As the new season approaches and the winter blues begin to set in, the fashion elite are bubbling with anticipation and excitement over the chance to finally be able to add layers, texture and depth to their wardrobe, which the colder months can allow. This season takes inspiration from many themes, mostly drawing inspiration from the past whilst adding modern definition. For instance, a post World War II theme to make the most of a situation is evident.
This is mainly in reaction to the recent economic downturn, which sees a drive on work wear, such as conductor pants, work shirts and braces. Victorian tailoring, such as the three-piece suits combined with skinny trousers, adorned in antiqued neutrals (brown, grey) set against black, with leather detailing also of importance, as seen throughout Burberry’s collection, such as epaulets. Layering within this season is also constructed though combining hard leathers with soft jerseys built up by doubling black on black or with dark gray garments.
Grungy biker leather jackets and even skinny leather trousers are being pushed back to the forefront of fashion this season. Additionally, the styling of selected garments within this season can easily be summed up in one word, ‘Refinement’. Refinement is defined as being a highly developed state of perfection; where a flawless or impeccable quality is evident within an individual’s personal style, taking in to consideration attention to detail. An important way to achieve an all important polish look this season is through the use of brooches.
Although male fashion trends do not evolve as rapidly as their female counterparts, they are constantly refreshed and slightly reworked, which is evident throughout the Autumn & Winter 10/11 season. Trends which should be predominantly adhered to are, Seasonal Suiting, Brooches, Military, Velvet, Shearling Jackets, and British Countryside to name a few.
A key trend to take note of this season is the shearling jacket or aviator jackets as many know them as, are a big player in both female and male fashion this year. Shearling jackets are basically sheepskin fur which has been treated and used to line the inside of a garment as well as partially the outwear, i.e. the collar. They also echo back to that image of American WW11 pilots, again, enforcing the looking back to the past aspect of this season. This trend can be hard to pull off and should only be worn if you are confident that it is right for you and you feel comfortable wearing it. This trend also personifies extravagance and quality, with the fashion power houses, such as Burberry Prorsum producing some amazing examples… A snap at just £2,295…FIG.1 As well as the trend branching out in to other forms such as aviator esc soviet military inspired chunky boots, which again illustrates how trends merge in to one another. The aviator jacket also comes in an array of different styles and fabric choices, such as leather, camel (which is also a very important colour of the season, particularly for outerwear FIG.2) denim, and tartan, whilst ranging from extravagant detailing to slight, and thus, it is important to research and discover one which is right for you.
Military is once again an important male trend but evolved. Think 1930/40’s Military officer, 80’s flamboyance military is over and the Second World War functionality mixed with historical regency is at play for inspiration. This military coat needs to have a fitted waist, brass buttons are a must for authenticity (nip down to your local haberdashery if needed!) and are best in army/olive green and navy blue, it does not matter if it is double breasted or if it has a belt. It has also been advised by many online fashion blogs that this look should be worn with shearling chunky black soviet inspired army boots... however in my own opinion, i think that shearling is not for everyone and it would suit many people more if the boots had this feel but were not shearlings. Investment wise Burberry leads the way again, but their beginnings are based upon making the trench coat for policemen, so if their coats were not of the best design and quality available then there would be a problem! To get this look try ZARA’s WW11 inspired military coat (£139) FIG.3 with a simple all saint’s cadet shirt (£80) FIG.4 and Paul Smith’s brown leather gloves (£115) FIG.5 with New Look for Men’s straight leg trousers (£25) FIG.6 and black military boots (£65 TOPMAN) FIG.7.
Suits are moving away from the skinny boy cut, thus finally allowing more diversity amongst the current IT suit, allowing for a more masculine cut. Although slim is not totally out, as AW is heavily drawing upon the past, suits are reminiscent of that of a military officer, think broad shoulders, slim waist and slim trousers, but obviously this look can be achieved even if you aren’t a size zero, just make sure that the suit is perfectly tailored to suit your body type. The current must have trend in suiting is that of a double breasted suit reminiscent of the 80’s, however, due to the slim waist tailoring, the cut is much less boxy helping to heighten the masculine body V shape. But fear not, double breasted blazers that have a longer lapel reaching down to the waist will trick the eye in making you look both taller and slimmer. If you are looking to invest in a suit then look no further than Tom Ford, in my opinion, he is on top of the game and you cannot find a better quality of suit out there. Furthermore do not be afraid to wear a 3-piece suit, but make sure that the waist coat is in the same fabric/colour as the blazer and trousers as this look is starting to grow in momentum with Vivienne Westwood making some strong pieces.
Also growing in the style stakes is the all velvet suit, this is quite a daring look so make sure to be comfortable and wanting to make a statement before deciding upon wearing it. To help lessen the intensity of this look but still show a confident statement just wear a velvet sports jacket/coat/blazer with normal cotton straight leg trousers. Additionally, if you like the idea but want to only sample the look then a blazer with velvet lapels would be perfect for you. Oh, and lastly a velvet bowtie to be worn with a non velvet suit to add a fashionable edge is perfect. Subsequently the bow tie should be of in cohesive colour to the suit, only varying slightly in colour, thus polishing your look perfectly in a confident, understated manner. To achieve this look take Marks and Spencer’s double breasted navy suit (£149) FIG.8 with a TOPMAN stone cord check shirt (£36) FIG.9 and emerald green velvet bow tie (£10)FIG.10 and Paul Smith’s vibrant blue royale shoes (£285) FIG.11 to achieve that refined look.
Another key trend this season is the revival of the British countryside heritage, think, the Queen out hunting meets equestrian, but replace Queen for Countryside Dandy. Key themes within this trend are, quilting, country, tweed, heavy wool knits to fitted carrot tailored trousers, even neck ties for the more daring. This is an important trend, which is expected to explode like never before, it’s masculine, sharp and quintessentially British... what more can you ask for? Furthermore Tweed is a huge trend this season and works evidently extremely well in developing this style. TOPMAN showcase this look with ease combining a horse print tie with carrot trousers, tan boots and rustic green shirt FIG.12 A more laid back way to tap in to this trend is through wearing a Barbour quilted jacket FIG.13 with a green chunky leather patched elbow knit sweater from Thomas Pink (£150) FIG.14 and tweed trousers from Pakeman (£145) FIG.15 with leather tan shoes from Matalan (£22) FIG.16.
A favourite of mine this season is the use of brooches to get that all important polished look. Discovering a brooch to add attention to detail to your outfit can not only make your look more individual and refined but it can also make the outfit mean something to you. For instance, aside to mass production brooches which will be available in clothing retailers throughout the year, there is also the option to discover your own. This can be through vintage stores, online auction websites, such as eBay and even car boot sales! Brooches should also not be considered as an effeminate addition to an outfit, the choice of brooch is very important to eliminate this concern. Brooches are also so versatile; they can be worn on virtually anything, whether you are perfecting the dandy look, showing your rock credibility or even adding gothic twist. Brooches are also perfect for the British Country trend; think pheasant feather, military badge or metal lapel pin, but remember a brooch is for detailing, do not over do it! Another notable trend this season is the more youthful grungy rebel look, think American sixties, teenage rebellion, consisting of leather biker jackets (ZARA, £59.99) FIG.17, dark blazers, graphic tees, Harrington jackets, chunky knits, acid denim jackets and slim leg trousers.
When moving in to a new season it is all so important to consider your hair. This is because you wear your hair everyday of your life and should be considered a part of your ‘outfit’, not keeping on top of your hairstyle can destroy your image and take away the effort put in to your clothing choices. If you have very short or little hair, then it is important to keep your hair short/ clean cut as often as possible to make your look more refined and sleek. Otherwise, if you like to keep up to date with current hair style trends then those that are in fashion now are perfect for anybody any age. Styles are based around the 19th century Britain with classically inspired cuts and work extremely well with the fashion trends for this season, which will make it clear to you the importance of refinement and ‘being polished’. However it is important that you discuss a new style with your barber to make sure it is right for your face shape and how it can be altered to suit you. Autumn Winter10/11 hair trends include all slicked back hair FIG. 18 (use classic Brylcreem!) as well as slicked back hair with a part on one side to help flatter those with a larger forehead, which Ed Westwick has been sporting of late... remember to try out the part on both sides of your head to establish which compliments you the best. The side sweep is also back, think, Cary Grant which is now being sported by celebs, such as George Clooney. As well as the Julius Caesar cut making a return with a 2010 twist where the hair is textured on top and has a dishevelled fringe. Lastly, for those of you with more of a rugged/rock look, grungey hairstyles are in too, as well as rockabilly hair styles which tap in to 50’s inspiration, such as grease and Elvis, thus furthering the creativity of the slicked back hair.