New directions: where menswear is heading

New directions: where menswear is heading

The modern man

Site: Anna McClelland

Image: David Jones

Blame it on David Beckham, but in recent years the rules of men's fashion have been entirely rewritten

Sure, there'll always be a place for the classic suit and chino/tee combo, but while the form stays the same, it's the fabrics, colours and cuts that are changing drastically - and rapidly.

"Men's fashion has never moved as fast as it does now," says Gordon Richardson, creative director of Topman. "Through examples like David Beckham, men have seen that they can dress well and now there's a new generation of well-dressed young men, such as actor Douglas Booth."

Deborah Foreman, general manager of menswear for David Jones, agrees. "Menswear isn't about reinventing the wheel each season, but it evolves and in the last couple of years it's really been invigorated," she says. "Men are becoming more daring in the way they dress and paying more attention to how outfits are put together."

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As the internet becomes a veritable style file, showing men real-life examples of how to wear what, a new normal has emerged: the man who plays rugby on the weekends but knows how to fold a pocket square just so during the week.

Menswear has responded to their new fashion forward market by picking up its pace. "Women's trends are moving into menswear more quickly than ever before - it's now the following season," says Foreman. "Take florals in shirting and shorts, fabrics with surface interest and the trend for sports luxe, which started in womenswear and has evolved into men's - to a point where women are now shopping in the men's department for relaxed tees and oversized sweats."

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While the shape of things to come stays more or less the same - a neat sports jacket, slim fit jeans - it's the fabrics that are getting interesting. "It's still a classic, albeit neater, silhouette in menswear, but the fabrics are drapier and softer, with more texture," says Foreman. "There's a real blur between the formal and the casual - Bassike do this really well, and Jac + Jack."

"There's always going to be the need for a classic blazer or jacket, smart trouser and a white tee, but it's all about how you wear it," she says. "It's the little details that make things look sharp."

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So just what does every man need? "A great pair of shoes, be they brogues, loafers or leather sneakers, a good silver cufflink and a leather satchel - they're the key accessories," Foreman says. 

Add to this some season staples: a biker jacket, navy knit and ripped denim - and you've got a wardrobe that will have you covered for business meetings, bar hopping and weekend brunch. 

Oh, and one other thing - "the key to men's styling is to be well groomed, well heeled and to wear everything with confidence," says Foreman. And that's a look that will never date. 

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