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PAUSE Highlights: Men’s Trends for Spring/Summer 2025

Less is Most Definitely More: The Enigma of SS25 Menswear.

Now that the boil of Milan and Paris Fashion Week has simmered back down, it’s about time we collectively sat down and had a think about what this season meant to the bigger picture, and by the bigger picture, we mean next year’s wardrobe. We know how daunting a rebrand can be, especially when you’re trying your best to stay in the loop with a constantly evolving, fast-moving fashion landscape, so we’ve done all the dirty work for you (you’re welcome.)

Miu Miu-style moments, trompe l’oeil, green galore, and the humble polo shirt might make the headlines for this and next season, but some slightly more subtle, left-of-centre reoccurring themes reared their pretty – and not so pretty- heads across this SS25 season’s extensive range of shows. So, what are you waiting for? Do some scrolling, get in the know, and make a start on those new looks.

Throw it On, See What Happens.

Trying too hard? Stop. High fashion tells us to take it down a peg or two with some carefully considered tailoring choices, pulling at materials for a more rugged, rough around the edges, and ultimately messy final look. Industry frontrunner Prada put themselves forward as the most consistent example of this, most noticeably pulling at necklines, bringing up the waist, and untucking their shirts for a marginally reimagined take on the seemingly ever-present “preppy” aesthetic, all the while leaning into typically masculine colour palettes and heritage shapes for something subtle.

Keeping the “we don’t care what we wear, you do” mentality going, Fendi bridged the gap between the polo shirt and this “get up and go” look, reimagining dropped necklines and pushing them to the side for some summer-ready airiness. Easy on the eye Wales Bonner gave this a go too, cropping sleeves, half-popping collars, and tucking their collaborative adidas polos into their underwear. I mean, there’s casual and then there’s taking your trousers off. Anyways, the fashion gods have spoken; keep the fuss at home.

Wear What's on Your Mind...

Slogan t-shirts aren’t exactly a brand new moment in the world of high fashion, but this season has seen an influx of graphic pieces looking to underline exactly what the wearer – as well as the designer – is thinking. Being the most direct way to start a conversation in the world of fashion, a slogan t-shirt can traverse a plethora of topics. From addressing social and political landscapes to highlighting brand mission statuses, rubber-stamping a moment in time, or simply having a bit of fun, what’s certain is that this piece will remain, forever and always.

Notorious slogan royalty Moschino make their long-awaited return to the spotlight, championing a simple Moschino “time and place” t-shirt, cementing the date and location of their Milan Fashion Week runway show earlier last month. That sense of communal engagement in Adrian Appiolaza’s runway debut at the Italian fashion house physically extended to those in attendance, with each audience member being gifted the same t-shirt seen on the runway. More fun-loving flavours arrived plentifully through Doublet’s striking SS25 collection, putting gains on a pedestal through an “I *HEART* PROTEIN FIBER” t-shirt whilst bringing some more direct humour in the form of a “YOUR ONLY FANS” jersey. Making statements in more ways than one, A$AP Rocky’s debut AWGE “American Sabotage” collection kept politics firmly in fashion, making one thing very clear: “DON’T BE DUMB.”

Whatever the message, fashion is being transparent about one thing: let’s get talking.

The Allure of Illusions: Trompe-l'œil.

Undoubtedly, trompe l’oeil has become somewhat of a buzz term in recent months, with various brands utilising the art form to generate interest and shed some light on what they’ve got cooking. Unfamiliar? The broad term is defined as a “visual illusion in art, especially as used to trick the eye into perceiving a painted detail as a three-dimensional object,” and for SS25, trompe l’oeil has been reinterpreted ten ways to Sunday.

