This Year’s Biggest (And Most Wearable) Fashion Trends For Men

From 70s sleaze to Ivy League 2.0, these are the only trends you need to know for the coming 12 months.

Words by: Paddy Maddison

No man is truly impervious to the ebb and flow of fashion, but the smart ones are savvy about the trends they choose to embrace. Being able to differentiate emerging menswear must-haves from fleeting fads is what separates the men from the boys, sartorially speaking. It’s a skill that allows a person to look good and be ‘current’ while minimising any retrospective cringing a few years down the line.

The trouble is, with fashion relentlessly ploughing on season after season, and brands all fighting to market their latest and greatest designs to us, it can be difficult to filter out the trends with true staying power.

With that in mind, consider this your 2022 trend cheat sheet; a clear-cut guide to the most wearable trends of the year, and the ones we believe have sufficient momentum to carry them into next year and beyond.

Overarching men’s fashion trends for 2022

Prep 2.0

With Ivy League staples like varsity jackets, cardigans and loafers enjoying inflated sales, it looks like we’re seeing a new wave of preppiness wash over the menswear landscape. Collegiate cool is back in a big way, and you only have to look at recent events in the world of consumer fashion to see that.

At the end of last year, cult menswear podcast Throwing Fits dubbed NYC-based label Aimé Leon Dore its Brand of the Year. Perhaps best described as what might happen if James Jebbia and Ralph Lauren got drunk and designed a clothing line together, ALD exemplifies this new-prep aesthetic, blending streetwear and Ivy League influences to glorious effect.

In addition to that, classic preppy brand J.Crew recently tapped Brendon Babenzien (of Supreme and Noah fame) for a revamp – further proof that American prep is back… this time with a streetwear twist.

Thrift-shop chic

Vintage shopping is becoming a major trend for Gen Z and Millennial men

The Vintage Showroom, London

As people have grown more aware of the fashion industry’s impact on the planet, the way they shop for clothes has begun to shift. The younger generation is increasingly looking to secondhand shops rather than retail chains, and to wear clothes that look (and genuinely have been) lived in now carries far more clout among Gen Z and young Millennials than having a wardrobe filled with shiny new things.

Shopping for clothes this way isn’t just better for the planet, it can be better for forging your own personal style too. While fast-fashion retailers churn out endless cookie-cutter designs, thrifting provides a way to find one-off items, vintage pieces and to curate outfits that are unique and eclectic.

70s sleaze

From big collars and ringer tees to flared pants and statement shirts, the 70s trend isn’t going anywhere, it’s simply evolving. This year we’re seeing the reemergence of accessories like brow-bar glasses and footwear like heeled boots, as well as the revival of 70s sneaker icon the Adidas Samba, which was brought back into the spotlight last year via a collaboration with British designer Wales Bonner.

It can be a difficult trend to nail, but the secret is simply not to overdo it. Aim to incorporate the odd piece here and there as opposed to going full David Bowie cosplay – leave that up to Harry Styles.

Repair and reuse

Repairing clothes is a big men's fashion trend this year

Nudie Jeans repair service

Another trend born out of consumers’ desire to lessen their environmental impact, repaired clothing is increasingly being seen as stylish as opposed to sloppy. Some big brands like Patagonia have been doing it for a while now, offering an extensive repairs program to customers, but there are also smaller labels gaining momentum by offering either repairs or by making their garments from repurposed materials. Christopher Raeburn’s Remade line is one such example, while premium service The Restory offers repairs to luxury fashion items through retailers like Farfetch, as well as privately.

People are mending and restoring their own stuff too. It’s long been the belief of denimheads that visible repairs are something to be proud of, each one a chapter in the story of a garment. That idea is now gaining traction outside of the world of jeans, with people opting to extend the lives of their existing clothes with (often visible) repairs as opposed to buying new ones.

Then there’s brand of the moment Chrome Hearts, whose patched up vintage Levi’s 501s currently fetch anywhere up to £7,000/$9,000 at resale.

Military wear

Clothing that began life in the military is ever-present within menswear. Where do you think those chinos, bombers and field jackets came from? But it looks as though the trend is on the march again in 2022.

