Is it really still February? Take a glance out the window right now, and the glorious sun (this writer actually got burnt earlier) would suggest not. Spring has arrived early in London, and we’re going to be (foolishly) optimistic in saying that it’s here to stay (eek). Though this kind of weather does have a habit of sparking uncontested joy, it also triggers one, very niggling anxiety: what the hell does one wear? Too nippy for shorts and tees, too hot for coats, it’s a sartorial minefield to say the least. Fortunately for you (and for us) the answers aren’t that hard to find, because our Spring Summer 2019 men trends report is here to serve up some serious inspiration. Granted, we’re dipping in a tad earlier than anticipated, but hey, why would you/we complain about embracing lighter clothing? So with our accompanying list of the best products to buy, here are the most important trends you should be embracing in the season ahead.
1. A return to elegance
Tailoring was back – and back in a big way – in London, Milan and Paris. Sure, there were plenty of beautiful suits at the usual suspects (Canali, Corneliani, Ermenegildo Zegna), but even the more outré brands dabbled in tailoring. The entire Comme des Garçons show was an avant garde musing on the suit, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy showed several tailored two-pieces and even the king of streetwear, Virgil Abloh, threw in a suit or two into his inaugural collection for Louis Vuitton. The most elegant of all the collections, however, was Kim Jones’ couture-inspired outing for Dior. You’ll never look at a double-breasted blazer in the same way again.
2. You need some short shorts
GQ Fashion Director Luke Day has long been a proponent of ultra-short shorts, and for Spring/Summer 2019 his time has come. Tiny bum-skimmers were all over the runways this season, with the best found in neoprene at Prada, tie-dye leather at Louis Vuitton and swirly-whirly retro print at Dries Van Noten. Invest in some now, stop skipping leg day and you’ll be ready to go by spring.
3. Suits worn with bare chests (it’s a thing)
Now you’ve got your suit sorted, you need to figure out how to wear it. Luckily, your friendly local style shrink is here to help. For Spring/Summer 2019, you should be wearing your suit with absolutely nothing underneath. That’s right: nothing. The trend was everywhere at the shows, from the baby-blue two-piece worn with naught but a bare chest at Ermenegildo Zegna to the ultra-chic stone-hued suit shown sans shirt at Hermès. If you’re going to try the trend yourself, be sure to invest in some super-strong, mark-free deodorant first…
4. Sage is the colour
There were several colour trends going on at the shows – fluoro lime being one of them – but sage was easily the most wearable shade doing the rounds. From a beautiful sage two-piece suit at Canali to a smashing sage mac at Corneliani and a series of sporty pieces in sludgy sage at Dsquared2 – you heard it here first, sage is the shade of (next) season.
5. Invest in some hiking sandals
There wasn’t a show that didn’t feature a pair of sandals in one iteration or another. The most desirable came in the form of souped-up tech walking sandals. From the heavy-duty hikers at MSGM to the nylon-webbing strap styles at Fendi.
6. You also need a handbag
Yup. Not a manbag, not a murse, not event a pochet… Spring/Summer 2019 is the season of the handbag. At Dior, Kim Jones reinterpreted the classic saddle bag, originally designed by John Galliano, into a series of shoulder bags and cross-body styles. At Zegna, little tassel bags where held in many of the models’ hands. It was at Prada and Valentino, however, that the look was most literal, with actual handbags sent sashaying down the runway. After all, men have stuff too.
7. It’s all about unexpected shirting
Billowing Bengal-stripe shirts worn in a casual way have been doing the rounds for a while now, but for Spring/Summer 2019, it’s all about weird and wonderful shirts with a high-fashion edge. The season’s best could be found at Alexander McQueen, where sleeves were long and cuffs were left flapping (in a chic way) under the arms of suits. Also worthy of note were the funnel-neck tunic shirts at Lanvin, the oversized cowboy check shirts at Ami and the billowing new romantic styles at Pal Zileri.
8. Your tailoring should be wrap-around
Suits weren’t just cut in traditional ways at the menswear shows, no, no. Some of the most exciting tailored garments had a more casual aesthetic, with a wrap-around, kimono-style vibe. At Etro, the look was literal, with some kimono-style suits coming finished with obis, while at Cerruti, Dolce & Gabbana and Maison Margiela, shawl-collared tailored pieces were fastened with belts rather than buttons. The look was louche in the extreme – and we liked it.
9. Get in on the pattern class
Bright, bold, clashing patterns injected some welcome vibrancy to the menswear shows this season, with Versace leading the charge. Donatella contrasted a new newspaper print with her classic baroque patterns to dazzling effect. At Dolce & Gabbana, the designers showed tracksuits and cagoules covered in clashing iconographic images, which had a bright Eighties vibe. At Valentino, big, brash logos were contrasted with a neon-infused interpretation of a classic camouflage print.
ORIGINALY WRITTEN BY TEO VAN DEN BROEKE FOR THE BRITISH GQ