Autumn-winter 2012 trends
When a new season begins, we like to focus on menswear trends we consider relevant, in the very concrete way we are going to dress over the next few month. Checking lookbooks, chatting with professionals and seeing new collections on tradeshows we “build” this trendbook. Actually it is kind of an exhaustive guide about what is to be taken of left in this season’s collections. Compared to autumn-winter 2011, many changes are initiated to something more chic and focused on menswear basics, which are declined in a very original color palette this year:
The past few seasons were marked by the “unshaved adventurer”, the “sportswear chic” or the “unkempt hip”. This year the show is being stolen by elegance’s coming back under the spotlight. An authentic elegance, highly inspired from the 19th century. Not much to say that: trousers’ cuts are getting wider, coats longer, fits are basically taking a vintage turn, but with modern “flowing” shapes. Accessories are “classically elegant” : all kind of hats, ties, and gloves. Shades remain actual : we will have variations of yellow, red and blue. We would also keep the preppy vibe alive, wearing double breasted jackets and coats along with waistcoats. Trends of this year are definitely tinged with romanticism (lightweight scarves, pinkish shades), then also influenced by classic British fashion (the good old Prince of Wales check). Finally, big news for us guys, let’s take the comb and hair gel out again ! (not a joke, read that in a hair styling trends article)
Obviously our “unshaved adventurer” style will remain present, in background of the City biker. Please, no misunderstanding, we won’t tell you about the total leather look with an embroidered eagle on the back and a pair of cowboy boots, but an aviator/biker jacket, raw jeans and boots (desert boots according to your taste). Denim is a key trend this season, particularly its iconic pieces like the trucker jacket, which we will find with various adornments : smooth leather, suede, raw or stonewashed denim, with or without fur. Aviator, biker jackets (“perfecto” as we like to call it in French), would sport basic colors (browns, black) like more unusual ones (bordeaux). Besides, shoes won’t necessarily be classic boots, as the hiking boots trend is reaching maturity this year. And hats won’t necessarily be helmets, just a fisherman beanie to give a hybrid “urban-adventurer” look. Real bikers would cut their jacket’s fringe seeing that!
Urban sportswear keeps growing and establishes as a real trend in continuation of the summer. If we put tracksuits aside – although city has become a better place to wear sweatpants than trackfields with slimmer cuts – sportswear is generally associated to the traditionnal american student outfit: varsity, jeans, sneakers and baseball hat (I know it is a narrow European vision). Not anymore thanks to pieces from different styles enriching this year’s sportswear inspiration. Then parkas, chinos, beanies would match our sneakers to give some half “fisherman”, half sportswear looks. Varsities will be adapted in various colors and materials (suede, cotton, leather), many prints would trim sweatshirts guts and baseball hats would return to their original shape (neither for 5 panels nor fitted New Era).
Unless for white linen cropped pants or camouflage fatigues, menswear trends are usually considered as timeless, so this season can not be limited to those three styles. Therefore past ones remain actual but less prominent. We can also mention: tribal, animal, camo prints, preppy and military style.
For once, autumn-winter shows colors to their best advantage. In spite of the daily grind, and the ever-present black around you, the color palette allows us imagine warming up near a chimney (precociously I’ll give you that). No monochromatic looks this year, but mismatched clothing mixing sober and quirkier colors, and plenty of bi-tones pieces:
Banana, buff, corn, mustard, sand, straw… yellow! We won’t fool yourself telling you will see it everywhere, but it is time or never to go for yellows (I know we already said that for the summer…). Yellow is quite a warm color, really. Why do you think that tempratures are high when the weather is sunny? It may be stylish on cords trousers for example… think about it. ;)
We won’t play the trendy color variation game, promised. Red tones are fashionable. Bordeaux would tinge our coats (leather like wool), sometimes our trousers wich will also come in paler reds. We could also see some bright red… I am quite fed up with it, aren’t you?
Here is a color you won’t come across everyday, but it may be interesting trying it, again, on cord trousers, on a cardigan, mixed with a blue color set.
Yet you thought we would all dress up like clowns this year! But such colors couldn’t have come without more sober ones. This winter you could definitely bet on blue, night-blue actually. It would easily match all previously mentionned colors, then also other blues… However, you’ll certainly see this one on every street corner ;)
Let’s also mention electric blue seen on many trousers.
It is plain to see that winter won’t be very original regarding patterns. We’ll have to juggle with timeless (although horizontal stripes trend seems to wane) and actual patterns this year:
Fair isle, this regular geometric pattern is a classic. 3 winters now that our knitted clothes sport it, and one more now!
