Menswear has been going through something of a transition. For the past few seasons we’ve seen a dominance of what can be broadly termed “heritage” looks – you know the kind of thing; trainspotter anoraks teamed with cut-off denim shorts and the ubiquitous massive beard. It was beginning to look predictable and in need of refreshment. Thankfully, this spring (yes, I know, Singapore doesn’t have a spring, but the fashion world does…) doesn’t disappoint and menswear is looking sharper, crisper and more sartorial; more suited to cocktails by the infinity pool than a pint of snakebite in the garden of a grubby pub.
EX man’s must-have items
Print and pattern are set to dominate menswear in the coming months, and your Style Advisor (that’ll be me) recommends you invest in a patterned shirt or two in preparation for those big nights out on Club Street or barbies by the pool.
All the big hitters of the fashion world have included a statement shirt in their collections, giving you plenty of options to be as adventurous as you like. It all depends on how far you want to stand out from the crowd, but you should definitely be channelling your inner Magnum P.I. and going for something loud and floral.
If that doesn’t take your fancy then try a geometric pattern, or for a more sophisticated take then opt for a contrast texture instead.
Be warned: mixing and matching patterns might seem like a bold expression of your fashion know-how; the truth is that you’ll look like a walking migraine, so always team it with something plain. I particularly like some of the ranges showcased by Gitman Vintage and Hentsch Man, but if these are a little out of your price range then asos.com and wearetuktuk.com also have a great selection of similar but more affordable items.
Smarten up your jeans and t-shirt by investing in a lightweight casual blazer, but make sure you go for something unstructured and relaxed or you’ll end up looking like a librarian on his day off. And it goes without saying that “light” is the key word when attempting to wear a second layer of clothing in Singapore.
British designer Oliver Spencer does the relaxed sartorial look better than most, and he uses European fabrics and British manufacturing so you know you’re getting quality that will last for years. He counts Blur’s Alex James and actor Michael Fassbender among his clientele. Check out his SS14 trends in the video above.
If you’re feeling brave then there’s an emerging trend for the blazer and shorts look, but get it wrong and your mates will never let you live it down.
Maybe it’s modern man’s obsession with running or maybe it’s because they’re so damn comfy, but the sneaker is enjoying a renaissance.
The right choice of footwear is something that many men neglect, but a decent set of kicks can make an outfit really stand out, and women like nothing more than a chap in well-chosen footwear – just look at how many pairs of shoes your missus owns to give you an idea of how important they are to the opposite sex.
This season, banish the boat shoes and make room for a pair of hi-tech trainers. There are plenty of options out there from catwalk and designer to the more sport-specific. Online retailer mrporter.com is well worth checking out for the variety of price and design on offer, from camo print Valentino trainers at wallet-busting digits, to a more sensible New Balance at a more bank-balance-friendly price.
I particularly like the MiUSA New Balance 997, which retail at around $299, and also the Nike Pegasus Lunarlon – I can comfortably wear them with jeans, but also go running in them, which should appeal to the inner cheapskate in all of you.