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7 Menswear Trends To Skip This Season

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We shouldn’t really say this, but fashion trends can be a waste of energy. For every welcome gear change in our wardrobes, there are other trends that are fleeting and unflattering, unsustainable for both the wallet and the planet.

Others, of course, are certifiably crazy. In most cases, the trends to skip are those at the sharp end of menswear: the most extreme looks, fresh off the catwalk. Capital-F fashion rarely looks as good on the street as on the runway, and even more wearable trends don’t suit everyone.

To be clear: we’re a style site, we’re not anti-trend. If you have the skill and confidence to integrate the most directional menswear into your look, good for you. But most men can’t do the western thing without looking like a line dancer. Or warcore without looking like they’re going paintballing.

And this season, most of us are best-advised to pass on the seven trends below. Our editors have highlighted the most challenging, most voguish, most… Actually, let’s just say what we mean: these are the worst trends for spring and summer, along with what you should wear instead.

Bare-Chested Suits

Tailoring worn bare chested may just be the most oxymoronic trend out there. The suit (which prides itself on its reverence for tradition and ability to cover the whole body) is being worn sans shirt, leaving more flesh on show than is either decent or practical.

This isn’t hyperbole either. Dior, Hermes, Etro, Ermenegildo Zegna and Dries Van Noten all showed suits without shirts for SS19 while Childish Gambino turned out to be the brave soul opting to wear the look IRL. In fairness, he just about pulled it off, but the rest of the male population of planet earth don’t have the luxury of being Childish Gambino, so the louche essence of this trend needs serious reappraisal to make it more wearable.

– Luke Sampson, associate editor


What To Wear Instead

Essentially, the bare chested suit is just an extreme way to subtract the stuffiness from tailoring. You can do that with a simple crew-neck T-shirt. Or, to channel this spirit of this trend without inviting derision or an over-exposed top half by aiming for a halfway house. Try a Cuban collar shirt or an open collar polo shirt which will show a small amount of skin and de-formalise the suit without taking things too far.

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Tie Dye

Listening to Pink Floyd, speaking to imaginary people, licking things – there are certain activities in life that are best enjoyed on drugs. Wearing tie-dye is another. Not that we endorse illegal substances. The point is that when you look at pieces like the Cuban collar shirt, pleated trousers and corduroy, it’s easy to romanticise the style of past decades, but in this case, psychedelic swirls belong in, and only in, the Summer Of Love.

Sure, scumbro — with the backing of Saint Laurent and Burberry — may have made the case for totally rad patterns to return. But other than on the backs of Jonah Hill, Pete Davidson or Justin Bieber (and even then) is this part of the hippy movement one we really want to dig up from the fields of Woodstock? To paraphrase the late First Lady Nancy Regan, “When it comes to tie-dye, just say no.”

– Luke Todd, deputy editor


What To Wear Instead

There are a few things the Age of Aquarius got right: chiefly cannabis oil, yoga and wide-leg trousers. Admittedly, they were on to something with bold patterns, too. You only need to leaf (not that kind) through recent seasons short sleeve printed shirts to see that. However, rather than staging a Grateful Dead tribute in your wardrobe, we’d be Dead Grateful if you kept it to Hawaiian, floral and stripe designs.

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Distressed Sneakers

Few trends bring out the curmudgeon in me like luxury brands asking £600 for a pair of sneakers deliberately made to look like they’ve seen five years’ hard wear. Gucci, Golden Goose and Balenciaga have all done it in recent years and the trend seems to be peaking this summer. The defence is that they’re ironically paying homage to style tribes – grunge, skatewear – that wear their sneakers into the ground. Critics, on the other hand, accuse them of fetishizing poverty.

Wherever you sit on the argument, the aesthetic looks like this: brand new trainers that come out of the box with ‘dirty’ marks on them, torn stitching and, in one or two cases, what looks like tape holding the upper to the midsole. If you’re into irony-drenched fashion statements, fine. But I can get the same look with a battered pair of Chuck Taylors that cost me £40 eight years ago.

– Ian Taylor, editor-in-chief


What To Wear Instead

Aside from your own knackered sneakers, look for styles that wear in well and look even better when they’ve been around the block a few times. Retro running shoes or skate styles are perfect: think muted colours that will age well and suede panels that still look good when they’ve been roughed up.

