Pitti Uomo 94, wasn’t short on stylish trailblazers, and both Mr Ferguson (aka @jkf_man and super-talented photographer about town!) and myself were pleased to see more men embracing a relaxed, sleek aesthetic, experimenting with the boundaries between tailoring and streetwear, and playing with the proportions and textures in their clothes, too. What follows are eight key trends we’ve identified together. Pay heed to these, work some trend-led touches through your summer wardrobe and I guarantee you’ll be ahead of the curve.
Belted safari jackets
Safari style comes and goes, but this Pitti Uomo saw a definite uptake in belted safari jackets in soft, pale cloths – primarily garment dyed or washed-down cottons. The significance of the belt isn’t to be overlooked; it’s an indicator that more men are becoming comfortable with a waisted silhouette – even when they’re dressing down. This fits with a pet theory of mine that men are returning to more generous, classically influenced silhouettes after years of clean-cut, slim-line tailoring.
Camp collars have been a popular choice for a good few summer seasons now, but there were certainly more this Pitti than there have been in recent years. Men seemed more content to dress down this time around than they have been recently, and the camp shirt’s retro credentials work well in this context. There are different ways to interpret this trend; Hawaiian shirts are big news, so loud floral or palm prints are a sharp choice, or there are plenty of designs out there in plain pastel colours if you’d rather keep things simple. Linen twills, Japanese tencel or silk-blend cloths are worth looking out for – they’ll help your shirt to drape and look extra-louche. Speaking of which…
In the same vein, suits at their best are now a million miles away from buttoned-up uniforms. Stylish men are dressing their tailoring down (commonly with the aforementioned camp collar shirts), choosing to wear tailored pieces with a deliberately louche attitude. This isn’t an easy thing to pull off, but embracing textured fabrics, tonal pairings, big lapels and loose double-breasted jackets all helps. Avoid formal shirts or accessories, and wear drapey satin or linen shirts, Breton t-shirts or mix tailored pieces with streetwear instead. Think New York mobster-meets-Miami Vice.
Cropped trousers are big news this summer, and set to stay with us into the autumn/winter season and next year, too. The mankle is well and truly back, and tapered trousers with a cropped length – whether worn with rolled hems or turn-ups – were out in force at Pitti. This sounds like a strange one, but cropped trousers are easier to wear than you might think. It’s all about lending shape to the bottom half of your body; find yourself an easy pair of cotton chinos with pleats and roll them up to just above your ankle, they’ll help your waist look suitably trim and contrast nicely with boxy summer shirts or jackets on your top half. There’s lots out there to track down. My favourites right now are coming from tailors like Edward Sexton, designers like Ralph Lauren and indie British brands like Albam.