Autumn 2013 Fashion – What are the Trends to Know About?

Autumn (or fall depending where you’re from) is the season I look forward to most – especially when it comes to fashion. Sure, it’s great to be able to spend the summer hanging out in the sunshine in just shorts and a t-shirt but there’s something comforting about being able to unpack your winter woolies from storage and rediscover all those things with sleeves.

autumn fashion

The leaves where I live are usually damper and smellier than this

But it’s not just about digging out all the old favourites, it’s the opportunity to add something new to your wardrobe too. Checking out the fall trends is something to look forward to every year – after all it pays to stay one step ahead of the game. It’s always good to be aware of coming seasonal trends before they hit the high street or mall too as that way you can narrow down which ones you want to embrace – and which ones you want to avoid.

Of course what us mere mortals will be wearing next season has already been decided by those fashion savvy individuals who attended the A/W 2013 men’s fashion shows and fashion editors and street wear style snappers with an eye for a trend who were long ago out on the sidewalks spotting recurring themes so they can tell us, runways aside, which themes are most likely to be hitting our streets this coming season.

men's plaid shirts

Don’t throw away that plaid shirt just yet

So I decided to do a little research and have been checking out what those in the know have predicted will be what any self-respecting guy will want to be wearing. Of course, not every trend is right for everyone but by knowing what we can expect we can cherry pick our nods to the up and coming men’s trends. And with this being the chilly time of year, naturally accessories play an important part, which is great as this is a budget friendly (depending on how expensive your tastes are!) way to update your existing urban wear.

It looks like plaid is going to be surviving the summer and seeing us though the year. So far it’s mostly been about plaid shirts, but next season sees plaid patterns on anything and everything, from jackets and vests (body warmers) to scarves, bags and beanies. And don’t worry if you’re a self-confessed plaid shirt fan – you don’t need to stop wearing yours as they are still very much in evidence too.

cropped pants

Hmmm

I have to admit I’m still not quite sold on this next trend: cuffed pants and shorter length trousers. I know, I know – I’m hopelessly out of touch but I just feel more comfortable in a pair of trousers that doesn’t show my ankles. But it seems that menswear is fully onboard with cropped trousers so I guess I’ll just have to get over myself as it really does seem like this is a streetwear style that’s not going away any time soon.

Here’s an easier one; backpacks. There were hoards of guys carrying backpacks outside the autumn winter shows – which is great because backpacks are useful! They hold all your stuff and they look way better than carrying a plastic bag or that free holdall you got when you signed up for gym membership. I’m happy I can now carry my shabby backpack with pride – at least for a couple of months. Army style and smart leather were the main looks on the streets.

men's backpacks

Ditch that sad free gym bag for good!

Another useful trend is scarves. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – who doesn’t wear a scarf in winter?! – but scarves are having a definite moment. This winter they’re coming in all shapes and sizes from small knotted cotton bandanas to chunky knitted scarves and from infinity style cowls to full on blankets. I’ll pick something stripy, knitted and colourful that will add a bright pop to my urbanwear outfits.

Last but not least: the ultimate in street wear – camo. I don’t think you can go wrong with camo and I must admit that I have mixed feelings when it pops up in the menswear shows every few years. I sort of don’t want it to be ‘a thing’ but I do relish the chance to wear the urban fashion that I already own and feel slightly on top of my game!

men'sscarves

Too much??

Getting dressed over the coming months should be relatively easy and I’m looking forward to trying out some of the above combinations. As urban wear evolves, men’s apparel gets more interesting and it’s great that guys can let their personality shine through just as much as the women. As for me, I’m going to start getting in the mood for autumn and start rocking my favourite tee shirts, with my beaten up old army pants, some grungy DM boots and a chunky, stripy scarf. I’m not sure if it will work – but’s that half the fun, isn’t it?!

What trends will you be embracing next season? Are you a camo fan? I love scarves but are you one of those people that can’t stand having something around your neck? And how about my nemesis the cuffed pants – I’d love to hear your thoughts on those!

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Summer Trends for Men 2013: Grunge

I have to admit to being quite excited about one of this season’s trends. I can also admit that I was there the first time round, so perhaps I’m looking at this through rose tinted glasses, but grunge is back in a big way in 2013 and I for one am pretty pleased about it.

men's fashion

Everyone’s Going Grunge

But it’s not just that grunge 2013 reminds me of some of my favourite bands of all time, although of course that’s a big part of it – let’s face it, who would ever get sick of listening to Nirvana – but it’s also the fact that grunge is so easy to wear. These days it seems as if the men’s shows are just as chock full as the women’s when it comes to outfits that look, let’s be honest, really quite silly! I understand that fashion shows are there to inspire and the looks filter down to the high street or shopping mall and become more practical and less crazy versions of the high fashion looks, but with grunge you know that these are going to be easy to adopt street wear looks that aren’t going to have people pointing and laughing at you in public.

