Orange is the new black for men, say Givenchy and Dior Homme, while Dries Van Noten and Ermenegildo Zegna make a strong case for quilted textures. Menswear this autumn-winter season is full of bright, sparkling, atypical possibilities on the one hand and, on the other, a resurgence of classics with a twist. Corduroy, for instance, has emerged as one of the season’s biggest runway trends in collections from Prada, Armani and Brunello Cucinelli.

Here’s a quick guide from three stylists to help men ace the season in style.

Corduroy blazer by Officine Generale.
Corduroy blazer by Officine Generale.

Go classic with corduroy

By Kabir Mehra, founder of Herringbone & Sui

Mehra, along with his partner Samarth Hegde, started their menswear company in 2014, sourcing fabric from Italian mills and constructing the Neapolitan suit for Indian weather and body type. Mehra, who is admittedly old-school himself, says: “Corduroy has been a staple in any respectable man’s wardrobe, but this season we can’t recommend it enough. It works well for Indian winters because it’s cotton, yet a little thicker and warmer. In corduroy, trend and function come together really well." In terms of cuts and fits, Mehra suggests lighter, unstructured suits, “but avoid extra fitted or extra skinny". 

While corduroy as a fabric may be heritage, the way it’s used doesn’t have to be conventional. “We’re seeing vibrancy in colourscapes: a lot of camel, burnt orange, faded blues and moss green. Elbow patches and trims are quite a favourite. One could be bold and go with a full corduroy suit, or carry off a corduroy jacket with chinos. Pairing corduroy trousers with sneakers results in some really interesting looks." 

Androgyny, irreverence and rebellion

By Nitasha Gaurav, personal stylist

Nitasha Gaurav, the brain behind actor Ranveer Singh’s headline-grabbing red carpet ensembles, swears by an androgynous sensibility. She says: “I like mixing male and female elements, be it colour, silhouette or accessory. I find this lends itself well to styling men—although I must say, not all men." Gaurav is fascinated by the attention to detail and quality that menswear demands. “There are historic and traditional nuances that coexist with the contemporary, and that interplay is fascinating. You may be wearing a polka-dot three-piece suit, but the last button of the waistcoat must be worn open."

For men taking their first steps towards bolder choices, she recommends contrast shades, animal and insect patterns and 1970s’ silhouettes. “Pick up pullovers in colourful patterns, wear jackets with insect prints or pick shoes with snake embroideries and wear these with big flared pants. You are set for the day."

Trainers by Balenciaga.
Trainers by Balenciaga.

Break all rules

By Nikhil Mansata, stylist and creative director of Nikhil Mansata

Stylist Nikhil Mansata, whose résumé includes collaborations with the likes of Le Mill, a lifestyle store, and The Business Of Fashion magazine, suggests breaking out of the mould. “Menswear has always been bound in rules, but now is the time to do things differently and confidently. No better time to wear a formal suit with a white T-shirt or trainers, pair bright colours together or even prints like geometric with floral. We must refuse to be bogged down by rules," he says.

Colours are Mansata’s short cut to breaking new ground in men’s style. “Blue and grey, and the occasional beige or camel, aren’t the only colours for men," he says. “We now have suits in plum, burgundy and peach. Ochre is really in. Frozen yellow is a huge trend. Orange is not conventional, but look around and it’s everywhere." Eschew regular colour schemes to seek inspiration in interior design instead. “Yellow and green together, pink and red—who would have thought!" Citing Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga’s futuristic techno trainers, Mansata also recommends turning to athleisure for a lesson in wild use of colour.

Komal Sharma contributed to this story

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