FORMAL and casual suits from Hugo Boss have slightly rounded shoulders and longer jackets. The collection also includes striped suits that are enjoying a resurgence. Apart from its collection of suits, Hugo Boss is offering a line of sports attire in a range of new fabrics. For spring and summer, whether business or casual wear, there are two main categories of colour from Hugo Boss. One is a continuation of the natural theme that has been prominent for some time. 'That is more the white on white and the natural beige colour, which accounts for a big share of the business,' said Stephen Shek, Lane Crawford's menswear buyer. The other grouping incorporates metallic colours and encompasses all shades of blue, plus silver grey, green and petrel. For the summer, Hugo Boss also introduces a small range of pastel shades such as light blue and yellow and apricot. 'Black and white is also coming back because it is fresh for the summer,' Mr Shek said. Hugo Boss has two categories of styling for suits and jackets. The Classic line is sophisticated and formal. 'The trend is the single-breasted jacket with three or four buttons,' Mr Shek said. Customers have quickly taken to the new style and the Hugo Boss version is not really avant-garde. 'The jacketing is more reduced on the shoulder, whereas it was broad and square before. It is a subtle, round shoulder and a slightly long jacket because of the three buttons. There are also patch or flap pockets,' Mr Shek said. He said Hugo Boss still offered its popular double-breasted suits but with smaller shoulders which were more round-pressed and easy to wear. Fabrics for the Classic line have also changed. Hugo Boss now uses not only a lot of super 100 and super 120 wool but a lot of crepe and twisted wool for special effects. High-twisted wool was 'dry' and prickly, making it ideal for the summer, Mr Shek said. Texture remains important in suit fabrics. 'The trend is more understated; we are not looking for big prints or big embroidery but detail in fabric. We are going for small and subtle multi-coloured patterns,' Mr Shek said. These near-invisible patterns are used in suits and jackets. All kinds of checks remain popular, too. Striped suits are making a comeback. 'Years ago, checks were strong but stripes are coming back. You see a lot of striping. Whether on business wear, shirts, or trousers, striping is big,' Mr Shek said. Hugo Boss also has the more fashionable Easy line, typified by rounded shoulders and unconstructed shapes. Mr Shek said the Easy line used 'a lot of casual fabrics like a linen/wool blend with silk and all kinds of mixtures'. Unconstructed jackets with patch pockets are particularly strong this season and pockets in general are important to tie in with the season's military look. Green is widely used in this respect. Pockets turn up everywhere on jackets, blousons and even trousers for casual wear. Some casual jackets for summer are linen. One major element of casual wear is the use of transparent fabrics. While this is too much of a fashion statement to occupy a prominent place in the Hugo Boss wardrobe, it can be seen in ultra-light cotton mix shirts and T-shirts. The effect is subtly transparent, not see-through. Another strong trend in casual wear is the re-emergence of the V-neck line. 'All kinds of sportswear, whether in the garment dye, the knitwear or the cotton poplin, has the V-neck,' Mr Shek said. Hugo Boss is currently promoting its sportswear, including sponsorship of a variety of sporting events worldwide. 'Everyone thinks of Hugo Boss as business wear but it is also really going into casual and sportswear,' Mr Shek said. On the one hand, the company offers a line of clothes for golf, yachting or tennis. Mr Shek said the collection used 'different fabrics like the garment dye for the sportswear'. Hugo Boss also has a collection called Modern Basics, which is a compromise between sports attire and casual wear - more of a street wear look, with plenty of T-shirts. On the accessories front, tie designs appear subdued. Big florals and sharp colours are gone, having been replaced by patterns in more subtle shades and washed silk that has an antique look. Braces are also holding their own this season.