The biggest trend in menswear right now? Taking it easy
Menswear moves like an off-kilter pendulum: Sometimes it goes forward, sometimes back—but it never returns to quite the same place.
This means that the tourniquet-tight suit that used to mark you as a man of the moment now marks you as a man out of sync. Instead, guys are seeking out a clean but relaxed fit that speaks to the way we live now: informally, adventurously, and unconcerned with just-so perfection. Ready to break down old codes in the office and out.
The new silhouette is about ease. It’s roomy but doesn’t revert to the circus-tent suits of the '80s and '90s. Pleats, for example, have made a comeback, but not the baggy pants that used to go with them. Rather, tiny half-inch pleats (or a drawstring waist, which has the same effect) give space at the thigh but taper down from the knee.
It’s a new world of comfort for men who thought their trouser legs had to be stuffed like sausage casings to look current. Elsewhere, makers have loosened the shape and structure of the blazer. Still more have flirted with athleisure. And major strides are being made to ensure your clothes feel softer and more luxurious without cutting corners on elegance.
Taken together, it’s a seismic style shift, the kind of change that only comes around every 15 years, give or take. So we assembled the best examples of the new look (buttery-soft bombers, a seersucker suit with stretch, drawstring pants that can hold their own in the workplace), threw them on some handsome guys, then brought in artist Richard Haines to get it all down on paper.
Haines, who started out in fashion design before switching lanes to sketch street style and runway shows, has a flowing, gestural style that perfectly captures the mood of these pieces. (For more of his work, check out his Instagram: @richard_haines.)
But we don’t need to draw you a picture to make our point: Your clothes are changing, and that’s a good thing. You’re about to look a whole lot cooler (and more comfortable, too).
Tuck and Roll
Time was, rag socks like these worked only on the trail. But with today’s high-low, boots-and-suits mentality, they’ll get a lot more mileage.
Trousers ($335) by Massimo Alba; massimoalba.com. Boots ($365) by Wolverine; wolverine.com. Socks ($23) by L.L.Bean; llbean.com.
The baseball stitch on this bomber sews up a raglan sleeve: a shoulder detail designed for easy-on, easy-off mobility.
Jacket ($13,100) by Hermès; hermes.com. T-shirt ($95) by Joseph Abboud; josephabboud.com. Trousers ($320) by Officine Générale; officinegenerale.com. Speedmaster Professional watch ($6,250) by Omega; omegawatches.com.
Take It Down a Notch
Closing the bottom button—not the middle—on a double-breasted jacket lengthens the lapel and gives your chest some breathing room.
Jacket ($2,875), T-shirt ($325), trousers ($675), and pocket square ($225) by Brunello Cucinelli; brunellocucinelli .com. Boots ($850) by Esquivel; amarees.com.
A woven cashmere blazer has all the comfort of a cardigan with just enough structure to keep you polished.
￼Jacket ($9,195), sweater ($4,500), and trousers ($3,340) by Kiton; kiton.it. T-shirt ($120) by Orlebar Brown; orlebarbrown.com.
Get Ready to Rumple
A silk-and-linen suit—like this one—will look loose and lived-in before you make it to lunchtime.
￼Jacket ($1,895) and trousers ($595) by Ralph Lauren; ralphlauren.com. Shirt ($125) by Polo Ralph Lauren; ralphlauren.com. Tie ($225) by Belvest; belvest.com. Boots ($950) by Esquivel; amarees.com.
Nothing says laid-back luxury like a soft suede jacket.
￼Jacket ($2,635) and sweater ($735) by Corneliani; corneliani. com. Trousers ($250) by Mr P.; mrporter.com. Shoes ($298) by the Frye Company; thefryecom- pany.com. Socks ($24; pack of three) by Gold Toe; goldtoe.com.
Tie it Together
A drawstring waist on tailored trousers means stretch instead of stress.
￼Jacket ($1,155), sweater ($415), and trousers ($315) by Z Zegna; zegna.com. Boots ($365) by Wolverine; wolverine.com.