Some men are mistrustful of anything that’s referred to as a “trend” but new ideas are important to keep your wardrobe (and therefore you) current and relevant.
Of course just because it sauntered down a designer runway doesn’t mean you must acquire it. Think of evolving fashion like a buffet – you are encouraged to take only what appeals to you (and doesn’t enlarge your midsection) and leave the rest behind.
When picking out clothes for clients I am obsessed with getting them value. I evaluate new trends by looking at 3 factors: 1. Will it be in style for seasons to come? 2.Does it play nicely with what they already own? 3. Does it go brilliantly from work to night out? When the answer is yes to all three I know we’ve got a winner. Below I’ve curated this season’s most popular trends for you into the ones that will rock for most men and a few others that while visible everywhere should be approached with caution, if at all.
The Tweed Sport Coat: While designers emphasized rich textured fabrics such as cashmere, velvet, moleskin and canvas, tweed is the workhorse of the bunch. A tweed sport coat is professional, yet more relaxed and rugged than wool suiting. Wear it with a crisp white shirt and slacks during the week then over a chambray or buffalo plaid shirt and jeans for casual Friday or to hit the pub.
Brogues & Monk Straps: Are you in a plain cap toe shoe rut? Brogues (“wingtips”), especially the two tone variety, and oxfords or boots with monk straps pull double duty by adding distinction to slacks and suiting or edge to denim. You’ll also be seeing an emphasis on texture here too like rugged suede and canvas and distinctive patina leathers.
Soft brief case: Leave the backpacks for the kiddies. Soft brief cases are infinitely cooler than a Jansport. To make the transition beyond the office get one with removable shoulder strap in addition to the top handle and voilà – your business case magically turns into a weekend messenger bag.
Grey: If you are one of the many souls who divides his clothes by what goes with black and what goes with brown, get ready to meet the great uniter, grey. Grey is like bacon, it goes with everything. Wear grey with other neutrals like black or white or another shade of grey (yes you can do that just like you can eat bacon wrapped bacon) or combine grey with a bright color, which leads us to the next hot trend right now. . .
Neon Orange: Well orange you bright? Yes, neon orange has jumped off interstate highways and straight onto fashion runways. While designers are using bright safety orange in everything from coats to pants to tuxes, consider how much orange you really need to wear? The safest way to do it is with an accessory or as mentioned above, layered underneath subdued neutrals. Think nylon belt with an orange stripe or orange laces to add a bit of spice to your street kicks or suede chukkas.
Chunky sweaters: Nordic sweaters with reindeer and snowflake silhouettes and thick cable-knit sweaters are designer favorites this season but dangerous on a guy who doesn’t have the tall and lean model’s physique. If you’re a bigger guy or your love of beer has started to show around the middle, these will only add more bulk. Stick with thinner knit v-neck sweaters (not in neon orange).
Overall menswear is moving away from gentlemen dandy and into rugged outdoorsman which is a lot more accessible to most guys. Just remember that no matter what you wear, it all starts with great fit. Without it, you are just wasting money and the trend becomes irrelevant.