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Short Shorts

The runway has long been a window into the more exaggerated aspects of menswear, and it doesn’t get more ‘out there’ than some of the criminally short shorts that have run down recent ways. Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton have all been touting styles that sit high on your thighs and, well, if you’ve got the bronzed, toned, hairless limbs of a Victoria’s Secret model, all the power to you.

Unfortunately, most male legs are hairy fiends and are hardly the most alluring features in our arsenal of body parts. Also, short shorts might look debonair on the beach but can make for rather inappropriate and unfortunate office wear. Do you want Judith from HR knocking on your office door again?

– Richard Jones, staff writer


What To Wear Instead

Seven inches and over is the short industry standard but these crotch skimmers have been creeping well below five. Keeping it close to seven will give the illusion of a shorter cut, without the risk of any style, and *ahem* other slips. For taller gentleman just use the middle of your thighs as a general yardstick. Anything grazing or dropping below your knees is far too lengthy and can shorten your appearance. Oh, and one last thing – don’t skip leg day.

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We often bang on about how you should invest in a wardrobe of wearable, versatile colours (navy, greys and neutrals). So it jars with us slightly that one of the biggest trends of SS19 is neon. That’s right, the fluorescent shades that once lit up rave dancefloors in the ‘90s are now in fashion.

Virgil Abloh’s fabled first collection for Louis Vuitton featured it in the form of wearable luggage, gloves, vests and more subtly, shoe laces. Versace went big on neon with cross body bags, trainers and even a bright green suit. This is all well and good, but the trouble with neon is that it just looks novelty and frankly, cheap.

– Charlie Thomas, senior editor


What To Wear Instead

To be clear, we’re not against colour, but any extremes are difficult to pull off. Instead, try going colourful but just less so. Look to bright orange or rust for workwear style garments such as chore coats and sweatshirts, or go green with tailoring – a great on trend alternative to blue. As always with colour, keep the rest of the look muted and base it around your chosen statement piece. You’ll still stand out, just not in the dark – a good thing in our book.

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Cycling Sunglasses

The sports sunglasses trend is the peculiar offspring of a number of things happening in menswear at the moment. 1) Nineties sportswear is bigger today than it was 25 years ago. 2) Technical, functional design is everywhere. And 3) Designers are engaged in a strange race to give everything we once considered naff as much street cred as possible.

Which is why the likes of Vetements and Prada have cycling-style glasses in their SS19 collections and brands are queuing up to do a collab with Oakley. It’s the eyewear equivalent of ugly, chunky sneakers. We’re talking wild wraparound styles with neon colours or mirrored lenses.

It’s a big look, and if you’re not in the peloton with bike-mad Mamils (middle-aged men in lycra) or bleeding-edge streetwear kids, this is a trend to miss. Anyone who says it’s going to last is lying.

– Ian Taylor, editor-in-chief


What To Wear Instead

You can get sporty sunglasses that don’t make you look like a bike courier on a mission. Look for colourful, polarized lenses, temples or arms made from flexible materials or wider frames that simply do a better job of blocking out the sun.

Best of all, you can get all of these thing in styles of sunglasses that suit your face shape.

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Cowboy Boots

In the near 150-years since Levi Strauss laid down the original blueprint for denim, Western style has had a lasso-like hold on menswear. From yoked shirts and chore jackets to paisley neckerchiefs and a healthy dose of plaid and chambray; all have become cornerstones of the male wardrobe. But cowboy boots? Yeehaw, giddy-up, ride ‘em cowboy boots? You can mosey right off, mate.

We’re all for being a sartorial outlaw (particularly when it’s being led by the likes of Calvin Klein and Vetements), but cowboy clodhoppers are essentially Chelsea boots, but with a pointy toe and decorative side panels. And who ever looked at a pair of Chelsea boots and thought “those need a pointy toe and decorative side panels”? No one, that’s who. Well, apart from John Wayne, but the man literally used to eat cigarettes.

– Luke Todd, deputy editor

Calvin KleinCalvin Klein

What To Wear Instead

Unless you live in Texas, boots free from buckles and with a less pronounced heel are a much tamer option. Chelsea boots come the closest to Sundance Kid styling, but don’t overlook worker styles or even crepe sole wallabees in a neutral or brown colourway. Just remember to go easy on the Western look in the rest of your outfit, cowboy.

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