Six menswear trends to take note of in 2023
We’ve scoured the menswear shows at Milan, Paris and Pitti Uomo — and here are the big AW23 trends we noticed on the catwalks…
Remember how, during the pandemic, everyone started talking about how this brave new world of remote working was finally going to kill off the two-piece suit? Well, it looks like that couldn’t have been further from the truth – at least according to the most recent series of men’s collections in Milan, Paris and Florence.
After years of sportswear being the driving force behind the men’s trends, tailoring is making a play for dominance once again. Almost every catwalk collection, whether a storied Italian tailor or a cutting-edge French fashion upstart, featured a suit of some variety – but in a way that evolves it far beyond mere office fodder.
From the details to look out for to new ways of styling your existing wardrobe (plus a curveball that’ll pay dividends for menswear mavericks), here are the big trends we noticed on the men’s catwalks for Autumn/Winter 2023.
Yes, we saw all manner of suits on the catwalks for Autumn/Winter 2023, but when it comes to the details, there was one feature that really stood out: the return of double-breasted top-halves. Of course, this was most obvious on suiting and in tailored separates, such as the artfully slouchy, colour-blocked DB two-pieces at Parisian label AMI or the more traditional take on the genre at Brioni.
However, this button-over jacket style was also a popular feature on outerwear too. Knee-skimming great coats and chesterfields, nipped in at the waist with exaggerated, sharp shoulders were seen at Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, and Givenchy. Even streetwear brand Vetements showed Neo-friendly DB black leather trench coats.
Whatever your wardrobe needs for the new season, the key is in the fit. Rather than the traditional boxy-cut synonymous with old school Savile Row, opt for either something trimly-tailored and formal, or something oversized. There is no middle ground. Whether you go for four or six buttons, well, we’ll leave that up to you.
There are always trending colours at the shows, and this season biscuity brown, dark green, black and cream were all jostling for dominance. However, there were few shades as prolific on the catwalks as grey. From silver through to slate and charcoal, you’ll be seeing a lot of this colour later this year.
However, this coming season the trend isn’t so much about the colours I’ve mentioned above, it’s more about how you’ll be wearing them. The eclecticism and colour-mixing of seasons gone by is giving way to a far more minimal look, but with a maximal attitude.
By this, I mean that designers are pitching that add layer-upon-layer to your outfit in exactly the same shade – perhaps with a little pattern play if you’re feeling it. Within that, keep all the items slightly slouchy. The result is not only a look that feels luxurious and louche, but also one that makes getting ready on a dark winter morning an absolute breeze. You can’t make a mistake if you’re picking everything from the same paint palette.
The catwalks don’t just set the agenda for what garments you should be adding to your basket in the coming season, but also the styling tips we can all pick up. These can be the key to unlocking a new way of wearing something you already own – and the best thing about that is that they’re the trends that cost you nothing to try.
This season, one of the most notable styling twists was the unrolled rollneck. In short, instead of folding that flap of ribbed neckline knitting over as is traditional, stylists this season chose to leave it up, funnel-style. In a more fine knit, this allows the material to gather in waves tight to the neck. In a chunky knit, it means the circle of material relaxes artfully.
And, in both cases, it leaves no skin on show, framing your face. Not only is it a move straight out of the sprezzatura playbook, but it’s also incredibly practical – who needs a scarf that’ll only get left in a cafe when your neck’s already totally protected?
The rise of the ‘shumper’
While we’re on the topic of knitwear, a new garment is in its ascendancy – something I like to call the ‘Shumper’ (that’s shirt-jumper). Generally worn as a top layer, the ‘Shumper’ combines the cosiness of a knit with the heightened formality of a collared shirt and a relaxed, oversized fit. This means that it can either hang loose or it can be tucked into wide-legged trousers, should you so wish.
Beyond this, one of the defining features of this new ‘Shumper’ is a quarter-opening neckline. This can take many forms: on the catwalks we spotted a zipped version at No.21 (Succession, but make it fashion), a buttoned version at Zegna, and a surf-style lace-up version at Bode.
Whichever takes your fancy, wear it over a rollneck, wear it over a shirt, hell, wear it over nothing if that’s your vibe – it’s going to be the ultimate autumn top-layer you never knew you needed.
The Matrix (but make it menswear)
The Noughties are trending hard on the women’s catwalks, but there has been little sign of Millennialism in menswear up until this point. However, one signifier of things to come might be the proliferation of black leather in the collections for the coming season.
A staple of any self-respecting style hound at the turn of the twenty-first century, the popularity of leather blazers and trench coats went hand in hand with the popularity of The Matrix trilogy, and the sartorial choices of its badass leads who all sported floor-skimming leather overcoats and shades.
Now, head-to-toe black leather is making a comeback, whether that’s as a long top layer or as a full suit. However, what we’re also seeing is the return of the far more wearable leather blazer, cut like a sharp suit jacket and worn with smart trousers and a rollneck, it’s being pitched by storied tailoring houses like Brioni as the ultimate, elegant alternative to your biker jacket.
Dries Van Noten
Occasionally a trend crops up on the catwalks that’s so abundant that it’s hard to ignore it, but it’s also the kind of trend that initially makes you think: how on earth will this translate to real life? This season, that’s sequins. These luxuriant little light-catching circles were sewn en masse onto menswear pieces from full-sequin tank tops at Gucci to funnel neck jumpers at Saint Laurent. There were even matching sequin co-ords at Amiri.
Don’t get me wrong – I get that these are all very bold looks, but I think that sequins have the potential to be the detailing of the season. Because for all the headline-grabbing ways designers deployed sequins, there were just as many far more subtle ways. As part of delicate embroidery on a shirt at Dries Van Noten, for example, or on the edging of eveningwear at Giorgio Armani.
And, frankly, if a legendary designer like Mr Armani is pushing the sequin agenda as well as cool upstart brands, you can almost guarantee there will be a ripple effect across dinner suit lapels and party shirts the world over.
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