Be bold or don’t bother: eight definitive autumn menswear trends

maison martin margiela menswear fall winter 2018

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2018 Menswear Collection; image british vogue


Powered by article titled “Be bold or don’t bother: eight definitive autumn menswear trends” was written by Simon Chilvers, for The Guardian on Wednesday 10th October 2018 06.00 UTC

An oversized coat

Coats this season have gone somewhat directional: think volume and oversized or something punchy and bold. I’m calling the former the “drown me” coat and can confirm it’s brilliant for layering. There’s a fabulous example in the new film American Animals of a too-big trench that showcases perfectly the breeziness of this shape. Meanwhile, Topman has an abundance of coats prefixed with the word “oversized”. It also has a red double-breasted below-the-knee coat, which if you squint is not a million miles from the delicious ketchup overcoat that opened the Maison Margiela autumn/winter men’s show. Basically, be bold or don’t bother.

Brown rather than black

Berluti AW18.
Berluti AW18. Photograph: Pixelformula/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock
Uniqlo U brown Chesterfield coat, £129.90.
Uniqlo U brown Chesterfield coat, £129.90.

The Italian label Marni opened its show with a silver-haired model in a super-long, brown double-breasted coat. It looked divine. Note: brown clothes and grey hair are a winning combination. Haider Ackermann’s Berluti collection teamed brown with duck-egg blue; I’m proposing this as colour combo of the season. Brown is also being championed by Dr Klemperer in Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake – the trailer is enough to make the most seasoned fashion fan require a lie-down. Uniqlo U (the line designed by Christophe Lemaire) has an extremely pleasing brown chesterfield coat for £129.90 alongside other brown pieces worth investigating. And brown actually works brilliantly with, yes, black.

Anni Albers-inspired knitwear

Calvin Klein AW18, New York fashion week.
Calvin Klein AW18, New York fashion week. Photograph: Pixelformula/SIPA/Rex/Shutterstock
Sweater with multi-thread detail, Zara, £49.99.
Sweater with multi-thread detail, Zara, £49.99.

Tate Modern’s forthcoming retrospective of the German textile artist Anni Albers should be a fantastic showcase of more than 350 objects. But what is the fashion connection? Well, there are whiffs of Albers’ trademarks rippling through some of the best knitwear this autumn. For inspiration, look at knitwear designed by Raf Simons for Calvin Klein, in brown, which features a floating jacquard design with loose strands artfully hanging from it, or Saint Laurent’s monochromatic crew neck with intarsia stripes, which resembles the artist’s woven designs. This look can also be found at Zara in a grey multi-thread number, or an ecru-and-black drop-shouldered jacquard jumper, both just under £50.

A tiny bag

Prada AW18, Milan fashion week.
Prada AW18, Milan fashion week. Photograph: WWD/Rex/Shutterstock
Cos detachable leather belt bag, £69.
Cos detachable leather belt bag, £69.

Small bags may be out for women, but, for men, teeny-tiny accessories (an evolution from the bumbag trend) are all the rage. Jason Hughes, the fashion editor at Wallpaper* (who has a mini Prada bag in blue), concurs: “It’s very freeing and liberating, a refreshing antidote to carrying a cumbersome tote with all that everyday junk in it.” Understandably, a small bag may seem a bit useless. Unless you’re heading out straight from work, in which case leave that cumbersome tote at the office – for more leg room at the theatre etc. Travelling? Much easier to locate your passport in your minuscule bag than that hulking rucksack – also easy to sneak it on the plane as an extra bag if you wear it around your person. Prada’s is about £300, but you can get decent variations on this theme from Cos.

Easy tailoring

Burberry SS19, London fashion week.
Burberry SS19, London fashion week. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock
Coat, Arket, £75
Coat, Arket, £75

What to do about Insta-fashion, clothes designed for your feed rather than for looking chic. There are signs of a shift brewing. Vogue Hommes Paris addressed this notion with the cover line: “Chic is back.” The Row, the women’s label by the Olsen twins, known for luxury minimalism, is launching menswear, while Riccardo Tisci’s first Burberry show last month featured a series of very restrained looks built around clean lines and tailoring. The concept of chic to me is the French actor Louis Garrel in an overcoat, vintage Jil Sander or an “easy suit” look. The latter is achievable via Arket (sizes come up small) and Cos, which both offer modern versions of tailored jackets that feel relaxed rather than stuffy. And after all, ease is surely the epitome of chic.

Stompy footwear

Craig Green x Grenson AW18
Craig Green x Grenson AW18. Photograph: Sipa Press/Pixelformula/Rex/Shutterstock
Black combs tech boots, Dr Martens, £90.
Black combs tech boots, Dr Martens, £90.

I’ll keep this brief. There is nothing exciting to say about Chelsea boots or cult flashy sneakers. Instead, buy some shoes or boots that have a chunky sole – something that makes you walk as if you’re taking part in a Rick Owens show. The brand Marsèll is very good at this, as is Prada. My latest stompers are from Grenson’s collaboration with Craig Green. The high street is full of Dr Martens-inspired treads from Office to Asos. That’s all.

Statement trousers

Wales Bonner AW18, London fashion week, January 2018.
Wales Bonner AW18, London fashion week. Photograph: Sipa Press/Pixelformula/Rex/Shutterstock
Wide-leg cargo trousers, Zara, £29.99
Wide-leg cargo trousers, Zara, £29.99.

Designers at all price levels are making this area of menswear more interesting. There are lashings of cropped trousers: still relevant. Wider shapes are also making waves. Fantastic Man has an entire feature dedicated to the return of high-waisted slacks, while Stella McCartney and Wales Bonner are making a case for combats – chic ones. There’s a lot going for this idea: if your bag is minuscule, you can put your wallet in your trousers, and they look sublime with a stompy shoe and an Anni Albers-style knit.

The right headgear

Gucci AW18, Milan fashion week.
Gucci AW18, Milan fashion week. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock
Mustard yellow cable-knit bobble beanie hat, River Island, £12.
Mustard yellow cable-knit bobble beanie hat, River Island, £12.

More of a sidenote, as it’s not for everyone, but the talking point this season is the balaclava. Inspired by Calvin Klein’s version, it is admittedly niche, but will see you through a blizzard with full fashion reputation intact. Alternatively, you could go headscarf (Gucci), bucket hat (Prada) or even gimp mask (Moschino) – each claims to be runway-approved. But if I were to argue the case for a playful hat this season, it would the bobble beanie. See Acne Design for fancy, or River Island for a bargain. I’m sure there is an age limit on this, but age limits are always very last season. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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