Prince of Wales
A woolen checked fabric, British by essence. It looks like it has always existed, coming and going incessantly into menswear trends. One could consider it as timeless, exclusively for people of a certain age or for confident with a distinctive style. Some would only dare the woolen cap, the most hotheaded would try the classic suit (even three-pieces), or trousers their own with a colored top.
Again, nothing very original in what materials are used this season, nothing straightly coming from the future, but many bi-materials. We would found some on shoes (smooth leather, suede, canvas + leather etc…) or coats (with a lot of metallic details). All still remains seasonal. The leather/denim combo comes along with the “City Biker”, wool, cord, cashmere would rather suit for a more chic wardrobe and waxed cotton would add our sportswear outfits something different.
Originally, it did not have any peak. This latter was introduced during the 20′s by a New-York Yankees baseball player to protect from the sun. In some way he made it popular. The cap usually features a team logo and was purely made for sportsmen until the fans start wearing it to support their team. This season, specialized brands are giving its original design back (pre New Era who came in the 40′s). Made of wool, canvas we would gladly wear it in our urban sportswear outfits.
Where to find it: never reveal the brand of your cap, rule number 1
Winter hats ore often complex items we fear to wear properly. This “gap” makes us considering it outdated, is such a bet too audacious? It might be a good time to go for it! Not necessarily for a sombrero as shown above (it comes from a recent collaboration between April77 and a Spanish hatsmaker, beautiful.), but something more conventional, with a classic shape: a felt hat, a woolen trilby, a bowler, the choice is wide enough to find your best fitting hat.
You might want to save your body from the misshapen, oversized silhouette wearing a very long coat with flowing sleeves. I recommend you try a short coat, as fashionable and more suited to a daily use. The best is to check at double breasted coats (peacoats then…) for which you could dare colors and bi-materials (fur or cord collar). Such a timeless item would allow some over budgeting.
Where to find it : I’ve saw some at Zara, but for quality prefer Balibaris, Bleu de Paname, Folk or Nigel Cabourn.
A leather jacket is a lasting clothing piece. Because you generally dig your pockets deep for it. Or is it because you pay a certain amount that you want it to last? This year we could easily let ourselves go for the “Bad Boy” special edition, the one in which we look strong, featuring aggressive metallic finishes and the thick shearling collar, in which you could stub a fag out without burning a hole. I mean… THE biker jacket! (knuckles not included)
Where to find it: average budgets could try Scotch & Soda or All Saints.
For higher budgets I’ve seen such beautiful jackets from APC, Surface to Air, Made & Crafted.
Illimited budgets could afford designer jackets : Acne, Balmain, Dsquared, Philip Lim…
Wearing a nice varsity without looking like a “bro” – featherbrained american football captain only talking about his Ford Mustang and his “passing” – is possible. Actually, you can do it: well-cut jeans, a pair of hi-tops and, above all, no comb into the inside pocket. Older ones could pick a sober color and match it with a shirt, younger could try something colored to show off at high school (all clichés were approved by the editor in chief :p).
Where to find it: small budget could go without leather sleeves, Asos, Topman’s are ok.
Original Penguin, Misericordia, Beu de Paname for something lasting longer.
Designers (same as leather jackets if you wann gamble
It is a great classic in menswear, we may already all have at least one in our wardrobe. But this year sees the colorful twist turning up guys! I would personally bet on something unusual to match with a sober top: plum, bordeaux, emerald green who would not cross the “razzmatazz” line”. 5 pocket or chino cut, the rest is up to your tastes.
Your favorite raw jeans
I know this category is for purists only, but you have to wear some weatherworn, abraded, faded jeans in a biker outfit (matter of life and death). No question to get some new unwashed jeans, please! Every one knows the recipe: pick a pair of raw jeans a wear them at least 6 month without any wash (I know, they will be ready for spring with such a rate)
As the trend was last year, but it really booms today. Living in the South of France, people look at me like I am an alien wearing such shoes. 1 – they are stylish. 2 – they are comfortable. 3 – people are badly dressed.
British gentleman, preppy outfits require a pair of brogues. Today can be played the authentic card with a leather sole, or comfort with crepe or vibram. Moreover this type of shoes is a source of interest for designers who like to revisit its classic shape, and details these times by mixing materials and colors.
You wish to follow the trend, then you have two options: minimalistic looks, without anything but your pockets to carry your stuff, or a huge weekender bag (we surely want to follow the trend…). Anyway a weekender bag is still useful. Then why not enjoying the “trend” to get a nice bag wish a creative touch?