Active living, jet set lifestyles and edgy streetwear make for exciting fashion commentary, but the trends for Spring ’19 men’s wear indicate that what we do for a living influences our fashion choices much more than most might believe.
In a webinar Wednesday, Michael Fisher, Fashion Snoops vice president and creative director of men’s wear, outlined four key men’s wear stories to know ahead of the upcoming UBM trade shows, NY Men’s July 22-24 and Project in Las Vegas Aug. 13-15.
The casualization of the workplace coupled with the rise of tech-based career paths is forging new demand for tailored but relaxed work attire. And after seasons of “athleisure” becoming a catchall for all-day, versatile fashion, Fisher sees a return to dressing for occasions.
For retailers, this means more opportunities to dress men in fashion they may not have seen in their closets for years. Here’s a look at Fashion Snoops’ four essential men’s trend stories to know for Spring/Summer ’19.
Welcome to a subversive take on “suburban” fashion. In Main St., Fisher outlined a story that rolls traditional ideas of suburban dad style with urban twists on color and fit. Here, Fisher said the American dream of success and domestic bliss lives on as “time honored outerwear”—or the type of jackets that hark back to the time when men commuted into the city—and leisure wear, including patterned shirts for backyard BBQs and colorful shirts for cocktail hour.
For inspiration, Fisher suggested designers and retailers look at vintage booze and vacation advertisements, family sports like bowling and images of manicured neighborhoods from the ’50s and ’60s. “It’s an ironic take on a man’s world, because it is anything but a man’s world now, which is a great thing,” he quipped.
The trend story is full of kitschy details like contrasting pockets, embroidery that takes a playful jab at office life (i.e. embroidered paper clips and “My name is” chain stitching) and retro color. Yellow gold, cherry red and shades of pool-inspired mint and aqua bounce off colors like wood paneling brown and avocado green.
Sporty satins, puckered gingham, drop needled knits based on the ’70s and ’80s and shirting pieced together in a kaleidoscope of colors are key fabrics, Fisher said.
Main St. comes together through relaxed fit banker suits that Fisher said have a “post-war Ivy League” silhouette defined by softer fabrics and jackets with a higher button stance. Fine gauge polos with tipping in masculine colorways like brown and gray double as underpinnings.
The shorts suit returns, as well as madras in unexpected colors. Old school seersucker has its day again, Fisher said, overdyed in modern colorways like black and navy. Boxy, woven “league shirts” are based on recreational pasttimes. Contemporary bombers are updated in traditional suiting fabrics like Prince of Wales check. Textured blazers made with basket weave cotton blends, asymmetrical double breasted jackets and oversized dad suits (or sports coat) gives the trend some edge.
In denim, Fisher said the Mad Men-inspired trend is recreated as denim pinstripe suiting, perfect 501-style straight leg jeans, relaxed denim “executive” pants with subtle pleating, chambray trench coats, bowling shirts with contrasting washes and printed denim shorts.
Retro accessories are the maraschino cherry to this story. Expect to see monogrammed bags, leather key fobs that mimic hotel keychains, preppy grosgrain belts, vintage watches inspired by Timex models and eye glasses with round tortoise shell frames.
Imagine a “European-centric creative” on a journey in the desert seeking romantic refuge from city life. Now, how is dressed? That’s the question Fashion Snoops pondered while developing Ventura, a trend story Fisher said is a balance between refinement and rusticity, and modernity and earthyness.
The theme is rooted in lightweight rustic layers, technical fabrics, unstructured tailoring, cracked leather and summer suede, with a twist of contemporary southwestern styling. Wool silk herringbone, tweed textures and tissue weight cotton for suiting dress up tailored looks.
Ombre canvas, gauzy and light knits, technical fabrics and a myriad of pinks—just don’t necessarily call it “millennial”—keep the trend youthful and fresh. Pinks, Fisher said, are balanced with pink casted browns, perfect sky blue, green, and crisp pops of white. Black and white photo-real prints and patterns inspired by photographer Ansel Adam’s work are used in abstract ways.
One-button jackets, summer weight sweaters and the Dune jacket, a suede topper modeled after a denim Trucker, deliver versatility to men’s wardrobes. Baggy linen blend shorts that hit just above the knee and Henley shirts with a luxurious drape will be casual staples.
For denim, key items include the oversized Trucker jacket, or chore jacket, that Fisher said can be thrown over a T-shirt or woven shirt. Lightweight denim overcoats with dropped shoulders are embellished with riveted pockets. Relaxed fit suits with cutaway jackets worn open deliver a casual look, while extra-large patch pockets and rusticated finishes revert back to the trend’s earthy factor.
