, one thing’s for sure, hole-y uppers are back and now would be a good time to get involved.

You might think this trend would be best suited to the summer months due to the added ventilation provided. And you’d be right. But perforated uppers are good for more than just letting your feet breathe – they look great too.

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Striped Wool Jumpers

If you spent more time drooling over Freddie Krueger’s jumper than hiding behind the sofa during the 80s this one is going to be right up your (Elm) street. Stripy jumpers are back from the dead, making dressing for the weather and staying on trend a walk in the park.

Bold lines, block colours and chunky knits are ideal for wrapping up and giving your outfit a focal point. While fine gauge knits, thin stripes and subtle tones can be used to add a low-key dash of personality to proceedings.

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Commando Soles

Tough-as-nails commando sole units. They’ve been marching their way off the frontline and onto some of menswear’s favourite footwear silhouettes for a little while now. It’s a development that has seen classics like the Chelsea boot and the Derby shoe undergo a military makeover, coming out of basic training with an added dose of attitude.

This footwear microtrend is all about taking traditionally smart or dressy designs and doing away with the standard flat leather or rubber sole. In their place are the sort of thick Vibram treads perfect for standing up to wintery elements. And with the bad weather doing everything it can to get into full swing it’s one of the most practical style moves you can add to your seasonal repertoire.

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Patterned Dinner Jackets

We’re now in the throes of party season and dressing to impress is the name of the game. That doesn’t necessarily mean squeezing yourself into boring black tie gear and doing your best Sean Connery impression though. The festive period affords you the opportunity to get creative with your partywear. And while that may sound daunting, with a statement dinner jacket at your disposal, it’s a breeze.

This microtrend hinges on treading the line between standout and subtle. There are all-over patterns but they’re subdued. There are colours but they’re muted. You can make an impression at a party without going all Harry and Lloyd, you know.

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Leopard Print

You know us – we’d be the last people to suggest you should go out dressed like Fred Flintstone. However, the animal print trend doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon and it’s probably time you paid it some attention.

Species-wise, it’s the leopard that has been prowling the catwalks of late. And as counterintuitive and Mel B-esque as it may be, it can actually work well when styled thoughtfully. Key pieces include shirting, statement outerwear and accessories. Just remember only ever to wear one piece at a time unless you want to risk being shot by a trophy-hunting dentist the next time you’re out for a stroll.

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Panelled Joggers

Fashion is fast paced and unforgiving. The more popular a trend becomes, the further it has to fall. As years of minimalism, slim cuts and athleisure gave way to 90s styling, oversized silhouettes and maximalism over the past year or two, pared-back, smart joggers are one of the many hero items of sportswear to have been supplanted.

Today it’s about retro sporty styles, featuring panel detailing and heavy branding, with brands like The North Face and Fila leading the charge. We’re talking block colours, cut-and-sew mixing of fabrics and plenty of texture variations.

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Safety Orange

You probably aren’t going to get caught in an avalanche on your way to the office or find yourself swept out to sea while nipping out to buy some eggs. Still, it’s comforting to know you’d be easy to spot if you were to be. Safety orange is quite literally the hottest colour in menswear right now. And while it may not be for everybody, there’s no denying it’s a safe way to add a pop to an outfit.

This vibrant shade works particularly well on outerwear and accessories. Think windbreakers, waterproofs, cross-body bags and beanies. Granted, it sits more on the streetwear end of the spectrum and it’s a brave man who pairs it with any sort of tailoring. However, if you’ve got the pips for it, orange is one of the boldest style moves to make this winter.


Mickey Mouse

No, you didn’t read that wrong. Disney’s big-eared rodent mascot really is one of the biggest microtrends of AW18. The reason being that it’s his birthday – his 90th to be precise. If you’re wondering why that makes him a trend, and you’d be completely justified in doing so, allow us to explain.

Mickey’s 90th birthday has seen the cartoon mouse join forces with some of the biggest names in menswear to create limited edition commemorative pieces, just as Sesame Street and Peanuts have in recent seasons. Everyone from Swatch to Clarks has been getting in on the action. Oh boy, perhaps it’s time you did, too.

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