Fendi, Hermes and Engineered Garments all featured military-inspired clothing in a big way, from shearling jackets to combat trousers. We wouldn’t advise going for a full tactical look; instead, introduce one or two pieces at a time, mixing them with other casual staples including Oxford shirts, denim and retro runners for a look that’s equal parts masculine and contemporary.

Key trend pieces for 2022

Cardigans

One of the first indicators of the Ivy League resurgence has been the increased popularity of the cardigan. Brands like Needles, Missoni, Wacko Maria and Beams Plus have been successfully making cardigans cool again, chiefly those of the fuzzy mohair variety. The more eye catching the better.

How to wear it

Men's cardigan trend outfit with chinos and suede boots

Kith

Cardigans are fantastic tools for layering. This is down to the fact that they’re collarless, low profile and can work either as a top layer or underneath something more substantial.

To nail this season’s look, opt for a heavily textured knit, like mohair, to create depth, and if you’re going to go down the ‘jazzy’ route, make sure that the rest of your outfit is sufficiently low key so as not to be battling it out for attention.

Work pants

From hammer-looped carpenter pants to loose-fitting Carhartt Double Knees, this year the world is looking to the workshops of North America for its legwear inspiration.

Yes, they look cool, but they’re also comfortable and practical, which ties in to fashion’s ongoing obsession with utility.

How to wear it

Men's worker pants trend outfit

Alex Mill

To really pull this trend off, take the trousers out of context. Yes, they’re ‘work’ pants, but unless you’re actually a mechanic or a woodworker, there’s no need to combine them with other workwear pieces.

Instead, team them up with relaxed-fitting garments like a Cuban-collar shirt or tee in the summer, and a hoodie or fleece jacket in the winter. Footwear-wise, avoid anything overly smart, opting instead for a casual chukka boot or suede sneaker.

Big collar energy

Silhouettes have been getting bigger across the board for several years now, and this year collars are following suit. Riding the wave of the 70s trend, oversized pointed collars are back, and they’re actually surprisingly wearable.

How to wear it

Men's oversized collar trend - shirt with suit outfit

Sandro

The secret here is not to go too big. A slightly oversized collar will draw the eye and create a subtle focal point, but a gargantuan one will look cartoonish and detract from the rest of the outfit.

Relaxed tailoring

Wardrobe priorities have shifted massively since the beginning of the pandemic. With people working from home more and office settings becoming increasingly relaxed, there’s a growing demand for smart clothes that are comfortable too.

In response, many high-end brands that have historically put sharply tailored pieces front and centre have relaxed their approach for 2022. Instead, they’re creating laid-back two-piece suits that would be equally at home in the workplace as they would on the sofa.

How to wear it

Men's unstructured tailoring trend - green linen suit with knitted tee and suede loafers outfit

Suitsupply

This trend is best saved for summer when breezy fabrics like linen and seersucker can be brought out. The fit should still be tailored but not overly so – a little more boxy for freedom of movement and comfort, without being baggy.

Swap the dress shirt out for a knitted T-shirt or polo and switch the derbies for suede loafers.

Varsity jackets

Burberry, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana – everyone was parading sporty varsity jackets down the runway at their spring/summer shows. It ties in with the wider Ivy League trend and is a great way to incorporate colour and contrast into your outfits.

How to wear it

How to dress French - mix casual pieces with smarter pieces

Kith

Wear a varsity jacket to add a splash of colour to simple spring outfits. Throw one on over the top of a white tee with mid-wash denim and a pair of canvas high tops for some mid-century throwback cool, or go full prep by layering over an Oxford shirt with relaxed-fit chinos or pleated trousers and some shiny penny loafers on the feet.

Fleece jackets

A key piece from the ongoing gorpcore trend (should we still be calling it a ‘trend’ at this point?), the fleece jacket is only growing in popularity. It’s difficult to think of a prestigious fashion house that hasn’t riffed on Patagonia’s iconic high-pile Retro-X fleece, and it’s a fantastic piece for bringing a touch of depth and texture to your fall/winter layering game

How to wear it

Men's fleece trend outfit with chinos and sneakers

Vince

Team a fleece jacket up with other outdoorsy pieces like cargo pants and quality boots or trail shoes. Use it alone as a top layer in the fall and spring, or as a mid layer under some heavy-duty outerwear when the temperature takes a nosedive.

