Trends in men’s fashion come and go each season but how much attention do you pay to them?
We know our customers well, and they generally aren’t the type of man to buy a copy of GQ and purchase every piece featured. They keep an eye on the trends and take in inspiration from them, but no more. They like to add flair to their outfits and a have a distinctive personal style but keep a good stock of classic pieces to use as a foundation.
From our perspective, the trends that appear (and reappear) each season are often outlandish, and we certainly wouldn’t recommend that you wear them straight off the catwalk. We do, however, believe that the trends hold something for everyone and that adaptations can be made. So, we take the wild and the wacky and then modify them for more useable and wearable consumption. Afterall, the thing with trends is, they are just that, trends. So, the more timeless a piece is (with your own twist added in), the better.
With all that in mind, we look at the trends that are being suggested for 2021 and offer our view on how to make them work in your wardrobe, without looking like a fashion victim.
1. New Utility
This trend is basically safari chic with pockets a plenty. This trend has reared its eccentric little head up several times over the last decade. Perhaps it’s because pockets are useful and save you from carrying an unsightly man bag...or perhaps designers keep stumbling upon items in their father and grandfather’s wardrobes.
Wearing utility head-to-toe can make you look as if you’ve hired a costume, so the less is more rule definitely applies. A subtle alternative is to have a practical outdoors jacket made in a sturdy, waterproof fabric. The styles of jackets that are trending now use light-weight fabrics which sag the second you put anything heavier than a business card in your pocket and show the outline of your car keys. Style points = zero. Practicality points = still zero. If you are going for lots of pockets, the fabric needs to be heavy to create a clean look that holds, and hides, what you are carrying.
Breton stripes always make an appearance on the spring/summer catwalks in one way or another as they make quite a bold statement. Anchor and sail prints are a more obvious, and hard to wear, nautical trend and must be worn with caution lest you look like a toddler or a holidaymaker from 1985.
We don’t know many men who would wear a tight tank top in nautical stripes, so for a more subtle option try our Capri or Santorini vertical stripe shirts for a flattering riviera holiday look, or add our Yachter’s-paradise silk square to a sports jacket.
3. The Bomber Jacket
Think James Dean in Rebel without a cause and you have your visual for this years’ Spring style statement. Just not in a bright red…
We are excited about this one as it has timeless appeal and can be incredibly sexy. A bomber jacket offers a perfectly neat way to add a bit of effortless cool to your outfit and works as well with a fitted t-shirt as it does with a lightweight or chunky sweater.
Our own exclusive designs will be released March 2021 in a variety of colours and is more tailored and stylish than the catwalk and high street versions you’ll see around.
4. Wide trousers
This is another trend that reappears every so often alongside efforts to reimagine the style of the 1940s. Sadly it’s just not flattering. One of the best ways to show off your legs is to show that you have some, so the less fabric flapping about, the better. This trend earns itself a minus point from us, sorry!
We’ve tried, but we can't seem to muster up an alternative to these. Just keep your trousers slim, yet not overly so, and slightly tapered.
5. Trench coats
This trend can go either way: too long and roomy and the wearer looks creepy, but well-fitted and it’s a quite a stylish choice.
We here at AW do like to tone down any 'clunkiness', so our first step would be removing the belt. The belt is used to cinch the waist, but with an immaculately tailored coat that shouldn’t be necessary. We'd also love to see this design in a different fabric and in subtly textured colours.
Our Olive Branch raincoat is a good alternative if you are thinking about a trench coat but aren’t keen on the bells and whistles.
6. Bold Bermuda shorts
Big, baggy and bold is like watching a scene out of The Young Ones. Put simply; it's not pretty!
Shorts should be tailored and classy, finishing just above the knee or mid-thigh for those of you who have a particularly fetching pair of legs. Yet, designers seem to get it wrong year after year and trot out over-sized Bermuda shorts or tight, teeny-tiny hot pants.
Thankfully, we have our own range of shorts coming out prior to Summer 2021, just in time to unleash your pins on the world. But please, under no circumstances should you ever pair shorts with socks and scandals, I mean sandals!
7. Statement Shirts
We've always been fans of the statement shirt. Menswear is, for the most part, conservative so the odd semi-fitted floral or patterned shirt is a welcome breath of fresh air in our book. It's a chance to have some fun and add personality to your style.
The statement shirt is an extension or modernisation of The Hawaiian shirt which has always been deemed as 'The Clown’ of the man's wardrobe (you can read more about that here).
To avoid giving your companions a headache, we always recommend pairing statement shirts with trousers, shorts and jackets in solid colours. Make your shirt the statement and leave clashing prints for the catwalk.
Top shirt tip: For a smart statement shirt we always recommend tucking it in but if you're wearing with shorts, then you can leave it out.
We believe they are an essential in any wardrobe, so why not shop our full collection of statement shirts..
8. Pretty in Pastels
The trend for pastels peeks appears every now and then, but it can be very tricky to wear without looking like a giant prawn in pink or an extra from The Stepford Wives. Tall, tanned twenty-something models lounging on the beach in Nice (or strutting down the runway) can go all out, the rest of us cannot.
There are ways to make it work though. First, keep your pastels for summer. Second, just choose one piece – a linen or cotton shirt or a blazer or tailored shorts. Then pair with darker neutrals like denim or navy.
9. Fresh Florals
Florals sound a little feminine, but we're talking about more of a masculine, structured type of floral. They can add interest and fun to your look, just make sure your pieces well-tailored in classic shapes or you really will end up looking like an Avant Garde model in a fashion show.
This year, the catwalk featured larger, brighter 70s types of florals – and we don’t expect you to trot out your father’s burnt orange floral shirt. However, if you’re keen to dip a toe in, we recommend a darker print with small blooms in blues, greens, greys and Burgundy, like our Shakespeare’s Garden shirtor the Monet’s Garden shirt. Small abstract florals also work very well for men. Start with a statement shirt, floral tie or pocket square.
Not all trends are bad – they just need to be taken with a pinch of salt and used as inspiration for a look that is uniquely you. If you are ever unsure, reach out to us and we will be happy to guide you.