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Men’s Spring Fashion: Ultimate Style Guide for 2021

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The days are longer, the air is warmer, birds are singing, and the grass is green again. All of these signs point to the happy fact that the gloomy cold of winter has melted away, ushering in new life.

In literature, spring is used to symbolize renewal. It’s all about the new beginnings, the tales of joyous youth, awakening, and growth. The possibilities that come with this season are endless. There are new activities to try, places to go to, food to eat, and people to meet. 

Now is the time to shed all your troubles and move on. It’s also a chance for you to update your wardrobe to help transform you into a more stunning, newer, and better version of yourself.

Men’s Spring Fashion Tips

Spring is the season immediately following winter and preceding summer, or the very cold and the very hot, respectively. This makes it a season with unpredictable weather. One minute the sun could be beating down on you, and the next, it’s 11 degrees again with rain sleeting against your face. You’ll have to be ready and dress appropriately in order to beat the sudden changes.

Wearing an outfit that can keep you warm and cool at the same time to prepare for temperature mood swings is the best way to do this. I’m talking about layers and the versatility they provide—coats, sweaters, scarves, undershirts, socks, all of it. Even if the weather is cool when you step out in the morning, that’s no guarantee it will stay that way the whole day. 

I also need to mention colors. With the flowers in full bloom come the butterflies, birds, and other animals who are there to enjoy them. Spring is the most colorful season there is. This is your chance to put on the colorful garb in your wardrobe that you stashed away during the winter months or to buy a new flowery shirt. Nature colors such as green, blue, brown, and yellow are just some of the classics for this time of year.

Men’s Spring Wardrobe

Let’s get into detail about the clothes that you’ll actually be wearing. Which fashion pieces should you keep, and which new ones should you consider buying? As mentioned earlier, spring is an in-between season with unpredictable weather that isn’t too cold nor too hot.

The wardrobe choices on this list will help you navigate them all.

Shoes

While there is an endless list of shoes to choose from, the two that I highly recommend you get for the season are boat shoes and sneakers.

Boat Shoes

First created by businessman and sailor Paul Sperry in 1935, boat shoes mainly feature grommets on the sides through which decorative laces pass, and siped soles that help the shoes maintain their grip on wet terrain.

These shoes can be made of leather, canvas, or synthetic mesh. They are water-resistant to a point, depending on which material your shoes are made of. Canvas is obviously the least water-resistant of the lot. Leather can be treated to withstand the effects of being dunked in water, but not for very long. And though synthetic mesh will get your feet wet, they’re breathable enough to dry out your feet quickly.

Boat shoes also come in an array of colors and styles. If you’ve never owned a pair before and are unsure of which to pick, try to get a more breathable type made of canvas or synthetic mesh brown ones. Brown is a classic color and can be paired with almost anything. It’s also a great balance between formal and informal, allowing you to use your new shoes on more than one type of occasion.

White Sneakers

Good weather is an invitation to go outdoors, and spring is a season that hands out a lot of these invitations. If you plan to travel long distances on foot or simply want to spend a whole day outdoors, you’re better off wearing a pair of sneakers instead of boat shoes.

Sneakers were first created for sports, training, and exercises but have since been widely adopted into casual streetwear. They’re lightweight, durable, versatile, and very comfortable. You’ll even feel like you’ve brought your bed with you from how great they feel under your feet.

In the springtime, I strongly suggest getting yourself a pair of classic, white sneakers. They can match so easily with the brighter clothes you’ll be wearing and have the ability to elevate your outfit to make you look totally neat and dapper. They don’t have to be extravagantly expensive either. In many cases, you can get a good quality pair that will last you years for $100 or less.

Long Sleeve Shirts

Long sleeve shirts are a great option if it’s too warm to wear a coat or jacket, but still too chilly to be comfortable. You can even roll up your sleeves should the weather get even warmer. From henleys to sweaters, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from.