One of the early rising worm-catchers of this growing trend were Acne Studios, who showed their latest garments at a vibrant showroom in France’s capital. Prints, prints, and more prints dominated the Swedish outfit’s newest pieces, with everything from faux upturned jean hems, 2D-come-3D printed belts and rips, and wallet chains to colourful charm adornments, Acne Studios were in their bag with this one. Following suit were Prada, who went for in a more tailored direction for their interpretation of trompe l’oeil. Similarly to the aforementioned Acne Studios, printed 2D belts rather obviously spread themselves over tailored tweed trousers and shadowed, windswept striped tops took trompe l’oeil to the seaside as a sailor-like look ruled over a couple of key ensembles. Bringing the polo shirt back to the forefront once again, printed stitch collars added some double-take definition to cropped tops, all the while feeding into the illusion of trompe l’oeil. Other arguable inclusions arrived from the likes of Bianca Saunders, who blended painted graphics seamlessly into matching ties and suit shirts, whilst JW Anderson reversed the very idea of trompe l’oeil, forming a classic v-neck jumper that resembles a 2D print but instead utilises a faint frilling around the low-cut area.

Having a few tricks up your sleeve (literally) is never a bad thing.

Buckle Up.

The humble belt steps outside of its comfort zone for SS25 as high fashion sticks a buckle on just about anything… and everything. Seemingly refusing to step away from the stage, the belt wraps its way around the industry as pretty much every major show utilises the wardrobe mainstay in some unique way.

The aforementioned Acne Studios saw fit to keep the belt present when it wasn’t really present, stacking several waist-tightening straps on top of each other for their one-of-one trompe l’oeil design. Every single AMIRI look pinched the waist as well by utilising the single strap in a more traditional way, and despite this more rooted use of the accessory, it maybe epitomised the current relevance of the piece more than any other collection. JW Anderson killed his interpretation, nailing a ready-to-wear look through belted denim shorts and cuffing trousers at the hem, and in turn doing a lot with a little for optimum efficiency. LOEWE let their belts dangle as elongated leather pieces accessorised their ensembles and even intertwined themselves with garments, inserting a less traditional method of on-the-go tailoring into their SS25 collection. Finally, Prada re-emerge as one of fashion’s leading trendsetters once again as they go mega viral with their belted handbag, whilst their equally as discussed trompe l’oeil belt insertion continues to make headlines. LEMAIRE deserve an additional mention, deciding to invert the conservative notion that belts belong on trousers by layering and looping them over outerwear.

Whatever the occasion or fit, let those belt buckles show.

Crinkle Cut.

Piggybacking off of “Throw it On, See What Happens,” the un-ironed, crinkled, and all around creased piece of clothing is having its say, and we’re not quite sure what to think about it. The messy aesthetic isn’t for the faint hearted, with this sort of look taking a considerable amount “IDGAF” attitude, and that we most definitely are here for.

Waving the flag high and wide, the likes of Prada (shock,) JW Anderson, Bianca Saunders, and Fendi were all at it, some more subtly that others. Bianca Saunders made sure to underline the crease as a central attraction, utilising plain colour palettes and block colours to exacerbate the appearance of the lines, whilst Prada utilised the crease as an accessory, most prominently on the cuffs and collars of their garments. Fendi kept things more low-key, opting for suited looks that boasted thinner material, making the crease seem more “of the moment” as opposed to orchestrated, with fellow Milan Fashion Week showcase JW Anderson hiking up their boots and trousers for an action-ready look that forced the crease of the bottom half.

It’s one of the weirder trends to emerge from SS25, but it looks like its here to stay.

Sun's Out, Tums Out.

Last but certainly not least, it’s time for the crop top to continue its legacy as the powers that be suggest that we get our tummies out for summer. An ever divisive topic in the world of men’s fashion, the crop top is getting a rebrand as the striking look embraces masculine traits, flipping some aged narratives on their heads, with Martine Rose, the always sexy Dsquared2, Prada, EGONlab, and Maison Mihara Yasuhiro being some leading lights.

A pretty self-explanatory break down, the crop top stays high and reveals what you want down low, with Prada and EGONlab taking a more tailored approach to the trend, making sure that despite the casual nature of exposing the torso, we’re keeping the suited and booted look firmly in mind. Dsquared2 are far from a surprise inclusion, with their sultry SS25 show looking to expose as much skin as possible for a hot and heavy dose of sex appeal, not excluding a cropped shirt or two. Lastly, Maison Mihara Yasuhiro layered up their looks for a more subtle exposing of the stomach, highlighting the potential flexibility of a cropped upper garment.

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