'SHAPE-SHIFTERS'? 

TROUSERS: Subtle changes are taking place in the shapes and details of menswear this season. After several years of flat-fronted, very slim or skinny-fitting trousers and jeans, a number of companies are putting out slightly wider-bottomed styles, with a single, or even double, front pleat at the waist. The thigh is getting wider, but most still taper towards the ankle,  where you will see cuffs, or 'turn-ups'. Some include a 'cash', or coin pocket below the waistband, above the pleat(s). Some also feature adjustable tabs on the side - also known as the self-supporting waistband -  so you can set your own fit/comfort level. In fact, all of these are traditional tailoring techniques that look brand-new all over again - and Very sharp!  They come in a variety of shades, from Navy to pale blue, from oatmeal through tan/camel to pale and dark olive. I bought a really terrific pair of Air-Force blue double-pleated wool twill trousers in Florence last Autumn, from an Italian company whose whole image looks English. They don't have any shops here, but you can look 'em up online. I also found a pair of single-pleated, rich cotton chinos back in the UK, in a warm tan for the Summer. 

JACKETS: A bit looser, a bit longer in some cases. Plain double-breasted blazers are appearing with a traditionally wider lapel, and suits in gaberdine, cotton or linen look great in brown, green, blue or cream. they look especially good with a strong-patterned 'Cuban'-collar, or bowling shirt with the collar spread over the jacket lapels. And; a slightly bigger jacket enables designers to add more detail. I very recently picked up a 3-button jacket with a slightly wider lapel, a substantial patch breast pocket, and side patch pockets with neat flaps. Original, different, but this style actually dates back to the American Ivy-League look!  I've also found a great Single-breasted summer jacket in one of London's most famous old shopping streets in 50/50 linen and wool (its ultra-lightweight wool, so it gives the linen structure, without making the jacket too warm). Doubly Cool! This is surprisingly reasonably-priced, and would serve you well for a few seasons yet.

In the Meantime

We may not be going out in the way we used to, but this is no time to retreat into tracksuits and any old t-shirt! All the pundits say we need a routine, or structure, to our days - well here's one to add to your schedule: Search your wardrobe and select a good dress shirt (no, not the one you wear with a tuxedo, just the kind you might otherwise wear with a suit) or thin roll-neck, or a polo shirt, as the weather is getting warmer. Choose a pair of chinos or even 'proper' trousers and make sure they match or contrast with your choice of shirt. Do this every day, with different things, and I promise you that you will look better, feel better/  feel better, look better..etc. If you're locked down with your partner, do it for them.

Nothing to do with Spring:  And while you're looking through that wardrobe, here's your chance to take a long, hard, cold look at its contents. You know that multi-coloured pullover that you bought in the January 2003 sales? Face it - you're never gonna wear it - throw it out! Along with all those other things you haven't worn for a year or two!  Likewise, are there a few 'classics' hiding in there? I found a very good quality, single-breasted overcoat from the early 2000's in mine, and being very good cloth, I tried it on before taking it to the charity shop, and realised it was so large and loose that it could easily convert to a double-breasted! Unusually, it already featured a peak lapel (you would expect to see a 'notch' lapel on a single-breast). I just took it to my local alteration tailor, who found me some high-quality horn buttons - and 3 extra! - and sewed them on for me. New winter coat!