Linen 

For this season, what’s more important than the style is the kind of fabric the shirt is made of. The first material that I recommend you get is linen, which you may probably own already. It is an incredibly breathable and light kind derived from flax, which actually requires less water to grow than cotton, making it a more sustainable option for the environment. The fabric absorbs moisture well but also dries out quickly due to its hollow fibers. It’s also very durable and becomes even better with age.

Undoubtedly, linen shirts are perfect for spring. They commonly come in solid colors, so even though they look nice on their own and do a great job at providing you comfort, you can actually still wear coats and jackets over them for a more polished look. For instance, a denim jacket is the perfect partner to wear over a linen polo. 

Cotton

Cotton as a shirt fabric is the most common and widely used. This makes it cheaper than linen while still providing the same excellent quality of natural fiber. It’s breathable, hypoallergenic, comfortable, and so versatile that you can wear it to many types of occasions, even formal ones! And not just any occasion, but in all seasons as well.

Your long sleeve cotton shirts will look great with other clothing options like jackets and jeans, and accessories like sunglasses and watches. If you happen to have a long sleeve cotton sweater, just wear it as it is and roll up the sleeves on warmer days. You can even pair cotton with cotton by wearing a cotton cardigan over a cotton shirt. That’s how versatile they are!

Cotton is very easy to clean, but be careful not to put your shirts in the dryer as the heat will release the tension in the fibers and cause them to shrink back to their original size. Best to leave them out to air dry.

Lastly, it’s important to note that though cotton is just as breathable as linen, it does not dry out as quickly. In hot weather, you’re more likely to find sweat patches on them than on linen shirts.

Short Sleeve Shirts

Short sleeve shirts are a must-have in your wardrobe for all seasons. They can be made from different kinds of fabrics and, like their long sleeve counterparts, can come in different styles. Being short-sleeved, however, gives them the advantage of being less restricting, airier, and more casual.

Like with long sleeves, we’ll not focus too much on what’s on them but more on their types instead.

Plain Tees

The first variation of the short sleeve shirt is the plain tee, or a shirt devoid of any prints. This can be a cotton shirt with either a v-neck or crewneck, perhaps a polo shirt made from woven fabric, or simply a short sleeve linen shirt. 

Plain tees are the most basic and minimal, and can therefore be worn in both casual and more formal settings. You can don them by themselves, or under a coat or jacket. I personally love plain white tees because they’re so understated that they’re just so easy to match.

I definitely recommend that you have a couple of these plain tees at your disposal. For the spring, you’ll want a couple with brighter hues. Pale yellow, robin blue, and even salmon pink are classic spring colors on a plain tee that will look great with the rest of your spring collection.

Printed Short Sleeve Shirts

Printed shirts definitely have more character and personality than solid colored ones. You can buy pre-made printed shirts with a classic quote on them, or an image of your favorite superhero. You can even customize any plain shirt to add a picture of your own life motto or loved one. 

These shirts aren’t limited to those with just a handful of pictures either because there are ones that are completely covered in prints, oftentimes recurring. Hawaiian shirts and florals, I’m looking at you. These shirts are usually collared with buttons, and can have either long or short sleeves. They can be buttoned up and worn as they are during warmer weather, or left open to allow a plain tee to warm you underneath if it’s a bit more chilly.

Admittedly way more casual than the plain ones, printed shirts have the advantage of being the statement piece of your outfit without being too expensive. At the same time, they are more personally fitted to you—your taste, your style.

Coat

The main difference between a coat and jacket is the length. Coats are longer and can reach even lower than your knees, while jackets mostly end at hip height. For this reason, coats are more formal than jackets. Though they are most often worn in the cooler months, there are some that are light enough to be worn in the spring.

Trench Coat

Basically, a trench coat is a double-breasted raincoat that can be made from cotton, leather, or poplin material. For obvious reasons, it’s better to avoid the leather trench coats in the warmer months and instead go for those made from cotton and poplin as they are more airy.