The gaucho shirt in dark rinse denim with tonal denim serves as a refined update to the traditional rodeo shirt. Peg leg silhouettes with relaxed seats and rolled cuffs are cut from light 10 oz. denim. Fisher also said the Guayabera shirt returns to denim, refreshed with ticking stripes to add some sophistication.
Utilitarian details run rampant in trims and accessories. Sandals with criss-cross straps, nylon webbing and Velcro closures are key, as well as tennis shoes in muted tonal colorways. The kicks are updated with gum soles and perforated uppers.
The slouchy backpack exudes a sense of nomadic lifestyle. Belts are extra-long, baseball caps feature woven textures and Fisher said aviator sunglasses are back, but are updated with Lucite and other color plastic.
The new work uniform lives in Xchange, Fashion Snoops’ updated homage to workwear and heritage design without the clichés. Designed with the Silicon Valley man or “neo nerd” in mind, the story allows tech creatives who are not content with wearing hoodies and khakis daily, with polished and professional alternatives.
“The three C’s—cool, casual and comfort—should be driving all buying decisions,” Fisher said.
Fabrics are a marriage between traditional and tech. Cotton twill jersey, wool mohair with slubs of color, flexible wovens, crispy nylon and denim with herringbone effects are used to create the trend’s ultra clean lines and new workwear ideas.
Factory details like kangaroo pockets, zippered pockets, contrasting top-stitching and I.D.-inspired labeling are nods to workwear’s past. Color takes a technical turn, too, with a focus on shades of green and blue inspired by the logos of smart cars.
The Harrington jacket in crisp cotton poplin is renewed with metallic taping. The “IBM sweater” inspired by scientists from the ’50s offers a contemporary take on the cardigan by being spliced up with panels of woven shirting. Active underpinnings like cycling jerseys casualize tailored shapes.
Denim work shirt/jacket hybrids are redone with elongated silhouettes and relaxed fit. The shirts are overdyed with a brushed finish for a softer hand feel. Heavyweight jeans, or raw selvedge denim with a flex fit, come in loose straight cuts with wide turn-up cuffs to emphasize footwear. The short-sleeve denim factory shirt is clean with dark wash plain weaves.
For a more directional customer, Fisher said there’s the engineered suit with tonal pieced construction and durable heavy weight denim, or the composite jean outfitted with displaced pockets and contrast stitching.
Once again, accessories are driven by utility. Expect accessories to include a lot of grommets, paracords, straps and Velcro. Nylon backpacks inspired by Prada Sport and body bags worn across the torso are key, as well as smart watches.
Look toward Australia for both spiritual and fashion inspiration come Spring ’19. In Talisman, Fisher said the country’s ancestral stories, mystical surrealism, symbols and relics are igniting newfound interest in its traditional techniques and spiritual colorways. “Australia’s desert is a hotbed for spirituality,” he said.
Magic serves as the baseline for the trend story’s colors, prints and fabrics. Here, Fisher said the “mysteries of the universe are translated to clothing.” Designed for the “modern day shaman,” the trend is a step away from the loud and colorful camp styles that have driven previous outdoor fashion stories and is more focused on survivalist layering and materials that are technical yet authentic.
“Younger consumers still want active-inspired basics but in a more global centric way,” Fisher said.
Nylon mesh, exotics (or fabrics that mimic exotics), tribal jacquards and poplin with micro prints enhance the wanderlust story. Dotted patterns inspired by fossils and cave art and abstract prints of mystical skies add novelty.
Trims span tribal piecing on elbows, braided closures, decorative beading, to “techno toggles” for an active look. However, Fisher pointed out that “embellishment doesn’t have to shout to be impactful.”
The story calls for a plethora of purples, as well as crystal-inspired teals and blues, burnt orange, tomato red and non-colors like parchment and clay.
Key items include the “ritual jacket” that Fisher described as a more embellished take on the Trucker jacket, flowing suits made with cotton blends and sweaters with masculine beading and trims. Oversized boxy tees, shirting with bleached effects and bottoms with artistic renderings of camouflage serve the casual market.
For denim, expect to see a lot of decoration. The lightweight denim anorak is updated with intricate embroideries and flyaway threads, the jean bomber is redone with variegated lines and the short-sleeve button-down shirt has a camp collar that emphasizes a laid-back, relaxed look. Straight leg jeans are trimmed with organic materials like shells and beads. And lightweight shirts in the aforementioned camouflage double as a jacket.
The story comes together through accessories, including sandals with knotted or braided straps, vintage-looking totes, mini cross body bags, coin pendant necklaces and bracelets with gritty gem stones.