No season compares to spring in terms of moving forward, embracing change, altering perspectives and chasing lightness. And while this particular scene is directly applicable to a variety of daily life aspects, usually the wardrobe is the first one to welcome change, making the rest of the transitional process smoother and easier. Casting light on the spring 2013 runway wasn’t the easiest task, considering the fact that the mild obsession for strict military looks in the menswear department was, and still is, in full bloom.

However, the outerwear segment experienced a much needed make-over once a considerable number of designers felt the urge to toy with proportions and volume, tampering with the 1940s military inspired looks and reimagining the structured silhouettes as a lighter version of the classic trench coat.

Unstructured outerwear: the style

What we’re talking here is lightweight outerwear, steering away from the heavy, precise tailoring and following onto a more relaxed path, best exemplified by the robe-like cuts. Slightly oversized, made out of softer, flowing fabrics, the unstructured trench coats tie back with the 1930s, representing a casual alternative to the traditional military greatcoat, worn fairly loose and with more ease.

Unstructured trench coat on the runway at Juun J S/S ’13

Exaggerated proportions

A statement is not a statement until made big, so the lightweight outerwear is closely pursuing the same principle. Exaggerated shoulders, elongated sleeves, narrow waists and below the knee tapering become essential elements in accentuating the dramatic feel of the classic male silhouette. Bold when paired to slim fitting tailored shorts and styled with baseball caps, the oversized trench coat never felt more relevant.

Unstructured trench coat on the runway at Juun J S/S ’13

Urban monochrome

Coming from a brand like Lanvin, the refined edginess doesn’t strike as a surprise, but the morphing of the classic trench into a unstructured silk version of the coat felt unexpected nonetheless. The forward vision puts a strong emphasis on the monochrome pairing, where the lightweight coat and a matching pair of pants come across as one unitary look that captures the effortless, urban essence to the fullest.

Lightweight trench coat on the runway at Lanvin S/S ’13

Rich colors, light tailoring

Now this is something most man would feel uncomfortable wearing outside their homes, but amongst them a free spirit, chasing a sophisticated, yet strange aesthetic would maybe consider giving it a try. The bold use of flambéed orange, juxtaposed to a super light tailored trench coat serves as top note in a casual yet powerful layered look. For more of the extreme easiness, a pair of wide printed pants thrown into the mix are bond to keep the level of eccentricity high enough to really count.

Unstructured trench coat on the runway at Ann Demeulemeester S/S ’13

Metallic fever

Slowly transitioning from women’s to men’s, the metallic clothing trend couldn’t have missed on the opportunity to change the face of the classic trench coat on its way up and as a result the lighter, shinier and silkier version of the outerwear piece turned into a modern-day statement. The metallic trench becomes more of a standout garment when toned down by a subdued neutral color pallet and a slim, fitted take of the classic mens tailoring.

Metallic trench coat on the runway at Burberry Prorsum S/S ’13

Tough attitude

Lightweight can also be made into appearing tough, edgy, particularly manly with the right choice of fabrics and cuts. Where everything else fails, the black perforated patent leather serves its purpose in keeping the silhouette relaxed, while exuding confidence and strength. Looks even better when paired to a white loose fit v-neck t-shirt, a fit, side pocket inserted pair of trousers and a white pair of Chelsea boots. For extra points in styling, highlight the look with a perforated patent leather zip pouch.

Patent leather trench coat on the runway at 3.1 Phillip Lim S/S ’13

Patterns & prints

While its true that the unstructured outerwear focuses more on soft fabrics and relaxed cuts rather than fully relying on prints and patterns, the combination of the two is not excluded. A red micro-checked pattern covering a lightweight coat and a matching pair of safari shorts, teamed to a white cotton jersey and poplin t-shirt, could be the answer to both the urban and the sporty aesthetics during spring and summer.

Patterned trench coat on the runway at Kris Van Assche S/S ’13

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