You cannot keep a good man down and the same could be said of a classic menswear item. This is certainly true of both men’s pleated trousers and the unmistakable boating blazer – both enjoying a renaissance as summer closes in. We’ve been subjected to over 10 years of flat-fronted, the skinnier the better men’s suit hoopla and pleated trousers were seen as the enemy of the fashion state. And yet, as reliable as the sun rising in the east, what goes around, comes around and pleated trousers are well and truly back. A cursory look through the mountain of gathered waistlines displayed in fashion shows across Europe for the Spring/Summer 2016 seasons will tell you as much.
The UK market is taking some time to catch up with the return of the pleat in men’s trouser lines, but thankfully there are some who have stuck by men’s pleated trousers through the good and bad and find themselves at the head of a growing market trend. The comfort achieved by wearing pleated trousers is undeniable, owing to a boost to the freedom of movement and a general feeling of airiness, just where it’s necessary. Of course, there are many different styles of pleated trousers, from the more traditional to the formal, but a little more distinctive.
Such trousers can be paired with a bold coloured or black suit jacket and would make a statement at a wedding or formal event. It would have been unthinkable ten years ago to say this, but pleated trousers in 2016 represent an easy win in jumping to the top of the ‘most fashionable’ list among colleagues and friends.
When we talk about making a statement, there can be fewer great British menswear institutions than the boating blazer.
The saying ‘blazers maketh man’ gains extra credence as the promise of Spring gives way to the warm, balmy days of summer (we hope) and being the talk of the riverbank becomes the priority of many. With an illustrious history going back to the early days of the Oxford v Cambridge boat race, the boating blazer is a true testament to the power of sporting history in shaping contemporary fashion.
Champion rower Jack Carlson, who wrote a book about rowing / boating blazers is quoted as having said: “So many of our staples, whether it’s the blazer, the necktie, types of shoes, or whatever it might be, have their origins in the sporting world. It’s nice seeing an homage paid to those roots, and to see those connections being brought to life again. Hopefully people view the book as a celebration of that tradition.”
Boating blazers can be found for around £150, but the value added to your summer wardrobe is really priceless. There is no other menswear item that screams confidence, success and summer fun more than the boating blazer, especially in such bold, classy colours. Time to get shopping.