September 30, 2014

From the Editor: Getting the Guys Dressed Right

Three fashion gurus share their wisdom for the guys.

 

We’re delighted to bring you the next great looks in women’s fashion heading into spring and summer (see “Next,” p. 122, and “Beads, Baubles and Beach,” p. 130). But we’re a little short on help for men (there is a tip or two from custom clothier Joseph Wendt on p. 82), so I asked our three fashion gurus in this issue to share their wisdom for the guys. Two are regulars with us—fashion director Pamela Jean and contributing editor Cheryl Lampard.

The newcomer and only man in this select group is Zack Dobbins. He’s a Fort Myers fellow, currently living in New York, and is a creative whirlwind who describes himself as stylist, photographer, musician, sculptor, writer and smart aleck (though he used another word starting with “a” in that last designation).

Before reeling off his list of recent trends, he shared a couple of stories about the challenges of staying cool. “Extreme tailoring is in,” he says, “and I found a vintage three-piece YSL suit that was chocolate brown with gray pinstripes. I had to have it. Naturally, I went the route of extreme tailoring for it, and the vest became known to my friends as my corset. The whole look was amazing. I was loving it till the night I was singing in concert, took a deep breath before going for a high note and popped a button so far it landed in the audience. Yes, I lost my buttons in the name of style.

“Now about another current trend, California chic… Growing up, I was meticulous about my shirts being maintained. If the neck wore out or was stretched out of shape, I would throw it away. Then, about two years ago, I was with the creative director of Valentino in their showroom and watched him stretch the neck of every T-shirt he saw. Oh my. I was in shock. But he was ahead of the trend. Now you see it everywhere. I do it today with every T-shirt I own. It gives an ‘I don’t care; I just threw this on’ sexy vibe. It’s especially good under something very structured or layered under a very chunky knit with dark denim.”

 

Zack: Wing-Tips to Pocket Squares

Three-piece suits—I think it started with men trying to figure out how to get vests back into their wardrobes.

Extreme tailoring—It has gone from a nice drape to the point of almost pulling to get the slimmest fit possible.

Dark denim—But no boot-cut denim. And if the pockets have designs that look like Britney Spears’ jeans from the ’90s, please don’t wear them.

Pocket squares—Non-shiny, non-silky. Easy fabrics. Small patterns reign supreme—polka dots and checks galore.

Wing-tip shoes—In color and traditional shades. Perfect to pair with dark denim.

California chic—Casual, effortless look. It features a huge range of luxurious sweaters and knits in cashmere and the softest fabrics imaginable. Mixing grays, heathers, cream, white and camel.

 

Pamela: Bomber Jackets to Color Block

Athletic, preppy look—Printed jackets and pants. Plaid, camouflage or floral prints. Pants can be cuffed and showing ankles, but shouldn’t be baggy. Wear one solid with one print in jacket-pants combo.

Bomber jackets—They’re coming back with slimmer-cut and lighter materials.

Double-breasted blazers—Tighter in the waist with shorter jackets.

Color block—Bold sweater with, say, a bright orange sleeve or cuff.

Dark solid jeans—With straight leg. No skinny jeans.

The white look—But mix various textures (silks, linens, cottons) with jacket, shirt and pants.

Cargo shorts and baggy pants are out—So are squaretoed shoes and crocs.

 

Cheryl: Bermuda Shorts to ’50s Casual

Blue—The whole palette, from pale to the deepest midnight.

Bermuda shorts are coming back—If you’re brave, you might pair it with a jacket. The right fabric can make the ensemble less casual, less beachy.

Fifties casual vibe—Higher-waisted pants and casual ’50s shirt with a spread collar and open neck.

Pleated pants and looser leg—They’re back.

Two-tone shoes

For sporty guys—High-tech cycling fabrics (wicking-away qualities, etc.) for shirts and jackets that aren’t for sport.

Accessorizing—Carry a bag that’s soft enough to fold and is bigger than a woman’s clutch.

 

OK? Got it all? Gentlemen, start your (fashion) engines.

 

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