You may have noticed that menswear’s finest have been busy peddling their wares this week at the second round of London Collections: Men, in the presence of Dapper Dans like David Gandy and Tinie Tempah. If the shows passed you by and you've been left wondering what's going to be hot in menswear next year, then here’s something for you – the definitive guide to the key looks your fella and/or your ensembly-challenged boy chums need to know about from the Autumn Winter 2013 collections. Yes, these pieces themselves may still be a year away in terms of availability, but the great thing about the relative simplicity and consistency of menswear is that the blokes in your life can adopt at least some of these trends now - with your help, of course. So, what’s on the fashion forecast? Fashion writer Nick Barron of www.stylebarron.com talks us through the hottest looks to dress your man in now...
1. Blue Coats
Brace yourselves, ladies, because you might have to share that Céline A/W12 coat when the chilly weather next rolls around, as blue overcoats were everywhere at LC:M and, being oversized, your Céline might just fit your man... But if you insist on him buying his own, he’s got plenty of choice – Jonathan Saunders, Vivienne Westwood and J.W. Anderson were just a few of those who showed strong blue overcoats in their collections, but Agi & Sam’s two cobalt blue numbers take the cake. Handily, one of them somewhat resembles the Céline... His ‘n’ hers coats, anyone?
YMC; Agi & Sam
This Frenchman’s favourite popped up several times over the course of the week, as seen at Margaret Howell, YMC and Agi & Sam. It may be stylish and practical when it comes to keeping out that chilly breeze, but needless to say your chap must steer clear of combining with a Breton stripe in order to avoid unwanted ‘Allo ‘Allo gags.
Richard Nicoll; Topman Design
Orange as a trend has had a quick renewal. It was big last winter and is set to be everywhere again next year, so don't let the boyf get rid of that tangerine jumper you bought him just yet. As seen at Richard Nicoll, Topman Design and Jonathan Saunders, the Tango effect is a-coming round again.
Nicole Farhi; Meadham Kirchhoff
If you can avoid him looking accidentally like a waiter or a cartoon burglar, dress your man in black and white for an easy-yet-stylish ensemble. Monochrome was all over the place at the shows - Nicole Farhi, Lee Roach and Meadham Kirchhoff all took part - with Fashion East’s Bobby Abley taking his Dalmatian inspiration literally (see Dogs below).
Mr. Start; Hardy Amies
5. Polo Necks
The '70s are going strong in menswear and a polo neck gets a fella there faster than Gene Hunt’s Cortina. For a smart look, your man should wear one under a suit, as seen at Mr. Start, Hardy Amies and E. Tautz, and for a more relaxed retro feeling, see John Smedley and Topman Design.
Dalmation-inspired at Fashion East
Granted, this is not an item of clothing per se, but with the 'English country gent' look here to stay, the ultimate accessory is, according to the fashion forecast, a dog. Various breeds of man's best friend popped up at the shows - there was a gundog at Savile Row, a Basset Hound at Agi & Sam and a pair of Dalmatians at Fashion East. Be careful though - one show-goer brought his pooch to the Nicole Farhi presentation, only for it to relieve itself in the middle of the studio floor. And that is certainly not stylish.
If you’ve picked up a freesheet or been online much in the last 24 hours, you will no doubt have seen headlines screaming about the ‘men in dresses’ at J.W. Anderson’s show (indeed, I received text messages from more than one concerned male friend last night asking what it was all about, as though wearing a man-skirt would be mandatory come next Christmas). Well, of course, they won’t be everywhere, but Anderson’s ‘skorts’ (ruffle-hemmed shorts that look not unlike a ladies’ skirt) certainly caused a stir and you can bet there will be high street clones hitting the shelves before too long. Who knows, over some ‘meggings’ (male leggings, the other bizarre menswear trend currently doing the rounds) they just might work... OK, I said might.
Meadham Kirchhoff; Craig Green
8. Ghoulish Garments
Allow your man to unleash his dark side with something a little scary along the lines of Christopher Kane, Meadham Kirchhoff and the MAN programme’s Craig Green. Frankenstein T-shirts, black leather and PVC were the headlines here – just keep him away from your eyeliner, lest he stumble into unfortunate Alice Cooper territory.
Hackett; Christopher Raeburn
You couldn’t turn around at LC:M without seeing checked patterns on suits, coats and knits – from E. Tautz and Hardy Amies to Hackett and even Christopher Raeburn, if it wasn’t a right angle, it was a wrong angle. Forget polka dots, forget cammo – checks are where it’s at.
Follow Nick Barron on Twitter @Nick_Barron