Ten top menswear trends for Spring/Summer 2023
The pandemic is ending, and men are once again keen to dress up. “Let's go out!” was the imperative of the menswear show session that ended on June 26. Going for an evening jaunt, of course, because a convivial mood is back. But going out during the day too, to enjoy the outside world again with sporting pursuits, immersions in nature and sun-kissed holidays by the seaside.
The Spring/Summer 2023 collections unveiled in London, Florence, Milan and Paris, nearly all of them with in-person shows, stood out for their freshness and laid-back elegance, marking a return to more formal outfits that nevertheless aren't jettisoning the comfort they gained during lockdowns. Also, next summer’s menswear showcased in even more distinct fashion the feminine element in men, though still with a humorous nod to certain masculine archetypes, as in cowboy and biker outfits.
1 - Laid-back suits
Suits are officially back in favour. Every man in the third millennium must have a suit in his wardrobe, the jacket matching with either trousers, shorts or Bermudas. Naturally, after the lockdowns and the explosion of streetwear, suits are back in new guises, made with lighter and softer materials, featuring extremely ample trousers often fastened with a drawstring, and with deconstructed blazers. Next summer, owing to global warming, they will be preferably worn mismatched and over a bare chest. Suits are genuine must, seen on every runway.
2 - Bare bellies
Bare chests and bellies are more than a passing whim, they are well and truly setting the tone for next summer. After enjoying great success in womenswear in recent summer seasons, the crop top is sneaking into men’s wardrobes, as evidenced by ever-shrinking tops laying bare gentlemen's navels and six-packs. Clothes stop abruptly just below the chest. Not only vests, t-shirts, sweaters, and sundry tight-fitting knitwear and jerseys, but also shirts and jackets, including dinner jackets. Fendi and Miu Miu paved the way in Spring/Summer 2022, savagely slashing down their jackets. Now everyone else is doing it, from MSGM to Amiri, LGN Louis-Gabriel Nouchi, Thom Browne, Moschino, VTMNTS and Mowalola, to mention but a few.
3 - Distressed jeans
Denim has been making a come-back in the last few seasons, but next summer it will take over the entire wardrobe in a plethora of versions, from heavily distressed to uber-formal. Denim is featured in all types of garments, including coats and boots, like the oversize thigh-high boots cut from old denim strips seen at Dolce & Gabbana. Stone-washed jeans, scruffy and threadbare, are making a notable come-back. Not to mention ripped jeans, wonderfully reinterpreted by Japanese label Taakk, which amusingly mimicked tears by using embroidery.
4 - Terry cloth
Serial heatwaves are calling for new solutions. Designers have redoubled their efforts in fabric research to find the lightest, freshest and most pleasant materials, with cotton ubiquitous and linen enjoying a revival. In this context, terry cloth, preferably recycled, adds a uniquely summery touch. Among the most attractive examples, the shirt-trouser sets at Marine Serre, the bathrobe coats at Gunther and LGN, and the towels wrapped around the waist like a skirt, at Magliano.
5 - Leather mini-shorts
First introduced last year, slightly retro minuscule shorts are now very much on-trend. The novelty is that next summer they will need to be made of leather, ideally black leather. Prada built almost the entire collection around this item, featuring mini shorts fastened with double zips. At Walter Van Beirendonck, they come fringed with thick strips. At EgonLab, they sometimes look like knickers.
6 - Papa's pyjamas
Pyjama suits were already a thing last year, primarily in silky materials and for evening wear. Next summer, they will be worn in effortlessly chic day looks too. When the temperature rises and we want comfort, no need to complicate things, we can go out wearing pyjamas. Provided they are one of those fine old-fashioned pyjamas in light poplin with thin sky-blue stripes. Givenchy used this fabric to concoct a directional total look with shirt, shorts and gloves. Loose trousers in striped cotton with an elasticated waistband are all the rage, especially since they easily combine with pretty much everything.
7 - The sarong
A long piece of fabric tied at the waist pareo-fashion, the sarong has become a menswear staple as an alternative to skirts, and was featured in most men’s collections for Spring/Summer 2023. Gender boundaries are blurring, and consumers are constantly seeking greater comfort. From the white towels adopted by Dolce & Gabbana and Magliano, to Craig Green’s quilted carpet fabric and Hed Mayner’s recycled lace tablecloth, there was something for everyone. Including a more rebellious style - a big belt cinching a black fabric swathe at Moschino - or Dsquared2’s unashamedly cool one, with a brightly coloured floral sarong slipped nonchalantly under a jacket.
8 - Trompe-l’œil effects
A joyful zest was sprinkled across all collections, without going to extremes of eccentricity. Just a desire to have fun, smile, amuse oneself. It translated into clothes featuring vibrant, unexpected prints, often inspired by the art world, as in the Pop Art collection by Junya Watanabe. Designers also resorted to trompe l’œil effects, sketching make-believe garments on essential wardrobe items (Y/Project, Maison Mihara Yasuhiro and Moschino), or reproducing anatomical details, as if the wearer was stripping naked.
9 - Cowboy looks
Cowboy looks aptly represent this festive mood, marked by a return to a rather creative way of dressing. The entire amusing gamut of cowboy outfits has visibly inspired designers, who went for boots, ten-gallon hats, embroidered trousers and tassel-trimmed shirts, belts with oversize buckles or medallions, and typical leather bolo ties. Even a stirrup cropped up at Craig Green! Above all, chaps have tickled the designers’ imagination. These overtrousers cowboys slip over jeans to protect them will be worn next summer on bare skin, affording a glimpse of sexy underwear. They come braided and tasselled at Thom Browne, in indigo, daisy-embroidered denim at Casablanca, strictly in leather at Celine.
10 - Quirky accessories
Accessories swamped the runways in all shapes and sizes, worn from head to toe, often with a playful vibe. After two crisis years, what better outlet to channel a return to consumer purchases that labels hope will be compulsive? From Kenzo’s elephant trunk tie to EgonLab’s ear clip/cigarette holder, to J.W. Anderson’s skateboard sweaters and handlebars round the neck, the wildest ideas have cropped up on the runways in the first real shows post-Covid.
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