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.
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.
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.
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