It’s that time again when shops start selling spring and summer clothing despite it being freezing outside. If you can bear to look at shorts while huddled in a down jacket, it’s a great time to snap up some of the best pieces that designers have to offer, before the popular ones sell out when it warms up.
But before you hit the shops, we’ve broken down the big trends for spring/summer 2020, from cargo trousers and a penchant for pockets to chunky sandals (yes, really).
Leather trousers, animal print, satin and sheer fabrics were big news on the runway, with the likes of Gucci really pushing the boundaries of ‘traditional’ menswear, but we’ll leave the tricky trends to Harry Styles. Instead, prepare to be bowled over by easy-to-wear bowling shirts and a good denim jacket, that will update your wardrobe and keep your outfits looking current, without risking arrest by the fashion police.
90s cargo trousers
Thinking about cargo trousers may conjure up memories of All Saints, but the late 90s trouser is back on the runway, with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Lanvin and Dries van Noten updating the utilitarian classic in an array of colours and interesting materials (although we’ll pass on the vinyl and satin, thanks.)
Trousers tend to be quite billowing, so avoid the purely-practical fitted shapes you find in outdoors shops. Instead, look to Oliver Spencer, Officine Generale and Carhartt for styles that are as easy to wear as jeans, and will update your wardrobe effortlessly. Carhartt’s £95 cotton ripstop cargo trousers are soft but straight, and we guarantee they’ll become a firm favourite. Wear yours with a Stussy t-shirt if you really want that nineties vibe.
The Six Nations isn’t far away, but the good news is you can wear a rugby shirt far beyond the tournament … just not a ‘real’ one. The trend is for retro stripes and pastels, rather than your favourite team’s kit, but the fashion rugby shirt is a comfortable way of updating your casualwear and perfect for a quick pint at the pub or a weekend walk. For designer inspiration, check out the SS20 runway at Prada, Liam Hodges and Marni, but if you’re after something more wallet-friendly, Adidas does a great line of retro styles. Its striped cotton-blend jersey rugby shirt takes its inspiration from 1990s strips, so you can manage to tick off two trends for just £55. Winning!
If you’re wedded to your ‘ugly’ trainers, consider a chunky sandal for spring. The trend was all over the catwalks, including at Prada, Loewe and Gucci, with varieties in thick leather and practical rubber. Inspiration seems to come from orthopaedic footwear, trainers and folksy footwear at Loewe.
Gucci's leather and mesh sandals are one of the most covetable, with reflective trims and thick rubber soles. They are quite a fashion statement (and at £615 will also be a big feature on your bank statement) but we predict they'll be plenty of copycats on the high street soon if these aren’t within your budget.
This summer, you might want to take some style tips from Stranger Things’ Jim Hopper (yes, really). Because bowling shirts are back. Iceberg, Marni and Dolce & Gabbana were among the fashion houses parading the distinctive shirts in every pattern imaginable. Whether you choose one that’s got a daring print, or a simple shirt in a bowling shape, this style is dead easy to throw on with jeans or shorts, but will automatically earn you fashion brownie points.
We like Visvim's camp-collar printed voile shirt, which is decorated with vintage-style pennants for different North American cities. At £750 this is a shirt for real fashion enthusiasts (it's made using a traditional Japanese printing technique) but it shows how an unusual pattern can be surprisingly wearable.
The double denim trend may not be for everyone, but if you’re a huge fan of jeans, you might want to go the whole hog and wear them with a jacket to be on-trend this spring. On the catwalk, denim suits, utility-wear inspired co-ords, tasselled shirts and matchy-matchy bomber jackets reigned supreme. But, you can embrace the trend by pairing a new denim jacket (tasselled, western, bomber or 70s-style) with some trusty jeans…although wear bell bottoms if you really want to be daring.
A classic denim jacket is a great investment, whether it’s by Levi’s or a high-end designer. Tom Ford’s denim jacket is made from dark-wash denim that's lightly faded and features classic details like flap pockets, saffron stitching and adjustable waist tabs. It costs a heart-stopping £870, but we bet you’ll wear it forever.
Double breasted jackets
It’s easy to overlook suits. They are usually an investment, so we tend to hang onto them, but if you’re looking for a way to update your workwear, a double-breasted jacket is it. Seen on practically every runway, the most fashionable also have pinstripes, seen at Saint Laurent, for example.
Oliver Spencer’s ‘Onslow’ jacket is a more timeless and traditional take on the trend. It has a double-breasted front that creates the illusion of a structured shape, but as it's only half-canvassed and lightly padded, it actually feels quite relaxed. Woven from a wool and cotton-blend, it's cut with sharp peak lapels, and has more casual features like single-buttoned cuffs and patch pockets. At £480 it’s a sizeable investment, but can be dressed up and down as needed.
If you have a festival lined up for this summer or just love lounging on the beach, you may want to embrace the tie dye trend. There were some pretty out-there examples on the catwalk, sometimes paired with bleached denim, but Dior presented a more muted and luxe take on this slightly tricky trend.
For a wearable way of freeing your inner hippy, plump for a muted t-shirt. John Elliot’s ‘University’ tie dye t-shirts are one of a kind, which you might expect for £250. But the refined details, carefully-finished ribbed edges and sophisticated colour make them easy to wear and a grown-up take on the tie dye trend.
Loads of pockets
Sometimes it’s small details that make a big difference. This spring/summer, it’s all about putting extra pockets on, well, everything. T-shirts can have cute breast pockets, utility cargo trousers are back and field jackets are In vogue. Take your inspiration from Prada or Louis Vuitton, where functional designs (with loads of space for pens, biros and everything else) were imagined in luxurious fabrics like soft suede.
Visvim’s ‘Pilar’ fisherman shearling-trimmed cotton canvas gilet treads the fine line between functional and fashionable, utilitarian and luxe. Made from hard-wearing canvas, its trimmed with luxurious shearling. But its most obvious feature is the tonnes of pockets, including a big one on the back. At £1,890, the price tag is as eye-catching as the extra pockets, but it’s one of the pieces of the season.