Now, trench coats started out as double-breasted because they were originally made for the army. These days however, you’ll be able to find some in the single-breasted style that might suit you better if you plan on wearing them casually outdoors. The trench coat has the innate ability to make you look sophisticated, even if you’ve worn nothing but a plain tee underneath. It’s a classic, elegant item that every man should invest in.

If it’s your first time buying a trench coat for spring, it’s better to get one that’s a close fit to your body since the warmer weather calls for fewer layers. The most common and easily paired colors are beige, navy, and khaki. The versatility they provide will allow you to wear the trench coat both to the office and the casual outdoors. 

Duster

As the name suggests, a duster is an outerwear coat that used to be worn by men on horseback to keep their clothes from getting dusty. The decline of equestrianism in today’s world is responsible for the duster’s shift from being utility items to fashion pieces that can be worn by both men and women. 

This coat has linen and canvas variations and comes in many colors and designs, which makes them a great add-on for spring. In contrast to the more tight-fitting trench coats, dusters are made to hang loosely around your shoulders and body, and typically end below your knee. They can be worn with a belt tied around your waist, or simply left open to flap in the fresh spring wind. 

Since dusters are such a loose fit, it only makes sense to pair them with tighter-fitting clothes. A pair of skinny jeans, a casual top, and some white sneakers would look amazing underneath a beige teddy duster. 

Jacket

Jackets started out as outer garments to protect workers from the cold. Their multiple pockets made them ideal for storing small items such as food and tools. Because of this, jackets are seen as less formal than coats, but by no means are they less fashionable. 

Bomber Jacket

What started out as another jacket for military men is now being used by countless civilians in everyday life. Though it’s true that bomber jackets, or flight jackets as they’re alternatively known, were originally made of leather, nowadays you can find them in nylon, Merino wool, polyester, cotton, and other light fabrics. 

A typical bomber jacket’s style consists of a zipper in the middle, ribbed collar, cuffs and waistband. It can also house some extra pockets for your hands to slip into when it gets chilly. Some bomber jackets these days may come with detachable hoods to protect you from sudden spring rain. 

This type of jacket continues to be popular because of the way it brings out that beloved Dorito-shape, with its wide shoulders and trimmed waist. Its many variations, from colors to the type of fabric, has also given consumers plenty of options. Though black is the most common color for them, it’s too dark a color for spring, so I recommend getting something along the beige and khaki spectrum instead. 

Denim Jacket

One of the most beloved types of jackets and an American staple, the denim jacket is one that everybody should have in their closets. Seriously. They look great, they’re comfortable, and they are so easy to match because they’re perfect for adding layers to your outfits. You can wear them over a shirt, then have a totally different jacket to cover that ensemble for some added warmth and detail. 

The classic color to go for is navy blue, but some acid wash will work as well. The natural blue of denim fabric will combine well with the nature colors you plan on wearing for spring. 

A denim jacket should fit you perfectly, allowing you to move freely around in one. You should be able to stretch out your arms, but not for the reason that the sleeves fall to your fingertips when you put your arms down. If you haven’t gotten one yet because you think it’s too tight, chances are, the jackets you’ve tried on in the past were the wrong fit for you. Finding one in your size will make all the difference. 

Pants

Another incredibly important part of your outfit that you can’t leave home without are your pants. Of course, you’re perfectly free to rock a pair of shorts this spring, but unlike pants, they don’t quite have the same level of versatility especially when it comes to setting and styling. 

Chinos

Let’s talk about chinos. What are they? Well, they’re pants that are made from a fabric called chino cloth, hence the name. Chino cloth is perfect for warmer weather because it’s a light twill material made from cotton. This makes it more comfortable and breathable than denim, which we’ll talk about in a bit.

Chino pants typically come in brown tones, but recent variations can include green, red, and other atypical colors. They’re casual pants but are still dressier than denim, so they’re easy to dress down and dress up.

