Although you may not have heard about it, Men’s Fashion Week has been happening in various cities for the past month. Menswear designers showed their collections in Paris, Milan and London — only for them to be quickly forgotten with the start of haute couture week.
Luckily, I have a synthesized list of the coolest things for men to wear in 2014. Even Midwesterners can dress like they belong in the front row between Kanye and Victor Cruz.
Trend #1: Shearling
The first thing I think of when I hear the word ‘shearling’ is Bane’s coat in the most recent Batman film. While I’m not advocating that you take style advice from fictional villains, I do think shearling — which is made from shorn sheepskin, kind of like the soft lining of Ugg boots — can look nice and provide an additional layer of warmth.
Versace, Bottega Veneta and Gucci all showed jackets with touches of shearling, and Fendi even had jackets that were made completely out of shearling (although I would proceed with caution, because this might look overwhelming on the average man).
Adding a leather bomber jacket with a shearling collar to a basic outfit will make you look as dreamy as a World War II fighter pilot.
Trend #2: All denim everything
Dior Homme and Dsquared2 both sent models down the runway wearing a lot of denim. Jean shirts, pants, jackets — everything was fair game.
Dior Homme enhanced the denim by using it as a layering piece — wearing a jean jacket underneath a blazer or a leather jacket, for example. Dsquared2 had all-denim outfits but toned down the blue with one non-denim piece, like a vest.
You too can rock a lot of denim by avoiding a monochrome look. It’s crucial that you never wear a denim suit. (We do not need a repeat of Justin Timberlake at the 2001 American Music Awards.) Try pairing dark jeans with a light chambray shirt layered over a V-neck or under a cardigan. The different shades and the additional layer will keep you looking trendy and modern.
Trend #3: Motorcycle pants
Even if you’ve never been on a motorcycle, you should seriously consider investing in a pair of motorcycle pants — or, more realistically, a pair of pants inspired by motorcycle pants, with a slim fit and details around the knees.
Not only were these cool trousers prominent during London Fashion Week, especially with luxury brand Belstaff, but they were also popular in Paris, featured in the collections of Dries Van Noten and A.P.C. (which were actually designed by Kanye West).
You can and should wear these pants with literally everything you own, but they look exceptionally cool when paired with sweaters, flannel and boots.
Trend #4: Punk revival
A little rebellion never hurt anyone — a fact made very clear during Paris Fashion Week, where several brands showed edgy designs. Junya Watanabe sent models down the runway in Dr. Martens-esque shoes, distressed pants and mohair sweaters. Similarly, Saint Laurent’s most recent collection was defined by leather jackets, grungy plaids and black skinny jeans.
While the full-on punk style is probably too intense for most, adding some edgy elements to your standard look is a great way to spice things up for 2014. It can be as simple as wearing some ripped black jeans (or see above: motorcycle pants) with that old T-shirt you’ve been wearing since eighth grade.
Trend #5: Yellow
The last trend is also the hardest to pull off. Kenzo, 3.1 Philip Lim and Dries Van Noten all featured the bright hue in a variety of forms — jackets, shirts, pants, accessories, you name it.
The color might seem overwhelming and impossible for the average man to wear, but it’s actually really easy to mix into your wardrobe. Yellow works well with any neutral color, and yellow pants are extra cool. Try wearing yellow pants with a simple gray T-shirt or sweater.
If that still seems like too much, follow in the footsteps of Dries Van Noten and get a jacket with a yellow lining for a small pop of color. Avoid yellow stripes, though; you can’t be taken seriously if you look like a giant bumblebee.