Wrapping up warm doesn’t have to mean losing your edge. Hannah Beesley takes a look at the latest male trends to hit the high street in time for Christmas
This winter sees the rise of five-year-old party chic. Obviously not the whole hog; no hiding under trestle tables and chucking sausage rolls at people. Craig Rushworth at River Island agrees: “All the stuff you remember from your childhood is definitely coming back around.” The central idea is clear: if your Mum tried to make you wear it fifteen years ago, the chances are you should be wearing it now.
Now, before you start panicking with all-too-vivid images of scratchy, hand-made-by-your-gran style items, the idea is not literal.
Unrecognizable knitted attempts at popular cartoon characters are not cool. Neither are red braces. Ever. However, classic items such as duffle coats, cable knit jumpers and cords are back with a vengeance. One obvious perk of wearing such items is that they are so practical. Warm, hard wearing and easy to find on the high street, this seems to be the perfect winter trend.
The autumn/winter shows offered ‘kiddy cool’ highlights with Calvin Klein showing big fur-trimmed parka coats, and even dungarees – surely part of everyone’s childhood at one time or another. However, exercise relative caution: dungarees may work on the catwalk, but may not blend in too happily on campus. John Galliano took the ‘grumpy child in over-sized coat’ look rather too literally with his giant tartan coats, the kind even on-trend York is not quite ready for. If designer style is a little beyond the remaining dregs of your loan, don’t worry. The high street has caught on almost instantly to this season’s leading trend. Topman is, as usual, the first place to go if you’re looking for what’s hot this winter. They continually offer good quality items which are definitely in vogue at affordable prices, as well as offering that essential student discount. Check out their stripy scarf (£12) and ‘No Way Mum!’ style chunky knitted cardigan (£45). They also have a fantastic beige cord duffel coat (£65), which epitomises this look.
anything touchy- feely or snuggly is perfect this season
Gucci has been more subtle, using traditional children’s clothes fabrics such as corduroy and shearling in a stylish, polished collection. Due to the nature of fabrics such as cord, there is the hazard of buying into this trend and looking a: actually five, or b: about 50. To prevent your cords from looking dated, and let’s face it, they are reminiscent of geography teachers and amateur dramatics enthusiasts, try to find thin ‘needlepoint’ cord or distressed/customized versions. River Island has a fantastic pair of beige worn cords for £29.99, and French Connection’s “twist” cords are a cool £85. Definitely too cool for village hall parties.
If this is all sounding a little too childish, there are still ways to join in on this fashion jolly. Key elements can be picked out from collections such as Gucci to maintain a sophisticated image. One central feature of five year old chic is fabrics. Texture is essential and anything touchy-feely or snuggly is perfect. Shearling and sheepskin were huge on the catwalks and are perfect for the near-Baltic temperatures we are currently enduring in Yorkshire. Luxury brand Valentino should be your designer influence, but River Island has good copies. Find their short chocolate brown shearling jacket (£49.99) for snuggly cool. This great fabric can also be found in gloves and hats for extra warmth without sacrificing style. Another essential texture, which has not been drawn from children’s fashion, is leather. Distressed leather is particularly popular this season. See Topman, again, for their limited edition black leather jacket (£150 – make sure you don’t forget your NUS card!).
Colour is another way to update your wardrobe this winter. According to gq-magazine.co.uk, men should “venture onto new soil with earthy hues”. We all get bored of denim, navy and black sometimes, so dark chocolates, russets and deep greens make a welcome change. An interesting colour choice is a cheap nod to winter trends without the need for a total wardrobe overhaul.
Whether you are going for full-on trendy kiddie cool, or favouring more subtle influences, this is a look to have a lot of fun with. It’s time to remember the innocent pleasure of parties before snakebite and trebles for singles and relive it now you’re all grown up.