When it comes to seasonal styling, it’s important to blend fashion and function. No one’s rocking a puffer jacket in July, no matter how fly it might look (unless they live in the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s winter). Come this springtime, dress in a spring style that works with your fashion sense and your weather patterns.
Are the last remnants of a heavy winter hanging on? Is it always raining at 2 pm? Are temperatures getting warmer than your feet wrapped in pair of wool socks and stuffed in insulated hiking boots?
We’re here to help you find your perfect 2020 spring styles. Although it’s a little less volatile than women’s, men’s styles from 2019 still saw a bit of a shift going into the new year.
What’s In Fashion for Men in 2020?
If we dive into the men’s fashion trends hot off the runway, some seem more likely to trickle down than others. Full body denim? It’s in apparently — but don’t rush out to get a denim jumpsuit because of that.
Here are a few pieces that easily make the transition from high fashion to streetwear. And most aren’t too far off from the usual men’s spring fashion staples.
- Preppy-ish Oversized Oxfords: A button-down or two is always a part of men’s wardrobe-essentials. You should definitely be breaking out your existing lightweight button-downs right now. If you’re looking to shake it up a bit, though, pick up a secondhand Oxford shirt (or ostentatiously patterned button-up/down should the spirit move you) in a size too large.
This is meant for a casual look and not professional ensembles for sure. But it works with layers, too, if you just want to look a little baggy without feeling unkempt. Otherwise, you can roll the sleeves and tuck this into chinos for a fit that’s put together but relaxed.
- Tank Tops: Overall, this is more of a summer thing than something for casual spring outfits, but it could work well in our warmer climates out there. Is spring just summer, part 1, where you are? Try a tank top with shorts and an unbuttoned shirt thrown on top, maybe even busting out those tropical short sleeve vibes.
- Shorts: Specifically, shorter cuts are where it’s at. This was big in men’s fashion for 2019 as well, but the trend has persisted. From wearing swim trunks boldly in the wild to simply sporting tiny chinos shorts, don’t be afraid to forget the pants this year.
- Pockets: This trend is currently making its way across jackets and cargo pants. Just kidding, pockets are always on-trend when you’re talking about cargo pants! But a light, breathable, and durable top layer that’s pocket-plentiful can be a lifesaver. For 2020, it’ll be fashionable at the same time.
- Matching Top and Bottom Sets: If you love to add that little extra something yet with minimal effort, a two-piece coordinated set is for you. ASOS has a lot of varieties between short- or long-sleeved shirts and shorts or jackets and pants; Boohoo comes through with prints, lots of athleisure, and even a bunch of pockets.
The Spring Outfits Men Should Be Putting On
There can only be so much variance when you’re dressing seasonally. Look at men’s spring fashion in 2018, and you’ll find many similarities to this year’s trends. There’s always denim involved, various types of jackets and shorts, stripes (in 2018 it was vertical — for 2020, it’s horizontal).
You’ll want to stick mostly to natural fibers that breathe, like cotton and woven fabrics, such as cotton chambray, linen, or blends. They don’t inhibit airflow, nor do they trap moisture against the skin.
And then depending on how warm or cold your spring gets, you’ll need different amounts of sleeves, layers, and tropical whimsy (which also always seems to be trendy in one way or another). Don’t bust out the Hawaiin shirt while a late frost is killing your potted plants, for example
With that said, use a mixture of these quintessential pieces to transition from your killer men’s fall style to a fly men’s spring style.
- Crew Neck Sweater: An ideal transitional piece. If it’s cold enough to warrant layering, it looks great over button-downs but also holds its own if you just want to be springtime cozy. Opt for thinner fits over thick, heavy knits.
- Henley Shirts: Short sleeve varieties are like a collarless polo, but long-sleeved versions make an excellent alternative to a crewneck sweater. With buttons near the neckline, this shirt feels like it puts in a little more effort. You could even button them all the way up if you were feeling wild.
