Accessories really come into their own in the warmer spring and summer months; they’re the finishing touches to any outfit. But when your outfit consists of a T-shirt and shorts, sometimes they’re the only touches that you can add, at least without spontaneously combusting.
Thankfully, there are other ways to look fire in the heat: or more specifically for this season, four of them, which we’ve identified here. (You could even wear all of them at the same time without overheating, if you’re so inclined.) What’s more, these additions are also a useful and affordable – well, in most cases – way to freshen up your wardrobe without forking out for a whole new one.
If you’ve got an eye for up-to-the-minute details, then these are the details that you should have your eye on for SS16. Because we’re all about seasonal ingredients.
Backpacks have been a carryover trend for the past couple of seasons. But for SS16, they’re holding an even higher status.
“We’re seeing really strong sales of what we’ve dubbed the ‘boardroom backpack’,” says Damien Paul, head of menswear at MATCHESFASHION.com. “Backpacks have been one of our strongest bag categories for some time, but this season they’ve become much more polished and grown-up.”
Think exquisite leather, high-end hardware and a vibe that’s less oversized and tippexed than the baggy, low-slung versions of your school days. “We’re selling versions from Bottega Veneta, Fendi and Valextra, and they’re being used as a more modern update on carrying a briefcase everywhere,” says Paul. One that you can also get your gym kit in.
Fashion brands are all aboard the backpack bandwagon. But Darren Skey, head of menswear buying at Harvey Nichols, is tipping an OG luggage-maker. “As menswear has become progressively functional in recent seasons, so have accessories for SS16,” he says. “Japanese accessories brand Porter-Yoshida is renowned for intricate design and manufacture. The aesthetically slick bags – still made in Japan today – are constructed in durable nylon that is impervious to both dirt and water.” And sand, presumably.
A word of warning: if you’re taking your upmarket backpack to the boardroom, keep the straps away from the delicately constructed shoulders of your tailored jackets. It’s enough to make us (and your blazer) weep.
- Dexter Roll Top Backpack
- Porter Force Black Nylon Backpack
- Want Les Essentiels De La Vie Kastrup Canvas Backpack
- Saint Laurent Hunting Canvas And Leather Backpack
- Reiss Bolton Suede And Leather Backpack Black
- River Island Black Minimal Backpack
- Eastpak Frick Backpack
- Michael Kors Kent Nylon Backpack
- Asos Smart Canvas Backpack In Black
You don’t have to be a fashion psychic to know that sunglasses are going to be key in your warm-weather accessories arsenal. But for SS16, round shades are enjoying their time in the sun.
“It’s time to step away from the traditional Wayfarer and Clubmaster and invest in one of the variations of round sunglasses for this season,” says Alisha Chadha, men’s accessory and swimwear buyer at Urban Outfitters. “Whether it’s a vintage look with a traditional penny round, or a more subtle play on the trend with demi-rounds, there are styles to suit all faces.”
The only real exception is, of course, if you have a round face, in which case you would be better advised to overlook this trend in favour of angular frames that lend some much-needed definition to your spherical countenance. Otherwise, get your John Lennon on.
It’s not just the shape of your lenses that you should focus on though. “One of the key trends for eyewear is a pair of flat-lens sunglasses,” says Luke Raymond, menswear fashion editor at ASOS. “This minor change to the usual convex lens instantly updates a classic shape and gives you something fresh for the season.”
Failing that, you can always re-deploy an old faithful: “Aviators aren’t going anywhere and really accessorise the military aesthetic that is so popular at the moment.”
- Round-frame Sunglasses
- Urban Outfitters Metal Inlay Round Matte Tortoiseshell Sunglasses
- Urban Outfitters Tortoise Demi Round Sunglasses
- Ray-ban Arista Round-frame Metal Sunglasses
- Illesteva Porto Cervo Round-frame Stainless Steel Sunglasses
- Monokel Barstow Sunglasses
- River Island Silver Tone Small Round Sunglasses
- Cutler And Gross Round-frame Acetate Sunglasses
- 3.1 Phillip Lim Pl77 Round Keyhole Sunglasses
Have we reached peak baseball cap? Or peak describing-things-as-peak? Who can say. But judging by this introduction, we’d wager not.
What we can confidently state, though, is that there was a metric sh*t-ton of baseball caps on the SS16 catwalks. Everyone from Versace to Salvatore Ferragamo via Calvin Klein Collection was showing the headgear du jour. (Tip of the hat also to Balmain.)
Like the backpack trend, the most on-point examples are elevated by premium materials like leather and wool, in line with the prevailing sports luxe wind blowing through menswear. Again, the object is to avoid looking like an errant teen. Or William Hague. Frankly though, this writer would take anything over those affected fedoras. Seriously guys, that Great Gatsby thing is dead in the water.
The baseball caps by trad American manufacturer Ebbets Field Flannels – a frequent collaborator with other brands – are pitch-perfect. Or check out the wool ones produced for Reiss by storied UK hatmaker Christys’ this season, complete with contrast moleskin peaks. A guaranteed home run.
- Ebbets Field Flannels New York Black Yankees 1936 Cap
- Norse Projects Fake Suede 6 Panel Cap
- Ted Baker Tinghat Woven Baseball Cap
- Balmain Leather And Cotton Baseball Cap
- A.p.c. Coated Cotton-blend Baseball Cap
- Larose Jute Baseball Cap
- Asos Snapback Cap In Black Denim
- Reclaimed Vintage Baseball Cap In Navy
- Reiss British Christys Wool Baseball Cap
Hopefully by now you’ve come to terms with the concept of ‘mewellery’, if not the cringeworthy nomenclature. Because, according to those in the know, things are about to get a lot more bling.
“We’ve seen a move on from bracelets in the jewellery department for SS16,” says Simon Spiteri, accessories buyer at Mr Porter. “More is more in terms of jewellery trends. Bracelets are still prevalent, with the addition of necklaces by brands like Peyote Bird, who have a rich cultural heritage in the southwest of America and specialise in turquoise – which are made for layering up with other types of metals, leather and beading.”
We’d suggest keeping the layering to your wrist, lest you start to give off Mr T on a gap year jaunt round southeast Asia. Joking aside, if you’ve got the stones to pull it off, then a necklace is a good way to add interest to an otherwise plain T-shirt or vest. And if you don’t want to stick your neck out, there’s always your wrist.
“Layering these different types of metals, leathers and beads also works really well when accompanied with a watch,” says Spiteri. “Opt for a classic style of watch to balance out a bolder choice of bracelet.” And dial down the hippy overtones by giving the impression that you still have to be on time for something.
- Peyote Bird Sterling Silver Turquoise Jet And Shell Bracelet
- Seven London Leather Wrap Bracelet In Brown
- Ted Baker Bracelet Plaited Leather Wrap
- Miansai Nylon Woven Bracelet With Gold Bead Detailing
- Simon Carter Leather And Semi Precious Bracelet Pack Exclusive To Asos
- Maison Margiela Engraved Silver Bar Necklace
- A.p.c. Coin Necklace
- Vivienne Westwood Necklace With Tooth Pendant
- James Tanner Sterling Silver Geometric Pendant Necklace
Is the style god in these details? Or are these accessories to the fashion crime?