Style Notes

Top menswear looks for summer

The pick of this season’s styles for ready-to-wear cool

Menswear is full of reinvented classics and creative twists on wardrobe staples this year, as designers seek to find a way to make stylish clothing worth its pricetag in the recession.

With an emphasis on combining frivolity with longevity, we’re seeing key menswear trends returning with reinvented twists, as well as classic men’s summer clothes, like chinos (lovely camel colours at Next) being paired with summery colours and more daring patterns for a splash of seasonality and fun.

As Simon Chilvers points out in the Guardian Friday fashion blog, there’s no point in pushing British products and designers if no one actually buys the clothes. He’s talking about a new discounted designer outlet at Bicester Village, where labels like Jonathan Saunders are available at cut prices.

But he might as well be talking about any of the ‘trends’ in general this year; there’s no point in having a crazy Hawaiian tropical print trouser suit if, ultimately, nobody’s going to wear it, high street, top designer or otherwise.

Thankfully, 2012 brings with it some extremely comfortable, easy-to-wear trends that we think combine contemporary cool with smart tailoring and long-lasting durability. Here’s our top 3:

1. The new sportsman

Our favourite, and definitely the most widely represented and diverse trend. Sportswear has always been a huge influence on menswear – most consistently in urban wear – but this season sees some neat retro looks meet up with futuristic colour-blocks and finishes. Fashionbeans points out some of the key looks for the sportsjacket here – think an American high school letterman jacket, and you’re about there.

2. Printed shirts, shorts and accessories

Prints are big news for mens and womenswear in 2012; this went big a few seasons ago when Ralph Lauren started bringing out shorts with embroidered animals and different prints. This year, dark blues with white prints, such as birds or simple plants and ferns, are the order of the day. A printed backpack, or even printed trainers, are a more subtle way to work the trend.

3. The men’s backpack

Again, not a new kid on the block, the backpack, but it has overtaken the satchel as the accessory of choice in 2012. Leather straps combined with canvas bagging is the hottest way to wear it: casual but not too polyester-sporty.


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