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MR PORTER Men's Fashion Trends 6

Expert Reveals the ‘Basic’ Trend Shaping Men’s Fashion

Where do you draw the line between ‘basic’ and ‘boring’? Over the past five years, men’s fashion has seen a remarkable shift from colourful logo-mania to monochrome tech-wear and back again, but firmly in the middle sits the bastian of refined luxury. Interest in premium basics and essentials is in a period of extreme boon right now, courtesy of a number of home-grown and international start-ups. Where Fear of God Essentials carved a niche, players like GARMENT Studios and AS WE CREATE have helped swell a renewed focus on big, boxy and basic apparel, and the trend is starting to make its way into the office.

MR PORTER Men's Fashion Trends 13

The Evolution of Office Wear in Men’s Fashion

Looking at the role of office wear in men’s fashion in a post-pandemic world, the hallmarks of evolution have been plain to see. Venture through any metropolitan city and you’ll see starkly different corporate crowd than the one you’re used to. The anti-suit and tie revolution is moving quickly and it could be a while before we see things return to traditionalism, if at all. Olie Arnold, style director for global menswear icon MR PORTER revealed that the change in corporate norms is reverberating through the fashion world.

“Over the past few months, and obviously stemming from the enduring nature of work-from-home culture, we’ve seen an increased appetite for versatile pieces that can be dressed-up and down easily,” he tells me. “Basic, simple and well-made t-shirts have been popular as they’re an easy singular layer, and pair well under unstructured blazers and knits. Tailoring continues to evolve, both as a practical and semi-formal layer, and is constructed in more wearable ways that fit with the new standards and new normal of present-day dress.”

But just what do those new norms look like?

MR PORTER Men's Fashion Trends 5

Relaxed Tailoring

According to the fashion expert, the biggest men’s fashion trend for this year is the adoption of relaxed tailoring. While structured garments have remained a solid force over the past few years, the new year brings a far more versatile take on the old-world style, blending at-home loungewear with modern corporate attire.

“A new take on tailoring has appeared this season with more relaxed and functional offerings befit for these transitional and sometimes trans-seasonal times,” Arnold says. “Take Fear Of God’s collaboration with Ermenegildo Zegna, which is the perfect marriage of Alessandro Sartori’s impeccable Italian tailoring and Jerry Lorenzo’s relaxed contemporary aesthetic, merging streetwear and tailoring into an exemplary transitional wardrobe. The same relaxed and transformed style of tailoring was previously seen from Mr Matthew Williams’ debut for Givenchy in the SS21 collection. His take on tailoring hit a particular sartorial sweet spot; slouchy enough to wear at home, but snappy enough to take to the red carpet.”

MR PORTER Men's Fashion Trends 6

While that might sound like advice cut from the celebrity cloth, Arnold is honing in on accessible fashion. Affordable basics are becoming more and more prevalent, in the local market, but that isn’t to say the poorly made. The MR PORTER style director suggests opting for a layered approach when it comes to dressing up basics.

“For spring and summer, a lightweight jacket is always a must-have for the evening breeze or just simply for cold air-conditioning indoors,” he says. “The flattering layer, for example from Stone Island or Aspesi, can be worn on top of a tee and tidies up the silhouette immediately. An overshirt from Mr P. or Nicholas Daley also does the job – worn over any outfit, or just by itself with tailored trousers for an effortlessly smart spring/summer outfit.”

MR PORTER Men's Fashion Trends 5

Mood-Bosting Colour

“As moods shift to an optimistic outlook, expect to see fun, colourful clothing that’s brilliantly wearable and instantly mood-elevating,” he explains. “From loud and proud printed camp-collar shirts (say the ultra-popular Saint Laurent number) through to bold knits from the likes of Kingsman, Kiton and Missoni, and striking velvet shirts as demonstrated by Dries Van Noten and Needles, we’re seeing designs that are playful in nature and embody the sense of hope we all could use right now.”

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Utility Pieces

In terms of stylistic choices, the trend towards military-wear will continue to surge forward this year. With an emphasis on practicality, the world’s high-fashion houses have set their sights on utility garments, typified by celebrity style-lords Travis Scott and Kanye West.

“There’s been a sustained utility trend for several seasons now, but the recent change in lifestyle has resulted in an increased demand for functionality coupled with an appetite for clean silhouettes and premium fabrics,” Arnold says. “Look to brands like Stone Island, Rick Owens, and Mr P. for cargo trousers, jackets and vests with pockets large enough to carry the everyday essentials.”


Bravery in Fashion

With celebrity icons like Harry Styles and Lil Nas X making bold statements with their fashion choices, Arnold is predicting men will become far more fearless in the coming months.

“As men become braver in their fashion choices with the freedom and confidence to express their individuality, one of the easiest ways to add a little flare to an outfit is with a touch of jewellery,” he says. “Start small with a sleek ring on your index finger like a small gold band from Alice Made This’, which will make your fingers appear more slender and flattering, Or get yourself a simple, everyday chain from Bottega Veneta or Maria Black. In short, don’t be afraid to accessorize, just remember with jewellery, usually less is more.”

MR PORTER Men's Fashion Trends 5
MR PORTER Men's Fashion Trends 5
MR PORTER Men's Fashion Trends 5