And if you’re not the sort of guy who likes to be the most showy one in the room, going grunge is the ideal way to show that you know the trends but you’re not a total fashion victim. I don’t think there is anyone who would feel a fool walking down the street in a plaid shirt worn open over a men’s t-shirt. The same can’t quite be said for some of the other looks that the designers were showing for this season: head to toe safari prints anyone? Bright blue suits? ‘Luxury’ sportswear featuring silk bomber jackets? Yeah…didn’t think so!

Doctor Martin Boots

Good Old Doctor Martin!

The other thing good thing about grunge and urbanwear is that you don’t have to spend hours puting together your outfit, then getting dressed and fretting whether you’re pulling it off. Streetwear is supposed to look effortlessly cool and grunge is the essence of not looking like you give two hoots about your clothes (even if you do on the sly!)

plaid shirts

Just Being Grunge and Hanging out in some Rubble

So what should be hanging in your wardrobe if you want to get with the trend before it’s too late? The obvious one is a checked shirt. Whether you go for cotton or flannel, the plaid shirt is the basis of your grungy closet. You can button it up but for the ultimate in ‘don’t care chic’ you need to leave it open and wear a printed t-shirts underneath. The grunge urban wear look wouldn’t be complete either without an over-sized hoody streetwear top or, if you really want to pander to your inner Kurt Cobain, a chunky wool cardigan or sweater. Holes optional.

Nirvana

The Godfather of Grunge?

Men’s jeans are still at the skinny end of the scale which is fine. Grab your oldest most battered pair and team with classic Converse All Stars or toughen up with worn work wear boots or DM’s. Denim jackets are also in this season and are perfect for adding another layer to the urbanwear look.

Finally, what about accessorizing? Well as we all know the devil is in the details and if you welcome any opportunity to pile on the accessories, street wear trends provide you with the perfect opportunity. Grab some rope or leather bracelets, invest in chunky silver jewellery and don’t forget your finishing touch – a knitted beanie. Too warm for hats? Rock that unkempt bedhead just woken up look instead by investing in some styling products.

Will you be embracing the grunge trend or do you prefer your men’s fashion to be a little on the smarter side. Let us know what you think in the guest book!

The History of the Humble T-Shirt

Here’s an interesting fact I found the other day whilst wasting time when I should have been working: the t-shirt is 100 year’s old this year. How cool is that? Yes, back in 1913 dudes were rocking men’s t-shirts! Of course the ladies were still restricted to floor length dresses and corsets, but for the guys at least men’s fashion was about to start to evolve into something slightly more causal. So to celebrate this centenary I thought I’d find out a bit more about the history of the t-shirt.

birth of the t-shirt

Just hanging around waiting for t-shirts to be invented

Naturally, when the t-shirt first appeared it was nothing like the urban wear that we see on the streets and in magazines or movies today. Men’s clothing was still formal and for the upper and middle classes, at least, street wear pretty much just meant wearing a hat and gloves when you left the house. And perhaps carrying a cane if you were terribly dapper. So what did the precursors to today’s designer t-shirts look like when they first originated – and who invented them?

It probably won’t come as much of a shock to you to learn that the t-shirt originated in the USA as military under wear; they were issued by the US Navy and were meant to be worn underneath uniforms. Shortly after this the US army followed suit and began issuing the tee to their recruits. The original design was the classic short sleeved crew neck that is still so popular today.

t-shirts

Are you wearing your t-shirt under there, creepy little sailor?

The garment began to spread in popularity as manual labourers realized that the tshirt was a practical work wear item that suited their needs too and it didn’t take long for men toiling in the fields, down pits, in factories, on the docks or in other physical situations to appreciate this new short sleeved, light weight cotton style. In fact the t-shirt grew in popularity so quickly that in just seven years it became a recognized word and entered the dictionary in 1920.

Although it started life as plain apparel it wasn’t long before printed t-shirts were born and although my research hasn’t located the exact date, it seems the first appearance of a printed tee was in 1942 when a solider clutching a huge gun was featured on the cover of Life magazine wearing a shirt with the words ‘Air Corps Gunnery School, Vegas Nevada’ printed on the front. Soon after this Disney realized that, hey, perhaps printed men’s t-shirts could be ’a thing’ and everyone’s favourite mouse (yes, I’m talking about Mickey) made his first t-shirt. Mickey Mouse: the godfather of street wear? You decide!

