Since our archetype of the month for March is NuDapper, we decided to pay tribute to the one garment that defines dapper menswear: the suit. For the NuDapper man, there’s infinitely more to suiting than just the traditional black-grey-navy mantra. It’s all about taking the all too familiar ensemble and adding an unusual, personal twist – yet respecting the integrity of its form and silhouette. In honour of that independent, semi-non-conformist style, we’re rounding up 13 of the most colourful suits we saw on the 2016 runway.
If you’re new to wearing colourful suits, start with something manageable, like Richard James‘ tailored pastel sage suit. The skinny lapels, single-button closure, and slight sheen complement the cut-grass freshness of the suit’s color, giving the look an winning youthful glow. It’s not wild whatsoever, but so fresh it’ll give your wardrobe a happy lift from the mundane.
Speaking of mundane: are you stuck on navy suits? Upgrade to Costume National‘s cyan one, and layer under with the dark blues that you’re comfortable with. Cuffed trousers are certainly still fashionable in menswear, and if Chelsea boots seem a little too rock-influenced, swap them out for blue suede oxfords. See this suit as a departure from the good old staple, but one that’s not too far nor risky.
On the same palette of less aggressive, more pastel shades is Versace‘s lilac suit. From Donatella’s space-inspired collection for Fall 2016, it’s one of the most talked about colours of the Milan runway shows. The great thing about this colour is that it’s soft yet demanding of attention – especially from men who don’t dare to wear purple. Purple is the new pink for men. You heard it here first.
Orange, especially the burnt variety, dominated the 2016 runway both in spring and fall. Canali, whose brand profile has become more youthful and modern in the past years, wasn’t going to let the season slip by without sampling some saturated shades of orange in its suiting. Matching a relaxed blazer and tapered trousers with burnt orange loafers to die for, Canali’s orange outfit looked dynamic yet classy.
For its foppish summer collection, Salvatore Ferragamo introduced an emerald green suit with a sportier profile thanks to a shortened suit jacket. Despite the rich, regal hue of green, its simple, modern cut and lightweight fabrication injected a good dose of Italian vivacity that is central to the appeal of Massimiliano Giornetti’s designs.
Berluti‘s spring/summer 2016 collection was perhaps the most colour-filled one that season, with the least common shades of purple, green, and turquoise taking centerstage. Out of it all we picked one that combined the three most elegantly – soft, ruffled collars in lavender and iris, mint sorbet green jacket, and trousers in full-blown cyan. Did we mention a fire engine red tote and eggplant purple oxfords?
Next is yet another Italian brand, except one that’s headed by an American. Moschino wowed audiences at its FW16 London show with a visual feast of neon trompe-l’oeil outfits that paid tribute to fine art techniques of shading and shadowing. If you wanted a colourful suit, you certainly have one (or more) with Jeremy Scott.
If you’re already an unabashed champion of the colourful suit, why not up the ante with some pattern? It doesn’t have to be all that striking – take for example the beautiful embroidery on Roberto Cavalli‘s flamingo pink suit. The damask-like details give artistic and visual depth to a suit that would’ve otherwise been dismissed as just another statement on pink and masculinity.
Hunter green lace patterned in rococo leaf designs adorn Christian Pellizzari‘s formal black suit, complementing the satin shawl lapels with their meandering lines. Subtle as the detail may seem in lowly lit environments, it gleams splendidly when bathed in light. The extravagant pattern does not make the suit seem anachronistic; it instead engenders a sense of mysterious romance.
As seen with Christian Pellizzari’s example, nighttime suits don’t have to be dull. This fall, Dior Homme featured a dark suit streaked with fine, variegated lines of blood red, as though someone had taken to the suit with a paintbrush. The sum effect isn’t a subtraction of formality, but certainly an addition of interest.
This is the expert stage, and we’ll be upfront about it: these suits take guts to wear. Geometric shapes never looked better than when Brioni mixed shades of teal and purple in a somewhat Mondrian-esque fashion for its spring/summer 2016 collection. Look at it a little longer and images of digital technology, abstract art, and even cityscapes may begin to appear. Whichever it is you see, the suit is undeniably handsome.
Impressionistic water-colour strokes, rendered in midnight blue and maple brown, conjure a scene of autumn leaves floating down a river on a DAKS jacket. Paired with velvet pants in the same midnight shade of blue and a burnt orange turtleneck, the ensemble is stunningly beautiful, utterly poetic, yet unapologetically masculine.
Last but not least, Etro. A fashion house famous for its paisley-inspired prints, its spring/summer collection this year featured a seemingly lapel-less jacket in mustard yellow, paired with matching pants that echoed the almost kaleidoscopic pattern that resembled a blazing sun. Visually exhilarating and infinitely full of impressive, painstaking detail, the outfit was really a triumph in tailoring. Even with a complex overall print, it managed to look classy, modern, and even…unencumbered.