From army to shiny, 5 key trends for men this winter

As the days shorten and humidity and temperatures start to fall, it’s time to consider how to wrap up warm over the colder months

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 October, 2016, 12:03pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 November, 2016, 5:56pm

The seasoned fashionista will know that 2016 has been a seismic year in the industry, what with all the comings and goings in the top jobs and the advent of “see now, buy now” phenomenon. Seismic in womenswear, that is; the men’s side seems humdrum in comparison, judging from the number of holdover trends that will still hold sway this winter.

Yes, the military trend and all its offshoots persist (like the bomber jacket, parka and more adventures in the colour green), and the utilitarian outerwear du jour is the duffle coat. However, there is a bit of spice this season with the global nomad trend (likely a one-off) and the prevalence of all things shiny.

Here we’ve listed the five key trends, and their chief exponents, that should tide you over till things start warming up again.

Army boys

A holdover from previous seasons, the military trend has become the Terminator of men’s fashion – blunt, hypermasculine and seemingly unstoppable. Thankfully, some of the more refined menswear designers have added a bit more interest and value to a trend that just won’t die. Chief among them are Dries Van Noten, who adds his signature detailed embroidery elements to heavy wool military coats. Alexander McQueen and Burberry keep things chic, favouring black military coats, whereas Moncler, Thom Brown and Balmain camp up the trend with OTT fatigue prints, medals, brooches and dandy-esque cuts. Korean label J-Koo followed the embroidery route for its military green parkas, which added a high fashion element to a very functional garment. Green in all its variants is still associated with the trend but the labels are embracing military coats and jackets in a variety of other colours including navy, sand and red.

Duffle and tumble

Britpop is making a comeback this year, helped no doubt by the 20th anniversary of Manchester band Oasis’ massive Knebworth gigs as well as a documentary on the tumultuous Gallagher brothers from the people behind the Oscar-winning film Amy. Britpop nostalgia has found its way onto the catwalk, as the duffle coat, the heavy overcoat with toggle buttons and a Gallagher staple, swaggers its way to a shop near you. The camel-coloured duffle coat popped up in a lot of menswear collections during the autumn-winter shows, including Dior Homme, Saint Laurent and Boss, but the real flair came from the likes of Maison Margiela where John Galliano tore off the arms and increased the length, and at Coach where leather and deep blues added a bit of sophistication.

Global nomad

This trend came out of nowhere and likely will fizzle out just as quick as only the brave, to borrow Diesel’s tagline, will embrace it. The trend mixes an arts and crafts vibe with eclectic globalist patterns, prints and fur trimmings, with Native American culture a particularly heavy influence. Key pieces include the poncho, patchwork coats and jackets, and patterned ribbed knits. Of the big hitters, Valentino, Zegna and pattern junkies Missoni played with the trend, but for a truly gung-ho approach look to Acne and James Long, who infused much more colour and pizzazz into proceedings. Kenzo’s buzzy collaboration with H&M might see the look become more ubiquitous than it perhaps would have been without the fast fashion assist.

Layer up

It might seem obvious to wear layers in increasingly cold weather but for guys living in Hong Kong it’s a sweaty ordeal in a city that never really experiences the winters that afflict Berlin, Tokyo, London and New York. However, you may find yourself in colder climes this coming winter so it’s best to be prepared. A great number of menswear brands are pushing the idea of casual layering, a polo shirt over a T-shirt or roll-neck, jackets over pyjama tops (yep, they are still a thing), jackets over hoodies, and gilets under overcoats. Lanvin and Bottega Veneta encapsulate the high-fashion aspect of the trend but J.Crew is an affordable alternative.

Rise and shine

Silk and shiny fabrics were hard to miss at many of the autumn-winter menswear shows, adding an elegant tweak to utilitarian outerwear such as the bomber jacket and the parka, a bit more sophistication to track tops and streetwear, and more sex appeal to evening wear and suiting. Shiny fabrics bring most men out in hives due to their look-at-me qualities, so the silk jackets from the likes of Ami and Dolce & Gabbana are not for the faint of heart or the meek. COS and H&M, however, have toned down the more outlandish aspects to create winning pieces that shine on closer inspection. At the shows, silk shirts were everywhere (and, lest we forget, silk pyjama tops too), so wearing them under a crisp suit like they did at Ted Baker might be the way to go.