Adding Interest to your Outfit with Layering

Whilst it’s fair to say that there are many men who put lots time and effort into creating an outfit, there are just as many guys who for getting dressed in the morning means nothing more than just throwing on any old t-shirt and jeans. But with men’s fashion becoming increasingly more interesting with bright colours and eye-catching prints hitting the catwalks and stores it’s a shame that more men don’t take a little more interest in what they’re wearing.

men's fashion

Casual Preppy Layering

men's scarves

Add Accessories for Instant Interest

Even if you’re not the type of guy to leave the house in purple skinny jeans and a clashing flower patterned shirt, there are lots of easy ways to add interest to an outfit without scaring children or making your grandparents think you’ve run away and joined the circus.

In this post I’m going to take a look at layering and how getting it right can instantly transform an outfit. There are a few simple things to do to your basic outfit and, no, flowers don’t have to be involved if you don’t want them to be.

The key to layering clothing, whether it’s a smart business suit or urban wear or street wear is that none of your layers should be anything you’re embarrassed to be seen in! Think of each garment as completely separate whether you’re layering retro tshirts, plaid shirts, cardigans or dress shirts; each one should be able to stand alone as a piece of clothing. Concealing an old, worn vest under a buttoned up shirt is okay if you have no intention of undoing your shirt but if you wouldn’t be caught dead in the ‘comedy’ slogan t-shirt that you’re wearing under your shirt then don’t wear it just because you’re layering.

men's cardigans

There’s No Such Thing as Too Many Layers!

Layering up is practical and great for when the weather is cooler or for those annoying days whether it’s cold one minute and warm the next. Urbanwear works especially well when layered; a t-shirt worn under a plaid shirt with a hoodie on top looks great providing a little thought has gone into the colours and they are accessorized with a cool pair of trainers and a great scarf. This is another reason why you should make sure all your layers are ones you’d be proud to be seen in; you never know when you’re going to be hot and need to remove a jacket or a sweater – and the last thing you want is to be caught out in a filthy, torn old t-shirt advertising beer!

Talking of colours, keep your palette to just one or two very brights or patterns – if there’s a lot going on in your outfit you don’t want to look like you’ve just been attacked by a clown with a vengeance. Back to the circus references again…

 

You should also make sure your layers fit well over one another. Streetwear styles can often be big and baggy but a well cut men’s t-shirt worn with a shirt that’s the right size for you with a slightly larger but still decently fitting lightweight jacket over the top looks great. Just keep it all in proportion and make sure your outer layers aren’t too tight and your second and third layers are not too big.

Ethereal Clothing

Casual Layering with a Plaid Shirt and Tee

On a similar note you should also make sure that the hems of the tee, shirt, sweater or jacket worn under a coat don’t stick out from below the top layers. Urban wear may embrace shirts sticking out from under sweaters, but if you want a look that’s well pulled together you should avoid this.

Finally, it’s not all about shirts, blazers, jackets and coats though these are obviously necessary to building a layered look. Street wear looks just as good as smart clothing does when it’s accessorized and belts, scarves, beanies and hats all count as layers – and they’ll all help take that boring jean and t-shirt to a whole new level and say ‘this is a guy who knows how to layer!’

Any comments? Why not let us know what you think and how you like to add a certain something to a regular outfit. And if you’re looking for urban wear and original clothing with a difference, go check out our website for some inspired t shirts that are perfect worn alone or under your favourite shirt!

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Men’s T-Shirts: V-Neck versus Crew Neck

There often seems to be a lot of blog posts and articles written about “how-to…” regarding dressed up men’s fashion but there seems to be less information (from what I have found anyway) about men’s urban wear and street wear. Perhaps this is because men can just throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and walk out the door ready to face the day, and whilst nobody wants to over-complicate the matter surely there is a little more to it than that?!

v neck blue

And let’s face it, not all guys are super confident when it comes to getting dressed and there may well be dudes out there who are not sure whether to risk a V-neck t-shirt instead of their usual crew neck, for example, so today I’m going to take a look at crew neck versus V-neck and see what I can discover.

A lot of men don’t feel comfortable in tanks, vests, singlets, wife-beaters…whatever you call them in your neck of the woods. And yes, we call them wife-beaters in the UK where I’m from. Nice. But moving on, the tank (let’s go with tank…) can be a little tricky to pull off and feel confident in if you’re not totally happy with your upper body shape. And whilst tanks can be great for the beach or other relaxed scenarios they can be a little under-dressed even for casual restaurants or bars. And nobody likes getting turned away from bars (at least I don’t) so this is why I’m talking about men’s t-shirts right now. I think. Ethereal T-shirts

So, I seem to have lost the thread there slightly: it was the bar talk that did it, so where were we? Crew neck t-shirt v. V-neck t-shirt: let’s look at a few facts.

