Friday, September 3, 2010

Autumn/Winter 2010 Men’s Fashion Trend – Shearling Jackets

Now as we step into September, it is time for all of us to look forward to the new trends that are going to be present throughout Autumn/Winter and see how we can incorporate them into our current wardrobe. You might need a complete revamp, or more likely you will just need to buy some key pieces which will keep your look up to date and fresh. So over the coming months, I am going to preview all the major trends that we will see within menswear throughout the rest of the year and into the start of next. I am going to try and approach them all without bias and just give you the facts, so you can make your own mind up and see if it is one you can incorporate into your personal style.
You should know that I take this site very seriously and read literally every style, fashion and lifestyle magazine you could possibly think of. I also do research online through the latest catwalk collections, as well as reading personal blogs related to fashion and the like. What this means is that I can spot strong trends which have a large backing within the fashion community, and those that are set to take off within the premium and high street retailers. Each year we are inundated with new trends which may develop, but more often than not, there are set strong trends that are given a twist each year (think military and nautical), and then some seasonal trends reported but which never come to fruition.
The first trend I am going to report this season is one that I am particularly fond of… Shearling Jackets.
The Shearling Trend
So first things first:
is a sheepskin or lambskin pelt that has gone through a limited shearing process to obtain a uniform depth of the wool fibres for a uniform look and feel.Wikipedia
So you know those fluffy sheep you see in the fields? Basically it is the sheepskin fur off their back which has undergone treatment and been used to line garments – typically outerwear through the collar and inside lining, in order to give you warmth and some very impressive detailing. The trend this year features jackets in all shapes, colours and materials, which are all set apart by the shearling lining. So you can find all your favourite types of jacket; from leather, to denim, to duffel coats and even the new camel overcoats all lined with this eye-catching detailing. It really is a statement maker, as you will see when you get to the catwalk images and product picks.
   All of the major publications have been reporting this trend in their Autumn/Winter previews and I think it is one that won’t be utilised on mass. This isn’t your typical easy to pull off check shirt trend or similar, it will only be picked up by those males who feel like it matches their personality and are confident enough to pull it off. This gives the trend a real air of exclusivity that I really love.

As you can see above, many of the major design powerhouses were backing this trend in their Autumn/Winter previews. The biggest of which was Burberry Prorsum (top row) who produced some amazing leather aviator jackets, lined with a darker beige coloured shearling. The contrast between the brown leather and shearling is absolutely beautiful, and it actually has the look and feel of quality. Don’t get me wrong, you will have to pay a lot for such an item, but if you have the money and are looking for an investment jacket this year, I think it will only get better with age.
Other designers of note who were pushing the trend: Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, John Varvatos, Prada, YSL, Marc Jacobs and Acne. You can see that is a pretty impressive list of names who are behind the trend, and they have all made high quality jackets that come with the price tag. It will be interesting to see if the high street follow and back this trend, because the real idealism behind the jackets is extravagance and quality. These jackets look amazing, and the high street will need to get the detailing and quality right for the price they produce them at. I would love to see Topman’s or River Island’s take on this trend for example.

How To Wear
This trend is definitely nostalgic, with roots within the outdoor working males (cowboys especially) who needed a rugged jacket and sheepskin lining to keep warm during the cold winter months. It also was more well known for use within pilot aviator jackets as the high altitude demanded clothing that would keep them warm. However this trend has been brought bang up to date with the use of more modern cuts and materials for the jackets themselves. You can get your hands on denim, leather, wool, moleskin and the like so the choice is really up to you.
My personal favourites are:
  • Leather or Aviator Shearling Jacket: Cropped near to the waist this jacket is great for just “throwing on” over your casual outfits. I can imagine such simple stripped down looks such as a plain white v-neck tee, dark jeans, brown military boots and brown leather shearling jacket being utilised. The shearling lining will be enough to keep you warm – even with such little clothing on – but will also allow it to be a real focal point and statement maker. You do not need anything else because it will come across as try hard. You could add a simple piece of knitwear over the top of your tee or simply swap it out for a plain shirt ala Burberry Prorsum (top right on catwalk images).
  • The Denim Shearling Jacket: Denim jackets made a big comeback this year in men’s fashion along with the denim shirt, so this is the logical next step. Again this is a coat that can be thrown on over any casual outfit, but I particularly like mixing denim with beige/camel chinos or grey trousers. It comes away from the whole double denim look, and adds some amazing contrast between your top and bottom half. Other key pieces to mix with the denim shearling would be the thick check/plaid overshirts and worker boots because you could really hit that whole “woodchopper” look on the head this season.
  • Camel Shearling Overcoat: Camel is going to be a big trend this Autumn/Winter (preview coming soon) so why not combine both trends and get yourself a real investment coat? It has a real sophistication to it and can be used over your suit for work, or in casual day time looks throughout winter. It will always be the focal point of your outfit, so by pairing it with a suit you will stand out from the crowd, and you can keep your casual outfits as simple as you like because no-one will look past the wonderful piece of craftsmanship that is on your back.
Lookbook.Nu Shearling
Only a couple of examples on their at the moment but here are 2 guys who have shearling jackets and have used them correctly. Look how stripped back the rest of the outfit is on each of them:

Shearling Jackets
So right now you will not find many shearling jackets online as a lot of retailers (especially high street) have yet to update their Autumn/Winter collections. However I have found some available for purchase today in a variety of styles: