6 Great Alternatives to Denim

We all have that tried and trusted favourite pair of jeans we swear by but sometimes we need to switch it up a bit and get out of that denim rut. The problem is, it can be hard to know exactly how and what to wear instead – especially if you harbour the fear that you’re going to end up looking like your dad and/or an aging golfer, so read on for some suggestions for alternative bottoms to wear with your men’s t-shirts and shirts.

1)      Grey trousers: every self-respecting guy should own a smart pair of grey trousers. We’re not talking thin cotton slacks like your old school trousers or something you’d wear to the office, but a slim cut, tailored style in a good quality heavier fabric. Team with a short sleeved button down shirt and leather loafers to complete the dapper look.

2)      Linen trousers: linen doesn’t have to make you look like you’re on your way to the yacht club. Just keep the cut straight and – it goes without saying – don’t wear with a pastel lemon yellow sweater draped over your shoulders. Unless of course that’s the look you’re aiming for! Yes, linen creases, but by embracing the wrinkles you’ll achieve a slightly disheveled air of nonchalance.

Men's Linen Pants

Looking Suave

3)      Khakis, combats and cargo pants: call them what you will, these are an enduring staple of any man’s wardrobe and while they do go in and out of the fashion limelight, cargos make an easy-to-wear alternative to jeans and always look great when worn with a crisp, clean white men’s t-shirt.

4)      Shorts: you’ve got the climate, you’ve got the legs, why not forget your denims for a day and roll with shorts instead. Preppy, longer length men’s shorts were all over the designer catwalks for Spring Summer 2013 in a wide range of colours ranging from classic navy to bright orange. Play it safe with a white tee or go for a colour-clash in one of the brightly hued men’s tshirts that are also making their statement next season.

5)      Patterned trousers: another big stand out in men’s designer fashion for the up and coming season was pattern. Whether you want to go wild in bright prints and colours or play it down with an understated check, you should have plenty of options to choose from. Word to the wise: keep checked trousers to a slim cut to avoid looking like an extra from a Chevy Chase movie.

Chevy Chase National Lampoons

Hey – There’s NOTHING Wrong with Dressing Like This!

6)      Biker pants: possibly a trickier one to pull off, but since Balmain introduced their biker-style men’s trousers, other designers have been taking notice and following suit with their own more affordable versions. Cut slim and with rugged knee patches these are a directional look for the type of guy that wouldn’t be caught dead in board shorts. Wear with biker boots or a pair of slip-on Vans trainers.

So, to summarize, while it might be tempting to roll out of bed and pull on those crumpled denims that are lying on the floor, sometimes it can make a refreshing change to go for something a little different. If you like to make a statement you can be as daring as you like with this season’s men’s trousers but it’s equally possible to still create a unique look that’s a little more subtle.

Let us know what you wear when you’re trying to drag yourself out of a denim rut in the comments box and don’t forget to check out Ethereal Clothing’s great range of urban men’s t-shirts for inspiration for your top half!

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6 Must Read Street Style Blogs

For anyone interested in men’s fashion, street style blogs are a must. Showing us a glimpse into the wardrobes of people as far flung as Berlin, Sydney, Shanghai and Las Vegas, street style blogging has taken on a life of its own and is now widely recognized to influence the fashion industry almost as much as the fashion industry inspires the bloggers.

The amount of street style blogs out there are numerous – from ultra-popular sites that score thousands of hits daily to ones gathering dust in a dark, forgotten corner of the internet somewhere – not to mention all the others that are starting to make a name for themselves that lie somewhere inbetween.

mens designer t-shirts

street style

The great thing about these blogs is that they often focus on one aspect of fashion or one country or even city, so you can limit the amount of searching you do by just zoning in on what you find interesting; whether that’s fashion from the streets of London, men’s t-shirts, ladies vintage fashion, fashion from countries in the former Eastern Bloc…and pretty much anything else you can think of!

Therefore, this list is by no means a complete one – it hasn’t even scratched the surface of the so-called blogosphere, but if you’ve previously not been a fan, or don’t know where to start looking, check some of these fashionable websites out and get some inspiration for your next outfit.

Oh, and these are in no particular order either!

1)      Where else to start but with Fruits? Back in 1997, this legendary Japanese magazine hit the streets of Tokyo running when photographer Shoichi Aoki decided to start documenting the weird and wonderful fashions of Japanese teenagers in the teeny bopper area of Harajuku. From Gothic Lolitas right though to minimalist Comme de Garcons fans, it’s all here. The website is not that great to be honest; Fruits was a traditional magazine but you can still get an idea of what these crazy kids are wearing. http://www.fruits-mg.com/

street style Japan

those crazy Japanese kids!

