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?
Sure time travel sounds awesome, but try going back a hundred years and everyone will look at you like you’re some kind of weirdo. Try being a dude rocking skinny jeans in the early 1900s and see how far that gets you. And heaven help you if you’re a woman.
In fact, fashions have drastically changed for both men and women over the past hundred years.
The folks over at Mode took a trip through the last century to look at how styles changed over the years.
This is what gals and guys dressed like in the ’20s.
And in the ’30s they classed it up even more.
Hats persisted in the ’40s and we started getting into Mad Men territory.
In the ’60s, colors got bolder for both genders.
The ’70s brought flowing fashions for women and ungodly polyester suits for men.
And things got totally awesome in the ’80s.
Check out all of the fashions in the video below.
Jaden Smith, the cross-dressing teen son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, doesn’t see the big fuss about men wearing feminine clothing and hopes to transform the world into a “utopia,” in part by freeing people from bills and other financial obligations.
In a recent interview for the upcoming edition of British GQ Style, the 17-year-old said, “I don’t see man clothes and woman clothes.”
“I feel like people are kind of confused about gender norms. I feel like people don’t really get it. I’m not saying that I get it,” Smith continued. “I’m just saying that I’ve never seen any distinction. I don’t see man clothes and woman clothes, I just see scared people and comfortable people.”
The Hollywood scion, who previously compared himself to Italian astronomer Galileo and announced plans to build an Egyptian-style pyramid, also told GQ he wants to make the world “a utopia.”
“I’m really working towards just fixing the whole planet Earth. I really just want to create a utopia on this planet. I really want to make it so that people don’t have to die to pay bills and just work to survive.”
Smith added: “So that they can work to actually live and do the things that they love to do.”
Jade Smith was introduced as the new face of Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2016 women’s collection, back in January. Weeks later, he appeared in a gender fluid fashion ad for Vogue Korea.
Narrowing down the best dressed people of a given year is always a challenge due to the many factors involved. Good personal style may be innate, but a lot goes into the looks we see on red carpets, from stylists to designer relationships to timing. If a celebrity did press tours for one or two major movies this year, he or she is more likely to be on this list than one who didn’t. Plus, some stylists are better than others, and some celebrities are limited to wearing brands that are paying them to be in an ad campaign (with varying degrees of success). Many celebs also benefited from Alessandro Michele’s recent collections for Gucci, which were both street style bait and offered a guaranteed entry onto best dressed lists.
Taking all of this into consideration, here, in no particular order, are the 20 people we thought deserve the title of Best Dressed in 2015. Think we missed someone? Tell us in the comments.
Jared Leto has always had a unique approach to getting dressed, and 2015 was the year he hit his sartorial stride with a slew of looks that were daring without being totally insane. He (and stylist Micaela Erlanger) experimented freely with everything from hair color to suit color, and there’s no doubt that his growing fashion prowess contributed to his getting cast in an upcoming Gucci campaign.
Taraji P. Henson
This was the year of Cookie Lyon. On-screen, Henson’s character wears over-the-top runway looks from brands like Balmain and Moschino. Offscreen, Henson’s style is just as fashion-forward, but quieter. Alexander Wang, who took her to the Met Gala this year, is largely responsible for her red carpet aesthetic lately.
If Alessandro Michele influenced one celebrity’s sartorial evolution the most, it was Harry Styles, who really elevated his look this year with a strong collection of floral Gucci suits and shirts. Menswear could get a lot more interesting if that aesthetic catches on.
Like Henson, Kerry Washington is just as stylish as the character she plays on TV, but the two are quite different. Washington’s elegant red carpet looks are a little edgier than Olivia Pope’s would be, featuring elements like jewel tones, plunging necklines and mixed prints that aren’t quite right for someone who lives in the White House.
Swedish actress Alicia Vikander was 2015’s breakout star, receiving as much attention for her acting chops as she has for her red carpet looks. She’s currently one of the faces of Louis Vuitton, and has that rare ability to wear off-the-runway looks without letting them wear her.
Michael B. Jordan
We’ll admit, Michael B. Jordan fell off our radar a bit after “Friday Night Lights,” but he came back in a big way during the press tour for his current film “Creed” thanks to his overall physical perfection and on-point red carpet style. There are few people we’ve seen wear a suit better. Kudos also go to his stylist, Jeff Kim.
Lily James’s press tour for “Cinderella” was easily one of the year’s sartorial highlights, thanks to stylist Rebecca Corbin-Murray’s on-theme approach to dressing the British star. Though, her less princess-y looks post-Cinderella have been just as good.
If Diane Kruger is determined to be on every best dressed list until the day she dies, she’s well on her way to succeeding.
Sienna Miller has been inspiring us fashion-wise since her early aughts boho days; and with help from stylist Kate Young, she has taken her look to another, more grown-up (but still trendsetting) level.
Dakota Johnson started the year off with a little movie called “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and she’s been everywhere since, striking that perfect balance of sweet, sexy and fashion-forward, with help from stylist Kate Young.
Give Cate Blanchett a movie to promote, and she’ll blow you away with a slew of unexpected-but-chic red carpet looks. This year, she and her stylist Elizabeth Stewart seemed set on proving that black and white don’t have to be boring.
Kristen Stewart looks great in a dramatic Chanel gown, but it was her less traditionally feminine looks that had us swooning this year, from effortless Atea Oceanie separates to velour suiting. In addition to an innate insouciance, Stewart has her stylist Tara Swennen to thank.
If there’s anything Rihanna can’t pull off (with help from her stylist Mel Ottenberg), she hasn’t worn it yet.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and her stylist Cher Coulter know she doesn’t need to do much to look good, and she consistently inspires us with unfussy dresses that are sexy in their simplicity.
We all knew Kiernan Shipka looked cute in a sweet, girlie dress, but thanks to stylists Jill Lincoln and Jordan Johnson, she evolved that look this year, choosing more mature — but still subtly whimsical — looks by the likes of Dior and Delpozo.
Yasmin Sewell remains one of our favorite street style stars for her risk-taking (but not peacock-y) approach to getting dressed.
I can’t say I’ve seen Zendaya in any context other than on a red carpet, but she really dominated that space this year by going against the grain with dramatic silhouettes and under-the-radar designers.
Thanks to her stylist sister Camille and Prada contract, Bond Girl and all-around chic French person Lea Seydoux graced us with a number of memorable, often sparkly looks this year.
We thought about excluding Alexa Chung this year due only to her longtime ubiquity on these lists, but that just felt wrong for reasons you can clearly see above.
It should come as no surprise that the daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet has a keen sense of style. There’s a definitely ’90s tinge that comes through, not to mention a tendency to wear the designs of her friend Alexander Wang.