Why asymmetrical clothing is the next big thing in menswear
There’s something a little 1990s goth – a bit Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets the entire cast of The Craft – about asymmetrical clothing.
Occasionally a little too drapey for most regular guys to pull off and often incredibly difficult to wear, even I – a keen advocate of the benefits of tackling challenging clothes – took pause before deciding to write this piece.
The fact is, however, that many of the world’s biggest designers have sent out a whole host of asymmetrical clothing pieces for the Autumn/Winter 2020 season and, what’s more, the wonky aesthetic somehow feels totally in tune with our turbulent times.
Take one of Marni’s asymmetrical polo shirts, for instance. Worn in a Zoom meeting (you can forget about IRL situations for the foreseeable) the shirt will not only look jazzy and fun, but it will also make all your colleagues think that your screen is glitching – which is a reason to LOL if we’ve ever needed one.
And then there’s Bottega Veneta’s brilliantly angular, asymmetrical knitted polo shirts and heavy-gauge sweaters. Designed to create a knowing trompe l’oeil effect on the wearer (Alexander McQueen’s asymmetrical tailoring does a similar thing), the look is unexpected, chic and not a little Gallic in its nonchalance.
What’s more, the whole asymmetric look is one that has been championed by one of my own personal style superstars over the past few years, namely Daniel Levy’s character in Schitt’s Creek, David Rose (I’ve watched the entire show twice since lockdown began in March – it’s great to bake to), who would regularly sport asymmetric sweaters and, notably, kilts, which mere mortals like us wouldn’t dare to attempt. And, what’s more, he looked like an off-kilter style god doing it.
Herewith, all the asymmetrical pieces from all the biggest designers – including Rick Owens, Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta and Sarah Burton for McQueen – which you should be buying to see you through the next few months in suitably wonky style.
1. The sweater
British designer Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta has worked wonders on the Veneto-based brand’s apparel output in the past few years. Case in point, this ace asymmetrical knitted polo shirt. Wear with a pair of high-wasted, cropped cargo pants in a similar shade and some cream high-top trainers and walk with wonky pride.
2. The blazer
Under the aegis of British designer Sarah Burton, Kering-owned brand Alexander McQueen’s tailoring output has jumped from strength to perfectly cut strength in recent years. Take, for instance, this excellent asymmetrical blazer – crafted with pinpoint accuracy – from the brand’s Autumn/Winter 2020 collection. Wear with classic black tuxedo trousers and let your top half sing.
3. The polo
Excellently off-kilter Milanese brand Marni has become a bastion of unexpected style under the careful guidance of (relatively nascent) creative director Francesco Risso. Case in point, this asymmetrical polo shirt.
4. The shirt
Drapey, romantic and gleefully unexpected, make a statement in your socially distanced office by teaming this asymmetric sky-blue shirt from Gucci with classic tailoring or, alternatively, have a little extra impact on Zoom by wearing over a cellular vest.
5. The coat
American designer Rick Owens can always be relied on to produce moodily off-kilter creations, this asymmetric puffed jacket being an extra-insulating example. Team with plenty of equally dark-hearted Owens pieces and make like televisual style god David Rose in Schitt’s Creek for the rest of the winter.
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