GET READY FOR COLOUR AND PATTERN David Water, Associate Style Editor, Men%27s Health magazine

It has become something of a cliché in the fashion world that womenswear is always pushing the envelope of design creativity while menswear, like a murky form of pond life, is merely… evolving. Yet, this spring, it’s time for womenswear to make some room at the top.

The shift was due to the talent of a raft of home-grown fashion designers such as Jonathan Saunders, Richard Nicholl, Christopher Kane and Agi & Sam who, over the past couple of years, have channelled their creativity into producing ever-more impressive men’s clothes that never stint on bold use of colour, pattern or innovative fabrics. And just as these clothes have hit the rails, a bunch of high-profile, style-conscious men from the worlds of the arts, media, sport and music have been more than happy to be photographed and filmed wearing them. Benedict Cumberbatch, David Gandy, Dermot O’Leary and Tinie Tempah are the kind of celebrities who have embraced these trends, and they look confident and stylish in them.

Fortunately, you needn’t ditch your whole wardrobe to revamp it in the light of these innovations. Just one item, for example, the brick-red John Lewis & Co mac, pulled over a slim-fit T-shirt or jumper adds a hit of colour to your look without making you squint. And you don’t have to wear the eye-searing Op Art patterns of Christopher Kane and Christopher Raeburn’s sportswear to look up-to-the-minute and well turned out. A printed short-sleeved shirt worn with a Harrington-style jacket creates a similar effect and, mercifully, at a fraction
of the price. 

When it comes to the sort of kit you probably need to wear for work or to a spring wedding (be it a suit, tailored jacket or ‘anything but jeans’), a simple variation on slim fit and sharp is what will give your image ‘now’ appeal. Flat-front trousers, one- or two-buttoned suits paired with brogues or suede shoes are contemporary styles to go for.

Kin by John Lewis can help on all counts. And, while checks and stripes may be clashing on the catwalk collections of Louis Vuitton and Lanvin this spring, by simply adding a touch of pattern with a checked shirt, top or lightweight jumper, you’re stepping in the right style direction.