The comfortable cable knits and thick-skinned chinos are great for the colder months, but the recent blast of sunshine makes such sartorial choices completely impractical. Yes, summer fast approaches, bringing with it a whole host of warmer activities that us Brits seize with both sun-starved hands. Whether it’s the odd pint that turns into a five hour session in the nearest beer garden you can find, or a mate organising a barbeque at the slightest ray of sun, the less restrictive pieces come out quickly (as do typical pasty arms and legs in need of a good airing).
Judging by seasonal trends however, it seems a certain blast from the past will be dominating our springtime looks this year. The spring/summer 2012 previews featured garish prints from Etro, fluoro brights from D&G, sportswear pieces from Dsquared and Gucci’s own take on leather grunge, which can only mean one thing – the 90s are back on the style radar.
House music is on the rise again, Damien Hirst recently enjoyed his first UK retrospective, and Jeremy Scott’s Autumn Winter 2012 collection was dominated by none other than the Bartman himself. It all points in one clear direction – the Nineties are back, and with them comes a revised take on some of the biggest styles of the decade.
Whilst it can be quite convincingly argued that flannel shirts simply never left, the return of them on this year’s catwalks is definitely something to shout about; coupled with the growing penchant of oversized, loose fitting clothing, it’s clear that the grunge aesthetic of Kurt Cobain et al is enjoying a transformation.
Conversely, the reach of snapback baseball caps, so synonymous with 90s Hip Hop, is extending far beyond its former niche crowd, securing itself firmly in the mainstream. Similarly, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who thought the military trend was – at least on the surface- something new.
The past decade has not only the return of the double breasted jacket, but the pea coat and parka, all thoroughly rooted in military history. However, cross this established look with a 90s fascination for camouflage and olive, and you have a refreshing new perspective on a trend that previously looked ready for bed.
The return of olive drab works well because it actually bucks many of the characteristics seen elsewhere in the Nineties fashion revival; rather than favouring the swamping coats and baggy camo gear that featured previously, the look is paired with fitted cuts and considered, minimalist details that draw equally from the re-established preppy look.
The result is a surprisingly sharp aesthetic that complements the neutral green tones with aplomb. To achieve the look, it’s best to keep things basic, reducing clashing colours either through a reduction in layers or through corresponding tones. A very sparing use of men’s accessories will add a sense of individuality, but remember that military olive functions best when used in an uncluttered outfit.
Texture is important, so now is the time to lay out for a waxed or quilted jacket if you haven’t already done so. If, however, you want to introduce this earthy green tone into your wardrobe without it becoming the dominating feature, retain the clean look by pairing an olive scarf or under layer with cool grey outerwear. A top pick of ours for Autumn is this Twin Track waterproof camo jacket by Private White V.C.
Either way, when used correctly, olive will help create a smart Nineties inspired look - without the Gallagher-sized headache.