Guys will continue to break the rules of dressing as their strive for individuality impacts the fall and holiday seasons. Instead of the traditional suit and tie, men today are mixing and matching, picking and choosing pieces that define their personalities. Here, the experts weigh in on what’s coming next in the male wardrobe.
Bruce Pask, men’s fashion director, Neiman Marcus/Bergdorf Goodman
The biggest trends for the fall/winter season: Probably the most important thing is the idea of performance, and that unites a lot of different markets. The key item of the season is the parka, which is a fashion statement in addition to a weather-related item. Tom Ford, Balenciaga, Off-White, they’re all taking something that is sport-specific and making it a fashion statement. Also, tech nylon will be big. That’s especially important in the sartorial market and a response to the fluid workplace. Tailoring needs to be travel-ready with stretch, wrinkle- and water-resistance, all of that.
What’s totally over: In men’s, we move in such a measured pace and we’re just at the beginning of the conversation about performance. When Thom Browne debuted 15 or 16 years ago, the silhouette was shocking, but it drove the aesthetic and now you’re seeing skinny even in jeans and khakis. But the pendulum is now swinging to more generous proportions again, driven by Demna [Gvasalia] and Balenciaga. It feels right to wear wider pants and slightly oversize outerwear, but the change will be gradual.
What big directions do you see in coming years?: The rise of designer clothing with a capital D. With Hedi [Slimane] at Céline, Virgil [Abloh] at Vuitton and Kris Van Assche at Berluti, it leads to renewed interest in the designer category that will be compelling to customers. Also, athletic is not going anywhere.
Roopal Patel, senior vice president and fashion director, Saks Fifth Avenue
The biggest trends for the fall/winter season: A return to tailoring — suiting, including separate jackets and tailored pants, looked incredibly modern and directional. We feel like there is a whole new generation who has yet to invest in a tailored suit or a jacket, and we’re so excited about this moment in men’s wear. For the fall season, there is a focus on luxe fabrications, textures and prints. Isaia, Boglioli, Ami and Brunello Cucinelli had great options. Then there’s statement outerwear. Fall was a really big outerwear season. There were coats for every occasion that every man needs to invest in. From puffer to camel to tailored to plaid coats, there was no shortage of great outerwear options. And sneakers continue to lead the footwear game. Balenciaga, Versace and Gucci showed great chunky sneakers.
What’s totally over: Boxy suits and pleated pants. The old school, oversize suit feels outdated.
What big directions do you see in coming years?: Neon and bright pops of color look very directional for spring. From tailored suits at Dior, Versace and Louis Vuitton, and we are also seeing neon accents across other categories such as accessories, sneakers, hats, and sunglasses. Soft tailoring and the return of the jacket: There is a more effortless approach to wearing a suit or jacket. From soft shirt-jackets in seersucker, shirting fabrics, and knits, to the easy tailored suit. The modern-day man has many more options for his lifestyle. Boglioli, Isaia, Officine Générale and Dior had some of the best of the spring season. Then, prints and vibrant patterns were all the rage on the runways: tropical prints, logo play, florals, etc. The variety and translation of these prints in windbreakers, anoraks, sport luxe, accessories and sneakers looks directional for spring.
Justin Berkowitz, men’s fashion director, Bloomingdale’s
The biggest trends for the fall/winter season: We are feeling great about plaid in nearly every iteration. We’re seeing classic gentleman’s checks like houndstooth and glen plaid executed in tailoring, outerwear and updated sports silhouettes. Our more advanced brands are also doing a lot with bolder takes on the pattern from reinterpreted buffalo checks in novel colors to punkish tartans. Tech fabrics and an overall urban utility inspiration are also going to be big for fall. From waterproof outwear and taped seam details in sportswear to nylon belt bags and hiker hybrids, there’s a big focus on protection and utilizing technology within garments for function.
What’s totally over: Head to toe anything — the coolest guys out there are mixing dress with casual in interesting ways. Whether your look is a mix of high/low or tailored/informal, the combination of different things feels modern and impactful.
What big directions do you see in coming years?: I see a continued focus in our stores on emerging brands, on makers with a story to tell and on new methods of product curation and visual merchandising. With just about any product available from the palm of one’s hand, point of view is incredibly important.
Simon Longland, general merchandise manager for men’s wear and sports, Harrods
The biggest trends for the fall/winter season: Popping color, especially cobalt and primary colors, which were seen across the season. Hiking boots — a classic utilitarian style which is destined only for the city. Oversize everything, whether it be coats, trousers or accessories — voluminous shapes are key. And finally, checks and plaid, whether in a British heritage style or Americana vibe, this is the pattern for the season and can be worn as light touches or full look.
