March 17, 2014

FEATURE/ How to Wear Topman Design

Amidst all the sportswear, neoprene, and street-inspiration on runways right now, we've seen an underlying menswear trend turning towards the wild west and the 70s for their inspiration. From the more obvious western inspiration with Versace and Louis Vuitton to the more subtle 70s story within  Acne Studios (note the neckerchiefs and boxier suiting) and Prada (on the 70s side with the prints and colours), Topman Design was right on the mark with this collection. The obvious was to do a heavily street-inspired collection like their SS13 collection but their design team wanted to shake things up and take it in the different direction.

Topman Design is always one of my favourite collections to keep an eye on every season because of their willingness to experiment with trends and how they provide exciting fashion pieces for people on a budget (like me) hahaha. Unfortunately in Vancouver between the flashy pieces, higher price point, and this city's fashion-apathy, Topman Design's collections are generally seen as unwearable and too over the top. Saul and I are here to prove otherwise, and that even though the runway looks may be an eyeful for some, there are definitely easy ways to work them into a wardrobe.

"Describing the process of the Topman Design team, creative director Gordon Richardson said it was all about the 180: going in the opposite direction of last time. So, if there were skate-y shorts and surf-y prints for Spring 2013, there'd be none of that this time around: no shorts, no prints, no hybrid tailoring For 2014, Topman decided to focus on the shirt, using embroidery for decoration. And, there being no embroidered shirt more iconic than a cowboy's, a story naturally evolved. But given Topman's natural inclination toward the poppier end of the fashion spectrum, this cowboy was of the urban variety, more glam rockabilly than noble frontiersman."

But anyways, enough talk, more pictures!


Loving the embroidery in these pieces. I know, probably a bit flashy at first for most but give it some time, keep going through this feature, and see how easy it is to tone it down to a more comfortable level for yourself.

When I first saw this collection, I was so shocked at how different it was from Topman's previous Design collections. I instantly felt disappointed by it's lack of zaniness (like SS13 which I loved) and when I realized all the embroidery and detailing was of spiders I hated it even more. After seeing the product in real life and trying it all on, I grew to love it and dare I say the spiders now look kind of cute to me? Just look at those little spider eyes on the polo - adorable! 

Touching and feeling the pieces really helped understand the collection and helped me realize how cool it is. Like mentioned, this season is a total shift from the prints, bright colours, and casual west-coast cool of TMD SS13. What makes this collection special is in details with how the embroidery and fabric catch the light. This season's collection is dark, mysterious, and cool, with a little bit of humor in the spiders. I didn't think I'd like but it just keeps growing on me!



The black spider bomber is one of my favourite pieces and in my opinion one of the most versatile. For this look we went casual and paired it with a hoodie, plain t-shirt, black skinny shorts, and the Topman Design shades. It's an easy spring jacket you can throw on top of a simple shirt (best option being white or black) to add some edge to a casual look without having to try hard or feel overly obnoxious. If it's too chilly for shorts, pair with black jeans or Topman's skinny sweatpants (shown later). 

For a more dressed up look try with a white button-up shirt and black jeans or dress pants.



The embroidered vest is one of the stand out pieces of the collection. Featuring embroidery on the front and back, as well as the sparkly-collegiate ribbing, it goes great with any monochromatic t-shirt and you can keep it cool with a pair of ripped denim shorts. 



Add some edge to the burgundy spider-embroidered shirt by rollin the sleeves and pairing with a pair of black skinny sweatpants. Topman offers a great range of skinny-fit sweat pants. Be comfortable without being sloppy, it's a total win-win! Top it off with a black cap and boots to complete the look. 


The spider polo is one of the other most wearable pieces. Throw a lightweight bomber jacket on top and a pair of shorts and you're ready for the day. Topman's grey denim skinny shorts are a great way to lighten up a monochromatic outfit. 



Keep this sweater casual with a pair of light denim and a plaid wrap. A bit more on the grungy end, we styled this look to show the versatility of the collection to dress it up and down. With a hint of sparkle in the detailing, it's a nice way to bring attention to your face and add some interest to your knitwear collection for those days when you feel like you need a bit of glitter. (I hope not, but maybe thats just me?)


These pants are probably one of the more challenging piece to work into an everyday wardrobe. I paired it with Topman's new denim baseball shirts and the Topman Design metallic belt and created a spring jump-suit of sorts. Less "wearable" than the previous looks but still do-able. These pants are good for those who are open to playing with proportion - personally I like them rolled up but if you're down for a cool wide-leg look that's cool too. I'd have to get them hemmed if I wanted to do that (see the pants unrolled below). The belts come in gold and pewter (pewter is displayed in the photos) and are nice because they're not too crazy shiny. 



A great option as well is to dress up the shirts. This time we decided to work with the cowboy inspiration with a wide-brim hat. Keep the focus on the shirt with a nice pair of black denim and some smart shoes. The piping down the sides of the buttons is good for elongating the torso and for some added detail when layered. (Below) Polish it all off with a leather jacket for some warmth.


The black embroidered button-up is one of my favourite picks from the collection because of its versatility. It's also quite true to the collection's western influence but because it's black with a gradient of silver detailing, it's not too flashy. Tone down the dressiness of the shirt by pairing it with the grey Topman skinny-sweatpants - pull them up or leave them down, your choice. If you want to dress it up, match it with a pair of black jeans, dress pants and a simple black dress shoe.



Definitely one of the stand out pieces of the collection, the fully embroidered bomber jacket is something you really have to see and try on in real life. The way the stitching catches the light is quite incredible and the gold accents really take it that extra step from a wow to a WOW. To compliment the detailing, we dressed this look up a bit more with a wide-brim hat, simple white button-up, skinny black shorts and the silver Selfie shoe by YES from Solestruck.

Hope you enjoyed this feature! Definitely stop by your local Topman to check out the collection and don't be scared to try some stuff on. Everything shown in these looks is available at Topman except for the Dr. Martens and YES shoes from Solestruck. If you have any questions feel free to comment or shoot me a message elsewhere :)

Until next time,