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FW21 menswear colour guide

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Menswear fashion is back for 2021, and it is not of the pandemic, dressed for the sofa kind. Designers are embracing innovation, breathing energy into a new season, full of unexpected colour, prints and cuts.


A colour often associated with the seventies and already declared to be a key colour for homes and interiors in 2021, brown has made its way back to fashion, too. From cardamom to gold to truffle, from leather and suede to chunky knits, the brown palette, oozing between walnut and mocha at the dark end, and tortilla and peanut at the light end, may soon be the new grey. A partner to beige and khaki hues, brown can be deeply visceral in texture. At Hermes, the opening look of its FW21 presentation was brown. At Jil Sander brown swirled through knitwear, adorned coats, tailoring and utility trousers.

Heavy Metals

Isabel Marant, FW21, image courtesy of the brand.

Metallic hues add a playful and contrasting touch to the FW21 colour trend palette, sometimes texturally applied as a fabric treatment, like in performance wear, or printed onto leather or wool, as seen at JW Anderson. Other times the colour is great on its own, like Isabel Marant’s silver metallic accessories and elasticated shiny trousers. Here metallics take inspiration from streetwear and are blended with smart wardrobe staples. As a detail, metallics enhance tailoring, like patch pockets or the back of a collar on a trenchcoat or jacket. Prada’s hot metallic leather bombers lend serious street cred next fall.

Neutral Territory

Winter whites and layered neutrals made their foray in Milan, but were cemented at Lemaire’s Paris show, where long coats in beige and biscuit were layered over cream cashmere, jackets and trousers matching in tan. Lemaire’s tone on tone neutrals suggest easy, non restrictive dressing, in authentic fabrics like wools and cottons.


Pops of colour at Prada’s first FW21 menswear collection with Raf Simons highlighted linings of outerwear, the inside being as important as the outer fabric. Graphic prints work well when there is a play on texture, like Prada’s knitted graphic long johns. At Dior graphic embroidery was seen on a military top coat and dark camouflage hooded jackets and utility trousers. At Louis Vuitton, creative director Virgil Abloh went graphic with black and white striped shirting worn with matching ties. A bold red calf-length coat completes the look. The impact of colour and print adds energy to the season with statement clothes.

Classic Navy

Dries van Noten, FW21, Catwalk Pictures

At Dries van Noten a navy suit summed up the classic yet modern tailoring in what remains a menswear staple hue. These classic colours, like greys, blues and neutrals make for fashion that is timeless, trans-seasonal, without the need to reinvent fashion’s wheel at every turn. Yes, there is poetry in reinvention, but even Rick Owens, the master of the subversive, choses a classic palette of black as the backbone of his collections.

For Menswear FW21 fashion brands, go to the Menswear directory

For Menswear FW21 collections, go to the Menswear section on the Marketplace

Main image: Prada, FW21, courtesy of the brand.