Fashion is not just for women, okay? Men can--and do--care about the way they look. And while menswear runways might not get the same attention as the ladies' catwalks, guys can benefit from a few minutes of scrutinizing what emerges from September Fashion Week. The best news is that many of this year's trends are modern takes on the classics, so you may be able to pull out something old and make it new again.
This year several trends remained in the forefront, on both men's and women's fall runways: '70s wide-legs and exaggerated flare-legged pants; biker tough-meets-edgy punk; androgyny for everyone! It is fun to buy the pieces that are really "out there" and "chic" for the season, but when trends go they are gone, and then you have a dated piece of clothing you are less likely to continue wearing. To get the most bang for your buck out of the 2011 fall trends, we suggest incorporating some of the more classic notes that emerged, ones that emphasize great tailoring and classic looks that will be easy to incorporate into your current--and future--wardrobe.
5. Blue-Faced Watches
The GQ Fall Trend Report calls blue-faced watches one of the hottest trends for 2011. Jim Moore, writing for GQ, states, "It's not like wearing a bright color, it's just a color that looks good with everything, so it was great to see this sweeping trend. A lot of the styling on the watches isn't that different if the face was black, but the blue gives it a pop."
The other great thing about blue-faced watches is that they are available in every price point, whether you want to invest in a $18,000 Rolex or a $100 Timex. Blue is fun and colorful without being overtly "trendy"--would you would wear a bright green watch for years? And how often would a platinum-and-white luxury watch make it into your everyday wardrobe? If you are a watch collector it might make sense to own as many watches as you could buy, but if you are looking to purchase just one new piece this season a blue-faced watch is a good investment; you will continue to wear it for years, and it goes with just about everything.
4. Shoe Leather: Wingtips, Loafers with Buckles
Don't say goodbye to your streamlined, skinny Italian loafer just yet, but consider adding a pair of wingtips. Perhaps it's part of the "Mad Men" effect, but these dapper dress shoes made appearances on many runways, like Gucci and Armani. In fact, Gucci has a pair (online at Bluefly) that combines a wingtip and a buckle detail--a sharp, modern take on the classic.
If you don't want to drop $400 on a pair of loafers, these Cole Haans from Zappos are a more affordable $180. For a casual-but-sexy take on the wingtip, check out these John Varvatos Strummer Wingtip boots; a perfect boot for urban dwellers ($350).
3. Camel Coats
There is something very luxe about a camel coat, but this fall the camel color is on more than just outerwear. Michael Kors' long-coated camel suit proves that tan can transition from summer to fall in an effortless way; you only see a peek of the lining on his runway model, but it adds a richness to the look. Camel coats, suits, and even sweaters hit the runways for fall 2011, and stood out in a sea of dark neutrals and bright, preppy primary colors. Speaking of preppy ...
The freshest, most youthful look of the season was a big pop of prep: tweed, plaid, and varsity cardigans could be seen on the Dolce & Gabbana and Etro runways, among others.
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The great thing about the prep trend is that you probably already have something in your wardrobe to work with: a pair of windowpane pants, a v-neck cardigan, or even a bright knit scarf. Over a plain tee, pair a v-neck cardigan with a blazer and wear with jeans, khakis, or even plaid dress pants. And don't be afraid to mix patterns, but do it thoughtfully; a windowpane pant with a bright, striped sweater can work if you keep the rest of your outfit (shirt or t-shirt, jacket, shoes) neutral.
1. Military Inspired Pieces
Clean lines in classic, neutral colors make military-inspired clothing more of a wardrobe staple than a "trend" but the ubiquity of double breasted jackets--from outerwear to suits--makes this classic the hottest trend for men right now. It can be hard to pull off a double-breasted suit without looking like David Letterman, but D&G kept their suits youthful by slim-cutting the leg; models wore brightly colored athletic shoes for a whimsical touch. Double-breasted jackets were sent down the runway by practically every designer with a menswear collection: Gucci, Hermes, Cavailli, and Ferragamo represented double breasted in casual and formal looks.
A pea-coat might be too heavy for a Houston winter, but a double-breasted camel raincoat hits all the right notes for trendy and classic. Or take the plunge and invest in a suit, but remember that tailoring is key to the perfect fit, and that the cut of the modern double breasted jacket is less boxy than years past. Do you already have one in your closet? Take it to your tailor and have it re-cut to a slimmer fit.