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And waiting to greet them and grab their attention?
An onslaught of seasonal trends — all of which are vying for a coveted spot within your weekly rotation.
So, what are these trends and which should you invest in?
Well, from (once again) revisiting the seventies to embracing Safari aesthetics, Eastern patterns, and the continued dominance of athleisurewear, what follows is a guide — crafted with the sartorially inclined gent in mind — that details the key trends, styles, colours and aesthetics for spring that you should either invest in, strongly consider, or simply skip alongside quick tips on how you should be wearing them and why.
For you see the successful adoption of a trend — any trend really — is predicated upon three distinct styling parameters: personal comfort, justifiably sensible investment (and prolonged) application, and an initial (innate) attraction and desire to wear the trend up for consideration/review.
Having said that, this guide contains three definitively worthwhile and failsafe trends (alongside 3 that should be by all accounts avoided) and a succinct + decisively blunt “Yes or No” seasonal trend lookbook that caters to those open to experimenting with their style, albeit with a studied approach in hand that ensues their signature style (and identity) always stays in tact and properly unscathed by any gaudy passing trend. It is for the discerning gents out there who are looking to make this seasons investment worthy trends work for them while avoiding those that do not deserve the light of day — for those unwilling to be another wolf amongst sheep who pours all his money into every (often) disposable trend that rears its head in hopes of staying relevant or to ingratiate himself with the masses.
Every season has a trending tale to tell, and headlining this years creative investment worthy crop is none other then a pair of lush and luxe…
Textured, refined, and very Euro-chic yet charmingly masculine all the same, a pair of tassel loafers (ideally in a supple chocolate suede) can be your new 5-tool go-to utility footwear all-star this spring (and summer).
Able and ready to handle anything from formal suiting to casual denim, the tassel loafer (much like the trench to follow below) instantly elevates the style and classiness quotient of any ensemble it accentuates.
Versatile, a true team player, and of a heightened, often unspoken elegance, a supple pair of suede (or wool) tassel loafers can carry you through both warmer seasons and well into fall, serving as a welcome style wingman (of sorts) throughout all the requisite seasonal alfresco events you must contend with (wear them to a wedding and rope in all the guaranteed compliments) as well as any professional obligations you may have whilst charmingly upping your casual styling game a few notches due in sole part of their simple presence alone.
Truly a footwear trend worth investing in (or at the least considering) if there was to be just one to choose from this spring.
: WHAT TO LOOK FOR :
Brushed (flat) suede with a rounded (or semi-pointed) toe that has a thin (not chunky or elevated) goodyear welted sole, one piece construction, streamlined silhouette, and genuine leather tassels.
: HOW TO STYLE THEM:
Pair them with white trousers, a grey lightweight sweater and a beige trench coat to cut the dashing figure of a refined European gent traipsing around the cobble-stone streets of your favourite ancient city or go the professional route and wear them with your grey or navy suits to the workplace to add some welcome refinement to your usual rotation.
Whatever the case may be, tasseled loafers are a versatile footwear option that can fit any occasions specific dress code parameters — so experiment at free will. (Bonus summer ensemble: team them (sock free) with a tailored pair of navy shorts, a short-sleeved linen button up, a straw pork pie hat, and your best pair of sunglasses)
: SHOP LOAFERS :
Not only is wearing "formal" pyjamas a professionally inappropriate and characteristically damning move, but also reflectively uncouth and unsubstantiated in its purposeful intent. It is one of those trends in which I believe exists purely for the reason of fulfilling the human (and runway/seasonal trend rotation) desire for change — change for the sake of change alone and nothing more.
In critical retrospect, formal pyjamas have no merit nor do they serve any clear purpose in any which way or form.
For you see, and at the end of the day, there are certain dress codes that should never be broken as well as personally framed functional wardrobing divisions to answer too (i.e. most gents create special capsule wardrobe collections that will best serve their needs in different aspects of their lives and wear the pieces within those collections only will entertaining those activities in which they we're initially curated for.)