What’s totally over: I think can say goodbye to minimalism, for now. Gone are the days of super-sharp edges and elongated lengths. Instead, bulky quilted jackets and full-volume separates have taken hold of the season. Brands synonymous with sleek styling have now experimented with volume and are heroing it for autumn/winter ‘18.
What big directions do you see in coming years?: I’m excited to see the clearer distinction between daywear and eveningwear. Tailoring is finally coming into its own as daywear is becoming ever more casual. Tailoring’s strength lies in eveningwear and autumn-winter ’18 has really reignited this.
Chris Kyvetos, men’s wear director, Stylebop.com
The biggest trends for the fall/winter season: The elevation of streetwear. I think the upcoming fall collections have given us a nice indication to how streetwear can evolve beyond its logo-heavy, sporty foundations. Fabrications are more diverse and luxurious, and we will see a reduction of standard logo placement. And the new formal. There has been so much talk of the death of the suit, but it is more a reimagining, playing with proportions being the aim of the game. The one objective is for it to not look like business attire.
What’s totally over: Oversize bomber jackets. Done to death, time to put them away for quite a while.
What big directions do you see in coming years?: I think we’ll continue to see brands gravitate to the idea of “normal dressing” to the point that some of the product can feel borderline mundane, but still intriguing. Obviously Balenciaga ushered this in, and Martine Rose continues to explore this in her own line. But when you see brands like Versace start to gravitate toward more normal dressing (spring-summer ’19), it feels like something that we’ll continue to see going forward.
Brian Nyilas, merchandise director for men’s, Fred Segal
The biggest trends for the fall/winter season: Tie-dye; using plastic, patent leather and Lucite wherever possible; mixing clashing colors; oversize tops and also oversize stovepipe bottoms — but not together; rayon; Hawaiian prints; nearly trademark-infringing graphics, and bigger-than-ever camouflage. Call out brands include Lemaire and Libertine.
What’s totally over: Super-skinny everything, all-day sweatsuits and ripped jeans. Denim as a whole is as low of a saturation as I’ve ever seen. Pastels, center chest logo branding is fading quickly, triple-stack sneakers are finally nearly gone, Americana and indigo-based is dead.
What big directions do you see in coming years?: Most of the hottest trends cited above, but the spring edition. Designer raver chic is meeting highly polished, urban skate influencer.
Kevin Poon, co-founder, Clot and Juice
The biggest trends for the fall/winter season: Army meets functional; lots of pockets. I don’t really believe in trends to start with because I think everyone should be comfortable creating and wearing whatever represents themselves, but knowing that fashion is also cyclical, I think guys have started to realize they have lots of things to carry, so there is a new category of items. I think wearable accessories like vests, and harnesses are popular.
What’s totally over: I think the days of fashion being exclusive are over. The new outlook is a more inclusive world.
What big directions do you see in coming years?: The direction seems to be going toward a more colorful and inclusive world.
Kelly Wong, director of fashion, Lane Crawford
The biggest trends for the fall/winter season: Sportswear, technical fabrics and relaxed silhouettes will continue to be prominent. There was a variance of checks seen on the runway, either used as an accent piece on outerwear to elevate a monochromatic look, or an adventurous clash of checks and plaids in one outfit. Then earth tones: brown is the color of the season. From Craig Green to Marni and the last Vuitton show of Kim Jones, we’ve seen a lot of head-to-toe looks in shades of browns. Then sportswear x tailoring: designers are styling streetwear in a refined way. Elevating a tracksuit by putting a blazer on top or styling a formal shirt and tie with an outdoorsy outerwear piece.
What’s totally over?: Overly distressed denim, big prints and excessively oversize shapes will become less common in favor of cleaner silhouettes and understated details.
What big directions do you see in coming years?: There will be a trend for brands to shift toward more minimal designers and incorporate sustainability in their design process. With new creative directors taking place at various traditional fashion houses, consumers on the hunt for newness will direct more of their purchasing power toward these big designer brands.
Ilaria Urbinati, celebrity stylist
The biggest trends for the fall/winter season: Corduroy will be a really big one; we saw it in everything from suits to bomber jackets on the runway. Then, graphic printed sweaters, sort of a Missoni vibe, and we’re talking about the Seventies a lot. I love that for men. We’re definitely moving away from the skinny pant and I love pleated slacks.
What’s totally over: I don’t remember the last time I put a tie on a guy. Now, everyone is wearing a suit jacket with a knit or a button-down. They’re not doing that pulled together, tie bar, pocket square thing. Although that will never really be over, it feels really dated to me.
