In Style + Design

The Essential Winter Style Rules For AW18

Gents, it’s time to say goodbye to colourful summer linens and hello to the warm, cosy embrace of winter essentials. Dust off the body warmers and bust out the flat caps because just as the days are starting to get a little shorter and a little cooler, there’s a distinct seasonal shift in the air for men’s fashion as we head for AW18.

Winter requires a certain sense of style and creativity; the cooler months are an opportunity to experiment a little more with additional clothing and pieces.

“Trends to look out for this autumn/winter are layering suiting with knitwear, jumpers, vests and cardigans,” says menswear consultant Jared Acquaro.

“Monotone looks in shades of blue, more corduroy in the mix and a more British aesthetic with tweeds and flat caps.”

Acquaro, who runs the fashion blog A Poor Man’s Millions, says he tries to keep abreast of the fashion cycle both at home and abroad.

Layer up Photo: M.J. Bale/Instagram

“Even though I live in Australia I follow more the European seasons as I am there every six months. In January I was in Italy wearing winter layers and then come back home wearing lighter summer outfits, and just as winter creeps into Australia I will be back in Italy for summer. So I guess I look forward to the challenge of what ways I can wear my clothes in summer/winter both in Australia and Europe. It gives me a chance to experiment and refine particular looks.”

Relaxed is back

Thread marking cuffs by Canvas by J.H. Cutler Photo: Facebook

Sydney’s very own John Cutler, a fourth generation bespoke tailor and rated by Forbes as one of the top 10 in the world, believes clothing is an incredibly important part of your self expression.

“Clothing, apart from the fact if you don’t wear any you’ll get arrested, is an outward expression of an inward feeling or belief,” says the master tailor. “The way you dress – whether very conservatively and inexpensively or dressed up and formal – it is expressing what’s going on inside you, it’s that outward expression of an inward feeling or belief.”

He also thinks men should be keeping an eye out for the reversal of the tight fitting trend.

“I think there’s going to be very shortly the move away from the current trend – the short jackets and very tight, narrow fitting trousers. All that’s going to change very shortly, so look for an easing in the length of the jacket and the trousers. It’s going to go back to a more classic style, gradually, looking more like a Carey Grant than a catwalk.”

Cutler’s not alone in his reasoning. Modi Song, co-founder of online tailor Joe Button, agrees.

“Whilst super slim fit suits have been the “it” style in recent years,” says Song,

“We’ve seen a noticeable shift in demand for a more relaxed fit. This isn’t to say that the big boxy 80’s suits are back, it’s more a change in preference from a highly structured power suit to a more comfortable casual style.”

Joe Buttons’ Sydney outpost Photo: Instagram

Acquaro goes even further and says smart casual, wider legged pants and higher rises are on the way up.

“I think things are becoming less ‘fitted’ and more fitting properly to one’s body profile. I think denim and workwear styles will have a little boost also over the coming months. More smart casual styles will rule I think, and we are seeing not an end to suiting but an extension with what people can do with their current and future suits beyond business/formal looks.”

Cutler adds: “And suits where guys can wear a suit jacket as a jacket, with jeans or chinos.”

Autumnal shades

Jared Acquaro Photo: Instagram

Cutler, whose bespoke tailoring service – JH Cutler – has been in business for 133 years, says he’s also quite excited by the fact that “men are not as scared of colour as they used to be”.

“The bright blue people are wearing – even in formal wear, with velvet as a statement – that’s exciting. For me, colours, just look at the latest Pitti [Uomo], they will be the colours that will be coming here as Australia is six months behind the European trends.”

Modi says she and her Joe Button co-founder Melissa Lee are definitely noticing the seasonal shift in colour.

“Now that autumn is here, we’re seeing more requests for earthier tones like bottle greens and shades of browns. More men are embracing tapered, high-waisted pants than ever before, bringing a touch of European bravado to Australian men’s fashion.”

And Acquaro is realising the same trend: “Colour-wise I would say purples, deeps shades of red like burgundy and green, with the continual rise of browns in the mix.”

Watch this space

The Denton two piece woven in super 120s Italian wool. Photo: Joe Button/Facebook

In terms of left field patterns and textures to keep an eye out for, Modi believes there’s one that’s very popular in Australia right now.

“Checks are back in a big way this season with bold tartans and plaids on the catwalks translating into more wearable window-panes and Prince of Wales checks on the street.”

And with Sydney’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week just around the corner, Acquaro’s tip is to look out for the “trends” both on the street and on the runway.

“This will give people a good idea of what’s to come, with both major brands and independents.”

Cutler, meanwhile, says there’ll be a continuance of his ‘classic’ theme.

There’s still a move towards bespoke, towards individualism and people having classic things but with a twist – like the lining of a suit or the buttons or the pockets. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing but you can express yourself in your own individual way.”

Published 23 April, 2018