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Men's fashion - Brit parade

PUBLISHED: 12:05 08 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:54 20 February 2013

Crested cardigan, green gingham shirt and classic chinos from Crombie (0870 111 8090; www.crombie.co.uk)

Crested cardigan, green gingham shirt and classic chinos from Crombie (0870 111 8090; www.crombie.co.uk)

Jo Haywood looks at how men's spring fashions are redefining classic British style

There is something distinctly James Bondish about this season's styles for men. It's not all black tie and shiny shoes though. This is James Bond at work, rest and play - even an international super spy has to have a day off every now and again. Inspired by the understated luxury of bygone eras, the key phrase for spring is 'relaxed elegance'. The allure of classic cuts mixes seamlessly with sumptuous fabrics crafted for comfort and made with the finest materials available in a far reaching palette from mellow yellow and shady grey to magnificent magenta and regal purple. This is something of a nostalgic look, but don't confuse nostalgia with oldschool dowdiness. It's more of a back to the future look; a tip of the hat to the elegance of the past while marching resolutely onwards and upwards with cutting edge fabrics and contemporary silhouettes. The more formal collections border on minimalistic. They are cool combinations of black, white and grey with discreet patterns that add background depth. There is a distinct whiff of luxury about them, but it is relaxed luxury and not buttoned up in any sense. The emphasis is most definitely on comfort, lightness and allround wearability. There should be more colour in the casual side of your wardrobe this season. Don't be afraid to clash if the mood takes you, teaming purple and yellow or green and orange. Your better half might tell you your choices break all the matchy-matchy rules, but rules, as they say, are made to be broken. And anyway, do you think anyone tells James Bond he can't wear pink slacks and a yellow polo if he wants to? Not even M would get away with that.

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