There are a lot of combinations that you can try but the first step is to find the perfect pair for you. You can pair your green chinos with an off-white henley and sneakers, or put on some loafers and a leather bomber jacket on top of a pair of khakis. Go for a more relaxed fit this spring, but not too relaxed that they’re baggy. Do this and your chinos will surely pay for themselves. 

Denim Jeans

Denim jeans were invented during the 1800s by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss, who teamed up to create durable work pants for the labor force. These jeans became so popular that they’re still being widely used to this day, all around the world. 

Unlike chinos, denim is made from a thicker, heavier twill cotton fabric, so they’re not as light and not as breathable. The thicker material makes it a better insulator, though, which is why they can be used all year round instead of just in the spring and summer months. They’re also sold predominantly in blue colors, whereas chinos are mostly found in browns. 

Denim jeans are fashionable and come in a huge range of styles. They can be skinny, baggy, tapered, ripped, acid washed, gem studded, you name it. Because of this, and because of their origin, they are a decidedly casual apparel. But you can still dress them up by pairing them with a classic trench coat and some chelsea boots. You won’t get away with wearing this outfit to a business meeting, but you’ll look and feel great outdoors. 

Accessories

Arguably, no outfit will be complete without a few well-chosen accessories, and apart from the obvious scarves and hats, I do have a couple of other practical ones that I highly recommend you use. 

Watches

Humans have been trying to read the time since time immemorial. And that is why, as accessories go, watches are the first on this list. They’re sophisticated, diverse and, forgive the pun, timeless. Any good quality watch can last you many years. In fact, some watches are so durable that they can be passed on from one generation to the next as heirlooms.

The three types of mechanisms used in watches are the quartz, mechanical and automatic. 

  • Quartz – requires a battery to operate 
  • Mechanical – operated by a manual winding mechanism 
  • Automatic – relies on kinetic energy or movement to run

The most common and therefore the cheapest is the quartz movement, but if you can afford a great watch that boasts of both a mechanical and an automatic mechanism, then go for it!

As for aesthetics, less is more in the formal world. A sleek black leather watch with a minimally styled dial just screams formal, while rubber and nylon straps can better withstand the outdoors. Metallic straps are a good balance between formal and casual, as are brown leather straps. 

Sunglasses

Sunglasses are another great, functional accessory that you can use to elevate your look. Though the Chinese invented sunglass-esque tools in the 12th century to block out the sun, sunglasses as we know them today were invented centuries later in the early 1900s. They were intended to help improve vision and hide facial expressions, both of which still hold true to this day. I mean, what’s more mysterious than a man in sunglasses? 

Like all things in fashion, sunglasses are sold in thousands of different styles and colors. From aviators to rectangle to square frames, with black, orange, blue, and silver lenses. There’s a whole world out there for you to explore. If you suffer from cataracts or simply want to reduce the glare of the sun, you’ll want lenses that are polarized. If you have vision problems such as being either near- or far-sighted, opt to have prescription photochromic lenses that automatically grow darker under the sun. 

Sunglasses are also great tools for making your face look more symmetrical. If you have a round face, for example, wearing square-framed glasses will add more angles and definition to your face. Inversely, if you’ve a square or angular face, then get glasses that are rounded or curvy. 

Men’s Spring Style

Now that we’ve established what goes into your wardrobe during springtime, it’s time to get into detail about how to put all those pieces together. 

Nautical

Nautical is a term that encompasses anything relating to ships. If you’ve seen movies about sailing, or if you’ve laughed at cartoons such as Popeye, then it won’t come as a surprise to know that the main colors of the nautical style are white, blue, and a rusty, orange-y red.

This classic style has been done and redone for so many years because of its flattering colors and rich history. What started out as a navy military uniform that united the soldiers and people through many battles, transitioned into high fashion when Queen Victoria took an interest in it. Sometime after, fashion designers incorporated the style into their own works, making it more accessible to the public. 

