Fashion stylists advise that you should always buy key items that you will get most wear in, and invest in the best quality whenever you can. Darker colours and wardrobe staples such as blazers do win in the cost to wear ratio and can easily relate to the adage of ´can I wear this with 6 different outfits? ´ With regards to all this, the coat is usually the biggest purchase of any season and with this in mind, it should be tame enough to compliment your entire wardrobe. However, in fashion there are exceptions to every rule and many designers such as Haider Ackermann and Gucci have been turning the tables on this sage advice above.
This season, outerwear has something of a wild moment with everything from fur to embroidery which were served in wild patterns with an even wilder price tag. Far from sensible, these pieces were however manufactured to the finest quality plus adding in a feel good factor of fun gives some good reasons as to why you should loosen up your wardrobe and bend your style to fit your coat – literally.
Where last year’s hit souvenir jacket (Sukajan) trended, this year it’s all about the statement coat, Maybe it’s the more favourable weather climes or Instagram being the new fashion currency which means outerwear, as far as being practical is also pleading to be noticed.
¨ The most important pairing for a statement coat is confidence as people will certainly be sure to stare and maybe take photos, which will certainly do your likes and hashtags wonders on social media ¨ – Charles Daniel McDonald
Charlie & Joe Casely-Hayford speckled their overcoats in magic eye patterns while at Dries Van Noten, coats came in paisley prints with removable fur collars and military decoration with patchwork bombers gracing the floor. Louis Vuitton and Kim Jones also summarised this trend by turning the classic trench into a talking point with marbled effects and fur belts.
Less Is More Is More
The runway made its style loud and proud. Normally outerwear is understated so it only takes smaller twists to turn subtle into something stunning. Prada, Raf Simons and Maison Margiela went full statement with oversized shapes and extended sleeves whilst establishing these bolder silhouettes in muted shades. The trick to achieving these looks are not to make too many statements at once, because no one will know what you’re trying to say. The converse is true if you decide to brighten up your day; it’s completely acceptable to wear embroidery, patterns or acid shades as long as you get the fit absolutely right. If you feel brocade is a little too much then you can always turn to the season’s fabric biggest trend – the check pattern.
Tone Underwear Down
The statement coat will only work if the rest of your outfit is more conservative. Print, pattern and bold design features demand that you need to have a strategy for the rest of your outfit. Whatever your jacket says should be reflected in the rest of your look; by mixing pop colours with monochromes, blacks and whites, or marrying pastels with neutrals like beige and stone will give you a greater chance of pulling the look off. The same philosophy can be applied to patterns – team larger checks with smaller prints or plainer fabrics and avoid clashing patterns at all costs regardless of any exceptions to the rule you may hear. The trick is to choose one statement piece then pair it with more classic textures. You can contrast silky bombers with cashmere and layer a black denim jacket beneath a thick woollen overcoat. This attention to detail will give your look depth instead of having you looking like a walking after-thought.
As your hem lines slide up, push the statement style up in parallel. Again, this season the bomber jacket has transitioned yet again from a passing trend to a wardrobe staple which appeared in practically every designers collection ( with Vetements featuring some enviable boxy, drop shoulder details.) Building on last summer’s cult souvenir jackets style, this season the bombers got blinged up – from ASOS´s floral embroidery to River Island’s faux fur trim igniting the high street with colour and kitsch.
This season saw an emergence of workwear and ´utilitarian´ styles which were suitable for everything but actual work. The worker jacket might sport punchy patches as seen from la Kitsune, or dip-dyed denim and tags which Christopher Shannon favoured for his season, all with shapes that would pair well with jeans and heavy-duty boots but not actually physical work.
More fabric deepens your sartorial statement, so for bigger outerwear’s try to exercise discipline. A bright block colour is statement enough – no one will go unnoticed in head to toe orange. Alternatively you can obey the rule that the devil is in the detail and stick to visual reliefs such as Kolor’s grey-on-grey leopard print hems. This season’s silhouettes are voluminous, so it is better to welcome layers. Currently, we are also seeing robe styles which are a more laid back alternative to the sharper silhouettes – just keep those layers underneath slim fitting.
As we should all know by now, the trench is one of men’s most versatile wardrobe pieces. It compliments tailoring and dresses down with denim which is possibly why as far as making a statement goes – you’re best avoiding anything too alternative. There are some subtle embellishments like Marni’s canary yellow pockets or J.W. Anderson’s snail details which speak volumes on a traditionally conservative piece meaning you could still possibly wear it with your suit.
Historically cherished by the mods, this season’s parkas will infuriate rockers cross country; Christopher Shannon played visually with patchworks and Sacaiand Gosha Rubchinskiy took their statement to marigold yellow (which you can get away with if your brand has that kind of prestige).
Even when the manufacture and materials are on the more luxurious end, the utilitarian pedigree remains; so you can mix even the wildest patterns and shades with dark jeans or khaki cargo pants. One added plus is that there’s nothing to clash in your sensible wardrobe with your crazy new buy, so it turns out that you can wear it with everything after all.
Article: Charles Daniel McDonald