- The Button-Downs: A classic spring pattern is a gingham. It’s the pattern you find on picnic tablecloths in red, but in other colors, the pattern takes on a new life — especially mild and flattering in pastels. It works with short or long sleeves, and you should definitely have some short-sleeved button shirts for spring.
Aside from that, you can go for a tropical print or just try cotton or linen in solid colors. Chambray pairs well with more denim if you want to try to pull off that 2020 total denim look. But it looks best matched with browns and other neutral tones for a lowkey look, when you aren’t feeling floral or pastel-y or whatever.
- T-Shirts: In classy, versatile solid colors, not the graphic tee flavor. But you’ll know what you can pull off and where/when you can pull it off if you’ve got a big graphic tee collection you’ve been waiting to dig back into.
- As previously mentioned, chinos are basically the perfect spring trouser. Lightweight, breathable, versatile. Sometimes people call them “khakis,” but khaki is, honestly, just a colorway these days. There are no navy khakis — chinos, however, span the rainbow.
- Jeans are still in, as always. Move to lighter washes for spring, as opposed to deep indigos.
- When it comes to shorts, definitely go for twill/cotton over denim, or rock those swim trunks as casual wear. There are also stiffer weaves to consider, such as corduroy.
- Since preppy is in this year, so are boat shoes. They won’t kick it with every outfit, though, so keep that in mind while building out the day’s fit.
For the next options, Jetsetter’s gathered a pretty good selection that covers at least one shoe from each category. Although if you’re in a really rainy “spring showers” kind of area, you may just want to find some hardy waterproof shoes to ride out the season.
- Low top sneakers are casual, low stakes choice, especially in white/grey/black or a bright pop of color. And technically, big, chunky shoes are having enough of a moment that you could put them on for contrast against a lightweight outfit and the look would still work.
- Brown or grey boots are the other side of this low stakes spectrum — from chukkas to Chelseas.
- Loafers and derby shoes are also a little preppy, but they bring up the formality of the outfit more than boat shoes. They pair great with coats and jackets.
- Sandals and sliders, with or without socks, make a huge statement with the right outfit backing them up. They might be the lazy man’s choice, at least conceptually, but they’re still fashionable for spring nonetheless.
It’s time to ditch the heavy jackets, the insulation, the puffers, the parkas. (If you live in the Southern United States, continue as you were.) With springtime comes time for coats and thinner materials.
- Denim Jackets: You’ll usually want to avoid the very darkest blue washes or anything mixed with cloth or fleece or sherpa elements. They may be appropriate for cool weather events, but fashion-wise, more evocative of early autumn than spring. Instead, layer them if you need more warmth. Also, choose a color that at least slightly contrasts any other denim you’re sporting.
- Blazers/Sport Coats: Light, dressier without becoming formal, versatile. We all need a blazer in the closet if we’re ever in a pinch. Just wield this power wisely — don’t mix a blazer or sport coat with a t-shirt and shorts. You can’t elevate an outfit that much with one single piece, and it looks better when it’s in semi-dressy company.
- The Simple, Everyday Over-the-Rest Jacket: The go-to, and this is as varied as the shoes can be, if not more.
It could be a utility coat, full of pockets, or packing extra length. An accented bomber jacket or windbreaker (a windbreaker is really only viable with long sleeve shirts though, otherwise you could end up slightly damp at all times). A plain piece to go over everything while you’re out and maybe take off when you arrive somewhere. It could even be denim again, in a neutral tone.
This is all you, so really let your personal style or fashion-reckless regard for function guide you.
All in all, 2020 isn’t any big leap forward in spring style for men. The staples are still staples, and what’s en vogue on the runway isn’t too wild to adapt for streetwear.
Whether you’re dressing for high fashion, hitting the town, or going to the office, there should be a fit to be found here for you. Don’t be afraid to mix and match. Just keep in mind what makes men’s spring fashions so great (versatility, lightness, layers, plus pastels, and other soft or tropical colors) then build up your outfit from there.