The Top 5 Menswear Trends for Spring 2012

By Nora Fiore , last updated February 9, 2012

Eminently wearable, the top spring trends for menswear have flocked the runways of 2012, which means good news for hunters of the elusively awesome outfit. A real benefit of this year’s fashion for males resides in the fashion biodiversity, so to speak: you’ll discover something for every species of guy roaming the animal kingdom. So, rather than going by itty-bitty features, like unobtrusive collars, the following list attempts a more “big picture” perspective. Check out this fashion field guide of the overall looks that you’ll want to ambush and adapt to your wardrobe.

Double-Breasted Daredevil (Indigenous to Europe)

Snappy and impressive, double-breasted suits have stood out at almost every major fashion week show, such as those by Diesel, Gucci, and Burberry, among others. No more about broad intimidation or inflated figures, the new models aim for slick, brashly at-home cuts that will entice a new generation of suit-wearers. Very refined and European in their sartorial élan, the double-breasted designs of today shine with vigor, playfulness, and the occasional fun texture. And, if you really want to push the 2012 vibe, snatch up a double-breasted suit with rust or burgundy undertones (or just flat-out orange, for that matter). Show off your mating plumage, and prove that you can pull it off.

1970’s Cool Cat

With the turtleneck rising again, and velvet suits and blazers cruising the runways as a big favorite, we can conclude that the fashion world just can’t quit the 1970s. So, grab a chunky, multi-pocketed jacket, like the ones showing up at Etro, and throw it over your printed shirt with some jeans. Swagger into the fray knowing that Hutch has got you covered!

Tweedy Peacock (Formerly Endangered Species)

Dandyism and the gentleman eccentric have stepped back in the spotlight thanks to a celebrity-modeled Prada show and Burberry’s so-stuffy-it’s-cool runway ensembles. Even if you don’t dig parliamentary procedure, there’s no reason why you can’t rock a checkered high George jacket, a fitted tweedy suit, a silky bowtie, or a long fur-lapelled topcoat, like the ones that stampeded at Dolce & Gabbana in Milan. Often accessorized with equally tweedy Gatsby caps, umbrellas, envelope clutches, and, at Prada’s show, steampunk red glasses, this trend will please the discerning gentleman known for majesty and wit.

Fuzzy-Coated Mountain Hanger

Alpine chic has slammed into the runways and awoken dazed but triumphant. This trend means that, yes, it is okay to walk around with shaggy fur-lined coats with toggle buttons, but only if you could picture it at, say, St. Moritz. Long retro alpine rescue coats with hoods and fuzzy Icelandic or paneled sweaters, and bulky Euro sport jackets also elaborate on the motif with panache designed for adventures off piste (not to be confused with piste off, which is when you forget your flask at the lodge).

Well-Tailored Dark Rover

Bringing together Quadrophenia tactics and James Bond flair, the “scary chic” look offers the perfect counterpart to some of the camp and casual ensembles that have emerged this season. Think structured leather jackets with a futuristic flair and long ultramarine or jewel-toned topcoats worn over sharp, sleek suits that just beg to do some strutting. Outerwear with hoods, wide lapels, and cape-like, but stable, silhouettes in leather and wool (see the Milan Armani show and Mugler’s latest creations) meet sharply disciplined black or charcoal grey suits, similar to those at Jil Sander. Combine the two deep, shadowy fashion threads for a look that’s part arch villain and part superhero.

So, if you’re looking to upgrade your fashion style, the solution is simple. Stop gawking, and don’t hesitate: capture one of these looks for your wardrobe menagerie!

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