What big directions do you see in coming years?: There are less and less rules for guys. They can wear pink, prints, every cut. It’s all less trend-induced and more about what fits his personality. In an industry with very strict rules, we’re now in anything goes territory, but hopefully it will still be done in good taste so nobody looks like a clown. It still needs to make sense and look classy — that’s the new modern.
Miguel Arnau, freelance fashion editor
The biggest trends for the fall/winter season: Definitely, the omnipresent tartan/check sensation, like a wink to that strong punk statement from the past that is back this winter in different tones and forms. Also there will be a strong presence of different logos and graphics, which will be used by powerhouses to showcase their impactful identity. Another big trend will be the warm presence of the shearling, not only used as lining, but also outside to embellish garments and make them beautiful to touch and to look at.
What’s totally over: In the men’s fashion environment, I strongly believe that dressing up should be a way of expressing yourself, and these days I think it’s really important to pay attention to this matter. I think that, outside the working or professional environment, wearing a tie and a classic suit is not a relevant way of dressing up anymore. I’m not excited anymore when designers look behind and bring nostalgia to us.
What big directions do you see in coming years?: More collaborations between fashion houses and brands, perhaps. A never-ending musical chairs game with creative directors continuing to bounce from one house to another. The globalization effect, I believe, will also have some side effects and I’m very curious to see what’s next after all these massive changes happening. I also see that the street-style phenomenon will be over at some point and will start another cycle in fashion where the real creativity will be valued and considered in a new form. Let’s consider, for example, Iris van Herpen’s latest couture collection. Is this a new form of fashion or not? I believe fashion is having a very inclusive moment but differences between different levels/status in our society will be very strong in the future and they will affect the way people will dress up to represent their role in our future world.
Andrea Tenerani, L’uomo Vogue fashion director and GQ Italia creative and style director
The biggest trends for the fall/winter season: Nylon (Prada, Valentino, Off-White); logomania (Fendi, Balenciaga, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Valentino); pinstriped double-breasteds (Versace, Alexander McQueen, Dior Homme, Ermenegildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani).
What’s totally over: Minimalism, distressed denim and three-quarter-length blazers.
What big directions do you see in coming years?: I think that brands will be focused on further defining a specific lifestyle. I believe that a tailoring-inspired approach will be applied to sportswear, daywear will be elevated, vintage fashion will impose with an eclectic, never nostalgic twist, and couture will have a strong impact on street style.
Zadrian Smith, stylist, founder and editor-in-chief of Petrie
The biggest trends for the fall/winter season: Continuing the dialogue on gender, both on the runways and red carpets, we are seeing a return of the audacious male peacock. Leading the flock is Chadwick Boseman, whose role in “Black Panther” might have suggested a very masculine run of looks for his press tour, but Boseman dared to be different and really pushed the envelope with his sartorial choices, challenging the societal norms of what it means to be black, masculine and fashion-forward. Boseman lived loud and proud on the carpets with an edit of looks that included a cape for the Met Gala and is not one to shy away from prints, textiles and embroidery. A huge departure from the usual run of double-breasted suits we normally see to represent timeless men’s fashion. Already designers like Kim Jones at Dior are softening what it means to be masculine and I think most fashion industry insiders are waiting to see how Hedi Slimane will interpret men’s wear for Céline, a brand long defined for challenging the notions of femininity.
What’s totally over: For men’s wear, I would say opaque, monotonous colors are quickly fading away. Recent men’s collections were littered with texture, detailed textiles, and colors and silhouettes that have quickly refashioned the modern male silhouette of the last decade. The Gucci, Calvin Klein, Craig Green and Dior man is not afraid to tap into his feminine side. Hyper-masculinity is over, and the male who can delicately balance both sides of the gender scale is very much in vogue.
Moti Ankari, The Metro Man
The biggest trends for the fall/winter season: Loose fits, logos, leopard, rodeo cowboy style, Nineties style, all sorts of bags — bum bags, side bags and the Prada badge holder.
What’s totally over: Skinny jeans — not to be confused with fitted jeans. With the more relaxed and laid-back movement that we’ve seen in fashion for quite some time now, more now than ever, super-skinny fits are out.
What big directions do you see in coming years?: I think in men’s wear, specifically, clothing is becoming more “fashion”— and more guys are more conscious about designer brands and their creative directors. Men used to wear slim-fit trousers and well-fitted suits and they would be considered stylish. Now, more and more men are wearing unique fabrics and bold prints from designers like Versace, Prada, Gucci. I think fast fashion will always be around, but I do think more men will be saving and spending more on designers — I know I am.