Apart from the colors, the main stars of this style are the horizontal stripes, which usually come in white and navy blue. Therefore, the best and easiest way to wear a nautical outfit is by wearing a striped top. You could then complement your chosen top with a brass-buttoned blazer, or simply adorn it with a scarf. Both chinos and jeans will work perfectly well, or even a pair of shorts. Finish off your look with some nice boat shoes and sunglasses.

Urban

By definition, urban means anything related to the big cities. So, urban fashion is a kind of street fashion that takes inspiration from whatever is currently trending in a particular place. It has roots in sports, punk, hip-hop, and rap music, and is a great look for partying on those chilly, fresh spring nights.

Urban fashion typically consists of, but isn’t limited to sunglasses, caps, hoodies, t-shirts, jackets, boots, sneakers, jewelry, and jeans. Jewelry can include a typical watch, but you may choose to wear others such as a ring, bracelet, necklace or even an earring if you’ve got the piercing for it. 

It’s really no surprise why this type of outfit continues to trend. It’s youthful, current, cool, comfortable, and very easy to personalize. It only began in the 1990s too, making it one of the newest styles in fashion. So bust out your favorite pair of sneakers, put on your most comfortable pair of jeans, top them with a hoodie or a printed tee under a jacket,  conclude with some well-chosen accessories, and you’re good to go. Comfortable and easy. What’s not to love? 

Dapper

To be dapper is to be neat. Trim. Gentlemanly. If you’ve been described as being dapper at least once in your life, then you’re doing something right. But what exactly constitutes being dapper? Is it all about the suits, the ties, the blacks, the Oxfords, and Derbys? The answer is no, you don’t have to be in a suit 24/7 to be considered a gentleman. 

As previously mentioned, to be dapper is to be neat, trim, and generally put-together.

The first step, therefore, is to get the right hairstyle. I don’t mean get a haircut because you don’t need to have short hair to pull off this look. Long hair works as long as it’s clean and styled neatly away from your face. Don’t forget to let your nails and facial hair in on the treatment as well. Then, have your clothes tailored to fit you because the right fit is just as important as the quality. Lastly, accentuate with your best accessories. This can be jewelry, a chic pair of sunglasses, or an elegant watch.

Classic

A classic spring outfit is an outfit that looks trendy while incorporating your light, breathable garments into layers that will keep you comfortable through all the weather changes. Again, the focus is on the layers. Mix and match the jackets, coats, scarves and socks at your disposal. If you’re having a hard time, I have a few ideas to get things going. 

One look I would suggest is to combine a sweater with denim jeans, sneakers, and sunglasses. Sweaters are described as being long-sleeved, knitted tops that conform quite well to your body’s shape. Since it’s already on the warmer side, there’s no need to add on a jacket. What you can do instead is to wear a scarf, either let it hang loosely around your shoulders or tie it up around your neck to keep warm. 

Another simple yet classic look involves your bomber or denim jacket. Put on a casual tee underneath, a pair of chinos or denim jeans, and your favorite sneakers or boat shoes. Note that you can wear a denim jacket with denim jeans, just make sure they’re not the exact same color. A faded denim jacket and dark, navy blue denim is a good combination. 

Pastels

Pastels are often described as being muted or soft, and are associated with the youth, more specifically babies. The light feeling that these muted colors evoke is not the only reason why they fit so well with the fresh vibes of spring. Pastels also happen to be very common around Easter time. 

So how do you add a splash of pastel to your outfit? Well, the simplest way is to wear a pastel-colored shirt. Salmon pink, baby blue, peach and lavender are just some colors you can choose from. If you’re worried about them being too feminine, don’t be. An off-white coat and beige chinos are enough to bring out the manliness in your outfit, as well as a clean pair of shoes.

You may also choose to add pastels to your accessories instead, through a nice scarf or socks. Now is the best time to get creative!

Florals

No better time than now to bring out those floral prints! Though they’re associated with femininity, florals are not exclusive and can totally be rocked by men. There’s a reason they’ve been around for as long as they have. They used to trend in the 70s and have recently made a comeback. It’s because they work. They look good. And in spring? They fit right in.

If a Hawaiian shirt isn’t your type at all, don’t worry about it. The good thing about floral print is there are so many variations. It doesn’t encompass just flowers, but leaves, vines, and trees as well. For a more subtle floral look, go for a shirt with two to three colors max. It could be a dark green, long sleeve dress shirt with white leaves, or a beige polo with maroon and orange flowers. 

How you wear your floral shirt will make all the difference. You can leave it untucked over a pair of neutral shorts and sneakers. Alternatively, you can tuck it into your jeans, fasten it with a nice belt and end with some boots. It’ll be like wearing spring itself. Just don’t overdo it by matching print on print. Prints with plains, always.

New Utility

Utility means to be useful. In a nutshell, utility fashion involves clothes that don’t just look good but are handy as well. This means pockets… and lots of them. Any item of clothing that features these in troves can immediately be counted as part of the utility style of fashion. These include cargo pants, joggers, utility vests and jackets.

Let’s face it, it’s hard to leave home without a cellphone these days. In fact, if I had to choose between my wallet or my phone, I’d pick the latter! You don’t need to physically carry around cash anymore because online banking systems and technology have made life that much more convenient. This is why utility fashion is so trendy. It allows us to carry our things sans the need for bags, while making sure we look good doing it.

To pull off this look in spring, remember to stick to brighter colors. A green jacket or camo vest over brown or white cargo pants, and brown boots could work. Also, note that baggier clothes fit into this style more than tight-fitting ones.

Next-level Sweats

This style of clothing is all about the sweaters, sweatshirts, and sweatpants. You may not know this, but sweaters and sweatshirts aren’t the same. A sweater refers to a knitted upper garment, while a sweatshirt is one sewn out of different fabrics. Think holiday sweaters vs hoodies.

Regardless of the difference, they both do the same things—keep us warm, protected, and comfortable. So how do you up your sweater, sweatshirt, and sweatpants look to the next level in spring? There are lots of variations out there when it comes to color, but I suggest going for neutrals such as beige, gray, and white. This will make them easier to pair, and keep them relevant all year round.

For instance, a pair of gray sweatpants will go well with a nautical white and blue striped top, or a beige sweater with some navy blue jeans. Or if sweatshirts are your thing, get a white one and match it with a pair of khaki chinos. When it comes to shoes, again, sneakers are your best friend. But it wouldn’t hurt to try on your boat shoes, a pair of boots, or some sandals, either.

Frequently Asked Questions about Men’s Spring Fashion

What should a man wear in spring?

To challenge the volatile weather of spring, a man should wear more comfortable, breathable, and more layered outfits in brighter colors than you would find in winter. Jackets, scarves, socks, and coats are just some of the essentials for this season.

What are the best spring colors for men’s clothing?

The best spring colors for men’s clothing are the classic blue, yellow, green, white, and red, or a variation of these. They’re the colors most often found in this time of year and also the easiest to pair.

What should men wear on a spring date?

Any outfit on this list will work for you if you plan on wearing it to a spring date with someone special. However, a special mention goes to looking dapper. Nothing impresses a lady more than a neat, put-together man with a good sense of style.

A Final Word From The Trending Man

Spring fashion is fresh, full of life and variety. It’s vibrant, youthful, and really easy to build into if you only have the courage to try. From all the colors to the many styles and combinations available, there’s sure to be a look that can suit each person’s tastes and needs.

You can go for the classic nautical look, or add more feminine themes by wearing floral prints. If you’re a pragmatist, you might appreciate the rugged utility look above the rest. 

Don’t be afraid to try out new patterns and combinations. Spring is a season for new beginnings. Let it be the season when you become a braver and better you.

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