2)      Street Peeper deserves a mention for the sheer volume of photos on the site if nothing else. This well organized blog features style shots taken in cities all over the world and sorts the photos by category, so it’s a great way of only looking at cities you’re particularly interested in, whether that’s New York, Copenhagen or Tokyo.  http://streetpeeper.com/

3)      Advanced Style is living proof that just because you’re over 60 doesn’t mean you can still cut it in the fashion stakes. This inspiring site features men and women looking fabulous, often with a twist of eccentricity. Hats seem to feature prominently as does high octane glamour for the women and a definite air of the dandy for the dapper looking gentlemen. http://advancedstyle.blogspot.co.uk/

4)      Hypebeast was started in Hong Kong by a guy that wanted a way of documenting his love of street style – and trainers/sneakers in particular. This is more of a collection of cool, must-have products rather than photos of people in the street but for anyone wanting to keep their finger on the pulse and see what the next big thing in the world of men’s t-shirts or watches is, it’s a good source. http://hypebeast.com/

5)      If you live somewhere where the sun’s usually shining and are intrigued to see what people who live in a cold climate are wearing check out Hel Looks – street style from the Finnish capital, Helsinki. The easy scroll through, large pictures and explanation (in English) of what inspires their style of the subjects makes this a fun blog to click through. It goes without saying that most of the styles feature coats, hats and scarves! http://www.hel-looks.com/

mens thermal underwear

rocking the thermals on the streets of Helsinki (probably)

6)      Finally for a look at what sartorial happenings are going on in China, check out Stylite Beijing. Written in English this blog features photos of the stylish on the streets of the capital as well as Shanghai, and also covers events such as Chinese Fashion Week. For a country that many still think of as drab and communist, this blog shatters that perception with photos of the young and cool who, breaking from the norm in China, like to stand out from the crowd. http://www.stylites.net/

So there you have it, six blogs to either inspire you or make you shudder! One things for sure, whether you’re a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy or you don’t leave the house without your cowboy boots and fringed suede jacket, there is a plethora of stylish, and sometimes downright bonkers, people out there.

Have you ever been snapped in the street by a fashion blogger or photographer? Let us know in the comments below!

And don’t forget to visit our t-shirt website  for some style of your very own!

How to Wear Accessories: a Guide for Guys

Men’s fashion accessories are back in a big way and according to industry insiders and retailers, since the beginning of 2012 men have been purchasing fashion items traditionally associated with women in wild abandon. From scarves to belts and from jewellery to umbrellas, men everywhere have been letting their accessory flag fly.

There are a couple of reasons cited behind this sudden surge of guys who need the latest hat or shoe, the first being that the recession has made men realize that they need to up their game to stay in the game. Turning up to the office in a crumpled suit with last night’s beer stains still on the lapel is not going to impress anyone in the current cut throat job market. Don a smart men’s designer shirt and show a little more elan around the workplace, however, and you’ll stand out and look, dare we say it, much more professional.

men's accessories

Looking cool even when sitting in rubble!

Another reason behind the men’s fashion accessories trend is street style blogs. It’s hard to browse anything relating to fashion or style without stumbling across a ‘real people’ style blog, meaning that more men who have a passing interest in clothes can take inspiration from original styles across the globe. The types of men featured on these blogs are not afraid to experiment, especially in countries like Japan where men think nothing of piling on cuffs, caps and chains.

Buckle up guys, as we take a look at some ways you can get the most out of your men’s accessories

1. Make your bag work for you. Gone are the days when you had to stuff everything in your pockets. These days it’s perfectly acceptable, de rigueur even, for guys to carry a bag. And no, we’re not talking about man bags or man purses – the latest holdalls and satchels are man enough and big enough for any guy normally afraid of being seen in public with something that has handles or straps!

2. Get ahead, get a hat, so the cliché goes but the thing with clichés is they’re often true. Not only does a hat say “Look at me – I’m confident!” it also keeps your hair dry when it’s raining. OK, not exactly breaking news that one, but if you’re one of those guys with an aversion to using an umbrella, get yourself a hat and stop turning up to work and/or the bar looking like a wet dog.

men's trilby fedora hats

Looking good in a men’s trilby

3. Hangovers. Yes, most of us get them. Most of us hate them. Most of us look like crap when we’ve got one. That’s where sunglasses come in. Sunny or not, slap on a pair of aviators and not only will you look cooler but you’ll be protecting your aching eyes from daylight – as well as protecting other people from having to look at the entirety of your miserable, hungover face. Think of it as a public duty.

