Sadly seeing out the end of summer? Or witnessing winter’s loosening grip? The sudden change in season – come March and April, sees temperatures rise and fall unpredictably. And that’s a dilemma for men. This time of year, it’s rare not to be caught out in the nighttime cold – in only shorts and cotton-thin t-shirt. Or stuck carrying around an overcoat in the midday heat, wishing you’d left the clunky jacket at home when you left for work that morning.
Knowing that feeling all too well, we’ve picked up five transeasonal style items for men (whatever the weather). The cyclical nature of fashion means the following pieces are more ‘style staples’ than ‘one-season wonders’. But for 2016, items like the bomber jacket or knitted sweater take on new meaning, aesthetic and usability. Once the fillers in an outfit, these unassuming fashion items are headlining the man’s wardrobe over the in-between months. Come rain, hail, or shine.
#1 Bomber Jackets
Bomber jackets continue their furore in 2016. Having usurped denim jackets and parkas as the king of casual jackets, the bomber is looking less sporty and retro and more military. The best bomber colours relate to the origins of the jacket – the army. Khaki, olive green, navy and pewter are must-have colours, as well as lighter hues, stark white and beige.
Worn with tailored pants and a collared shirt, the bomber retains a close-to-the body fit (the casual jacket taking the place of a boring blazer), while – as a streetwear piece – puffier, rounded varieties with slouchy proportions and eccentric pockets and zips are essential, a pure off-duty jacket in nylon matte, keeping you dry and warm in a sudden wind storm or down pour. For the more avant-garde, look to souvenir bombers stamped with embroidery, patches, and logos.
Sweatpants remain de rigeur for the transitional-weather months. Their relaxed leg-shape, tapered ankle and louche fabrication suits casual home hiatus and weekend city romps, and some – the more luxuriously-made, even gracing evening time, when the has fallen into slumber.
Grey coloured sweatpants are key this season, popular with textured material variations, contrast panels and cashmere materials to appear less sporty, more luxe. The silhouettes and styles range from super-slim (for a more comfortable fit in jersey), to wide-legged, pressed-creased and hemmed (appearing more like trousers in heavier wool). And then there’s long-legged with geometric-patterns down the sides (for a casual-look pant), which bunches at the ankle over sneakers.
Overall, this season’s sweatpants are a clean update on the sporty trend of last season, boasting a mostly tonal colour palette and smarter construction.
The slim-fit, smart knit trend of previous seasons is taking a backseat in 2016, overtaken by the oversized knit. From roll necks, to crew necks to hoodies, the shapes of knits are longer and vary in gauge width. Thinner versions are designed for draping, perfect for layering, while cable knits and waffles, sit thick, cropped and boxy. Playing on Nineties streetwear, cotton jersey sweaters come wider still. Long in both body and arm, push the sleeves up to the elbow and let me fall loose and louche past the wrist.
Knits remain plain in the new season’s key colours – dark neutrals, light earthen hues or breezy pastels – think blue and pink. Want more sweater panache? Strong graphic print sweaters – handwritten slogans, geometrics, patchwork, are big this year, best paired with neutrals to balance the oversized proportions and print-noise.
#4 Longline Shirts
Longline tees were a huge streetwear trend last season. And now, enter the longline shirt. Sometimes worn as the base layer, other times as a ‘shacket’ over roll neck tops, the elongated button-up shirt retains its classic formal aesthetic this (despite the change in shape): red plaid, plain white, windowpane checks.
Buffalo plaid, chambray and denim are also big longline shirt prints and colours to rock in the unpredictable weather that requires layers and de-layering. Eloquently styled with the aforementioned bomber jacket and smartly cut jogging bottoms, you’ll be aptly dressed for the weekend. And it’s a contemporary look suited to the un-corporate, modern day office. Go low.
As the weather cools, footwear options certainly kick things up a notch. Worker boots are strong options this season for the guy who likes to explore uneven terrain, as much as he does the city streets. Desert boots are a smart casual option that continue their sartorial presence, prone to suede in desert-esque hues for something heritage looking under clean cut chinos.
But the best shoe of the transitional season has to be the Chelsea boot. Versatile enough to be dressed up or down, team a formal leather Chelsea in black, brown or tan with a tailored trouser or suit. And then wear the same pair with a pair of jeans and leather jacket and t-shirt, come the weekend. And a chunkier sole walks well in the wet, just don’t go splashing about in muddy puddles. Save that for wellingtons.