Formal pyjamas serve neither of those needs while brashly not fitting (or adding anything ) into any occasion aside from that in which would result in you sleeping in utterly luxurious comfort. Which is precisely why a gent would never be characteristically satisfied with carelessly ambling into work like he just stumbled out of bed, being fully aware that formal pyjamas will never be a suitable or acceptable option…no matter what any style forecaster or powerful fashion house has to say on the matter.
Point being: It does not matter how “smartly” cut or luxurious they may be, they simply belong in the bedroom and not the boardroom. And this trend stands as a testament to the fact that we may all be taking this "loosening up of everything" a tad to seriously at the moment.
Nevertheless, if by some miracle I am so very mistaken in my analytical criticism of formal pyjamas, please do regal me with the details of your successful tale as I would be very curious and interested in knowing just where this trend could honestly be tangibly deployed without nary a ripple in the professional waters surfacing.
The Verdict: Leave it to the avant-garde trend enthusiasts (or designers who created them) and out of your weekly workwear rotation (or just simply in your bed).
: WEAR INSTEAD :
A fresh, aesthetically striking lightweight brown suit that can transition from the office and bar to a spring (even summer) wedding. GQ deemed it "the suit colour of the moment and the easiest way to look a whole lot richer all season long”. Wear it with accentuated splashes of blue and white or in a completely tonal look that will exude both confidence and power.
Often regarded as the indisputable king of all outerwear attire, this timeless menswear piece was originally designed for WWI soldiers conditioned in trench warfare (as well as seafaring naval sailors) — so you know its practicality and durability is beyond reproach.
A technically resilient garment through-and-trough, the design of the trench has barely been altered since its inception over a century ago for good reason: it is functionally (and stylishly) perfect. It is simply one of the few fashionable menswear pieces that could be considered as a (honest to god) wearable form of art. As such, it is something that every man should strongly consider splurging upon as it is a failsafe investment that will last a lifetime and beyond (becoming an heirloom item upon ones passing).
So, with its functional authority and seasonal practicality — it has a water resistant design, an insulating collar, and is easy to layer beneath — in hand, what else does it bring to the sartorial table?
For one, it comes tailor-made with a charming built-in level of sophistication that allows it to effortlessly impart upon any ensemble it graces an instant jolt of cultivated militaristic masculinity and polished gentlemanly refinement. On the other hand, it is by no mere coincidence that the likes of some of the most stylishly revered and cultivated gentlemen of both the days of yore and the modern times — from Humphrey Bogart and Michael Caine through David Beckham and Eddie Redmayne —have routinely called it to active duty without nary a blink of an eye or a reflectively considered afterthought: It is a jacket that looks good on every man, big or small, short (in this case opt for a cropped version) or tall and will go with everything in your wardrobe.
The Verdict: You will not regret investing into its laureled history, timeless aesthetics, and its effortless styling capabilities
: WHAT TO LOOK FOR :
Burberry does it best — without a doubt — but there are other players out there (Aquascutum comes to immediate mind). Branding aside, what you should take particular consideration in is the length (mid to a third of the way down the thigh is ideal); the styling of the shoulder epaulets; the location of the belts and their functionality (both on the waist and each sleeve wrist); the style of buttons and type of vents it has on its tail; the material used in its construction and the weight of the coat; and finally its provenance (where its materials were sourced from, where it was made, and by whom). Other then that I think it may be safe to assume that most know the following but for all intensive purposes I’ll include it anyways: a trench is always (without exception) a double-breasted garment.
As for patterning and colour, you can never go wrong with a solid khaki, beige, camel, or/navy trench nor in opting for one featuring a subtle windowpane check (or any other check you desire). Beyond that the individualized personalization is up to the man in question.
: HOW TO STYLE IT :
Honesty, a trench is as near 4-season proof an outerwear essential (with proper lining and fabrication it can take most trough milder winters as well) that a gent (or lady) can find. That said, it can honestly be worn with just about anything that would tickle your fancy, from white denim and light weight cashmere sweaters/polos in the spring and summer to fully besuited formalwear at most any time of the year.
