Tones and Hues: Menswear Trends of 2013
By Mariah Cole
Why is color so important? For one, it distinguishes the individual among the billions of people in the world. It benefits us to stand out, and wearing color trends can give us that push. Menswear does not have to be restricted to the “masculine” blues and blacks. In the progressive age we live in, it’s okay for men to experiment with the vibrant colors retailers have to offer. Fashion has been and always will be about testing the limits of what people wear, and Spring 2013 menswear has done just that. Spring is a time of renewal and a perfect time to update that somber winter look. After being introduced to monochrome, pastels, color blocking, and ways to incorporate these fresh runway looks, you may be setting the stage, come spring.
Designers such as Salvatore Ferragamo and Empirio Armani presented the monochromatic or tone-on-tone look for this spring’s fashions. The style entails wearing the same color but in different hues. For example, Ferragamo’s monochromatic mint look is a show stopper. From a mint blazer to mint and yellow sneakers, the colors are eye catching. However, some men aren’t so bold and can opt for a more subdued color. On the runway of Burberry Prorsum, designer Christopher Bailey introduced a bright yellow version of the signature Burberry trench coat, paired with metallic skinny jeans in shiny purple, blue, yellow, and pink.
Pastels, always a popular trend for women during the spring, have finally found their way into menswear. Roberto Cavalli and Riccardo Tisci have displayed pretty pastel suits in their Spring ’13 collections. Cavalli featured an incredible lavender suit with high-waisted pants and a matching pale lavender shirt. When styled with simple black shoes, the whole look was effortlessly pulled together.
The garments had a streetwear edge despite the color and could be worn by a trendier older male. Tisci featured a handsome bubble-gum pink, box-shape suit with little emphasis on the model’s silhouette. The jacket highlighted the typical deep V neckline and single- breasted design in most men’s suits. Another notable ensemble was from the Alexander McQueen 2013 Spring/Summer collection. For many, the garments from the McQueen line were shocking, but not in the usual avant-garde manner that is classic for Alexander McQueen. The outfits for menswear were normal: normal for McQueen, that is. The standout from the line was a powder-blue suit with a one-button jacket that was shaped like an hourglass and featured a slightly baggy pair of pants, cuffed once at the ankle. A collared dark blue/teal polo shirt, paired with shoes resembling the spectators of the’ 20s and ‘30s, gave the garment a vintage look. Although in a muted blue, if paired with the right dark-colored accessories, the suit will appear more masculine.
Color blocking is a trend spreading like wildfire onto all the major runways. Jill Sander, known for her minimalist approach to fashion design, used the color blocking technique on the basic male cardigan. As in the paintings of Piet Mondrian, Sander used navy blue, green, and yellow patches with white stripes to create a literal work of art. Her use of color blocking was encouraged by Blinky Palermo, a German abstract painter, and Robert Mangold, known for his minimalist art. Sander stayed true to her roots in this line, focusing on form rather than decoration. There was no better way to achieve her comfortable fashion-forward aesthetic than by wearing a color-blocked cardigan inspired by German abstract art. If you are considering the color block trend, make note that the most common colors to set your sights on are primary colors like red, yellow, and blue.
The overall emotion behind color in menswear garments this spring is that of daring, feminine sweetness meeting suave masculinity. During the past few seasons, we have seen the opposite trend: women wearing suits, oversized jackets, and beanies. Now, for Spring 2013, we have been exposed to pastels, bright colors, and color blocking for men. Pastel pinks and blues look their best when designed with suits or a pair of shorts. The runways suggest that men mix and match with vertical stripes, which never go out of style. Wearing bright colors isn’t always the norm or in every man’s comfort zone, but it is easy to incorporate colors into an everyday outfit. With a neon watch, a hint of yellow in that red belt, or maybe a bright jacket, color will make any male wardrobe a little more fashion forward. A major lesson in fashion is never to be afraid. By starting small, any man can attain his fashion aspiration.