Men’s Style Up: Spring/Summer 2014

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Hey, boys! If you’ve been hiding under parkas and layering up in knitwear for the last few months, now’s the time to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the new trends for spring and summer. Not sure what’s hot and what’s not? Have a read of our guide for the upcoming season to find out what your options are.

Colour

There’s lots of choice when it comes to colour this season. Pastels are – of course – bang on trend and will be seen in abundance as soon as the collections start to hit high street stores. Think sky blue, soft mint green and yes… baby pink. If you’re more of a ‘stand out from the crowd’ kind of guy, then pastels might not really be your thing. In this case, be bold and try strong, block colours like cobalt blue and even bright pink. It might seem like we’re pushing pink a bit too hard here, but trust us, if you get pink right… well, you won’t go wrong again. This season also sees the rise of colour coordination: yes, that means that the top and trousers are allowed to be the same colour! However, be logical with this: if you don’t fancy looking like a baby marshmallow head-to-toe then maybe reconsider the pale pink trouser suit – but hey, it’s just a suggestion. Just remember, if you don’t want to get weird looks as you’re strutting down the spine, wear block and bright colours in moderation. Whilst it’s great to be noticed, you might not want to be remembered as the ‘Smurf lad’ until you graduate (although third years, as we don’t have long left, maybe you can go a bit wild with this). For the neutral colour lovers amongst you, nudes and light greys are still acceptable to see you through to the spring and summer months. Be adventurous this season and team your neutrals with a bright colour – although somewhat practical, the moth-grey look might not always be the most attractive.  That may be a lot to take in for just one aspect of your wardrobe, but if you only take one thing from it then remember this: colour is key! The rise and fall of any outfit in the coming season will be down to colour, so make your choices carefully.

Shape

This year, Spring/Summer 2014 sees the rise of ‘smasual’: the perfect combination of smart and casual. Tailoring this season comes in the form of softer and fluid lines and says goodbye to the stiff power suits that were seen in Autumn/Winter 2013. Never again – well, at least for the next few months… – will you have to be afraid of going too far on either end of the scale; ‘smasual’ will let you get the balance perfectly right. Baggy, loose-fitted 90s-style shirts are also making a comeback this season, so start hunting in charity shops or search through your Dad’s boxes of old clothes to avoid high street mock-ups and find the real deal. Collars should be flat, sleeves should be elbow length and buttons should NOT be done up to your necks: guys, as the weather (hopefully) gets a bit warmer, let yourselves breathe a bit! If you’re feeling brave (and all the hard work that you’ve been putting in at the gym has paid off) then it’s even acceptable for you to get your arms out this season. Sleeveless shirts are back and are trying hard to make a name for themselves, so get on the trend and start flexing! The main thing to remember with shape for spring and summer is that it should be loose – so ditch the tight polos, skinny jeans and let the material flow.

Patterns and print

The words ‘printed shirt’ or ‘patterned tie’ strike fear into many a bloke, with visions of Louie Spence style ups and John McCririck tweed suits. Unfortunately boys, a whole range of prints hit the catwalk for Spring/Summer 2014 so patterns are here to stay. However, if you choose wisely from the plethora of prints on offer this season, you’ll stay stylish and stand out from the room full of graphic tees and chinos on a Saturday night in Sugar. Four simple print styles stood out across the various men’s shows for Spring/Summer 2014; checks, spots, stripes and camouflage. Checkerboard patterns reigned supreme on the Johnathan Saunders who harked back to classic sixties style, mixed with bold, punchy colours. His yellow and black checkerboard shirts were teamed with stone-grey slim suits and contrasting striped ties for a statement look. Alas, canary yellow won’t go down well with your Rugby team mates, so emulate this style with a slim fit checked shirt in black, grey or navy. If you’re a bigger guy, brighter colours could look a little cowboy, so stick with more traditional tones, team with dark jeans and a formal pair of shoes. Spots and stripes are a safe choice for any guy. They’ve been on the high street for many a moon and come emblazoned on t-shirts, vests and shirts. Keep your style simple in a maroon spotted shirt or Breton stripe, but please don’t pair chinos with your patterned piece; they tend to be a little too baggy for the overall look. Finally, the dreaded camouflage made a return for Spring/Summer 2014. Christopher Raeburn’s catwalk was filled with the print, in the form of blazers and trousers. Never fear, I’m not asking you to channel Tom Hanks in Platoon, instead stick to camo t-shirts in neutral colours for a stylish look. Venture too far into G.I. Joe territory and you could look like you’re out on a sport social…If you’re feeling brave keep your eyes peeled for camo bomber jackets, preferably in black and grey, for a very cool spring summer look.

Shoes

A variety of styles, from Italian brogues at Gieves & Hawkes to oversized trainers at Christopher Raeburn, were spotted on the Spring/Summer 2014 catwalks last year. This season gives blokes an insatiable amount of choice in the shoe department as practically anything goes for Spring/Summer 2014! Boys, my advice is to stick to what you know best footwear-wise, but listen to your missus and throw away those Puma classics from 1998. Try something new and channel the Burberry show, taking Alan Bennett and David Hockney as your inspiration, in coloured, suede brogues. Alternatively slip on some black loafers in ode to the Nicole Farhi offerings of Spring/Summer 2014, a failsafe in footwear. Not feeling the smarter shoes? Everyone from James Long, Rag & Bone and Katie Eary had models in trainers this season which does mean that those New Balance beauts or Adidas originals you’ve been dying to wear can definitely make an appearance at the weekend. For something a little more original have a look at Saucony, a U.S brand which has sold pro running shoes since 1898. Still under the fashion radar, this label has become the new ‘Superga’; a footwear brand on the verge of ‘taking off’ on this side of the Atlantic. Invest your pennies wisely and your footwear will see you through until Autumn/Winter 2014.

Spring/Summer 2014 can seem like a big leap style-wise, but embrace the new trends and venture out of your comfort zone for a more interesting look and better wardrobe for the New Year.

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