Outfit Ideas for Spring and Summer

Introduction

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As we say hello to the warmer months, now is the time to put away your corduroy trousers, thermal tops and heavy coats and give your wardrobe a seasonal update. But what menswear looks are trending this spring?

Nick Drewe, retail and trend expert from online platform Wethrift, predicts men’s fashion this season will continue to lean towards a “more retro look”, blending nostalgia from the Eighties, Nineties and early Noughties with some fresh updates.

Personal stylist Daniel Johnson (daniel-johnson.com) agrees: “Fashion is cyclical, old trends come back around, and right now that trend is without doubt the Nineties.”

Tapping into trends doesn’t have to mean buying everything new, however. And you certainly don’t need to be buying things you don’t think you’ll wear beyond one season.

Johnson adds: “Buy to last, buy pre-loved. Attitudes towards buying clothes have changed significantly, especially with eBay sponsoring Love Island. The throw-away culture is dwindling and the ‘buy less, buy better quality’ idea is setting in. Preloved designer clothing is something to look at if you want to wear a designer piece that you’ll keep forever.”

Relaxed silhouettes

Looser fits and more casual proportions will take a lead, such as relaxed-fit jeans, shirts and outerwear. These slightly oversized styles embody the laidback and effortless style reminiscent of the Nineties and early Noughties.

Sonny Grant-O’Sullivan, director and master tailor at clothing atelier Grant and O’Sullivan, says: “The shift towards comfort and functionality post-pandemic has kept relaxed silhouettes in the spotlight. Brands like Loewe and Isabel Marant have been pivotal in bringing this comfortable yet stylish aesthetic to the forefront.”

Experts say this style reflects “a growing demand” for fashion that seamlessly blends style, comfort and practicality.

“To make this trend more everyday, pair relaxed trousers or an oversized blazer with more fitted items to maintain structure,” suggests Grant-O’Sullivan. “This works well for most body types, emphasising comfort without sacrificing style.”

And if you want to nail the Nineties vibe, Johnson says: “What this means is bigger, wider silhouettes. Wider cuts on jeans are firmly in, think Levi’s 501s rather than skinnys. Bermuda shorts instead of tailored slim fits. Hoodies instead of jackets.

“Covid made us all more relaxed in our clothing choices. After a few years of either fluctuating between extreme comfort or being suited up, comfort and style have found a good balance; think knitted polo shirts with denim jeans and bomber jackets, rather than blazers and trousers,” he adds. “If you are to wear tailoring, make it unstructured and relaxed.”

Drewe suggests channelling your inner Justin Timberlake, with baggy acid-washed jeans and a matching denim jacket, saying “you can layer this outfit with a vest underneath for a stylish yet lightweight look this spring”.

Don’t fancy going too head-to-toe baggy? Jennifer Lemm, founder and embroidery expert at The One Stop Embroidery Printing Co, says: “I suggest you try and pair oversized outerwear with slim-fit bottoms to maintain neat proportions, and don’t be afraid to experiment with colour combinations to add visual interest. When wearing relaxed clothes, I would aim to balance the loose fit with more structured pieces to avoid looking sloppy.”

Veeraj Haria-Shah, founder of clothing brand Coconut Residence, says overshirts and mid-weight chore jackets or “shackets” are a great addition for this look, adding: “These bridge the gap between casual and smart-casual attire, making them essential additions to any wardrobe during transitional weather.”

Bold prints

Bold prints, including floral and abstract patterns, have made a significant comeback this season too. Grant-O’Sullivan says designers like Gucci and Versace showcased these patterns on the runway, embracing a more vibrant and expressive approach to menswear.

“Designers appreciate bold prints for their versatility and ability to inject personality into any outfit,” Grant-O’Sullivan adds. “They’re seen as a celebration of individuality and a departure from more traditional, subdued menswear.”

For everyday wear, incorporating bold prints in statement pieces like a shirt or a bomber jacket is bang on. Pairing these with solid colours helps maintain a balanced look, if you’re keen to avoid anything too overpowering.

Vibrant colour

Following seasons dominated by neutral tones, more vibrant colour schemes have emerged as a refreshing change in menswear, championed by designers such as Dries Van Noten and Prabal Gurung.

Grant-O’Sullivan says: “These colours reflect optimism and a forward-looking attitude. Designers appreciate their ability to make a statement and uplift the wearer’s mood.”

How colourful you go is a personal choice. But even the colour-cautious can experiment with brighter looks. Lemm suggests: “For pastel colours, try adding them into accessories like your trainers or hats for a subtle pop of colour. Just make sure you don’t overpower the outfit.”

You could also consider integrating vibrant hues with neutral basics to keep your look accessible. For example, a bright top can really complement classic denim or khaki bottoms, which results in a balanced and versatile everyday look.

Linen and lightweight wool

As we move into the warmer months, fabrics like linen and lightweight wool provide comfort and breathability, with brands such as Zegna often emphasising these materials for their combination of elegance and practicality.

“Appreciated for their natural fibres and sustainability, these materials are favoured for spring and summer collections,” says Grant-O’Sullivan.

Drewe suggests: “Crochet cardigans are a great alternative that you won’t overheat in once we see warmer climates. For example, you can opt for a plain crochet pattern for a day-to-day casual outfit at work, or a more colourful patterned cardigan if you want to stand out.”

These looks can be styled in a number of ways too, from formal suits to casual blazers or trousers. Stylists recommend pairing them with cotton shirts for a classic and breathable outfit suitable for all occasions.

Vests and denim

There’s nothing more simple than a plain vest – but Drewe predicts we’ll see a lot of men sporting this wardrobe “staple” this spring and summer.

“Their versatility is perfect for the unpredictable weather throughout spring, as you can layer them during colder periods, or style with shorts or jeans as the warmer weather hits,” adds Drewe.

Conclusion

He recommends pairing a simple white vest with a statement jacket for a more dressed-up look, or you can keep it casual by layering with a sweater. Reviving the classic Nineties retro look, the double denim trend has made a full-circle comeback too – and this is a great combo to pair with a simple vest.

 

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