Crew Neck Tees :

  • If you don’t want to show off your manly/beastly chest hair (or reveal your lack of it) a crew neck will conceal what lies beneath
  • Because round neck t-shirts are the ‘classic’ urbanwear shape there are a lot more designs available so if you’re the sort of guy who would rather get his back waxed than go shopping (you would??) you’ll be able to grab yourself a tshirt without oo much hassle at all
  • A round neck will also work better under an open shirt if you’re going for a grungey or streetwear feel
  • They can seem a little ‘safe’ however so if you’re looking for something a little more metro-sexual you may want to consider a ‘V’

 

V-Neck Tees:

  • Been working out? Good for you. Flash a glimpse of your toned flesh with a V-neck shirt. This style tends to be a little more fitted too so not only will you be showing a bit more chest but you’ll be creating a sleeker looking outline too
  • This style doesn’t work as well as a crew neck under an open shirt but it will work nicely when layered  with a deep-V cardigan or button through sweater
  • Generally considered a more fashion forward option, you will probably find that a lot of traditional stores and online clothes shopping sites carry a limited range in comparison to the, some would say, more wearable traditional shaped tee.

men's urban wear

Whichever side of the urbanwear camp you fall in, as all stylish guys know it’s always good to mix things up a little and unless you are seriously averse to showing that little triangle of chest, dedicated  crew neck wearers might be pleasantly surprised to give the V-neck a trial run. The other thing to remember is that V-necks can be high cut or deep cut so you can always ease yourself into this street wear trend by keeping it fairly modest at first.

Other than that, play around, have fun and you may well find that you’ve added a whole new urban wear element to your wardrobe.   open necked t-shirt

What shape or cut of t-shirt do you like best? Know what suits you best or are you looking for a change? Let us know in the guest book and if you’re looking for a distinct take on designer t-shirts why not head over to our website for original clothing and streetwear t-shirts with a difference.

The London Men’s Fashion Shows: 8 Key Trends for Men in S/S14

New York, Paris, London, Milan: stylish gents everywhere have been eagerly scouring the web for the latest photos and the trends to be emerging from the men’s fashion weeks that will dictate what you’ll be wearing come spring summer 2014. Yes it might seem a long way off, after all, at the time of writing, we’re barely in July 2013, but it never hurts to be one step ahead of the fashion pack and to find out what’s going to big in a few season’s time.

london fashion week

Hitting the Runways

So let’s take a look through the fashion crystal ball and pull out a number of key themes that the London shows had to offer.

The New Trouser Cuff

The rolled up trouser cuffs of the past few seasons have disappeared and pants hemlines have risen even higher with distinctly shorter length trousers taking over. Many male models on the catwalks were spotted showing their bare ankles with too much flesh on show to even consider wearing a pair of socks. The slim fitting, tailored look was still in evidence although spring summer ’14 does look on course to see a big variation in men’s silhouettes too.

Sportswear is Back

mens fashion week

Show Us Some Leg!

Never one to stray far from seasonal trends, particularly in menswear, sportswear was also back in a big way. And when I say big way, I mean it. The London shows saw models strutting their stuff in big and baggy oversized t-shirts as well as a take on basketball style shorts. Mesh sweaters, windcheater jackets and anoraks were also in evidence although the key with the new season’s sportier vibe is to keep it luxe. Fabrics were less day-glo and synthetic than previous seasons and were definitely showing a little more sporting flair.

Prints, Please

mens london fashion week

Take a Bow for Helping Kick Start a Trend

Guys who like their shirts and trousers to stand out from the crowd will be pleased as prints were very much in evidence at the London shows. A relative newcomer to menswear, designers seem to have taken the printed theme and run with it, with this season’s bird and floral prints being taken to new levels. We’re talking printed world maps to on safari style and bold stripes and western style checks. Even brightly coloured floral trousers were spotted at one show.

On Safari

Sticking with the above mentioned safari style prints, there was a distinct all-encompassing jungle feel to some of the collections shown in London. From the animal print fabrics used to the edgy ethnic style, loose fitting garments cut from lightweight fabrics walked out in earthy muted tones of brown and dark green. This is one for all you hunters out there – just don’t forget your pith helmet!

s/s14

Too Much??

Classic meets Contemporary

Classic also met contemporary with some Saville Row tailors throwing caution to the wind and giving their traditional bespoke gentlemanly style a slightly more casual edge. Naturally suits were still the main look and they though were still tailored there was a definite modern touch to the cuts and colours, particularly in the suits which eschewed long trousers for knee length shorts.

Colour’s Sticking Around a Little Longer

Colour isn’t going anywhere and next spring and summer look set to be just as bright as this one with a rainbow of blues, greens, yellows, reds and turquoises all trying to grab our attention. We saw colour blocked pockets, brightly coloured tailoring, kitsch pop art designs and detailing in clashing colours such contrasting stitching or a green shirt with blue sleeves, collar and breast pocket. We say hold on to those lemon yellow, fire engine red or purple jeans you’ve been rocking this summer!

mens fashion shows

The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades (Dated Reference Alert!)

