Top 5 Menswear Trends – Spring/Summer 2012

Knitted Ties

This season, the knitted tie made a comeback with a vengeance! The once 80s must-have is reappearing back into men’s fashion with a new and modern twist. The new knitted tie is much slimmer, more light weight, and available in multiple colors and patterns. Unlike regular ties, knit ties have square bottoms and can be made out of cotton, wool, silk, or even cashmere. Because of the informal look of the tie, it’s the perfect piece to dress down any outfit without looking too casual!

For the upcoming spring season, choose to go with a cotton or silk tie to keep your neck cool in the summer months.  Also, try and start your knit tie collection with something simple such as a solid navy and go from there.

Below are a couple of photos from Nautica’s, J crew’s and Dsquared’s Spring 2012 collections featuring the knitted tie:

Colored Chinos

Colored chinos had to have been one of the biggest trends seen for the Spring/Summer 2012 season. Everyone from Ermenegildo Zegna to The Gap featured colored chinos and, in my opinion, it’s going to be a trend that is here to stay. Designers stayed away from the olive, black, beige, and grey chinos that all of us men already own, and instead concentrated on colors like orange, red, green, and even pastels, which is quite new for menswear. For most men this is a big leap out of their comfort zone but colored chinos can make the bold statement a black pant just cant. Another detail of note was the higher hemline, or cuff, that exposed the ankle. Most of this season’s chinos are made of cotton or linen but get them in seersuckers, pincords, and hopsacks to keep cool in the hot weather.

When wearing a colored chino, keep everything else subtle and let the emphasis be on your pants.  Pair your colored chinos with neutrals such as black, grey, and white and you will have an awesome fashion forward look.

Below are some shots of colored chinos on the runway:

Suede Wingtips

We usually think of suede as a fall or winter material, but this season, designers used suede to create some of the hottest must-have footwear for spring and summer. There is something distinctly British about the wingtip, or “brogues” as they are sometimes called. For the spring and summer, opt to go sockless with a slim trouser or chinos. Another interesting detail I found was that the wingtips of the spring and summer season had colored soles which tied them into the theme of the season: bold dashes of color on a neutral palette.

When choosing a suede wingtip, try and start with a very neutral color that can be worn with everything. Keep the shoe light in color since a lighter color will tie these shoes more easily into your summer wardrobe. As mentioned before, go sockless with these shoes and pair them with a slim trouser or chinos. If it’s an option, try to go for a bold colored sole as this will make the neutral color of the shoe pop.

Below are a couple of runway shots of suede wingtips:

Double Breasted Blazers

Whether it was as a sports jacket or with a full suit, the double breasted blazer made a comeback for the Spring/Summer 2012 season. The once over-sized and boxy suit of the 80s has been transformed into this season’s hottest formal wear piece. The new double breasted blazer is shorter in length, more tapered to the body, has two functional buttons, and features 6 buttons to give the wearer a more vertical and taller appearance. The majority of designers also opted for a peak lapel over the notch lapel which was also interesting. This new tailored version of the double breasted suit is slim enough that it can be worn casually with just a t-shirt.

Whether you choose to wear your blazer with chinos or matching trousers, make sure the pant is slim fitted. The new double breasted blazer is tapered and shorter, and to achieve the perfect silhouette, pair it with a pant that is also tapered and short. The high break in the pant combined with the shortness of the blazer and the vertical line of buttons on the jacket, gives the  illusion of a lengthened figure.

Below are a couple of runway shots of the double breasted blazer:

Horizontal Stripes

Horizontal stripes are one of those trends that come and go each season.  But for the Spring/Summer 2012 season, there were multiple designers who incorporated the iconic look in many different ways. Some designers used multiple thin stripes for a nautical feel, while others incorporated a single thick horizontal stripe that was very rugby or sportswear inspired. No matter the thickness of the stripe, this look is one that any man can add to his wardrobe because of its versatility and classic appeal. This trend also gives the illusion of a broader and larger upper body and is particularly beneficial for thinner men.

Below are a couple runway shots of men in different versions of the horizontal stripe:

Jonathan Cavaliere

Jonathan Cavaliere is the author and creator of the men's fashion and style blog, Mr. Cavaliere. Jonathan's goal is simple, he wants to "teach boys how to dress like men one blazer at a time".

  1. I just started working in the men's department of a luxury store, and am excited to find your blog. I want to ensure I am giving the best advice to my customers. So I'm following you on Twitter and have bookmarked your blog. Thank you! I love all the details – pocket squares, cuff links, colorful socks… they make men really look sharp.

  2. I just discovered your blog, so sorry if I sumibt a plethora of comments in quick succession. First off, I feel your pain when it comes to striking that balance. But wearing clothes wrong on purpose is not the answer. I dressed as casually as I could for work for many years. When I finally decided to straighten up and fly right, I was afraid to make such a drastic change, so I did it in steps. Like you, I wore my button-front shirts untucked, tails aflap in the wind. At work, I started wearing ties but I wore them loosened with my top collar button undone. Now that I’ve decided to wear traditional men’s clothing properly, I realize that those phases may have been necessary as I worked up the confidence, but they didn’t look good and made me seem like I was trying too hard.In the end, everyone has to decide how far from the herd they’re willing to stray, but if you find yourself having to tuck some of the shirt tail into your sweater to get the right amount of tail showing, you might be trying to hard.

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