Translating Trends Into Reality / by Emmi Sorokin

fall 2012 trend pics1

fall 2012 trend pics1

Here's a rundown of the 9 most popular themes in menswear and sage advice on how to incorporate them into your look. Perhaps more importantly pointers for how not to be the painfully trendy guy whose clothing screams “I'm trying too hard”.

When interpreting trends into reality it's a good idea to remember that looks coming down the runway are styled deliberately to have the focus be on the clothes, the model is the backdrop. In real life, you're the focus, not the backdrop for your clothes.

Leather - Call it Matrix nostalgia. Black leather with a fighting feel, prominently inserted as panels into wool coats or at times worn head to toe, was part of more collections than not.

Do: A classic motorcycle cut leather jacket, sans mega heavy metal hardware and in a low shine or distressed finish will look masculine, and remain of the moment, long after the all leather trend has passed.

Don't: Go for a full length leather flasher trench coat. Sure, you may attract attention, but it's mostly gonna be from security.

Tweed - Perhaps no other fabric has a more autumnal feel than tweed, this rough surfaced wool is a chilly weather staple perfect for transitioning from summer to fall.

Do: Put a tweed vest or sport coat over an oxford button down and knit tie and pair with a great fitting jeans.

Don't: When incorporating a texture like tweed, best to combine it with contrasting fabrics like denim, thin wale cord, or smooth wool rather than another tweed.

Turtlenecks - If designer collections are any indication, the fashion forces that be seemly want the turtleneck to become the new dress shirt. Placed underneath vests, blazers, tuxes, and jackets, designers left no neck exposed. But be forewarned this is a garment that should be worn with care.

Do: Wear a rugged cable knit turtleneck underneath a structured jacket to strike a balance between soft and hard.

Don't: Wear a thin body clinging turtleneck by itself or worse don it with a chain.

Murses - The man bag was once a controversial little item, now it seems no look is complete without one. Designers showed carry-alls in every color and shape so even the die-hard Jansport carrier can find something he likes.

Do: Try something other than black, especially if you wear a lot of neutrals. Whether it's olive, crimson, or eggplant. A bag is one of the safest ways to add color and edge to your style.

Don't: Purchase something you're not 100% confident carrying.

fall 2012 trend pics2
fall 2012 trend pics2

Saturated Colors & Unique Textures - The runways were filled with in your face colors like, mustard, electric blue, and dark burgundy and also a fair amount of brocade, embossed, and embellished fabrics.

Do: If you're starting out with bright colors or 'blingy' fabrics, incorporate them into your accessories like a belt, socks, and shoe laces.

Don't: Choose a bright shade purely because it's your favorite without regard to how it will look with your skin tone and coloring. Bright red looks hot on a Maserati, not so much on a pale white guy. Also, pants are an easier way to wear a bolder color or fabric because it won't be fighting with your face for attention.

Statement Shoes - All of the trends we've been seeing in clothes the past few seasons like mixed materials, metallic finishes, prints and bold colors, have finally made it below the ankle.

Do: Break out of your black and brown rut by adding a differently hued or even pattern shoe to a plain white button and jean look.

Don't: Have a ton of other colors and stuff going on and then add crazy shoes into the mix.

Bold Prints: Stripped of stripes, painterly prints (think Monet using an overcoat for his canvas), literal animal prints like owls and flocks of birds, abstract art and cartoon sketches ruled the runways.

Do: Wear underneath a simple sweater or sport coat for some added visual interest and uniqueness.

Don't: Let the print overtake you by showing it off in it's entirety. You should be the focus, not the print.

Double Breasted Jackets - After being abused and abandoned by the oversized 80's a new trim tailored double breasted jacket is back.

Do: The double breasted cut widens a man's silhouette, so wear it if you have a lean or slender frame.

Don't: Pull out 30 year old suits from storage and think they're finally back in. The wide lapels, giant shoulder pads and wide armholes instantly show that it expired decades ago.

Velvet: Traditionally worn for holiday parties, designers tried showing velvet isn't a one trick pony by incorporating it into everything from casual pants to sneakers.

Do: Pick one item to go velvet, like a trim blazer, well cut pant, or shoes.

Don't: Go fuzzy head to toe Velveteen rabbit style.