Trend Detailing: Contrast Sleeves
As a style-conscious gent, you will be well aware of the trend-led nature of the fashion industry. Each season designers pedal ‘new’ key pieces and specific looks that go on to influence what is stocked at high street retailers and, ultimately, what we wear (within reason).
Although the importance of a versatile, classic capsule wardrobe cannot be underestimated, trends are important as they help breathe new life into your wardrobe, ensure your style does not become stagnant and can even encourage you to experiment and evolve your look.
However, not every trend is in your face or touted as the ‘next big thing’. Certain styles, colours and accessories are slow burners that build up a presence within the industry over time, until you suddenly realise they are everywhere.
Suede shoes, lapel pins and round-framed eyewear are some recent underground trends that have steadily risen to prominence over the past couple of seasons, and the latest one, which began picking up steam during AW12, appears to be contrast sleeve detailing.
The Contrast Sleeve
During AW12, fabric blocking and statement outwear were touted as two major trends within menswear, although neither really took off as expected. Fabric blocking was the next logical progression from colour-blocking, a major trend during SS12, combining the textures traditionally seen throughout the colder months with the visual appeal of distinct sections that offered a way to effortlessly stand out from the crowd, without the need to layer.
Statement outerwear, on the other hand, typically came in two forms: bold coloured coats, or jackets with contrasting suede/leather sleeves. Again, the mix of textures and distinct sections offered something different to your traditional overcoats and leather jackets.
Even though these trends didn’t exactly set the industry on fire – perhaps they were a step too far for the majority of men – the concept of contrast sleeve detailing continued to develop as we progressed into SS13. Offering men a sure-fire way to individualise their look with ease, especially during the warmer months when multiple layers are not always practical, a couple of key pieces could be just what your current wardrobe has been crying out for.
Below you will find campaigns from this season and next that feature the contrast sleeve: