Piles of pleats, big bags, longer everything: The strong style trends from Men’s Fashion Week Fall 2024 shows

3 side-by-side images of men on fashion runways. A model wearing a black leather jacket, black pleated pants, and black boots. A model wearing a light brown leather bomber jacket, brown trousers, and carrying a large leather bag. A model wearing a long coat, trousers and loafers.
(Source, left to right: Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Gucci)

Florence, Milan and Paris were unseasonably cold over the last two weeks as designers staged their Fall 2024 menswear collections during Pitti Uomo, Milan Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week. Fitting, considering the clothes we were shown for next fall and winter prominently featured big coats and touched on enjoying the great outdoors. Some designers even celebrated the cold, like Pharrell, who closed out the Louis Vuitton show with a dusting of snow.

The runways were a showcase of looks that felt, on the whole, incredibly wearable. That was particularly evident in Milan, where Gucci launched a new menswear era for itself under the stewardship of Sabato De Sarno. If his predecessor, Alessandro Michele, was an unparalleled world-builder who pushed the boundaries of campy fashion, De Sarno seems set on making clothes that he — and a broader range of clients — want to wear. 

There was a similar feeling in Paris, where many of the big houses offered up collections that were less editorialized than recent years, with more approachable silhouettes. Oversized pants, for example, were replaced by the familiar straight-leg, slim-cut trouser.

Beyond that, though, these are the trends that stood out across a fortnight of runway shows.

Full length

For Fall 2024, it seems the perfect length is simply: longer. 

De Sarno’s Gucci show kicked off Milan Fashion Week, and the immediate takeaway was that long coats were in. (De Sarno himself is an avid collector of coats, with over 200 in his wardrobe, so it was fitting that coats were a signature part of his collection.) The first look featured a long, black ankle-length coat, which was followed by a long sleeveless aubergine coat, an ankle-length trench coat and even some that dusted the floor and trailed behind models. 

There were a smattering of long statement coats at shows over the next two weeks, too, from Loewe (a golden brown teddy number) to Louis Vuitton (a workwear-inspired yellow coat with a contrast collar). 

However, as the shows unfolded across Milan and Paris, it became clear that it wasn’t just long coats that were to be in vogue, but elongated everything. There were longer suit jackets at Giorgio Armani and Our Legacy; floor-length sweaters that resembled clingy knit dresses at JW Anderson; long shirts left untucked at Wales Bonner, Commes des Garçons Homme Plus and Officine Générale; and high-necked turtlenecks at Hermès and as part of most every look at Valentino. 

The theme even carried through to the detailing. Belts on coats were left dangling at Bluemarble, Kenzo and Walter Van Beirendonck, while fringes were comically long on leather jackets at Egonlab. There were chaps with long, swinging fringe at Louis Vuitton and, for good measure, a coat that was both long and had lengthy fringe.

Big bags

It’s said that luxury fashion houses make the bulk of their profit on covetable accessories — particularly bags. And on the Fall ’24 runways, there were plenty of “big bags,” both in terms of their aesthetic quality and desirability. In fact, many were supersized to eye-catching effect.

In Paris, at Louis Vuitton — where Pharrell is already being heralded for his preternatural ability to create the most in-demand bags — there was damier-covered and monogrammed hard luggage that was pushed around the runway in carts by models, and a jumbo-sized bag that kind of resembled one an artist might use to lug a canvas, easel and brushes around in. The Hermès collection featured jumbo takes on the brand’s iconic leather bags, and at White Mountaineering, designer Yosuke Aizawa offered up a more casual (and, one imagines, much more affordable) take in the form of bulky duffel bags. 

Earlier, in Milan, Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada sent roomy leather tote bags down the runway as part of the Prada collection, while Giorgio Armani presented iterations of most of the above: a suede artist’s bag, leather totes and shiny duffels.

A regal air

The pendulum has swung back.

The 2020s to now have been dominated by relaxed clothing — hello, athleisure and slouchy tailoring — but the future looks like it will have a more regal air. Perhaps stealth wealth was the harbinger of things to come, or maybe it was the prevalence of houndstooth and gun club checks in recent seasons. Regardless, the Fall 2024 collections were chock full of opulence, references to the British monarchy and the pastimes of the monied, aristocratic class. 

In Florence, the look was seen in evening wear, with smoking jackets and bow ties at Todd Snyder, Magliano and S.S. Daley. The styling was slightly subversive: bow ties left undone and draped around the neck, smoking jackets with black bodies and white shawl collars instead of the inverse. 

At Fendi, in Milan, Silvia Venturini Fendi revealed her affinity for Princess Anne with a collection steeped in the British countryside. Checks, plaids and tartans were everywhere, as were luxe takes on hunting jackets, leather fishing jackets and driving shoes that one imagines would serve well for piloting an Aston Martin around rolling Scottish roads. Hermès’s Winter 2024 collection was also steeped in Britishness, and prominently featured both Prince of Wales check and argyle.

There were also a range of seafaring looks at Prada and Emporio Armani that skewed more admiral than mere sailor, with captain’s hats, gold-buttoned coats and more. 

And perhaps the most evident alignment with an elite class was Kim Jones’s decision to stage, for the first time, a full men’s couture collection during his Dior Winter 2024 show, the standout of which was a kimono that took 10 people three months to produce. 

It’s safe to say that designers are signaling that it’s time for people to take getting dressed seriously again.

White as a sheet

The obvious colour story from the Fall 2024 collections was the prevalence of rich tones — dark red that bordered on burgundy or maroon, deep blues, earthy browns, and warm oranges and yellows — that went hand in hand with the aforementioned affluent vibe.

But the real colour trend was white, a colour that is already found in so many wardrobes in the form of T-shirts, button-up shirts, socks and countless other staples. How, then, could one possibly claim that white is the season’s “it” colour?

For one, Rei Kawakubo said as much, with a collection dominated by white detailing on black pieces, white wool tailoring and suit jackets that looked as if they had been turned inside out to reveal their white lining. Kawakubo’s show notes simply stated that “white is symbolic of prayer.” 

Chitose Abe’s Sacai presentation also featured a series of white looks and gave prominent space to an artfully crafted white shirt near the end of the show, while Emporio Armani’s collection featured alpine styles that would easily double as snow camouflage.

White stands out against the otherwise rich palette. And there’s something inherently bourgeois about wearing lots of white; it presupposes that you won’t get dirty or that it’s no big deal if you do, because you can just buy another pair of pants or a new suit.

Pleasing pleats

The fashion world mourned Issey Miyake’s death in 2022 and, if the Fall 2024 collections are any indication, he’s still on the minds of many a designer. 

If Miyake’s accordion-like pleats are often imitated, the best designers know that they can never actually replicate them. Instead, the idea of pleats was channeled in the form of ruched, wrinkled fabric that was meant to make clothes look lived in and give them volume.

While there were ruched waistbands, cardigans and jackets at Magliano’s show in Florence, the trend was most obvious at Gucci, where De Sarno’s tailoring featured ruched detailing behind the knees of trousers and on the waists of jackets, meant to mimic the wrinkles that come with regular wear. Also in Milan, the trousers at Zegna were largely smartly pleated down the front, sometimes exaggerated with a piping to draw the eye. Fendi’s British-tinged collection featured pleated skorts inspired by traditional Scottish kilts.

At Comme des Garçons Homme Plus, in Paris, Rei Kawakubo’s collection also included pleated skirts, as well as pants with short fringe that looked like bulging wrinkles, and jackets with ruched waists that made it seem like the garments were a size too small and pulling at the buttons.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *