While we’re still very much in the midst of winter, there’s no harm in looking ahead to a – literally – brighter future.
In fact, by starting your spring/summer preparations now, you’ll soon be able to sit back and relax in your new warm-weather get-up while everyone else scrambles through the remains of the high street clothing rails at the first sight of sun.
If you’re keen to keep your shopping list as concise as possible, here are the five essential items you’ll need to instantly update your look for SS15.
1. The Striped Blazer
Showcased in several SS15 collections from some of menswear’s biggest names, the striped blazer is straight in at number one on our list. While checked tailoring continues to make its presence felt, both on the runways and the streets, this season the pattern takes a back seat to stripes, which come in all forms, from horizontal pinstripes to thick, block-coloured variations.
Guaranteed to give your tailoring collection a summer-ready lift, a striped blazer will serve you well for a slew of different occasions, from formal garden parties to sun holidays abroad.
To tease out its smarter potential, combine with slim- or straight-fit chinos (hems rolled up slightly), a white button-down shirt and pair of chunky soled brogues or tasselled loafers. For something less dressy but inarguably stylish, team it with a classic fitted white crew neck T-shirt and pair of leather sandals.
Alternatively, if those two options are a little too safe for you, consider tapping one of the season’s major styling trends: mixing and matching stripes. You’ll need a healthy dose of confidence and a reasonably lean frame to pull this one off, but layering a broad vertical awning striped blazer over a thin horizontal Breton tee makes for a clash that flouts old sartorial rules, but is undoubtedly fashionable.
The key to mixing patterns is to try and vary the orientation and scale (size) of each piece you add to the look – for example, a boating striped blazer matched with a pinstripe shirt and horizontal club tie.
- Skopes Lucerne Blazer
- Blue Stripe Blazer
- Hammond & Co Designer Navy Otley City Stripe Blazer
- Polo Ralph Lauren Seersucker Gilford Sport Coat Blue/white
- Austin Reed Boating Stripe Jacket
- M&s Collection Luxury New Linen Rich Tailored Fit 2 Button Striped Jacket
- Blue Harbour New Notch Lapel 2 Button Striped Jacket With Wool
- New & Lingwood Rowan Stripe Boating Blazer
- Band Of Outsiders Schoolboy Knitted Wool And Cotton-blend Blazer
2. The Printed Shirt
Whether worn on its own as a statement piece or layered underneath a lightweight jumper or blazer, the printed shirt is back in all new guises for SS15, offering a sure-fire way to breathe life (and colour) into your warm-weather wardrobe.
A spring/summer 2015 favourite for labels such as Agi & Sam, Alexander Wang and Hunter Gatherer, one of the best-executed looks came courtesy of Topman Design’s 1970s-inspired show, with the brand teaming a vibrant yellow floral printed shirt with loose-fitting black trousers and a pair of retro trainers.
But whether you opt for a vintage floral design or plump for something sportier in the shape of a geometric print, you’ll want to keep everything else minimal and fuss-free in order to ensure your shirt is your look’s undisputed show piece.
Key motifs to consider this year include: florals, tropical prints, large dots, geometrics, camouflage, and statement stripes (block-colours, thick vertical designs, etc.).
- He By Mango Modern Slim-fit Floral Shirt
- He By Mango Slim-fit Camo-print Chambray Shirt
- Farah Vintage Shirt With Dot Pattern Short Sleeves Slim Fit
- Topman Floral Print Short Sleeve Shirt
- Paul Smith Jeans Shirt With Feather Print In Short Sleeve Classic Fit
- Reiss Spiro Slim-fit Graphic Shirt Blue
- Scotch & Soda Floral Poplin Shirt Navy
- Gant Malibu Madras Stripe Shirt Multi
- Reiss Pollock Spotted Shirt Blue
- River Island Blue Tile Print Short Sleeve Shirt
- Marni Striped Cotton Shirt 1014038
- Hentsch Man Printed Cotton-poplin Short-sleeved Shirt
3. White Trainers
Clean, timeless and fuss-free, white trainers are set to be spring/summer 2015’s key footwear style.
Less brash and much smarter than the technicolour designs that have been favoured in recent seasons, white trainers will slot seamlessly into an array of smart, casual and smart-casual looks.
If you’re searching for a quality pair that will earn you plenty of style kudos, look to the market leaders in the genre: Common Projects’ Achilles, Converse’s Jack Purcell, adidas’ Stan Smith and Filling Pieces’ New Era models should be high on your wish list.
Given the neutrality of white trainers, you’ve pretty much got free reign when it comes to deciding what to wear them with. We’d suggest pairing yours with tailored chino shorts and a simple Breton T-shirt for a timeless high summer outfit, or dressing them up with a navy suit and white button-down shirt for a look that’s smart but far from stuffy.
- Lacoste Carnaby Evo 2 Trainers
- Asos Trainers
- Adidas Stan Smith Trainers In White And Green
- He By Mango Leather Sneakers
- Reiss Jack Purcell Leather Jack Purcell Trainers White
- Filling Pieces New Era Off-white
- Dolce & Gabbana Leather Sneakers
- Want Les Essentiels De La Vie Lennon Leather And Mesh Sneakers
- Common Projects Original Achilles Leather Sneakers
No surprises here then. Still, as much as a good pair of jeans is a year-round mainstay, denim is set to well and truly take pride of place in your wardrobe this SS15.
At the core of collections from some of luxury’s most revered labels, including Prada and Tom Ford, this hard-wearing fabric has been significantly smartened up for the season ahead. The key to tapping into this trend is incorporating a variety of different denim pieces into one look. Forget double denim – we’re talking triple, quadruple etc.
To put together an outfit, simply pair your trusty indigo jeans with a crew neck jumper and light wash denim jacket for a low-key night out, or try a chambray shirt with slim black jeans and a cotton blazer for dress-down Friday in the office.
As a rule of thumb, denim-on-denim looks work best by ensuring the two (or more) pieces you choose are different shades/washes. So, if you opt for light blue jeans, then make sure you’re wearing something darker on top.
Top Tip: Don’t forget that denim comes in a variety of colours these days – from grey and black to white and khaki, mixing denim pieces together is so much easier when the hues change entirely.
- Allsaints Setsu Cigarette Jeans
- Topman Light Wash Stoney Regular Slim Fit Jeans
- Cheap Monday High Slim Jeans In Blue
- Nudie Jeans Organic Thin Finn Slim Fit
- He By Mango Straight-fit Vintage Wash Bob Jeans
- He By Mango Asahi Razor Jeans
- Reiss Redford Slim-fit Stretch Jeans Blue
- Nn.07 Peter Slim-fit Washed-denim Jeans
- Acne Studios Ace Dry-denim Jeans
- Officine Generale Slim-fit Selvedge Denim Suit Jacket
- Reiss Royce Washed Denim Shirt Indigo
- A.p.c. Washed-denim Jacket
5. Pastel Legwear
Over the past few years, pastel colours have been making the slow and steady transition from ultra-feminine to unconventionally masculine, helped along most recently by some of British tailoring’s most significant brands.
Savile Row stalwarts Gieves & Hawkes, Hardy Amies and Richard James all included pastel tailoring within their spring/summer 2015 collections, with everything from baby blue suits to mint green blazers on show.
While you could opt for a jacket or shirt, sticking to a pair of well-cut pastel chinos or shorts means you have something to team with your new striped jacket or printed shirt (separately, mind), as well as something that would work as a statement piece when combined with pared-back staples like a white button-down shirt, neutral fine gauge knit or navy linen blazer.
What’s more, pastel legwear in lightweight materials such as cotton or linen makes for a much more appropriate alternative to your trusty pair of jeans once it’s time to board the plane to Bali or Barcelona.
- Asos Chino Shorts In Mid Length
- Topman Washed Lilac Chino Shorts
- Asos Skinny Chinos
- Bellfield Twisted Chino Short
- Burton Duck Egg Blue Chino Shorts
- He By Mango Slim-fit Garment-dyed Chinos
- Alexander Mcqueen Lightweight Cotton Trousers 1012468
- Lanvin Slim-leg Wool-blend Trousers 1017355
- Gucci Stretch-cotton Jodhpur Trousers 1002263
- River Island Yellow Slim Chino Shorts
- J.crew Broken In Slim-fit Brushed-cotton Chinos
- River Island Pale Green Slim Chino Shorts
Now that you know what should be top of your shopping list for the season ahead, you can start building a spring/summer 2015 wardrobe to be proud of.
Whether you’re going for a full overhaul, or want to subtly freshen up your look, we want to know your key pieces for SS15. Will you be adding any/all of the above to your check list? Have we missed something off?
Let us know in the comments section below.
5 Key Menswear Pieces For Spring/Summer 2015
Image: ramsey SS13