HOW TO WEAR: Men’s Anti-Fit/Oversized Clothing Trend
Great fit has long been – and forever will be – the key to impeccable style. If you’ve learnt anything from reading FashionBeans over the years, this should be it.
Slim and tailored has become the default fit adopted by the menswear industry in recent years. Designers have made many ill-fated attempts to push, reintroduce and re-establish a slightly fuller cut, but to no avail (as yet anyway).
The sophisticated, continental aesthetic that has defined men’s style of late, particularly in the realm of #menswear, marries well with this streamlined ideal. Our collective penchant for blazers and double-monks has so far kept the cruel cycle of fashion away, helping cement a more refined and elegant approach to style.
However, is AW14 the season where this all changes? Sports luxe has dominated runway shows and brand lookbooks since the turn of the year and the appetite for track pants and trainers is quickly turning into more of a hunger. It seems, finally, menswear’s clean-cut image is under threat.
This year we’ve noticed a gradual move towards trends that are in many ways the complete antithesis of the clean and fitted silhouette that we’ve all religiously embraced. Oversized and longline garments are having a moment, in an effort to challenge the style status quo and make a case for the anti-fit. And so far, it’s proving quite convincing…
Longline Tops & Tees
Earlier this year we recommended the oversized tee as a daring piece worth trying out to freshen things up for spring/summer.
This mini-trend has evolved for AW14: not only has the look progressed to shirts and tops, there’s also more emphasis on extra length rather than general oversizing. It seems size does matter after all.
Creating an immediately striking, statement look, longline or ‘tall’ tops, at first, appear difficult to wear and pull off – something that really isn’t the case if you follow a few basic styling guidelines:
- This is a strictly casual look. Don’t try to incorporate long length tees or shirts into a formal or smart-casual ensemble. Classic cuts should be preferred when dressing up, as opposed to this more contemporary, fashion-forward silhouette. Sometimes it really is better to ignore fashion altogether and side with timeless style.
- Don’t oversize everything. Long length and oversized tops work best when paired with slim or skinny legwear to create a contrast. Oversizing every part of your outfit puts you on a fast track back to the 1990s, and not in a good way.
- Simplicity is key. A side zip or scoop neck should be the only form of detailing that appears on your tall tee. Skip the baroque patterns and extravagant typography that will undoubtedly be applied to many items in an effort to appear ‘street’. Stick to plain colours and let the length make the statement – there’s no need to overcomplicate things.
- Wear with confidence. We wax lyrical about how crucial confidence is to good style, but this applies double when we’re talking about statement pieces – and longline clothing is definitely a statement. If you’re going to second guess your wardrobe choice or be constantly pulling the hemline up so that the top doesn’t look as long, then this absolutely isn’t a trend for you
On The Streets
Long length tees aren’t going to be to everyone’s taste or style (an understatement if ever there was one). They have a defined urban appeal that sits very well alongside the sportier direction menswear design has taken, but they’re certainly never going to dethrone more conventional, classic cuts.
Think of the tall tee as a way of giving the casual side of your wardrobe a reboot and a means of freshening things up, as these gents from our street style gallery have done. Apply the above advice to anything oversized and you’re partway to conquering fashion’s latest obsession:
Outfit Inspiration: Timelessness & Tall Tees
It may be the very definition of a trend piece and a through-and-through fashion item, but that doesn’t mean the longline t-shirt won’t work within a timeless capsule wardrobe.
The easiest way to style it is untucked and layered under a classic bomber jacket. Combine with tailored trousers for a considered hi-lo contrast and finish with rain-ready leather desert boots to create a statement-making casual ensemble that’s effortlessly easy to put together and pull off.
Next up on our anti-fit hit list is oversized knitwear. One of our five key pieces for AW14, if there’s anything you want to be wearing when temperatures approach freezing, it’s a chunky, loose-fitting, cosy knit – and this is the season you can wear one outside of your own home.