Looks Like Teen Spirit

Whether you love it or you’re not a fan Seattle style made a return to the fashion arena in the form of updated grunge. The usual suspects were given a fresh and decidedly stylish new make-over by some of the London designers who showed us plaid shirts, granddad cardigans, trench coats, and urban men’s t-shirts with graphic prints. The difference between ‘new’ grunge and ‘old’ grunge? The threads might have been casual but there were definitely no holes in these cardigans!

Baggy Trousers

And finally, those different trouser shapes I mentioned earlier on. Yes, slim fit trousers are still around but ultra-skinny trousers pants have disappeared with many men’s London fashion week designers making the transition from skinny to slim and others going in a different direction completely and presenting the antidote in loose fitting, slouchy trousers and shorts. Good news for all you men who are hating on the skinny jean look!

mens spring summer

New Season, New Shape

In London at least the menswear designers seemed to be determined to stir things up a little – fitting for a city that likes a healthy dollop of fun with its fashion. Whichever direction you find yourself going in in spring 2014 (or even earlier if you’re really fashion forward!) in the London collections alone you’re sure to find something to suit your style.

LFW

It’ll be Interesting to See the High Street Version…

What did you think about the collections shown at the respective men’s fashion weeks? Will you be rocking any of the above looks or did you see something you preferred in NYC, Milan or Paris? Let us know in the comments and if you’re looking for printed men’s t-shirts to stay one step ahead and embrace New Grunge already take a look at our website where our urban t-shirts are now ready to pre-order.

How to Match your Tie and Shirt: the 3 Easy Rules

If you regularly wear a suit to work, like many men you may have felt just the tiniest bit of trepidation when it comes to matching your shirt to your tie. Of course men’s shirts come in a range of colours, stripes and checks and as for ties – well the variation is limitless, so how do you get it right when it comes to pairing the two and how can you ensure that you’re making an dapper style statement and not a fashion faux pas that has your colleagues sniggering behind your back?

clashing patterns

Headache Inducing Shirt & Tie Combo

It can be tempting to stick with what you know but let’s face it there aren’t that many ways a guy can make an impact in the style stakes when in the office so paying a little more attention to your tie ‘n’ shirt combo can do wonders for your look. Let’s take a look at how to create a shirt and tie dream team because you do have several options.

1)      Plain tie with a plain shirt. This is obviously the easiest pairing to go for and a great way to experiment if this is your first foray into the wonderful world of men’s fashion. There is just one main rule to bear in mind when matching a plain shirt and tie and that is to avoid wearing either both light colours or both dark colours. Or heaven forbid, matching them exactly!

Trying out a plain white shirt or a pale blue or pink shirt with a colour popping tie is an awesome way of adding some interest to your office attire. If your shirt is white you have a whole host of colours to choose from but if your shirt is coloured you should stick within the same colour pallet to avoid looking garish. For example, pair a light blue shirt with a navy tie and you’ll be killing it at the water cooler.

plain shirt and tie

Perfectly Plain…But Not Boring

2)      Plain tie with a patterned shirt. Okay, this is slightly trickier but don’t panic just yet as you can still pull this off with panache with just a modicum of care. There is just one basic rule here: match the colour of the tie to one of the colours – or something within the colour pallet – of the shirt. For example, if you’re wearing a lilac and white gingham shirt opting for a purple tie will work well.

pink men's ties

Style Points for Wearing Pink

3)      Patterned tie with a plain shirt. This is exactly the same as above; if your shirt is plain light blue go for a tie that has a shade of blue in it too, for instance a blue and white polka dot pattern.

4)      Patterned tie and patterned shirt. Right, this is where things can get a little more complex but it’s still not rocket science so don’t abandon all thoughts of ever hoping to pull off the double-patterned look. There are three things to consider:

–          Pick a detail from your tie and coordinate it with the principal colour in the shirt

–          Watch your pattern sizes – the pattern in the tie should be bigger than the pattern in the shirt otherwise the scales will look out of proportion

striped tie and check shirt

Checks and Stripes DO Work

–          Mix your patterns up: you can rock a checked shirt with a spotted tie but don’t be fooled into thinking that you can wear a check shirt and a checked tie or, possibly even worse, a spotty tie with a spotty shirt. Unless the Coco the Clown effect is the look that you were after

So you see, making a little effort doesn’t have to be a pain in the behind and as long as you keep the basic principles about matching colour families and not going spot on spot in mind you should be just fine! Play around, have fun and before you know it you’ll have upped your game with a minimum of fuss.

What are your thoughts when it comes to pairing shirts and ties? Do you play it safe or you do you like to inject some colour and a dash of daring into your otherwise boring office apparel?  Let us know in the comments, why don’t you?!

And why not follow us on Twitter too for our occasional Tweets on men’s clothing and urban fashion. Annnnnd talking of urban wear, why not check out our new website where we’ll soon be selling our very own range of street wear style men’s t-shirts?