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

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.

01. WORKWEAR

What is it?

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.

How to wear it

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

Try these

  • Neighborhood CPO Mélange Cotton-Felt Overshirt

  • Barena Cropped Stretch Cotton-Twill Trousers

02. Oversized

What is it?

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.

How to wear it

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.

Try these

  • AMIRI Oversized Palm Tree-Intarsia Cashmere Cardigan

  • Stella McCartney Oversized Striped Cotton Shirt

03. Washed-out colours

What is it?

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.

How to wear it

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.

Try these

  • Acne Studios Grey Brobyn Slim-Fit Stretch-Cotton Suit Trousers

  • Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Suede Slippers

04. Checks

What is it?

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.

How to wear it

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.

Try these

  • Gucci Embroidered Checked Wool-Twill Blazer

  • Balenciaga Archetype Oversized Prince of Wales Checked Wool and Mohair-Blend Blazer

05. Statement prints

What is it?

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.

How to wear it

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.

Try these

  • Saint Laurent Ikat-Print Cotton Shirt

  • Acne Studios Jaceye Printed Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt

06. Swim shorts

What is it?

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.

How to wear it

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

Try these

  • Moncler Printed Cotton-Piqué Polo Shirt

  • Vilebrequin Moorea Mid-Length Printed Swim Shorts

07. Seventies eyewear

What is it?

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.

How to wear it

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.

Try these

  • Gucci Aviator-Style Enamelled Gold-Tone Sunglasses

  • Gucci Aviator-Style Tortoiseshell Acetate And Gold-Tone Sunglasses

08. Sandals and slides

What is it?

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.

How to wear 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.

Try these

  • Saint Laurent Leather Sandals

  • Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Leather Slides

09. Loafers

What is it?

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.

How to wear it

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.

Try these

  • TOM FORD York Chain-Trimmed Suede Driving Shoes

  • Tricker's Elton Tasseled Suede Loafers

10. Suede

What is it?

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.

How to wear it

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.

Try these

  • Theory Noland Suede Blouson Jacket

  • TOM FORD Suede Blouson Jacket