You’ll be relieved to know that fashion is getting closer to normalcy. There were more IRL presentations during the recent Spring/Summer 2022 menswear run than in the previous two seasons combined, and the designers appeared to be happy as well, with the vast majority displaying a newfound creative vigor not seen during the recurrent lockdowns.
The greatest news is that the clothes on display were also significantly more fascinating to look at, write about, touch, and – hopefully – wear than what walked the digital and phygital (sorry) runways in recent seasons.
As a result, we’ve spent the last several weeks at British GQ compiling all of the most crucial trends to emerge from the upcoming season so that you have a full shopping and dressing guide when spring 2022 finally arrives.
From sleeveless dresses to the surge of cut-out vests, we’ve got you (and everything except your arms, apparently) covered.
1. Wait, your coat’s not a cardie?
You probably live in the UK, so you’re aware that the temperature in this nation is frequently teetering on the verge of being too warm for a coat and too chilly for a T-shirt. (It’s the cost of living on an island ruled by the whims of the Gulf Stream, people.) Fortunately, this season’s more astute menswear designers devised the brilliant notion of making jackets out of cardigans. Coats with cardigans! Coats that are actually cardigans, sometimes known as heavy-knit cardigans.
The best were at Dunhill, where design director Mark Weston paired his nana cardies with razor-edged two-pieces, and at Jil Sander, where pastel hues were the rule of the catwalk.
2. All about that sleeve-free life
We’ve been harping on about the sleeveless trend for a while, so pardon us if we start again. The shift was initially seen when a slew of designers, including Prada and Marni, began presenting cool sweater vests, and, more recently, Riccardo Tisci dedicated his entire menswear collection to the power of an exposed bicep.
3. Skirts and tunics and skorts, oh, my!
We’ve long believed that men should have the same freedom to show their legs (and smalls, if they so desire) as women, and it appears that the rest of the world’s menswear fraternity is following suit.
Taking cues from dress-wearing men everywhere – from Kid Cudi and A$AP Rocky to Ezra Miller and Harry Styles (not to mention all the kameez, lungi, and dhoti-wearing dudes throughout the world) – a satisfyingly diverse range of businesses got in on the Spring/Summer 2022 trend.
Micro-skorts were popular at Burberry and Prada, while gown-like tunics were popular at Fendi, GMBH, and Rick Owens. If you intend to wear your own skirt, kilt, tunic, or tabard next summer, go for it, because you only have one.
4. They’re suits, but not as you know them
It’s no secret that the way we dress for work has irreversibly changed. When it used to be all about wearing a grey sharkskin two-piece with a shirt five days a week, even the most sartorially conservative businesses are starting to relax their ties.
It’s perhaps unsurprising, that the brands that have traditionally placed tailored garments at the heart of their seasonal offerings have completely rethought their approach to “the suit” for SS22, opting for easy-wearing two-pieces that can be worn as easily on the sofa as they can in an office or for a quick trip to the corner shop.
5. Tutti-frutti er’thang
It turns out that the world’s most influential menswear designers are as sick of grey marl, navy towelling, and black jersey as we are. The extraordinary array of colour on display on the runways in London, Milan, and Paris provided proof.
Color-bleed rainbow designs could be found at Fendi, Casablanca, and Louis Vuitton, respectively, on oversized intarsia T-shirts and hooded safari jackets fashioned from the best leathers. Garish patterns inspired by Italian summers found its way onto suits at Dolce & Gabbana and Moschino, while degradé fruit salad sweet tones made for ultra-desirable sweaters at Etro and Hermès.