8 Must-Wear SS20 Menswear Trends

Everything but the weather tells us that spring is about to arrive.

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Man wearing a Louis Vuitton floral jacket and white shorts for SS20
Jacket by Louis Vuitton

Looking to the months ahead, a slew of SS20 previews tell us what to expect from March all the way through August.

As you update your wardrobe, look to include the following:

Man wearing a pastel Sulvam soft suit
Suit by Sulvam

Pastels

Menswear’s gotten a bit lighter – shade wise, that is – but even rich hues and neon shades sport a dusty patina that’s reminiscent of a faded photograph. In short, Spring Summer 2020 is the season where every shade, to some degree, becomes a pastel.

The trick, then, is figuring out how everything fits together, without your look resembling a basket of Easter eggs.

For starters, the most pervasive pastel trend in SS20 is the monochrome suit. It’s a bit Miami, especially when you pair it with lightweight, unlined linen, but there’s also a strong feminine undercurrent, too, especially once you blend it with lace or satin.

On the other hand, monochrome takes the easy way out. Those up for a challenge ought to try color-blocking pastels. Here, though, instead of pairing them with darker neutrals like navy or going light all over, match warm-toned pastel tones, like pink and yellow, to deeper, slightly darker cool ones, like a muted green, blue, or even brown.

Man wearing a light green satin trousers for SS20

Satin in SS20

The material known for its shimmery sheen, soft, lightweight feel, and pajama-like drape took over the runways at SS20 Fashion Week without being especially obtrusive. Rather, the louche-y look – think a half-opened buttoned shirt and a relaxed suit hanging from your frame – is everywhere, and satin fits precisely within that vision.

It’s a slight nod to the late Hugh Hefner, but at the same time, it’s like lounging around in your pajamas. The soft, shiny material, often paired with a pastel shade, further seems like something you’d spot in a Harry Styles video – perhaps paired with high-waist trousers – but leaving all the Gucci allusions aside, you could easily see yourself lounging at home in a two-piece set.

To sum it up, satin made a strong impression, and we’re all wondering, “Why didn’t we wear this before?”

Man wearing an orange Emporio Armani suit with lots of pockets
Suit by Emporio Armani

Lots of Pockets

As one of the biggest forces behind this trend, cargo pants are riding the wave of revived late ‘90s and early ‘00s styles.

This time around, however, you’re not getting an extra set of flap pockets on a pair of khakis. Rather, the styles pull from hiking and ravewear – these aren’t the preppy digs you remember, if you’re a certain age – and add pockets simply for the sake of it.

Pants, however, aren’t the only place for a pocket or two. Building upon the momentum of 2018’s safari jacket, they’re anywhere and everywhere, adding utility qualities to garments that otherwise would’ve been seen as fashion and nothing more.

Yet, while the extra pockets present an opportunity to avoid carrying around a bag, you’re not a perpetual tourist. Don’t overstuff them with your personal belongings and expect to look polished.

Man wearing an orange animal print trousers SS20

Animal Prints

This trend manifests in a few different forms. For one, designers take it literally and by-the-numbers: slapping a recognizable leopard, zebra, or tiger stripe print all over a garment, and calling it a day.

As the next step up – and one particularly hammered home by Hedi Slimane’s latest Celine collection – the textured animal print adds a fuzzy or furry element that gives it a luxurious quality without using actual fur.

Taking things up yet another level, SS20 animal prints, in both striped and spotted forms, serve as the template for color experimentation. Perhaps some neons or pastels, or even two disparate colors that you ordinarily wouldn’t associate with animal print are suddenly thrown together in a more organic way.

Man wearing a splattered pattern top and trousers

Splattered Patterns

No single technique creates this custom look. Rather, higher-end streetwear resembles a DIY project: tie-dyed in multiple colors, like a T-shirt you might’ve had in the ‘90s, acid-washed for a particularly stark yet static-heavy appearance, or bleached as if you took a paintbrush to flick some Clorox over a pair of canvas work pants or denim.

No two look like – and that’s fully intentional – but it’s not uncommon to see a matching top and bottom with the same splattered pattern mottling the fabric.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to whether you’re eyeing something multicolored – that’s where tie-dye excels – or if you’re looking to add a bit of bleach and literal whitespace to your look.

Man wearing a Dior soft suit for SS20
Suit by Dior

Casual Suits

Menswear has a love-hate relationship with suiting. On one hand, its classic status receives a regular degree of reverence, but as the surge of streetwear-influenced silhouettes over the past few years has shown, it gets a bit ordinary.

Yes, it’s perfectly fine for a job interview, wedding, or even cocktail hour, but beyond those occasions, it gets very little action.

The casual suit – in the same vein as the louche-y satin mentioned above – in SS20 presents not so much a compromise but more of a reworking for the modern man. No, with its draped silhouette, softer shoulders, and double-breast crossing the torso, you definitely won’t be wearing this to a job interview.

Rather, reviving the casually colored suit last seen in the 1980s, leisure and luxury merge into a single set that pays homage to its origins yet borrows liberally from streetwear fits. In short, it’s a suit you can fully chill out in.

Man wearing a Fendi long shirt
Shirt by Fendi

Longer Shirts

Taking the shirttail tee to new lengths, SS20 menswear sees a ubiquitous tunic-like fit that resembles not quite a dress yet looks a little too long and feels too flowy to be a shirt. If SS20 season’s trends could be summed up with a single garment, it’s this one:

We’re liking things longer, wider, and lighter, and the gendered element plays less and less a role. Thus, while the visuals are full-on leisure – although not quite ones you’d want to pair with a casual suit – the feeling is an absence of restrictions.

Man wearing a preppy style Prada shirt for SS20
Shirt by Prada

Reworked Preppy

Whether your vision is ‘90s sportswear or ‘80s pleats, pastels, and polos, it’s all back. But, much of it has been run through a Pete Davidson-esque lens, where the colors are too bright, the fits on the large side, and the old-school matchy-matchy quality is gone. Today’s preppy-leaning guy prefers a rave – and his attire shows it – and he’s not afraid of a few hip-hop allusions, either.

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