While the definition of American fashion leans towards a practical take on sportswear, Europe often presents a more theatrical take on menswear. Whether it’s London, Milan or Paris, ostentatious prints and colors are met with confident tailoring and a plucky sense of style. From the outside, some of these trends might raise an eyebrow, but we’ve figured out how to make these 6 European fashion trends work for you. Ace it well, and you’ll be turning heads for all the right reasons.
From left: Paul Smith, Berluti, Lemaire, Hardy Amies
What to expect: Somehow, almost every European designer got the memo that green was the shade of the season. Cue a vast selection of menswear looks in every shade of the green spectrum. From hunter green to viridian, the reign of green has proven undeniable.
What to do: Okay, so you don’t want to look like a walking-and-talking tree, we can understand that. Start with a statement piece, and add on more green items until you are comfortable with your look. If you need to pick, then our recommendation would be to work with a green jacket first. Also, if you’re wearing more than one green item, then keep the shades of green uniform, so it doesn’t overwhelm you.
From left: Louis Vuitton, Berluti
What to expect: While it might not convey the sartorial message of “business”, designers are rethinking the look and feel of the backpack to make it boardroom-worthy. Think minimalist designs mixed with ultra-lux materials, and you get the idea.
What to do: You’re either going to love or hate this trend. Keep an eye out for a backpack that’s made from a more expensive material. Stay away from canvas or cotton backpacks. Instead, reach for the top-shelf ones constructed from leather and suede for a start. Also, a key to making this work with a business suit is to carry it in your hand, as if you are carrying a briefcase. After all, you don’t want to crumple the shoulder of your suits – that’s never a good look.
From left: Saint Laurent, Hermes, Gucci, Julien David
What to expect: The third European fashion trend on this list might actually be the most audacious of them all. Clearly designers are in an eco-state of mind with all the nature-themed references, and the floral jacket is one of them. Whether it’s an all-over print, an embroidered motif or an artwork of abstract flowers, take your pick from the freshest of the bunch.
What to do: We weren’t kidding you when we said that Europeans have a bolder sense of adventure when it comes to their fashion choices, right? To balance out the lush blooms on your jacket, pay attention to the fit of the jacket. Make sure the shoulder is sharply tailored, and try to score a double-breasted front or a wider lapel. All of these will keep your jacket less feminine, giving you a rakish finish.
From left: Umit Benan, Dries Van Noten, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton
What to expect: What’s so great about these European fashion trends is the versatility of that a Cuban-collared shirt offers you. Primarily characterized by the open-neck flat collar, the Cuban collar leaves the realm of souvenir shirts and surges forward with stylish reinterpretations. Pair it with tailored trousers or get casual with shorts for a trendy and tropical look.
What to do: When shopping for a Cuban-collared shirt, ask yourself this simple question: does it look like it came from a gift shop? It’s going to take some time to find the perfect shirt, but when you do, you’ll be glad you skipped all those cheesy Hawaiian prints and poorly fitted ones.
From left: Valentino, MSGM, Canali, Junya Watanabe
What to expect: Anticipating the hot summer days ahead, designers are turning to a functional wardrobe of safari-inspired get ups to keep you stylish. Whether you are actually tripping across sandy plains or simply conquering the urban jungle, you’ll find a piece to suit your needs from this season’s offerings.
What to do: If you’re not sure how to style yourself without looking like you hopped out of a game of Jumanji, then remember to keep things simple. Dusty shades of browns and khaki will flatter almost anyone. Accessorize sparingly, and dress for the occasion – a safari jacket might look sharp for a weekend function, but you baking in underneath the suede will do zilch for your style.
From left: Saint Laurent, Gucci, Burberry, Missoni
What to expect: Last but not least on our list of European fashion trends, European designers are pushing for the inclusion of the elongated scarf. There’s something so disheveled about this piece of cloth tied around your neck, that ironically makes it feel so right. Besides, the long scarf is another way to add more texture to your outfit, and that can’t be a bad thing if you do it properly.
What to do: So how do you do it properly? By choosing the right print and material, and then relying on your personal confidence for the rest of the way. If your outfit is simple enough, a printed scarf will create a focal point to your look. On the other hand, stick to a plain-colored wrapper if your look already has a print.