Pair it with some tasselled loafers, white trousers, a white OCBD, a navy fine-gauge cardigan and your go-to pair of sunnies to chanel your inner gentlemanly dandy. Alternatively, sport it with a pair of suede camel chelsea boots, dark denim, and a red turtleneck in the colder seasons to look effortlessly nonchalant and properly posh (like this).
From formal (perfectly worn over your suit) to leisure wear, the trench is the ultimate jacket, a jack-of-all-trades outerwear wardrobing essential whose seasonal and occasional versatility stand peerless amongst its competitors.
: SHOP BELTED TRENCHES :
To Trend Or Not To Trend
COLOURS OF THE SEASON
Contemporary seasonal spring colouring trends have recently been inclined to channelling the same colourfully predictable yet often dazzling kaleidoscope of vibrant bright shades (yellows, oranges, reds) on a yearly basis — those that have come to be associated with the seasons rebirth — but this season is set to act as a refreshing counterpoint to that otherwise run-of-the-mill formula.
With a predominantly muted palette in tow that has an anchoring base that consists of varying hues of grey, brown, navy, and green alongside Oriental inspired printed/graphic accents, Spring 2016’s colour palette could best be described as a adventurous journey through exotic pattern, organic shades, and mysterious locales. Sure, one will indeed stumble upon the requisite seasonal pops of colour, but the true stars of the season will be its subdued hues: greys, browns, dark blues, and greens.
: Below : Style lookbooks for springs three biggest colours
Beyond that personal assertion — and the perplexing 5 year window between its initial western inception and this seasons trend — I’ve not much to say about this graphic patterned style of jacket other then that it is a polarizing piece that clearly divides most everybody — often I find that men are either a fan or they are not (there is seemingly no diplomatic middle ground).
Predominantly featured upon the backs (and occasional fronts) of both bomber and varsity style jackets (I cannot recall ever the designs on any other pieces of outerwear save maybe a denim jacket), I’d advise you skip this trend and opt instead for a more practical, versatile, and characteristically becoming (and timeless) Harrington Barracuda bomber or a moto-inspired leather biker jacket while leaving this style to live out its short life on the backs of fashion forward thinking menswear bloggers and the pages of fanciful style publications alike.
The Verdict: Leave the dragons to Game of Thrones, the tigers to their natural habitat (i.e. jungle), and the florals to more sensible wears such as short-sleeve button ups. But, if you are a fan of the souvenir jacket then all the best to you as well (and let me know why it is you favour this style in the comments below).
: THE ALTERNATIVES :
A suede,cotton, satin, or even leather bomber jacket or 70's moto-inspired biker jacket
Sophisticated, yet laid-back, sleek and angelic in appearance, white trousers simply bring a lot to the table and should be your go-to leg wear port-of-call all spring and summer long (even into fall/winter if you are like yours truly) — irrespective of whether you commonly reside in the city, on the coast, or just plan on taking a quick jaunt to Europe and the Mediterranean peninsula this spring/summer.
Very Euro-chic and Great Gatsby-ian in aesthetic essence, they are suitably deployable in every locale and at nearly every sort of cultural occasion. which makes them near peerless in social versatility. Moreover, they also emanate an aura of polished flair whilst bestowing a subtle hint of casual (or formal) refinement to any ensemble they are pared with.
The Verdict: Every man should own a pair (in white or off-white) of these very versatile (4-season wearable), easy to wear, statement making trousers
: HOW TO STYLE THEM :
White trousers will accentuate virtually any other garment, style, or colour they come up against seeing as white is a veritable fashion “tabula rasa” that even those lacking sight could wear with panache and blended confidence. My point being is that how you style them is completely up to you because it is near impossible to mess them up..
However, if creative guidance is what you desire then here are style guides detailinghow to wear them as though vacationing in the Riviera, while looking to cut the dashing figure of a sophisticated modern rockstar, or on a damp spring date night.
None of those tickle your creative fancy? Then simply team them with layered (and textured) blues and browns (as well as those loafers we previously discussed) to create a timeless look that will garner many passing compliments. with contrasting browns + blues for a classic look that will always be in style.
