Most men have some cursory interest in what they wear. But we rarely keep right up to date with the latest goings-on in the world of fashion. Why? Who knows? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that fashion is something that is utterly dominated by women.
With that said, designers have been trying hard to find new and innovative styles for men to wear. Last year’s shows in Milan, Paris, and London gave us all a glimpse of some of the styles that would be coming to the high street this spring. Here’s what to expect.
We Will All Be Getting Stoned
No, not that kind of stoned. Our clothes will be getting a “stoned” look across the board – stone being a color somewhere between white and beige. At all three shows last year, stone was the most common color and one that is being promoted for the upcoming spring season. According to GQ Magazine, stone looks great when worn with a suit, especially for weekend outfits, and it looks great when the sun comes out, which should happen sometime around May – if we’re lucky.
It’s not just suit jackets either that will be taking on a distinctly stony look. We’re also going to see stone-colored jeans, which is great for us guys with pale, untanned ankles, apparently.
This year some designers took their inspiration from political events. With Britain’s exit from the European Union and Europe divided on the subject of immigration, many designers choice themes that evoke travel, cross-cultural mixing, and voyages across the sea. In both Paris and Milan and also in the London Collections Men designs were chaotic and almost naval in style.
Another way in which political events seem to have swayed designers choices is in the popularity of hiking Gear. Practically every large brand was pushing a variety of traditional hiking gear including outfits cut from lights waterproof fabric in technical and colorful patterns. Many were kitted out with all sorts of camping and outdoor gear. For instance, some models were wearing compasses and bungee cords around their waist.
Stripes have been in for a while but this year’s stripes were different to the stripes that have gone before. Rather than stripes being uniformly spaced, this year’s stripes were seen in varying widths,
apparently to indicate how Western Europe has descended into anarchy. In Paris, vertical stripes were particularly popular and so too were clashing pastel colors on things like shirts and jackets.
Last year’s Fashion Week is especially rebellious. It’s not surprising therefore that British Punk came out on top as one of the key inspirations for many designers. Often the style was explicit, with men’s gold chains, acid splashed jeans and braces making frequent appearances. Casual, slouchy trousers were also in season, with the majority of men at the show wearing drainpipe trousers, cropped around the ankle. We also saw the appearance of a lot of sleeveless jumpers exposing the forearms and generally looking a lot scruffier than you might expect having seen shows in the past. It looks like men are going to be showing off a lot more muscle come the spring this year.
Squares were very much in season this year with Prince of Wales chequers and windowpanes across a variety of different designers. The idea seems to have been to try to bring together clashing prints of various sizes – for instance large, chequered square trousers paired with small chequered patterns on a sleeveless jumper. Some of the chequers were reminiscent of the pinstripe revival we saw a few seasons ago. This makes it more likely that we will see a comeback for the windowpane check suit early next year.
Male fashion models look thin most of the year, but they were made to look especially thin this year with the addition of so-called slimming knitwear to the men’s lineup. According to GQ Magazine, next season we will see jumpers with sleeves that are longer and fall halfway down the hands to make the wearer look wirier. Dries Van Noten has suggested that jumpers next year will be slouchier and looser than they are at the moment, and will incorporate grungier elements. In fact, things are going so extreme that most men next year might be walking around as living apparitions of the late Kurt Cobain.
Purple Is Everywhere
2016 was a bad year for celebrities. Not only did Donald Trump come to power and Britain succeed in exiting the European Union, but many of their cherished compatriots went to the grave. Carrie Fisher, George Michael, Piers Sellers, and David Bowie have all gone on to a better place. One of the most notorious deaths of the year was the death of Prince. Perhaps, therefore, this explains why purple was everywhere at last year’s fashion shows. Men at the show where wearing silky purple trousers, long flowing purple tapes, and single button purple jackets.
Of course, the purple theme purple could also be interpreted as being a tribute to the Queen’s 90th birthday. Whatever the case the new purple that we are seeing coming into menswear is a bold statement. Most designers recommend keeping the rest of an outfit dark if you are going to choose to use purple. This is definitely a fashion trend for the brave.
As if purple wasn’t enough, we may also be seeing the return of salmon pink outfits. Men at last year’s fashion show were dressed head-to-toe in suits of varying shades of pink. The dusty rose attire was championed by the likes of Topman Design and Gucci. It’s unlikely that we will see these outfits in full swing before the summer, but we could be seeing men looking a lot more feminine as the year moves forward. It should be pointed out that the pink trend this year is far more extreme than pink trends that have come before in the men’s design space. It’s a lot more conspicuous than simply wearing a salmon t-shirt under your jacket.