The Lowdown On The Key Trends For Autumn

How to work this season’s latest styles into your wardrobe (and make it look easy)

A splash of vivid colour, a smattering of herringbone tweed, the decline of the skinny silhouette, the triumphant return of the pleated trouser leg… what are we to take from autumn’s biggest menswear trends? How to summarise a selection whose elements range from 1990s sportswear to Napoleonic-era military outerwear? In as much as there is a unifying theme to this season’s trends at all, it could be described as a shift towards clothes that make us feel good. And in times like these, that is something worth cheering.

The pleasure that clothes bring can be purely physical, as in the sensation of brushing your fingers across velvet or corduroy. It can be nostalgic, as in the feeling that you get from a familiar old coat. It can be the simple, mood-boosting endorphin rush that you get from pulling on a colourful sweater on a cloudy day. Consider this season’s collections an expression of the Freudian pleasure principle, then, that motivating force that drives us to seek pleasure in all things, whether it’s food, music or the comfort of a cashmere topcoat.

Comfort isn’t all, though. It’s in the nature of trends that they encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and try something new. You shouldn’t be afraid to do so. These are not blink-and-you’ll-miss-it crazes, but expressions of industry-wide movements towards a new standard. Much of what you see on these pages has been a long time coming. Take the trend for a wider trouser leg, for instance, as illustrated by the plethora of pleated trousers available this season. It may still seem a touch unconventional to conservative dressers used to a slimmer leg, but a couple of years from now everyone will be doing it. Which just leaves one question: why wait?

Pleated Trousers

Gucci Anchor-Embroidered Cotton Sweater
Kent & Curwen Tapered Felted Wool-Blend Trousers
Lanvin Puppytooth Wool Blouson Jacket
Officine Generale Nina Slim-Fit Merino Wool Rollneck Sweater
Prada Tapered Double-Pleat Wool and Mohair-Blend Trousers

Rejoice: skinny jeans are (finally!) on their last legs. Striding in to take their place are pleated trousers, a fine example of which is provided here by the British heritage brand Kent & Curwen. There are several reasons to be happy about this development, not least the fact that you can now put your walleat in your pocket without leaving an unsightly outline.

Heritage Fabrics

Prada Tweed Virgin Wool Coat
Connolly Aran Wool Sweater
Prada Slim-Fit Cropped Mohair and Wool-Blend Trousers
Raf Simons Oversized Houndstooth Wool Blazer
Prada Piped Neoprene Track Top
Acne Studios Ari Slim-Fit Wool and Mohair-Blend Drawstring Trousers
AMI Checked Wool-Blend Coat
Saint Laurent Slim-Fit Camel Hair Sweater
Saint Laurent Slim-Fit 17.5cm Hem Embroidered Denim Jeans

Fabrics once considered fusty are set for a reappraisal this autumn as designers such as Prada (left) and Raf Simons (right) yield to the timeless appeal of herringbone, houndstooth and Prince of Wales check. There’s a rustic charm to the resulting garments, but, thanks to the contemporary cuts, they are a world away from that boxy tweed blazer your dad used to wear.

Brown

AMI Slim-Fit Suede Jacket
Maison Margiela Suede Elbow-Patch Striped Wool and Cotton-Blend Sweater
Acne Studios Ari Slim-Fit Wool and Mohair-Blend Drawstring Trousers
A.P.C. Herringbone Virgin Wool-Blend Tweed Overcoat
A.P.C. Jacquard-Knit Wool Sweater
Saint Laurent Slim-Fit 17.5cm Hem Embroidered Denim Jeans
Acne Studios Marc Wool-Blend Coat
Prada Knitted Virgin Wool Polo Shirt
Arpenteur Tapered Wool and Cotton-Blend Trousers

Bored of navy, black and grey? Embrace the earthy colour palette of the 1970s instead. There’s a shade for every man this coming season, from rich tobacco, russet and chocolate browns to softer shades of camel and oatmeal. You can see why it’s so popular. Brown is a supremely versatile colour, working just as well as a base as it does as an accent, as demonstrated by this suede blouson jacket from Ami.

Corduroy and Velvet

Folk Cotton-Corduroy Jacket
J.Crew Cotton-Chambray Shirt
Oliver Spencer Bermondsey Cotton-Velvet Bomber Jacket
Jil Sander Wool and Silk-Blend Rollneck Sweater
TOM FORD Stretch-Cotton Corduroy Trucker Jacket
Saint Laurent Slim-Fit Washed-Denim Western Shirt

Plush, feel-good fabrics such as corduroy and velvet are being employed in all sorts of appealing ways this autumn. Take, for instance, this burnt orange number from Oliver Spencer, which combines the lustrous texture of a velvet smoking jacket with the street appeal of a bomber jacket.

