The Trends

Nine Fun Menswear Trends For Autumn 2019

From head-to-toe leather to draped in velvet, the likes of Prada, Dries Van Noten and Acne Studios are serious about taking your style a step beyond this season

What’s underneath that winter coat? If it’s not something even a little bit adventurous, we might be disappointed. This season, after all, is very much about going beyond the sartorial frontier. That’s true of the intrepid, Alpine feel that infuses many AW19 collections, from Sacai to Dries Van Noten to AMIRI, but also the developments at the more extreme fringe of fashion: the head-to-toe leather seen on the Vetements runway, or the appearance of granny-esque mohair sweaters and cardigans at Prada. You may scoff, but in a season known for blustery winds, drab lighting and the flu, a little excitement in your wardrobe is exactly what the doctor ordered. So why not take a step into the unknown, starting with the following pointers.

All-over leather

Leather is big for AW19, as might be surmised from this particular ensemble. The chore jacket in particular takes the concept of ho-hum workwear and makes it deliciously subversive. Wear it with leather trousers for the strongest statement, or, if you’re not quite ready for that level of commitment, try a pair of tailored trousers in charcoal or black wool. Worn underneath, a white turtleneck offers up a pleasing contrast, and slyly nods to the jazzy stylings of the 1960s.

Animal magnetism

Cow print? That’s quite unexpected, isn’t it? This shaggy shearling from SAINT LAURENT is an absolutely new way to incorporate animal prints – a key trend this season, which was also full of leopard spots, tiger stripes, and a veritable menagerie of similar patterns – into your wardrobe. It’s a little bit rock ’n’ roll and a little bit “Old Town Road”, and yes, those are both good things. Mixing it, thrift-store style, with a silk shirt and logo tee takes it in a pleasingly nonchalant, grungy direction. But that doesn’t mean you need to be shy about this trend: go on, ride ’em cowboy.

Go for knit

The mohair cardigan: beloved by grandmothers, sometimes viewed with suspicion by other types. But now is the time to look again, because on the Prada runway a new version of this garment – thick-ribbed and homely – was worn over pinstriped suits. Clearly, it’s a season when such wry combinations will succeed, particularly with the continued focus on the taste-defying 1970s as a sartorial reference. Here, there’s something delightfully disco about one of said cardigans taken further in that direction, worn with high-water bell bottoms. We like the sweaters layered unexpectedly like Ms Miuccia Prada commanded, fluffy and colourful casual wear offset by business or pleasure suits. Just don’t blame us if the old girl tries to raid your wardrobe at Christmas.

Velvet crush

Here we are, combining some of our favourite looks of the 1990s (track jackets) with a favourite look from the 1970s (velvet, velvet, velvet). Nostalgia with a tactile edge, perhaps. Velvet is the star of the show – it will gleam beneath holiday candlelight and give you the bearing of a modern Lothario (a good thing, we promise). Acne Studios showed full-on velvet macs, worn open over bare chests and snake-print pants. But you don’t have to take the look all the way to get the magical vibe of velour. Plush and lush, this is a fabric for the ages. Wear it with pride.

Out of office

How ironic that the moment we’re no longer obliged to wear ties is the moment we start to miss having them around. Oh well, never mind. Business attire’s loss is Vetements’ gain. The subversive designer has stitched them into shirts this season, although the tent-like fit of this piece means that the resulting look is less cubicle-bound salaryman and more truant schoolboy skipping class for a climate demonstration (or, more likely, a fashion show). Slouchy cargo trousers and a utility gilet add a functional element – by which we mean eight additional pockets – to this outfit. It’s subverted business casual – emphasis on the casual.

Uptown down

A long-standing favourite of the streetwear set, the humble down-filled jacket takes a trip uptown this season. In his autumn lookbook, Mr Tom Ford styled them worn over woollen suits and rollneck sweaters and accessorised the puffers with leather gloves and dark sunglasses. Meanwhile, in the ever-fecund imagination of Mr Rick Owens, they were cut ankle-length, a style last seen on Mr Arsène Wenger during his days at Arsenal FC. (For total authenticity, try wearing yours while pacing back and forth, gesticulating wildly and looking just a bit stressed.)

Cash and carry

Remember when it wasn’t considered socially acceptable for men to carry bags because, er, masculinity, or something? We had to walk around with all of our belongings crammed into our pockets, instead. Well, we’re delighted to report that those dark days continue to fade further into the past with every season. This autumn’s best bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the geometric wonder of leathercraft that is Loewe’s Puzzle bag to Acne Studios’ wry little cross-body cardholder, which serves double-duty as somewhere to stash your train tickets and as an easy way to inject a bit of colour – in this case, burnt orange – into your outfit.

The rub of the green

While we’re not about to declare it the “colour of the season”, we are duty-bound as style reporters to inform you that there’s a lot of green in this autumn’s collections, specifically of the muddy and muted variety. Take the greyish sage in Off-White’s oversized tailoring, for instance, which you can just about glimpse peeking out from under this oversized olive-toned Helmut Lang shell parka. The best thing about these earthy shades is that they all work exceptionally well together, so it couldn’t be easier to pile on a streetwise outfit in the morning. However, head-to-toe can run the risk of looking a bit...paramilitary. We’ve broken this look up with a jolt of bright red from the collar of a Gucci polo shirt.

Terra firma

There’s something very grounding about lacing your feet into a pair of well-made shoes. They don’t come much sturdier than these Derbies from Prada, which are built on exaggerated tyre-print soles that will leave you feeling rooted firmly to the ground whatever the weather. Worried about the breeze around your ankles? The same gloriously chunky rubber soles can also be found on Prada’s zip-up leather Chelsea boots. Alternatively, you might opt for a pair from Bottega Veneta, which are set on thick Vibram soles and protected with in-built rubber galoshes, allowing you to splash around in puddles to your heart’s delight.