This will be my first article for the men out there. It’s definitely not my last. Men’s fashion evolves as does women’s but men’s options can be somewhat limited. However, men can definitely show their fashion credentials by incorporating some of the must-have items listed below.
First of all, the 70s are back. If there is one thing I know about fashion, it has become extremely cyclical. What was once cool is cool again, but this time with a modern twist. Retro-sportswear is back and has been for over a year, so for the millennial and/or hipster out there, matching two-piece tracksuits are in for a weekend vibe. Zip-up nylon jumpers and drawstring trousers create a comfortable but put-together look. The “in colors” for this retro-look are burnt orange, deep burgundy, gray, navy and tobacco brown in luxury fabrics that have careful attention to detail. Top this look off with either a shearling jacket or a down-filled puffy coat for winter and you will own the room.
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Checks have been a constant part of the male wardrobe for centuries but they are in right now, especially tartans. Although a plaid shirt or a check blazer will always be a sound investment, this year will see designers apply checks to everything from knitwear and t-shirts to pants and winter jackets. A muted gray plaid or navy is a great option with a v-neck sweater and plaid shirt. To pull off this look with more vibrant colors than what you are used to, add in a neutral anchor to the look.
Much like checks, it’s hard to remember a time when stripes weren’t in style. Offering an alternative to the classic Breton stripe, last year’s motifs were variegated in both color and size. Vertical stripes also were all over the runways at the recent New York Fashion Week and again applied to everything from t-shirts to tailoring.
The layered look: Learn to layer in different ways and use new styling tricks, such as tucking in a polo shirt or mixing the trend with another, like wider-legged trousers. Vests are a great layering option for a weekend away—not necessarily sweater vests but more of a zipped front that stays open. Wear a colorful plaid shirt underneath for a great layering, warmer option.
As another layering approach, consider wearing a somewhat fitted t-shirt with a jacket or sports jacket. You can select pretty much any color but sticking with the neutrals such as white, off-white, gray, black, or tan t-shirt is a safe bet. This look is great paired with black or a dark washed denim or khaki pant. All you need to do is add a nice jacket or sports jacket and you will be ready for casual Friday or a night out on the town.
Shirt style: Try untucked dress shirts. There are companies that have this type of shirt (see untuckit.com). My research shows that many retailers are selling these types of collared shirts. For a great look, wear a shirt untucked, one that cuts even or slightly curved below the hip line, and you will be good to go for that dinner out with your significant other.
Mock turtlenecks from the 90s are back. My husband doesn’t throw out much and will repurpose most everything for lawn work/garden wear; if you’re like him, you may already have a turtleneck in the back of your closet. Well, it’s time to pull it out. Add a vest or a sports jacket with a nice dark denim wash and you will look polished and put together.
What’s in for pants? Flat front pants, meaning no pleats for men, have been in style for some time now, but now there is a “skinner” version of almost a legging look but not quite. This trend is more for the 20- and 30-somethings out there, but if you are comfortable in it, then feel free to rock the look.
Shoe style: Leather or suede slip-on shoes have been trending for a long while. These shoes look good for business if in black leather or try a dark brown suede for a weekend/evening out. The penny loafer will also always be in style.
Tie squares: Another great look for more formal attire is wearing a tie with a tie square in the breast pocket. I have several fashionable male friends who always wear a tie square when attending church, a gala or other formal occasion. These squares come in all different patterns and colors and can be coordinated with your tie or can be used without a tie. It gives an extra panache that you might be looking to achieve for that event.
Hopefully, these fashion tips will help you on your next shopping excursion. After your shopping spree, I recommend visiting a tailor to make sure that your sports jacket and slacks fit you the way they should.
—By Luann Conlon