If you’re a longtime reader of Gentleman’s Journal you’ll know we tend to advocate for timeless style over trend-chasing – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a little experimentation in your wardrobe. The start of a new season is the perfect time to reassess your style, edit out any pieces that are past their best (yes, even if that does include your favourite moth-eaten cashmere jumper) and replace with updates that tap into the season’s most exciting new styles. Here are the SS20 menswear trends to try now (plus a few we’re pretty sure you should avoid)…
Go bold in a bowling shirt
Loud prints and camp collars have been making a comeback for some time now but, for spring/summer ’20, designers went full throttle with bright bowling shirts in every pattern under the sun. The finest offerings came from brands well-known for their fabric mastery – such as Edward Crutchley and Dsquared2 – while Charles Jeffrey, Marni and Fendi all offered their own bold spin on the trend.
The good news is, bowling shirts have a highly flattering shape thanks to their roomier cut through the body, shoulder-broadening collar and slightly longer sleeve. If print isn’t really your thing, Frescobol Carioca’s pyjama-style take on the trend puts a modern spin on your classic navy short-sleeve while Ralph Lauren’s western-inspired print is more accessible than full-on florals. For the most sartorially bold, we recommend Love Brand’s kelp print shirt. 1% of all the brand’s revenues go towards environmental charities and there’s even a pair of matching swim shorts if you’re keen to give this season’s co-ords trend a try.
Frescobol Carioca pyjama collar shirt
Ralph Lauren scenic-print linen-blend shirt
Love Brand Arawak linen shirt
Pin-up some pinstripes
No longer just for those working high-powered jobs in the city, designers from Paul Smith and Armani to Saint Laurent and Celine reworked the pinstripe into something actively cool for spring/summer. The key to making this trend work for you is to keep the cut relaxed. This is more casual Friday than suited and booted.
Paul Smith nails it with its tracksuit-inspired drawstring trousers while Eleventy’s rowing-style jersey blazer features a super-thin pinstripe and unstructured fit that work well with jeans and chinos. If you can’t help but admire the classics, however, Kingsman’s navy pinstripe suit also neatly ticks off this season’s resurgence in double-breasted tailoring too.
Eleventy pinstripe jersey blazer
Paul Smith pinstripe drawstring trousers
Kingsman Harry’s Pinstripe Super 120s wool suit
The rugby shirt is reborn
We called it last year when the Rugby World Cup took over sporting screens – rugby shirts are back. And, happily, designers haven’t tried to do anything too extreme to them. The bold stripes, patch crests and contrast collars remain. Sure, there was some experimentation with patterned sleeves and textured fabrics from the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Liam Hodges, but the essence of your Saturday morning team strip remains.
To which end, Kent & Curwen’s English rose embroidered rugby shirt is about as traditional they come while Tommy Hilfiger’s striped design is a quintessential slice of Americana. For some high-fashion brownie points, opt for JW Anderson’s panelled shirt with its slim collar and kudos-earning anchor-inspired logo.
Kent & Curwen rose embroidered rugby shirt
Tommy Hilfiger rugby shirt
JW Anderson panelled rugby shirt
Get functional with utility pockets
Season after season we’ve dealt with clean silhouettes and minimalist designs that leave no room for a proper pocket. Designers tried to compensate by offering all manner of bags and backpacks but, honestly, we were overjoyed to see a strong contingent of coats, trousers and jackets with pockets hit the runways this season. As we’re heading into spring, it’s a proper field jacket – as seen at Prada, Tod’s, and Ralph Lauren – we’d recommend invest in.
And, for something classic, there’s no one better to turn to than Mr Ralph Lauren himself. Taking his military experience as inspiration, this ivory design is based on traditional British field jacket and features a stowaway hood. For an even more utilitarian take on the trend, Mr P’s safari-inflected style features four pockets in a deep sandy shade while Belstaff’s waxed motorcycle jackets can’t be beaten for their practicality and hardiness.
Ralph Lauren Popover field jacket
Mr P field jacket
Belstaff Trailmaster waxed-cotton jacket
Zip up a biker jacket
A great leather jacket should be a perennial part of every man’s wardrobe and for spring/summer 2020 it’s all about the biker. This season’s spin on the style was rebellious, with Versace, Armani and Moschino all serving up sharp silhouettes and unusual textures – but always rendered in buttery soft leather.
We do realise, however, that unless you happen to be 6ft 5in with the physique of a personal trainer, biker jackets can be tricky to work. Some of us just aren’t that cool. But, thanks to its eschewing of unnecessary embellishments in favour of interesting texture, Emporio Armani’s biker jacket has a significantly lower difficulty setting than many of its colleagues. Blackmeans’ more traditional take on the style, meanwhile, features four bands at the waist to help you achieve the perfect fit. Finally, Selected Homme has rendered its biker jacket in navy suede for a softer look that will go with practically anything.
Emporio Armani biker jacket
Blackmeans slim-fit leather biker jacket
Selected Homme suede jacket
And the ones to avoid...
There were a few, ahem, interesting looks on the catwalks this season. We’re not going to name names but if any shop window tries to convince you double denim, leather trousers, string vests or anything rendered in satin is a good idea please walk quickly in the opposite direction. Here endeth the lesson.
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