Military Boots

Acne Studios Ari Slim-Fit Wool and Mohair-Blend Drawstring Trousers
Maison Margiela Polished-Leather Boots
AMI Slim-Fit Stretch-Cotton Corduroy Trousers
Dries Van Noten Leather Commando Boots
Stella McCartney Slim-Fit Cropped Panelled Denim Jeans
Marsell Full-Grain Leather Boots

The world of military clothing has been an inspiration to civilian fashion ever since the turn of the 19th century, when the renowned dandy Mr George “Beau” Brummell decided to flaunt his cavalry uniform on the streets of Mayfair. The high-shine, lug-soled military boot is just the latest example of this centuries-old trend. Prada does it well here, but look out for Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga, too.

Down Jackets

Moncler Gamme Bleu Panelled Wool and Shell Hooded Down Jacket
Thom Browne Striped Cashmere Sweater
Officine Generale Slim-Fit Cotton Oxford Shirt
Valentino Wool and Mohair-Blend Trousers
Prada Padded Zip-Up Nylon Jacket
Acne Studios Fairview Mélange Fleece-Back Cotton-Jersey Sweatshirt
Valentino Americana Grosgrain-Trimmed Wool and Mohair-Blend Trousers

Expect down-filled jackets to descend from the mountains and into the city this winter as designers adapt skiwear for the urban environment. Moncler Gamme Bleu, a diffusion line of Italian outerwear brand Moncler, is a name to keep in mind. Helmed by creative director Mr Thom Browne, it designs tailoring-inspired jackets that look just as good on the commute as they do on the pistes.

1990s Sportswear

Beams Plus Shell Hooded Anorak
Lanvin Half-Zip Check Overshirt With Pockets
Stüssy Slim-Fit Printed Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt
Simon Miller M001 Slim-Fit Selvedge Denim Jeans
Valentino Cotton-Blend Jersey Zip-Up Sweater
Stella McCartney Printed Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt
Stüssy Bryan II Woven Trousers
Gucci Oversized Taped Jersey Hoodie
Sunspel Crew-Neck Superfine Cotton Underwear T-Shirt
AMI Slim-Fit Tapered Cropped Bleached Denim Jeans
visvim Ballistic Suede-Trimmed CORDURA Backpack

Adding credence to the “two decades” theory, which states that as soon as something’s 20 years old it becomes fashionable again, we’re seeing a resurgence in the popularity of 1990s-style sports and streetwear. Forget the cheap polyester tracksuits that you wore in your teens, though; this is an elevated take. Think zip sweaters from Valentino, long-sleeved T-shirts from Stella McCartney and tailored skate trousers from Stüssy.

Pop Colour

McQ Alexander McQueen Slim-Fit Jersey Bomber Jacket
AMI Mélange Wool Sweater
Valentino Slim-Fit Denim Jeans
Noon Goons Club Cotton-Corduroy Jacket
Lanvin Paradise Appliquéd Loopback Cotton-Jersey Sweatshirt
Joseph Glen Cotton-Twill Chinos
Alexander McQueen Grey Prince of Wales Check Wool-Flannel Double-Breasted Blazer
Gucci Wool-Blend Sweater
Alexander McQueen Slim-Fit Prince of Wales Checked Wool-Flannel Trousers

In one of the season’s most uplifting trends, we can see a few islands of colour emerging from the endless sea of navy and grey. On the left of this picture, a vibrant orange cotton-corduroy jacket from surf brand Noon Goons delivers a burst of Southern California sunshine; on the right, a splash of hot pink peeks out from beneath an Alexander McQueen double-breasted suit. Have fun with it, but remember: a little goes a long way.

The Greatcoat

Massimo Alba Herringbone Wool Coat
Tomas Maier Cashmere Rollneck Sweater
Canali Grey Super 120s Wool-Flannel Trousers
Dries Van Noten Double-Breasted Wool, Alpaca and Mohair-Blend Overcoat
Lanvin Striped Slub Wool and Alpaca-Blend Sweater
John Smedley Cherwell Merino Wool Rollneck Sweater
Acne Studios Ari Slim-Fit Wool and Mohair-Blend Drawstring Trousers
Berluti Double-Breasted Cashmere Coat
Saint Laurent Cashmere Sweater
Dries Van Noten Pender Slim-Fit Distressed Denim Jeans

Those looking to make a statement with their outerwear should consider investing in a military-inspired greatcoat this autumn. What makes it a greatcoat, and not just a great coat? Look out for distinguishing features such as epaulettes, a double-breasted configuration and a cut that extends below the knee. There are plenty to choose, with designers such as Marc Jacobs and Dries Van Noten (above) getting in on the act.

Graphic Knitwear

The Elder Statesman Solar System-Intarsia Cashmere Sweater
Prada Shetland Wool Sweater
Missoni Checked Mohair-Blend Jacket
Officine Generale Nina Slim-Fit Merino Wool Rollneck Sweater

Can knitwear be an artform? The art critics might not think so, but that hasn’t stopped the likes of Missoni (above) and Prada from giving it their best shot. A more-is-more philosophy seems to have taken hold this season, with louder colours, bolder patterns and bigger, more eye-catching motifs elevating the once humble sweater to a new plane.

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