4. Are you one of those guys who pretends you’re not cold, even when you’re visibly quivering in your designer t-shirts? Stop it – no one’s impressed! There’s no reason whatsoever to suffer because thanks to men’s scarves having had a recent moment in the spotlight, and beanies always being a reliable old favourite, staying warm is now an option even for macho men.

5. Do you ever feel that you’re overlooked in the workplace? Do you blend in to the crowd when you’re in a bar? You need jewellery! I’m not talking diamond earrings or gold sovereign rings, God forbid no. The new men’s jewellery is classy and understated yet makes an impact. Cuffs, rope bracelets and cords stacked up on your wrist say ‘this is a guy that knows what he’s doing when it comes to men’s fashion’. And your boss and potential dates will fall right for it. Probably.

men's leather wrist cuff

Add a tough accent to an outfit with a leather cuff

6. Get organized. A decent wallet or card holder can’t be underestimated. As with bags, stop jamming everything into your pockets. For one thing it makes it easy to lose bank cards, cash and keys, for the other, it ruins the way your clothes hang. Pulling out a great wallet when you pay for something is a million times cooler than fumbling around in the pocket of your jeans for a fistful of (crumpled) dollars and a battered looking Visa card.

So there you have it. Accessories are not just frivolous things meant for the ladies; they’re useful too. Any self-respecting guy with an eye for style knows that the devil is in the detail, and if that prevents you from getting wet, being cold, losing your keys or being passed over for promotion then that gold sequined trucker cap and tiny man purse that you’ve just purchased is well worth the investment!

This guide to accessories was brought to you by Ethereal Clothing

Men’s Spring Summer 2013 Fashion Trends

If you like to think of yourself as a bit of a well-dressed man about town you’ll no doubt be wondering what trends the summer 2013 season has in store for you. Well guys, it’s time to smarten up because next summer you’re going to be channeling your inner Jay Gatsby and reaching deep within yourself to unleash that preppy monster lurking somewhere in the dark recesses of your sartorial soul.

Yes, that’s right; next summer is looking decidedly grown up, with shorts being the most consistent look on the men’s catwalks. If you’re not the biggest fan of your thighs (do guys worry about that sort of stuff too?) don’t worry because we’re not talking Kylie-esque hot pants, we’re looking at smart, knee-length, dressy, tailored shorts. Manly shorts. Teamed with overcoats, double breasted blazers and men’s designer shirts, this is the look that guys in the know will be rocking come summer.

kylie minogue hot pants

Gratuitous picture of Kylie’s gold hot pants

If you’re a fan of colour you’ll be loving next season as blue was a dominant force at the summer 2013 men’s fashion shows. Electric blue, duck egg blue, aqua – it seems designers couldn’t get enough of this aptly summery hue both for men’s shirts and trousers. Unusual textures and fabrics will also come out to play, elevating the smarter looks to something slightly quirkier and injecting a little personality into the tailored trend.

For those of you who don’t do tailoring or suits, thanks to 2012 being an action packed year for sporting events there’s also a strong influence of sportswear coming through, albeit a styled-up one. This will not be the summer where you’ll be killing it with the ladies in a faded old football shirt, but one where you’ll be sporting (excuse the pun) patterned bomber jackets, lux parkas and smart men’s t-shirts.

mens designer t-shirts

T-shirts can be smart too

A touch of military flare, smarter men’s shirts and printed t-shirts should also be hanging in any self-respecting gent’s wardrobe as will garments in shades of orange, yellow and brown. All in all, summer 2013 is looking decidedly chipper on the men’s fashion front and there should be something to keep everyone happy, whether you’re a wannabe 1930’s suave playboy or you fancy going all out in a textured orange silk bomber jacket teamed with navy blue sailor striped trousers.

In fact the only black cloud that I can foresee on this otherwise cheerfully hued, up and coming summer season, and my apologies for saving the bad news for last, is that there was more than one disturbing occurrence of socks and sandals at the men’s fashion shows. The designers may be extolling the aesthetic virtues of opened toed footwear and wool, but frankly, gentlemen, that is something you’ll need to decide for yourselves just how much of a dedicated follower of fashion you really are.

socks and sandals

I can’t believe people still think this is OK

What do you think? Let us know in the comments – and don’t forget to check out our range of men’s urban t-shirts on our Ethereal clothing website!