This year saw a number of menswear collections at Fashion Week Australia—Dion Lee (who launched menswear at fashion week), Strateas.Carlucci, Justin Cassin, and Katama By Garrett Neff. Neff originally found fame as a runway model before launching his own label, Katama—a menswear line devoted to swim and resort wear.
After his Fashion Week Australia presentation, we caught up with Neff to ask all our burning questions about men’s style. It’s a topic we don’t cover too often on Who What Wear, but we have a feeling you’re the one shopping for the man in your life, so if you’re just as curious as we were about what trends men should and shouldn’t wear right now, keep scrolling for our interview and some street style pictures to inspire you.
Pictured: Garrett Neff
WHO WHAT WEAR AUSTRALIA: For the man that is new to finding his personal style, what would you recommend as a base wardrobe?
Garrett Neff: Find a great, soft comfortable cotton T-shirt and buy it in white, and navy blue. I like them to have an enzyme or silicon wash which softens them significantly and gives them that lived-in feel. We make ours in LA and they’re amazing. If I do say myself.
Find your shoe brand. There are some incredible new shoe brands that are really aligned with my style, and they have a wide variety, which should suit almost every occasion. Check out Greats, Armando Cabral, Between Rivers. They’re all coming out of Portugal which I think is a real leader in terms of value manufacturing these days.
Find your suit. I really love Ralph Lauren Purple Label at the classic high end, and Hugo Boss suits as they’re affordable and also on top of the trends in terms of cut and fabrication.
Definitely buy swimwear for every occasion and mix it with your dressier pieces during the resort and spring-summer seasons to keep an elevated style all year round.
Layer together, mix and match, and don’t forget to add a bit of subtle jewellery to add that extra touch.
Pictured: Giotto Calendoli and Patricia Manfield
WWW: How can men nail smart casual while looking different than they do on the weekend?
GN: I love adding a cashmere or knit to my gym look, or a jogger pant with my suit jackets and dress shoes… I find you can always take one of the more formal elements from your outfit and lose it for something more casual. It makes it your own and you’ll be surprised how much more comfortable you feel and how your confidence lifts when you add that bit of ease to your mood.
WWW: If you could recommend a colour to introduce right now, what would it be?
GN: I’m really into faded pinks, reds, grey, and warm whites. We were all about if for our Resort and S/S 17 collections which are on katamaswim.com right now. Across the board, our half zips, tanks, polos, shorts all have elements of these sun drenched, lived in feels. They go great with khaki, navy white and they’re super easy on the eyes.
WWW: What trends can we expect for men in the coming six months?
GN: I think we’re in a period of new discovery when it comes to brands. It’s easier than ever to find out about new brands on Instagram and through bloggers. Use it. Buy it. Try it on. Return it if you don’t like it. Also, I think people will realise what sort of damage we’re doing to the environment with fast or disposable fashion. I design pieces that you could pass on to your kids. I’m really proud of the manufacturers we work with at Katama. You should be proud of the brands you wear. Do some research on them.
Pictured: Justin O'Shea
WWW: What’s the #1 trend men should ditch right now?
GN: Fast fashion. It’s not easy to find the source of great designs when fast fashion brands are scouring for the best and making it for a tiny fraction of the price of the original. Keep buying it, but just be careful of how much waste you’re producing.
WWW: What shoes should he be wearing?
GN: Again, I think Greats, Armando Cabral and Between Rivers are top notch. And they represent a perfect cross section of the market and are made with your modern needs in mind but feel classic.
WWW: Are sneakers appropriate for work, how?
GN: Yes. I think you can mix them in with your creative job. I can’t speak about finance jobs as I’m not in that environment. In that case you may want to mix the more casual element in somewhere else. But as a creative you can do pretty much anything as long as you want to stand behind your choice. Just make sure the sneakers are clean and the rest of your look is dressed up to balance out those sneakers.