Recent suit trends have been resolutely one-dimensional – slim. Collections from almost every major designer and Savile Row tailor have been overwhelmingly slanted towards this classic look.
The spring/summer collections take this baton and run – but there is a more adventurous feel to the latest trends. Perhaps the most stand-out feature on the menswear catwalks is the proliferation of plaid. An office-friendly way to work this look – not a million miles from Don Draper-style Mad Men chic – is to mix two similar colours in the check: greys or grey with pale blue work very well. Worn with a dandyish flourish in the breast pocket, like the magnificent Alexander McQueen (right), this is a key look.
The other essential is pleated trousers with a tapered leg, giving a sharp, fitted look. This style runs across the board this spring.
As far as fit, slim is still the look – but shoulders on 2012 suits are getting wider, giving a more masculine profile. This also opens up the slim suit to broader figures. Single breasted suits remain the staple but double breasted ones are creeping back. If you opt for the double breast – ideal for stockier builds – the cut should be high, returning to the traditional, country-style look.
In line with the more adventurous outlook, you can be more flexible with suit colours this year. Whereas City workers have traditionally been very limited, this season there are plenty of options for the sharp-suited salaryman – even browns, which were unthinkable a year ago.
For the more extroverted – and very much weather dependent – the seersucker suit is a great, fun alternative this summer. Think light and go for muted blues or grey rather than the vivid blues you might have on your bed sheets. A nicely tailored seersucker suit, like the Paul Smith below, is comfortable, cool and very, very stylish.
Johnny Allen, head of sales at Savile Row stalwart H Huntsman said: “This spring has started to take things on from where we have been in terms of suits. Pleated fronts and more colour give a nice, distinctive style.
“What we call the glen check is very popular – as long as it is subtle. We’ve also seen a big demand for double breasted suits amongst our younger clients, where normally this has been the reserve of older ones. The cut is more traditional, as was the trend before Armani introduced longer jackets. You’ll see this style from the likes of Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren.”