Even though summer has only just arrived, many fashion stores across the northern hemisphere are already stocking their first lines of clothes and accessories for autumn/winter 2013/14. As The Style Examiner looks into the sartorial offering on British high streets and mid-market retailers for the colder months ahead, River Island certainly stands out for its affordable and stylish collection for men.
Over the last few years, River Island has made a significant investment in its menswear offering, a decision with very positive results as evident in the elegant tailoring that pervades formal and evening wear as well as in the successful accessories and outerwear pieces. The only downside of the brand’s current production strategy is the choice of fabrics that are not always of the best quality, even though that move allows for lower price points to consumers.
For its autumn/winter 2013 range of clothes, accessories and footwear for men, River Island has opted for tried-and-tested designs and colours that have been popular over the last couple of seasons. In spite of the focus on this safe (and wise) approach, textures and structures play a significant role in the success of the collection, with abundant examples of cable knit and Fair Isle cardigans and jumpers, and tactile fabrics such as velvet and brocade woven with metallic threads. The colour palette is overall sombre, with white, grey, black, brown, burgundy, emerald and navy highlighted by bolder patterns and prints such as checks, paisley, florals and polka dots.
Evening wear is key to the River Island autumn/winter 2013 menswear collection, in the form of evening suits, dinner jackets and penny collar shirts that can be worn either as part of a full look for Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties or as separates combined with jeans for a smarter look during the day. Accessories such as evening scarves, knitted ties, bow ties, tie pins, pocket squares and handkerchiefs complement this range.
Also worth noting are the successful examples of outerwear, particularly the military overcoats and trench coats. In addition, a diverse range of accessories and footwear complement the clothes, including colourful beanie and bobble hats, brogues, wedge shoes, high tops, holdalls, backpacks and satchels. All in all, this is a collection with many accomplished pieces that will please many men.