The Top Trends Of Spring 2018 – And How To Wear Them

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The Top Trends Of Spring 2018 – And How To Wear Them

Words by Messrs Andrew Barker and Mark Edwards | Photography by Mr Nacho Alegre | Styling by Mr Olie Arnold

8 February 2018

They might feature workwear, but fear not, this season’s collections are a total breeze.

How is your abroadrobe looking? Forgive the portmanteau, but little better sums up the laid-back, easy style we are going for at MR PORTER this spring. Nothing too stiff-collared or buttoned up (unless you’re off to a wedding or the polo). No, what we’re talking about is the stuff that’s suitable for spending time in your hometown as well as a city break in the sun. Looks that are smart enough for a Skype call with a client and cool enough for a drink in town with friends.

To put some of the season’s standout pieces through their paces, we headed to balmy Rio de Janeiro, where the temperature seldom drops below 20°C – the perfect testing ground for spring’s washed-out colours, loose-fitting silhouettes, lightweight tailoring and exotic statement prints. We strolled down the backstreets of Leblon, along the Copacabana promenade and dropped by the Mr Oscar Niemeyer-designed Contemporary Art Museum in Niterói before heading to Santa Teresa for lunch in the hills. And we discovered, happily, that new-fangled as some of the season’s trends might seem, they’re rather easy to carry off. Scroll down to learn more about them, and how to do them well.

Practicality is perennial, whether you’re a hands-on kind of chap or simply prefer to look like one. This season, industrially inspired workwear is muscling its way to the fore, with riveted denims and heavy twills receiving a stylish overhaul courtesy of Junya Watanabe, MHLBarena and more.

Swap your blazer for a chore jacket. Look to utilitarian shades of navy, beige and brown.

Form-hugging fashions have been the prevailing trend in menswear for some time. But for fans of a more roomy fit, happy news is on the horizon. Large-shouldered jackets, long-fit T-shirts, voluminous cardigans and all things “anti-fit” from Balenciaga and Dries Van Noten are the sharpest way to give your wardrobe a relaxed reboot.

Pick up an oversized summer sweater or, if you’re feeling braver, pair a slouchy blazer with slim-fit, washed-denim jeans. It’s all about a charity-shop sense of mismatched nonchalance, but with expert tailoring and premium fabrics.

Sometimes, turning the volume down makes a louder statement. This season, muted colours take centre stage with dark pastels and subtle, faded hues on offer from Berluti, Bottega Veneta and Officine Generale.

This one’s easy. Mix and match washed-out colours along complementary lines. Muted yellows will go with light browns, reds and oranges. Greys and blues will work well with washed denim.

Who said checks are only for winter? Although these fabrics take their inspiration from cold-weather textiles, they’re made to be worn in the heat. Try Mr Raf Simons’ lightweight checked tailoring for Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, or take things in a more quirky direction with Gucci’s buzzing bee-motif tartan. Either way, it’s hip to be square.

Tailoring is your best bet here. Add a checked blazer to chinos for an Ivy League feel during the day, and step it up with a suit for the long summer evenings.

From strident slogans to wry “fake” logos, there’s never been a better time to wear your heart on your sleeve. Or better, on a Balenciaga T-shirt. But it’s not all heavy type. Try exploring lush floral prints and globally inspired graphics from Saint Laurent.

This trend is all about combining a single statement item with quietier pieces that won’t overcomplicate things. Try a dark-coloured print shirt with white jeans, or wear a slogan tee with a black bomber.

Short shorts: just for the beach? We think not. Prada and Dries Van Noten recently proved that slim-fit nylon, drawstrings and bright colours can be worn as part of your landlubber outfit, too. Pair with a graphic-print short-sleeve shirt and your favourite pair of aviators for instant summer cool. Or forget about the trend and just take a dip. Your choice.

Probably not with a blazer. This is more of a beach-to-bar look, and needs to be put together with those destinations in mind. Try a camp-collar shirt and some tortoiseshell sunglasses.

Big aviators, yellow lenses and frames that take their cue from the 1970s are back. Think Starsky & Hutch, Pulp Fiction and, yes, a whole lot of retro fun from Gucci.

Casually. Your aviators are going to look a little odd with, for example, technical sportswear or structured tailoring. Take them for a spin with your favourite denim, print shirts and 1970s-brown suede.

Nobody looks uncool poolside, but you can rise above the (supine) crowd with a well-selected pair of sandals or slides. This season’s superlative examples from Bottega Veneta and Tom Ford, among others, are also smart enough to wear in the city. Nothing says “never not on holiday” like it.

This is a slightly wry trend, so you can experiment a little. As a rule of thumb, slides go with track pants and variations thereof, while with chinos or tailored trousers you should probably lean towards leather sandals.

Well, hardly the innovation of the century. We’ll politely assume you’ve heard of loafers before. But what elevates them to a more playful place this season are the variations on the classic template. It might be a pair in velvet, or it might be the addition of tassels, or even a kick-back heel. Any which way, if they were fun before, now they’re even more so.

The loafer’s always been a versatile shoe, but this season it’s coming into its own for casual wear. Try loafers with a pair of cuffed denim jeans and a relaxed blazer, or, if you’re going for a more dressy, tasselled pair, with a light-coloured summer suit.

When winter rolls around, it’s time to roll out the leather jacket. But what of summer? We think, along with Oliver Spencer, that a carefully selected suede piece is the answer. Choose something unconstructed and unlined in summer-weight suede, on offer this season from designers including Tom Ford and MR PORTER’s own brand, Mr P.

If you want to make more of a statement, try a coloured suede jacket with highly contrasting trousers in white or black. For a more retro (1970s) look, try a suede jacket over a printed shirt or lightweight ribbed sweater.