Earthy colours always work well, but thick-pile fleece in creamy neutrals with contrast detailing is what it’s all about right now.

Cargo pants

Military fashion has been one of the overarching trends of the last couple of years, helping to bring the humble cargo pant back into the spotlight. Once the sole preserve of bird-watching uncles and paratroopers, this practical piece is now being reimagined by all the hippest niche designers as well as high-fashion heavyweights too.

How to wear it

Men's military turtleneck outfit for men with shearling jacket, cargo pants and boots

Corneliani

For all the ridicule they’ve received from the menswear community over the last few decades, cargo pants are surprisingly stylish and easy to get right. Wear them in place of jeans in your day-to-day casual fits, or dress them up with smarter pieces for a contemporary spin on smart casual.

Basketball shoes

Some of the hottest sneakers of the moment are throwback basketball sneakers and the growing trend looks set for a slam dunk in 2022. Models like the New Balance 550, the Adidas Forum and the Nike Dunk have been inescapable lately, and have definitely got some staying power behind them thanks to their versatility and simple good looks.

How to wear it

Men's flannel shirt streetwear outfit with skate pants and hoodie

Percival

To make the retro basketball shoe trend work for you, go for a low-top 80s style and wear them with relaxed, casual pieces. Think hoodies, loose-fitting pants, layered outerwear and slouchy tees.

Functional sandals

Strappy velcro sandals have spent much of their life derided by the men’s fashion community. It was difficult to conceive of them ever becoming fashionable at times, and yet here we are, in 2022, with campsite chic in full swing and nylon-webbing sandals at the top of the summer footwear hotlist.

How to wear it

Men's functional sandals fashion trend

Suicoke @ Goodhood Store

Wear velcro sandals with shorts and a Cuban-collar shirt for a laid-back summer look. If you’re brave, you can also dabble in longer legwear and throw a pair of socks into the mix (no, really).

Not just any old socks will do though – look for something thick in a nice textured knit, just be wary of going too bold with your choice of colour.

Penny loafers

Loafers never went away, but they’re currently enjoying renewed interest thanks to the current obsession with Ivy League style. The key style for the season is the leather penny loafer, so swerve the Gucci Horsebits, save yourself some money, and grab yourself a pair of classic Bass Weejuns instead.

How to wear it

Men's penny loafers trend outfit

Thom Sweeney

The great thing about a penny loafer is how versatile it is. This is a shoe that can happily walk the smart casual spectrum in its entirety.

It looks great with shorts and a tee or knitted polo in the summer, but works equally well with soft tailoring for things like weddings and fancy date nights.

Dad shoes (again)

If you thought dad shoes’ days were numbered then think again. It would appear that sneakers this simple don’t date easily, and with a new New Balance 990 silhouette slated for launch in the coming months, grey suede kicks look set for another big year.

How to wear it

Men's New Balance dad shoes trend outfit

Private White V.C.

It’d be quicker to list the ways not to wear it. This type of sneaker goes with anything and everything short of formalwear. Style it with sweatpants and a bomber jacket at the weekend or wool pants, a roll neck and an overcoat for something a little smarter.

Brow-bar glasses

They may be a serial-killer staple, but clear aviators aren’t all bad. Another item revived from the 70s, these harsh-looking specs feature a straight metal bar across the brow, connecting the two rims.

House of Gucci helped to bring this retro style back into the spotlight thanks to Adam Driver’s portrayal of Maurizio Gucci, but this is set to be the year brow-bar glasses really take off.

How to wear it

Men's brow bar glasses/spectacles trend

Nautica

Brow-bar glasses aren’t for everyone. Because of the harsh line created by the bar, these glasses have an angular look that may not suit those with square or rectangular faces.

The best face shapes for pulling these specs off are round and oval, so if you fall into one of those two camps then go wild.

Light scarves

Scarves can be a great vehicle for introducing colour and pattern to outfits, but you don’t have to wait until winter to wear one. Lightweight silk scarves are having a moment right now and that spells good news for your accessory game.

How to wear it

Italian men's style - accessorise with a neckerchief

Canali

Use a thin, lightweight scarf to add a touch of personality to your transitional looks. Tied in front of the neck and tucked into a jacket or overshirt, it’s a great way to tie a look together and give your outfits a focal point.