Fashion industry can appear like a result of a bet between designers. How else can they get you to purchase something new every six month? There’s also the 20-year trend-rehashing law, which states that even the most serious style crimes are subject to a maximum two-decade statute of limitations.
For every menswear rule that says you shouldn’t or should not wear something, there is someone breaking it. The most risk is often the place that offers the greatest reward. These fashion trends can be wrong, but they can also be right.
SEVENTIES KNITWEAR AND PRINTS
The whole seventies menswear revival can be classified under “trends that shouldn’t work”. It may seem counterintuitive, but designers are turning the clock back to modern minimalism as a way of repurposing retro pieces that look great on Instagram.
Mr Porter’s Arnold says that this season’s knitwear, shirts, and tees are filled with lush floral prints and graphically-inspired designs. It is risky to hark back to the decade style lost until now. Arnold says, “To achieve this trend without looking too peacocking, pair an overstated graphic, brightly coloured knit, with simple, understated pieces like a white shirt, tee, jeans, or flat-front pants.”
Double denim is possible despite historical warnings. Set-in-stonewash means that your top and bottom should have different shades so that it doesn’t appear like you’re wearing two pieces. You might wear dark blue jeans with a lighter jacket or shirt on your body.
It’s generally a good idea to wear darker legwear, but there are exceptions such as white jeans and a blue jacket. Mixing colours is a great way to avoid uniformity. Black or grey jeans can be worn with a blue shirt or jacket. It’s also hard to go wrong with all-black-denim-everything.
This was once a guiding principle of style: “No white socks except at the gym.” However, it is impossible to predict if a trend will be established unless you declare that it is beyond the pale. Skateboarding and sportswear are hot right now.
Farnham suggests that white socks are a popular skate trend. Farnham recommends wearing cropped jeans or chinos with a relaxed or wider fit. If you have the confidence and can wash them in hot enough water, white socks with pool sliders are the ultimate expression. However, there is a time and place for everything. Farnham warns that “white socks should not be worn in formal situations or with smart shoes. It will look like you forgot your socks after a workout.”
Designers are now unanimous in their belief that dowdy corduroy, which was once considered unfashionable, is trendy. Olie Arnold, style director of on-point retailer Mr Porter, confirms that corduroy is a major component in this season’s collections by many contemporary brands like A.P.C. and Cav Empt. It can be seen through bomber jackets and shirts as well as hats.
Be careful, though, before you get swept up in a good time. Arnold says that if you wear corduroy too often, it can make you look old. “Not an 18th-century aristocrat.” A jacket is the best way to get good ribbing without being too mickey-taking.
Square-shouldered tailoring was acceptable during the eighties. It is also acceptable now. Arnold says that oversized blazers, and everything ‘anti-fit’ this year are very popular. Boxy tailoring is not for everyone, at least not for the shorties. Arnold says that this trend is much more appealing for taller men, because it can look unflattering. It can make you look unattractive and clueless if it is done incorrectly.
Balenciaga and Maison Martin Margiela are selling oversized blazers that can be worn almost everywhere. Arnold says that they are best worn casually with a Tshirt and jeans. The goal with oversized tailoring should be to create a relaxed, laid-back look. It’s not officewear.
TRAINERS TO BE BIGGER AND UGLY
We can’t see stark white sneakers going out of fashion anytime soon. However, with minimalism receding and the nineties returning, trainers that look more Jerry Seinfeld-ish than Stan Smith are not on the horizon. Giles Farnham, Head of River Island Style Studio, said that “Raf Simons’ and Balenciaga are breaking the minimalism trend set up by brands like Common Projects, with chunky and outlandish designs of all sorts of shapes and colors.”
It’s important to show off your ‘great personality with big trainers. Farnham advises that you make your shoes the star of your outfit by wearing a simple, tailored ensemble. Longer styles can distract from your shoes and look awkward. To counteract your clownish kicks, you’ll want your strides wider. This is especially important if your feet are large.
The short-sleeved shirt was considered a badge of honor by airline cabin crew. Street style gods Nick Wooster and others have redeemed us by exposing our tattooed forearms. Farnham advises that you avoid going tieless and straying into Google intern territory. A casual outfit with a shorter-sleeve shirt will make it look its best. A Cuban collar design with a squarer cut and lightweight fabric is a great choice when paired with crisp chinos.
The shirt can be worn open with sliders or at home, but you can dress it up in formality. Farnham suggests that you tuck it into a pair of tailored trousers, paired with penny loafers. Keep in mind that fashion is secondary to function: “Never wear one during winter, regardless of how bulky you are. Or how hot your destination is.”