Summer menswear trends to keep an eye on
Words: Charlie Lake
Nothing piques our interest more than observing the changing nature of fashion and predicting what next trend or brand will make its mark in the zeitgeist. The possibilities of where fashion will go are so exciting, and I know I'm not alone in that sentiment. With the weather heating up, we now turn our eyes to what trends will dominate over the coming months of summer. Whilst some might think that the summer is limiting for men's fashion, I would argue that it presents an opportunity to push the boat out, reclaiming certain trends from the 80s and 90s that are long forgotten. Below are five trends which are already taking over.
Camp Collar Shirt
No one shirt gives off easy, breezy summertime vibes quite like a camp-collared button-up. Why? Well, it might be in part due to those that have donned them throughout the years; Elvis, Patrick Swayze and just about every other nonconformist poster boy throughout the 80s and 90s.
Having seen a resurgence in men's fashion in recent months, my Instagram 'Explore' page has been flooded with 'fits incorporating the inherently nonchalant shirt. Timeless and versatile, the piece can be worn buttoned up, or unbuttoned with a t-shirt or vest underneath for a more relaxed fit. The two-tiered camp collar is supposed to lie flat and open wide at the neck, allowing for a simultaneously informal but neat look.
Brands such as Stussy, COS and Zara are serving up an abundance of affordable but good quality options. If you were looking for some more raucously patterned camp shirts, then look no further than those at Celine, Valentino and Gucci, but don't be shocked by some of the huge price tags.
As part of the revival of 90s and 00s trends popping up this decade, cargo trousers returned in their numbers. Every designer and retailer has come out with their own iteration of the workwear item, keeping the trend snowballing at a steady pace since 2018. So, with temperatures going up, how does the trend keep going? Well, with temperatures rising, technical and utility shorts are the new wave for the months to come. Its form going hand in hand with its function, the technical shorts are a practical bottom-half piece that leans into the gorp-core/modern military utility style that is prevalent in men's fashion right now.
New York-based brand 1017 ALYX 9SM often references utility wear in its luxury streetwear collections as shown by these modish black utility shorts. They're made from durable nylon and feature cargo pockets at each thigh, plenty of industrial zip pockets and that all-important silver rollercoaster buckle, that signs off the militant look. Whilst an investment, they are certainly built to last, surviving both general wear and the ever-changing micro-trends in the fashion world.
Now, a good windbreaker might just be the most versatile outdoor jacket around. Today's designs for the small but mighty piece are increasingly more breathable and comfortable, meaning they can be worn when that cool summer breeze hits in the evenings, or if the weather is giving the appearance of March and April when in actuality, we are fast approaching the middle of summer.
Popular streetwear brand Corteiz, which has seen enormous growth this decade has come out with a couple of lightweight outerwear silhouettes, which can be worn this summer, when the weather allows. The Shukushuku jacket, an understated colourful nylon track jacket with a high collar, and the Lightwork Jacket, which comes in black, yellow, green and light grey. You can pick each of these up for just over £100 brand new from resellers on eBay, Depop etc.
At a larger price tag ($500 to be exact) the Post Archive Faction (PAF) technical jacket is a stunning pickup, with a zipper that swirls down rather than a straight front zip. It is wearable over just about anything, due to the adjustable neckline and wrist bands. The futurism that the jacket incorporates in its design just sets it apart from any other technical jacket offering right now.
With current trends favouring flat-front cuts, the question of whether you should wear pleats today is often answered with a resounding "no." In the world of menswear, pleats can be defined as gathered folds of fabric located below the waist, in the area known as the rise, or simply the front, on a pair of trousers. Since early 2016, we began seeing this form of trouser on the runway again. Whilst in the 80s and 90s, pleated trousers were notoriously baggy, it is possible nowadays to find moderately cut pleated pants that are in the "Goldilocks zone"–just right–neither too slim nor too loose fitting and thus timeless.
Whilst COS, Zara and Leeds-based designer MKI MIYUKI ZOKU offer some apt options for both casual and smart dress, our favourites are the Homme Plisse trousers from Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake. With a wider fitting around the leg and a mid-rise, they are the perfect lightweight trouser for summer, whether you be running errands or dressing up for an evening meal.
The ultra-comfort sandal has been front and centre for footwear for all of the top designers this year. Not only do they make for more stylish house shoes than faux-fur lined slippers, but they're also now considered one of the coolest footwear choices you can make, with everyone from Seth Rogen to Justin Bieber favouring the airy, summer-friendly shoe. You only have to look as far as Birkenstock's collaborations with Stussy, KITH, Jil Sander, Rick Owens and Manolo Blahnik to see that designers are tapping into this trend left, right and centre.
Another type of sandal is the utilitarian sandal, by the likes of Suicoke and Prada. These are best worn around the house or for casual meetups and pair best with a dressed down casual fit. For example, the Puddle sandal from Bottega Veneta or the foam rubber mules from Prada. This form of sandal also looks better with a pair of tonal socks underneath (Socks and sandals is NOT cardinal sin) so those sporting them need not worry about getting a pedicure first, like they might with a Birkenstock.