There’s a welcome new move towards considered flamboyance entering men’s fashion. Stephanie Smith highlights the trends to try.
Back in the Seventies and Eighties, a male fashion revolution actually made its way through to inspire quite ordinary men on the streets. Encouraged by host of pop stars (David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Morrissey, Duran Duran, Adam Ant, Spandau Ballet and so many more), men became dandies. They really did wear a touch of eyeliner, cropped hotpants, floaty silk shirts, white collarless cotton dress shirts with jeans, waistcoats, neckerchiefs, fishnet tights under ripped jeans and fashions more traditionally assigned to women.
Then it all got a bit boring. In the intervening years, men’s fashion has, broadly speaking, become more tame, certainly on the street and at the office.
But there are signs that flamboyance and statement dressing is on its way back. Increasingly, men of all ages and professions seems to feel able to add a flourish to their outfits, and put thought into their complete look, considering colour, pattern, proportion and trends, without fear of being dismissed as somehow frivolous or trivial.
Men are realising once more that what they wear matters and that they are allowed to express their personality through their style.
It might be something small and simple, such as a new collar shape, or something a little bolder, maybe a bright shade of suit or a new cropped trouser shape. Here are the menswear trends that you should look out for:
- Top-to-toe tonal: Dressing head to shoe in the same shade, or near shades, is a thing. Do it in black, grey and navy if you prefer, for a professional, pulled-together look, or go for a beige/caramel palette (very chic), or (if you’re feeling brave) a bold bright red or forest green.
- Russian bling: There’s more than a hint of pre-revolutionary opulence meets modern-day swagger, as epitomised by this look blending fur, double-breasted shimmer, purple snakeskin great coat and blue ankle boots. You can take aspects, rather than the whole caboodle.
- The New V knit: V-neck is the coolest sweater shape, and you can keep it plain if you like, wearing simply with your suit, or with a boxy bomber and relaxed jeans. If your V-neck features unusual colour and detailing, so much the better. Check out the trousers too. Calm the whole look down with a classic camel trench.
- Sleek athleisure (RIGHT): As the athleisure trend develops, it becomes more sophisticated, in pared-back lines and strong, simple shapes with the sort of chic detailing we’re seeing a lot of in womenswear, including side slits to sleeves and legs.
- Wall Street braces: Italian label Fendi at last month’s Milan Fashion Week updated the all-pervading Eighties theme with a workmanlike approach, blending sportswear with relaxed tailoring and trousers featuring higher waists and braces. It’s upbeat and chilled, but ready for anything.
- All American workwear: As seen at Philippe Plein at Milan last month, when bashed-up double blue denim met embellishment and silver chain jewellery. An easy(ish) look to pull off and one that can work for all ages. Think Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl video.
- The standout blazer: This can be a tuxedo jacket or a sleekly styled blazer, but fabric is key, from sheeny brocades to silky velvets and elegant corduroy. To wear with everything, from formal evening wear looks through to jeans and trainers.
- The statement coat: The style can be as you like, from Crombie tailoring to relaxed street sleek, but look for pattern, including animal print, camouflage and bold checks, teamed with vibrant colour. On the street, wear with jeans and white trainers. Shrug on over your newly relaxed suiting for the office and formal occasions.