Blue is the new black for winter

Shorter days and colder weather can bring on a sense of melancholy, but this winter men will be openly embracing the blues.

While shades of deep blue have been massively popular – especially in suits – over the last two years, Myer product development manager Tony Roche is adamant that this winter men will be drawn to even deeper, richer tones.

“Colour is probably the first thing that people consider when they buy – that's the thing that humans are first drawn to. For menswear in particular it's really blue, blue, blue,” Roche says.

“They are new shades of blue you haven't seen in areas like suiting before. So while there is traditional dark navys, there is new shades of really deep, bright inks and indigos that'll feature right through from formal wear even down to denim,”

And if you decide to go blue, Roche recommends not limiting yourself to one shade.

“The blues really mix as tones within themselves, so guys will be wearing bright blue suits backed with blue shirts and blue ties for that tonal combination.

“Many tones will even be present in the one garment, especially suits where special weaves will create unique textures. If you look very closely they might have four five shades of blue in them.”

Roche believes the other key item is the printed shirt. “Prints are really taking the place of the traditional checks. Geometrics, even florals too. The more fashionable guys are picking up on the florals.”

As for shoes, it appears the colour we'll continue to see more of is tan.


“If you think about traditional colours like black and chocolate, they just do not work with the blues, so tanned leather is starting a strong trend that will continue through into summer.”

With more and more men gravitating towards a more classic look, it is no surprise that nothing is more persistent across all of menswear right now than the slim-fit.

“It is undoubtedly our strongest seller right through all the categories of blazers, pants and jeans,” Roche says.

“While there is talk of skinny-fit jeans and whether they are going to change with designers showing higher waists and baggy shapes, when you travel throughout the world it doesn't matter what country you are in, all the young hipsters are still in skinny, low-rise jeans.”

Trends come and trends go, sometimes in quick order. That phenomenon is likely to receive more attention locally with the arrival of global fast-fashion giants Zara and H&M (which just opened in Melbourne), department stores famous for constantly introducing new looks into their ranges.

It should be interesting to observe whether the current strength of timeless fashion, and the pursuit of quality, might waver in the face of faster, cheaper alternatives.

However, H&M's head of menswear design Andreas Löwenstam is adamant that rather than excluding the more conventionally-minded man, H&M embraces him.

“As a fashion brand our aim is to offer our customers current fashion, and within current fashion we do have the need to create collections for the early adopter as well as the customers who are in search for great modern basics,” Löwenstam says.

“What's unique with us is that for menswear we have several different concepts so we can really reach out to many different men with different tastes and different needs.”

Although the arrival of H&M may not trigger a flicker of excitement for more fashion-conscious men, what is of interest is the effect these multinationals are having on Australia's local fashion industry.

At Myer, Roche says this has driven the company to invest more in original, in-house design.

“There's been a lot of going overseas, buying samples and copying them. Well, that just can't happen anymore. You've actually got to have product that has a point of difference.”