Mens fashion design trends - fall-winter 2011-12 Featured

Follow our guide to the hottest male wardrobe staples to ensure you look stylish this winter
by 25 July 2011

Fashion has become much more man-friendly, with catwalks, showrooms and specialist boutiques being dedicated to the male trends. Maybe they don’t talk about it as much as their female counterparts, but that doesn’t mean that men are any less consumer-driven or less enamoured by beautiful materials and original pieces. It is obvious that the male wardrobe essentials must always have some revivals. Having browsed the new collections, attending shows from Milan to Paris, we bring you the five hottest male trends for this fall/winter.

Wrap up warm
The start of the school year heralds the arrival of winter, meaning that we have to abandon our lightweight clothes and wrap up warm. The coat is an indispensable item of clothing which will inevitably accompany us everywhere this coming season. Here’s the trick to picking the best fit: it shouldn’t be too heavy or too bulky and, most importantly, it should have a structured silhouette in order to inject a touch of elegance into its wearer’s look.
This season, the coat has taken its inspiration from military pieces and sailor jackets, as seen at Giorgio Armani, whilst at Dries Van Noten, Dior Homme and Paul Smith, it took on a more voluminous form. Tailored in wool, cashmere and even fur for extra warmth, the coat also appeared in long leather dusters, for those more fashion-forward males, as seen at Ermenegildo Zegna, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy. Button details, shoulder pads and oversized collars all bring a touch of individuality to this staple piece.

City Slick
Fashion’s elite are well aware that today’s man is very busy: he has to be ready to jump on his scooter, catch a plane or simply meet his girlfriend for drinks on a cafe terrace – all at a moment’s notice. Men have frequently opted for a sporty yet preppy look and this style resurfaces once again with the biker jacket. The shorter, more rounded style is very popular this season and is adorned with zippers and discreet pockets, coming in a whole range of luxurious materials including leather, suede and twill, as seen at Marc Jacobs, Prada and Lanvin. Teamed with skinny trousers and especially jeans for a preppy look for the fashion conscious man.

Suited Up
The suit, as always, remains a wardrobe staple. But is it possible to breathe new life into this timeless piece? The double-breasted jacket dominated the catwalk this season and added an element of confidence to the male wardrobe, particularly at Giorgio Armani, Smalto and Hermès. As well as playing around with styles and colours, the designers experimented with lining, collars and lapels, with some even adding a waistcoat to create a chic three-piece look. Jean-Paul Gaultier went all out with his latest fall/winter collection by proposing various versions of the suit: for one of his new looks he replaced suit trousers with shorts. No matter your preference, the suit should feature heavily in your wardrobe and must be impeccably cut.

Colour blocking
Masculine essentials frequently revolve around basic tones like black, gray and navy. Even if these colours continue to dominate the male wardrobe, we noticed a revival of bright colours in the latest collections from Paris to Milan. Colour blocking isn’t just for the ladies: this season the most fashionable fellows will be rocking rainbow hues from bright orange and mustard yellow, as seen at Paul Smith, Burberry Prorsum and Lanvin; red, as seen at Calvin Klein, and even blue, turquoise and violet.

During the gray winter months, these colourful tones will both spice up your look and brighten up your appearance.

The ultimate accessory
There’s nothing like an accessory to perfect your look. The bag has quickly become indispensable, whether a bowling bag, satchel or overnight holdall. Sport a belt over your jacket, as seen at Louis Vuitton, Smalto and Zegna. Hats have quickly become both a must-have and a fashion icon: we spotted an oversized version at Lanvin and a more classic style at Prada and Dunhill. Accessory details are the perfect way to enhance an outfit. It’s that something extra that can make all the difference.