Also consider: Breton striped sweaters, blazers of varying sorts, and trench coats.
: SHOP WHITE TROUSERS :
Maybe its due to a built-in innate cultural inspired association that has me instantly picturing the likes of some low level hitman for state-side Italian mobsters like Tony Soprano (circa the year 2000) wearing them or maybe its in due part to my characteristic sartorial penchant for compartmentalizing the different functional components of my wardrobe to fulfill any clearly defined dress-code parameters and sticking to them -- of my creature habit and natural disposition of curating unique capsule collections fit to serve only the specific duties, activities, and hobbies outlined for them (i.e. sports attire only worn whilst participating in sport).
Either way, I believe tracksuits (or even solo track jackets) belong exclusively in the sporting world and out of the office or your "casually accentuated" formalwear rotation.
The Verdict: I believe they should be left to those ACTUALLY articipating in sport (a track meet or in creating a unique fitness wardrobe such as this) or to those looking for a standalone lightweight spring/summer jacket for taking care of casual affairs in. In the event you opt for the latter, you would be doing yourself a great service if you took a page out of the iconic style books of Messrs Newman and Redford by opting for a tailored, streamlined (minimalist in design; devoid of graphic prints) track jacket that is worn with effortless grace, ease and charm as if it were a mere last minute casual substitute for your sport coat or jacket.
FYI: Track pants are indeed not the “new jeans”, so don’t wear them with your blazers and formal attire (a line should be drawn at some point right?)
:THE SMART ALTERNATIVE:
A slim unconstructed, unlined lightweight blazer that will seamlessly fit into any wardrobe while transitioning from the office to the weekend with ease
As if it were sartorial clockwork, each passing season in fashion comes with a guaranteed onslaught of competing trends looking to capture not only your imagination but also every penny to your name. Often both sensible and laughable in variable creative nature and intent, the sheer amount of trendy options — in any odd season — that are at ones reflective disposal can seem (understandably) overwhelming to many, which is why I created this guide and trend report — to appease any apprehensiveness towards a style one may harbour and to weed out the bad rubbish.
Featuring an all encompassing seasonal guide — incorporating trending colours, aesthetics, and styles alongside shopping links + inspirational lookbooks & how-to-wear it asides — I can only hope that it has aided you in your style journey in one way or another (while saving you both precious time and money) .
This guide is about how to best avoid those fickle, baseless trends that seek out your money with nothing to return in favour in the longrun.
That said, every so often a trend (or complete thematic aesthetic) comes along that captures the imagination of the fashion world; a style that slowly assimilates itself before becoming so popular that it eventually earns the status of being a modern staple wardrobing essential (bomber jackets are perfect example of this).
The three in which I outlined above — tasseled loafers, white trousers, and cotton trench coats — should frankly already be essentials within every style-conscious gentleman's wardrobe… and if they are not then there is no better time then this season to finally invest in them. Collectively, they represent what can only be described as being timeless staples worthy of true investment — those in which will provide you with highest R.O.I. for years to come.
As for the rest of this season's trends, well all I can attempt to do is point you in the proper direction and then hand over to you the creative reigns so that you can have the definitive final say in what you see (and do not) see fit.
Just remember to keep the quote in mind that opened up this feature while doing so:
"A man can say so much about himself by what he wears…so choose wisely!"
Cheers and good hunting gents!
Above are five (5) — two in which were carried over from AW15 — of the most trendy menswear aesthetics set to dominate the wardrobes of men this spring. So whether you fancy muted utilitarianism (the safari aesthetic), vibrant adventure prints hailing from the East (exotic, oriental, and animal), the lively decadence of '70’s style retro textured and hued attire (suede everything with earthy tones, contrasting colour-blocked patterns and retro-inspired mid-western & surf wear being of particular note) or the comforts of the street-centric athleisurewear trend, there is likely something within that should appeal to any (and every) type of styling appetite out there.
So, which of these spring trends are you itching to put to best use? And which verdicts would you disagree with and why?
Chime in below with your ideas and opinions…