Sometimes the clothes spurting out of fashion month can be a bit Dr Seuss. Granted, there were no cats present, but there certainly were some confused models in outrageous bowler hats at Thom Browne’s SS19 menswear show. The fashion gods convene every six months for a good reason though – to dictate the trends we’re all going to be wearing the following year, and boy have they picked some zingers this time around. New tailoring silhouettes were big, as was the tonal combo of white and cream, and new techniques emerged that’ll make you question how you tuck in your shirt. Here we break down the seven trends to keep an eye on for SS19 from the collections shown in Paris, Milan, Florence and London, and the best bit? They are all style moves you can actually apply to your own wardrobe – there’s no silly utility belts or chiffon blouses that show your nipples, and certainly no cats in hats.
The Suit That Isn’t A Suit
A suit is a powerful thing – those lapels, the buttons on the cuff, the vents on the back – mwah. But if you strip away the suit to it’s very core it is essentially two garments of the same fabric worn together. This bare bones essence has been explored to great effect for SS19 with numerous labels matching the fabric of a shirt or jacket with the trousers below it, providing a look that in a sense works as a suit, but without the embellishments or formal connotations. Oliver Spencer experimented in an all-green outfit that referenced military ensembles with its multi-pocket field jacket and matching trousers, while Canali took the trend literally, matching an indigo flight jacket with tapered trousers and pairing them with a shirt and tie – it’s officially the suit 2.0. Although the traditional suit isn’t going anywhere, times change, menswear is evolving and the ‘casualisation’ of clothing is in full effect. In combining a casual jacket or shirt with trousers made from the same fabric, what you have is a look that boasts all the ease and sense of purpose of a suit, but without any of the stuffiness. A win win, if you ask us.
Boxy, Double-Breasted Tailoring
Slouchy summer tailoring is nothing new – we’re talking clothes here, lads, not reinventing the wheel – yet the SS19 collections that sashayed down the catwalk were truly taking the slouchy summer tailoring biscuit. The main shape was oversized and distinctly ‘80s with broad shoulder pads and a lengthy cut that hung just below the trouser pocket. Paul Smith was the main instigator and firm proof that despite streetwear’s efforts to overtake the suit for good, you just can’t get around the fact that it is – and always will be – a bastion of menswear. Dunhill, Louis Vuitton, Dior and Maison Margiela continued to carry the torch, and out of the trend for relaxed tailoring was born a micro-trend – the double-breasted jacket – which came in all colours, patterns and fabrics and was even worn predominantly open at the Louis Vuitton and Giorgio Armani shows. It is an easy trend to jump on, the large peak lapels adding a welcome dash of statement to any piece of tailoring, but you don’t have to go too bold and colourful with it if you don’t want to. Saint Laurent showcased a very sleek black with a preppy gold stripe take that proves that it doesn’t have to be all gaudy 1980s power tailoring when it comes to the double-breasted.
Rain, rain, come again just so we can wear a statement anorak like the boys at Balmain. Well, actually rather sadly for the sake of our nursery rhyme Balmain didn’t have any raincoats on show, but plenty of other designers did. Dior had a pinstripe piece with toggle cuffs and the chicest hood the rain has ever seen, while Cerruti went short-sleeved and panelled. The anorak has been shrugging off it’s train-spotting connotations for a few years now but it seems like SS19 could be the year it really explodes into an array of different colours and patterns. Although easy to wear, they work best with casual dress – think raw denim, trainers and sweatshirts – simply throw one over the top and you’re good to go. Waterproof and fash, that’s one hell of a combo.
Denim Done Differently
So far we’ve touched base mainly on what we’ll be wearing upstairs in a year’s time, but when it comes to trousers there didn’t seem to be much changing of the guard. Nylon and synthetics remain the go-to casual fabric for trousers, but denim remains strong, now updated and revolutionised with wider legs (skinny doesn’t cut it anymore), faded washes and fanciful additions (pockets, and lots of them). Arguably the most interesting take was from Liam Hodges who created a pair in collaboration with MINI Fashion and the Woolmark Company – made from a lightweight wool denim, it featured zig zag stitching down the front with two sections of lighter denim sewn over the top, as well as a drawstring waistband. Hodges also turned his hand to the trucker jacket and rendered it in patchwork wool, offering a compelling take on a garment usually synonymous with denim. AMI introduced an updated take on the ‘Canadian tuxedo’ with a mid-wash denim chore jacket paired with matching jeans, while Ermenegildo Zegna went for worker-style side pockets and cuffed hems. To make the trend wearable though, the key is to not go overboard and pair a statement denim piece with a more muted outfit which’ll help to tone things down.
White And Cream
A lot was spoken about one of the most hyped fashion shows of all time, as Off-White guru Virgil Abloh released his first collection as the menswear head of the imperious Louis Vuitton brand. It was a dazzling spectacle (Kanye was even there to give Abloh an emotional cuddle at the end) and while we can’t imagine anyone sashaying to the pub in triple pleated trousers next summer – they featured throughout the show – there were some distinctly wearable trends to take home. Arguably the finest was the tonal combination of white and cream which created a really crisp and opulent look without everything going too Jude Law in The Young Pope. Its effect was felt most in the array of tailoring showcased, with white shirts sitting smartly under boxy, comfortable-looking suits, while it looked nearly as good when utilised in a white tee under a cream sheepskin jacket. All white is alright, but it seems cream and white is even better – it softens things up, making it look less harsh – especially for anyone looking to take the colour off the catwalk and onto the street.
The wearable luggage trend seen through the SS19 collections isn’t brand spanking new, but it sees a continuation and development of the cross-body bag trend that has swept through streetwear in the last year. Louis Vuitton (at it again) littered its looks with chain embellished totes and handbags worn over the head, sat in plain sight right in front of the model. Lanvin was also in on the trend showcasing some slick cross body messenger bags decked out in leather. Hermes, meanwhile, took the bum bag and slid it underneath tailored suit jackets and Junya Watanabe featured some form of wearable luggage with just about every one of its looks. The message is clear – functional baggage isn’t going away anytime soon and it’s pairing with formal looks might see the bum bag being taken off the street and into the office.
Go Tuck Yourself
Thought there was only one way to tuck your shirt in? Well, turns out you were wrong. The recent summer collections showed all manner of new techniques, and it wasn’t limited to just shirts either. We lost count of the amount of times we saw knitwear tucked into tailored trousers, proving that your summer jumpers can be smartened up too. It was the subtle shirt tucks that peaked our interest though. The likes of AMI opted for the half tuck with plenty of its looks, which involves tucking in one of your shirt’s front panels and leaving out the other – it’s a nonchalant look befitting of AMI’s gallic roots. Elsewhere Cerruti showcased its new hybrid shirt-jacket style – a long sleeve striped shirt with a harrington jacket collar – front tucked into wide, pleated shorts. Yes this is hardly a groundbreaking trend, but it may just be the easiest to replicate and most wearable of the lot.