If the spring were a celebrity, it would be Courtney Love circa 1995: unpredictable and prone to extremes. Dressing at this time of the year is basically a crapshoot. You feel the weather gods have gone on holiday and left the work experience in charge. One day, it’s sunny; the next, it’s chilly and wet. With all this weather happening at once, getting dressed is proving tricky. My fashion rule of thumb recently has been to wear a very large parka at all times, just in case; the downside being that I’ve been mistaken for an old white woman more than once. Luckily, the menswear collections were full of new looks for spring/summer. Let’s take a look at ones we should and shouldn’t do.
What hat should I wear if I wear a hat?
Those of us who hate Guy Ritchie films will be pleased to know that we’ve moved away from the flat-cap age into an era of a more liberated chapeau. Flat caps don’t even work on David Beckham, and yet he persists. There are a number of good alternatives for spring. Chief among these are the posh cap – see the Kenzo x New Era caps, or Cos, who do a nice navy/cream affordable version. Alternatively, there’s the bucket hat, which has been revived by rapper Schoolboy Q and Swedish rapper Yung Lean. It’s less “Make mine a Stella, I’ll be attempting to start a fight in the beer garden” and more “I’m living in a world of chill”.
I flashed my mankles last year. Am I still flashing them?
Yes. The autumn/winter shows saw a trend for the short trouser that highlights a statement shoe or an interesting sock, so there’s no need to stop doing it now. With the spring/summer trends encompassing a lot of rolled-up trousers – see Reiss, for example – showing a bit of ankle is universal, whether it is under a jogger, a smarter tailored trouser or a rolled-up jean.
I notice you didn’t mention shorts here.
Yes that’s right. You can’t wear them.
Give it a few weeks. Then, smart sportswear shorts (wide-fitting cut just above the knee) if you must. If you plan to wear them in the office, these wide, loose-fit grown-up skater shorts by Cerruti 1881 Paris are perfect. If it’s the weekend, American Apparel’s sateen sports shorts will do nicely.
Sport you say. Is ‘athleisure’ a thing in menswear, too?
Yes. The trend that’s the mid-point between casual and luxe gym wear is happening (see Kanye when he’s not doing the smoking-behind-the-local-Sainsbury’s goth look). So, forget the idea that jogging bottoms are the trousers for people who’ve given up on life. Slimline joggers from the likes of Acne are close to replacing the jean as the go-to trouser for the high street.
Presumably, I should go for muted colours like grey or navy?
Nope. Bright colours and pastels are in. Topman Design, Folk and Burberry were big into them on the catwalk, showcasing their palettes in crew-neck jumpers, trainers and short-sleeved shirts. Navy is for cowards (and David Cameron on holiday).
Can I wear pink?
You certainly can. Katie Eary showcased a whole kaleidoscopic range of colours (including pink) in her collection, which was seemingly inspired by Matthew McConaughey’s character from Dazed and Confused.
All right, all right, all right, are the 1970s back then?
Saint Laurent, Prada and Vuitton have been going post-American Hustle, alpha-male chic with their suede jackets and floaty trench coats. It’s catching: even Don Draper is set to update his look in the last, 70s-set season of Mad Men.
So, Don Draper is my SS15 style icon?
He can be, although there’s a raft of pop-culture influencers: John Waters and Jean-Michel Basquiat rocking the smart tailoring and bright colours (Topman Design, Burberry Prorsum), old-school LL Cool J (for the bucket hats) and older-school Robert Redford (the classic 70s Vuitton, Saint Lauren look).
What about bags. Can I carry one?
Absolutely. Man bags have shifted from in-joke to actual thing. The key is to go for something understated, like a sports rucksack – try Raf Simons for Eastpak – which doesn’t look like it’s carrying your swimming gear and a carton of juice (even if it is).
Lastly, should I be dying my hair blond like Jared Leto?
Er, no. Look, we can see what Jordan Catalano’s (Leto’s character in My So-Called Life) evil twin was attempting: Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner mixed with Bowie circa the Thin White Duke. But it didn’t work. Let’s just hope what he’s ended up with is for a role, possibly in Lagerfeld: The Movie.