Fellas, this one is for you!
It’s the beginning of August... The end of the summer is nearing and the autumn temperatures will be here before we know it. And so goes the fashion… It’s almost time to put up the whites and lighter fabrics and trade them in for darker colors and warmer, heavier textures. So, let’s switch gears and focus on men’s fashions for Fall 2009 season. "It's easy to beat the summer heat when you know fall is around the corner. And this fall is particularly exciting, due to all the fun product coming out. Color, fabrication, and unexpected nuances will bring the store to life this season" says Tommy Fazio, men's fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman in New York.
The main theme for this fall from designers and store buyers: Although we’re in a recession, quality, value, and especially personal style will not be sacrificed. In other words, you won’t see cheap, crappy-looking clothing in stores this fall just because the economy is bad; this year it’s all about classic, timeless investment pieces. Co-owner of Odin in New York, Eddy Chai, states "many people have reverted to a more conservative and practical approach to fashion, due to the economy. But you shouldn't have to sacrifice style to get value and timelessness." And that is the recurring theme that I’ve seen for Men’s Fashions this fall and well into the winter. Classic American design laced with the traditional style of the Brits and Frenchmen brings about tailored silhouettes and timeless structured staples. Whether you are a dapper businessman, an edgy motorcycle guy, or a rugged outdoorsman, there is something for every man this fall. "Fall 2009 is the season when men will turn to iconic items to convey their personal style. Men take comfort in the confidence that comes along with wearing strong pieces that define who we are to the outside world" says Tom Kalenderian, executive vice president for menswear at Barneys New York.
Let's go! I AM XI's suggestions for Fall 2009 Men's Fashion... (click images for bigger picture)
Opt for a relax-fitting, classic trench coat and/or a slim-fit, sturdy peacoat in black, charcoal gray, or tan. These two staples are definitely worth the money you would spend on them.
Left: BBlessing; Right: Rag & Bone; Bottom: Burberry
Left: Spurr; Right: Richard Chai
If you are a man who likes that edgier look, go for a subtle, structured fatigue jacket. The fatigue jackets in brown leather and gray suede pictured below will look very sharp when paired with jeans and a Henley tee for a weekend look.
Left: Gap; Right: Versace
Stay away from distressed motorcycle jackets especially with studs and puffer coats/vests in plaid and Fair Isle prints. These looks are extremely trendy and you just may get the side-eye from people if you showed up anywhere that’s not a motorcycle club or ski slope in these coats.
Top left: Moncler; Top right: Elizabeth & James; Bottom left: Bess NYC; Bottom right: Helmut Lang
There is nothing like seeing a man in a NICE suit! It just exudes confidence. Double-breasted suits are being shown for fall this year, which is a great alternative to the single-breasted suit. Keep the cut of the jacket fitted but not boxy, and keep the pant leg tailored and not overly tapered. Aside from your solid colors, black, charcoal gray and navy pinstripe are being revived this year as well. Also, try pairing your suit with a matching vest for added grandeur style. And remember: no cost should be spared when purchasing a classic suit, and seeking out a good tailor is a smart idea too!
Top left: Tommy Hilfiger; Top right: Versace; Bottom left: D&G; Bottom right: Aquascutum
Stay away from plaid and corduroy suits! One name comes to mind: Mr. Brown… Need I say more?!
Left: Kolar; Right: Our Legacy
Dark on Dark on Dark:
This is the season for dark colors. Gone are the days when you pair everything with white. How blah… Dark suit, dark dress shirt, and dark tie make this look oh so clean! The trick to making this look work: mix textures and fabrics, such as wool, flannel, brushed-cotton, and cashmere. And don’t just think blacks and grays, combine blacks with brown and blacks with navy. Once thought to be a fashion faux-pas, it is no more! These colors go very well with one another if done correctly.
Left: Ralph Lauren Black Label; Right: Ralph Lauren
Guys, this year’s blazers are multi-functional with added detailing for a crisper look. The blazers are sporting elbow patches, gold buttons, smaller flap pockets, and no lapels. Interesting, I know…but if you are a bit daring and want to try something different this fall’s blazer is for you. Some blazers also come with heavier, quilted linings for those very cold November nights, and some are reversible for 'more bang for your buck.' Herringbone gray flannel, corduroy (the jacket alone is fine), cashmere, and jersey-like wool are great fabrics to try these blazers on for size.
Top left: Michael Bastian; Top right: Moncler Gamme Bleu; Bottom left: Engineered Garments; Bottom right: Devoa
Plaid Dress Shirts:
Now, let me put my disclaimer on this first: I am not a fan of plaid shirts on anyone; dressy or otherwise. Gone are the days of the '90s and the red & black lumberjack, unless of course you are a lumberjack. HOWEVER, if you choose to wear plaid this season as a variation to the white, blue, and striped shirts: keep it very simple, sharply tailored, and subtle. These plaid shirts can be dressed up or down and when paired with a solid or downplayed tie, blazer or suit with the same color scheme, this look works.
Top left: Tommy Hilfiger; Top right: Michael Bastian; Bottom left: Tom Ford; Bottom right: Woolrich
But, DEFINITELY do so with caution. PLEASE do not go overboard; the plaid speaks for itself and it will become your main focal point.
Left: Paul Smith; Right: H&M/Urban Outfitters
Sweaters & Tees:
Now, you can never go wrong with a classic cashmere sweater. They come in a variety of colors and can be worn layered with a dress shirt or tee underneath. But, Henley tees are becoming an alternative to the V-Neck sweater. They are cooler, in a James Dean kind of way, and can be worn layered as well or alone.
Top: Bergdorf Goodman; Bottom left: Gilded Age; Bottom right: Dolce & Gabbana
Fair Isle sweaters..(*blank stare*)… Unless you want to look like Leave it to Beaver, be my guest. But, this granddaddy-print sweater can stay in cedar closet forever.
Left: Burberry Prorsum; Right: Benjamin Bixby
Your jeans should be straight-leg, relaxed-fitting, and comfortable. Jeans come in various shades and colors. Opt for the colors in dark black (never let the become faded), navy blue, gray, and khaki (everything you get from a Docker-style pant but in denim), in addition to your usual shades of blue. Also hot this season, laid-back distressed jeans that already look worn in.
Top left: Robert Geller; Top right: GUESS by Marciano; Bottom from left to right: Polo by Ralph Lauren, Levi's, Dsquared
Ok, MEN…Please, I repeat, PLEASE DO NOT WEAR SKINNY JEANS! AVOID skinny jeans at all cost! They are not the bizness nor will they help you get the bizness…well, unless you’re – XI doesn’t discriminate, we love everyone, but you get my point – I digress… this is not a good look…end of story, PERIOD. This is not up for debate, just don’t do it! And, really, what’s the purpose of saggin’ them?! It’s so corny! Stop it! It’s played. Jeans should FIT and should not be TOO baggy!
Top left: Marc by Marc Jacobs; Top right: Balmain; Bottom left: Oak (w leather insets); Bottom right: Givenchy
Overall, fellas, keep it classic with a slight edge but remember to stay true to your personal style.
**Each of these looks can be remixed with high & low-end pieces. As you can see, I pulled from 'very high-end' to 'middle of the road' to 'on a strict budget' stores and brands.**
Sources: GQ, Details, men.style.com