Cardigan, roll neck, crew neck, cable knit – it doesn’t matter what style you opt for so long as it’s slightly oversized. Perfect for cold, off-duty days.
You don’t necessarily have to buy manufactured oversized versions here – simply consider taking one size above what you normally wear. Do keep in mind sleeve length though, as this is where purposely oversizing often goes wrong.
As with trousers that pool at the ankles, go too long on the arms and you’re in danger of looking sloppy as opposed to artfully dishevelled (there is a big difference).
Similarly, if you’re a shorter or larger gent this is a trend that you will need to be particularly wary of – you run the risk of swamping yourself or appearing bigger than you actually are, respectively.
Outfit Inspiration: The Crew Neck
An oversized crew neck jumper is extremely easy to style and requires almost no thought at all. It’s really a case of going through the motions and following a similar process to what you would if it were a lighter, more conventional knit.
Layer a neutral, textured jumper over the top of a casual shirt, preferably in a rugged fabric such as denim, chambray or flannel. Combine with jeans – if you’ve decided on a shirt in a similar material then you’ll need to contrast the washes – and practical winter boots to complete this stylishly relaxed weekend look:
One area of the wardrobe where this notion of anti-fit has really stamped its mark is outerwear – particularly when it comes to more traditional, structured topcoats.
Spotted in collection previews from Berluti and A.P.C. to Brioni and Bally, it’s clear that longer, wider and slouchier overcoats are set to become a major trend this winter:
Where once these were the epitome of conservative, tailored style, the overcoat is really becoming a jack-of-all-trades silhouette, playing both the smart and casual side of the field extremely well.
This most recent development has seen the coat cut in a more relaxed manner. The fit has been loosened up and is now much less structured, with shoulders being dropped through the introduction of a raglan sleeve. Due to its more relaxed, rakish nature, this is definitely an item you’ll want to keep well away from the office – leave the daily grind to the more form fitting old guard.
From single- and double-breasted to belted variations, there is something for everyone on the current market, so it really comes down to personal preference.
Single-breasted takes are probably the easiest to pull off – the extra material on top of the naturally wide and imposing double-breasted cut certainly makes them more of a challenge. Throwing a belt into the mix offers a good halfway point; being able to cinch the coat in at the waist can help accentuate your physique and offers a fitted safety net if you’re approaching this trend with caution.
Once again be careful about just taking the next size up. With oversized pieces it’s a balancing act between a loose and relaxed silhouette, and the item still fitting you in the right places (sleeve length and through the sides, in particular), which isn’t easy.
The raglan sleeve certainly goes a long way to securing that slouchy aesthetic we crave, and intentionally oversized pieces are the easiest way to achieve this effect. Use our lookbook below as a visual guide to what you should be aiming for.
Outfit Inspiration: Sports Luxe
The oversized topcoat is a far more casual style than the slim-fitting, office-appropriate Crombie that has been your daily go-to for the last few winters.
With this in mind, a raglan-sleeved version will quickly become your default weekend wrap-around and bring a refined edge to the most laid-back ensemble.
As previously mentioned, sports luxe is currently dominating menswear and sweats are no longer loungewear reserved, so long as they’re cut slim and tapered.
Dress up your cuffed trackies with a slim-fit Oxford shirt and anchor with some simple all-white trainers. Finish the outfit with a statement drop-shouldered, oversized overcoat to blur the sportswear lines and nail the anti-fit trend.
Swap the sweats for denim if you desire a more classic look:
The anti-fit trend isn’t going to appeal to everyone. It’s the complete opposite to everything we’ve ever taught you, and that’s likely to put many off.
That being said, if you’re looking for a stand-out piece or a way to revive your off-duty wear this autumn/winter then this could well be it.
But what are your thoughts on the anti-fit trend – is it something you’ll be trying out this season? Or is it totally against everything you know and love about modern menswear?