Mickey Nouse

Where’s my head at?

It took another 31 years but the t-shirt finally made its debut in Hollywood when it graced the rather ripped torso of Marlon Brando in the classic 1951 movie A Streetcar Named Desire.  Brando’s stellar performance and combination of brooding good looks and brutal masculinity made him a screen icon – and did wonders for t-shirt sales too as teenagers and young men flocked to their local stores to get in on this latest fashion trend. So I guess in a way we have also Marlon Brando to thank for kick-starting the whole urbanwear thing!

With men’s t-shirts now firmly in the public consciousness, at least in the United States, it became a streetwear wardrobe staple for any hip, young guy that wanted to affect an air of disaffected cool. The t-shirt’s rebellious side was given an even bigger boost when James Dean wore a white one under his leather jacket three years later in 1955’s Rebel without a Cause, thus creating one of cinema’s most enduring images and legends in the process. Girls swooned and boys bought t-shirts in their truck loads.

Rebel without a Cause

Yes, OK, you’re cool, we admit it

The 1960’s and 1970’s saw the rise of the printed tshirt as urbanwear styles erred towards the flared jeans and band t-shirt trend. And for those of us who like vintage fashion we should be eternally grateful for these two decades which filled thrift stores the world over with a plethora of retro tshirts. This period also saw clothing worn to make a statement, with both men and women rocking slogan and political tees protesting against the Vietnam War and other issues of the day.

By the 1980’s the t-shirt had forgotten its roots and had gone decidedly upmarket. For which we have Don Johnson in Miami Vice to blame. The disturbing trend of wearing a tshirt underneath a suit jacket – with the sleeves rolled up of course – was huge for a time. Designers were also catching on to the fact that there was money in them there t-shirts and although the tee was still a big hit on the urban wear scene , high end fashion houses began to produce their own versions.

I Heart New York

What do you mean, you don’t own one of these?

From humble beginnings as underwear via Hollywood and into popular street wear culture, let’s finish this saying “Happy 100th birthday, t-shirt – you don’t look a day over 99!”

What’s your most iconic t-shirt of all time? Do you own a crazy amount of tees or perhaps even none at all. Leave your comments in the box below and help us wish the t-shirt many happy returns.

t-shirts 100 years

There’s nothing like being self congratulatory

 

Are you looking for printed t-shirts with a difference? Check out our soon-to-be-launched range of men’s urban wear t-shirts here , and why not follow us on Twitter  for more fashion news, views and random Tweets while you’re at it?

 

 

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.

How to Add Colour to an Outfit

Guys, are you guilty of wearing the same old boring outfit day in day out? The same colours, the same styles?  If you have a sneaking suspicion that you could and should be upping your game a few notches and there’s room for some improvement read on as we have some tips on how you can add a splash of colour to an outfit without spending a fortune. Yes, there’s really no need to fork out for new men’s t-shirts, jeans or even suits; with a few well-placed hints of colour you can be owning the street! Or at least your house. Something like that.

adding colour to an outfit

It’s probably fair to say that many men are stuck in a bit of a colour rut and don’t like to step outside their colour comfort zone so if this sounds a lot like you, but you don’t want to do the full on colour blocking or brightly hued skinny jean trend, you can still add an accent of colour without feeling like you’re a full on fashion victim/clown. So let’s take a look at a few ways men’s fashion can get fun – in a subtle way.

    • Pocket squares: these are all over the media at the moment and definitely seem to be having a moment. And you don’t need to be over 75 years’ of age or going to a wedding to wear one. If you spend your Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm in a drab suit a pocket square is the ideal way of adding a dash of panache.  You know as Huey Lewis once sang; ‘It’s Hip to be Square’. Actually, I don’t know why I just wrote that – it doesn’t make me look good. pocket squares
    • Let’s move swiftly on to men’s ties. Bit of an obvious one perhaps but your tie is just screaming to be given a colourful make-over. So ditch that boring sky blue-navy blue striped affair and brighten up with something in red, orange, green or even hot pink. Just avoid ones with cartoon characters on. Please.
    • Shoe laces. OK bear with me here but whilst you may have thought of changing the laces in your trainers/sneakers have you ever given a thought to changing them in your formal or work shoes too? This look will work best with a smart pair of brogues – if they’re anything less than tip top condition you’re not really going to be able to pull it off, but nice shiny brown leather + bright red, orange or yellow laces will look pretty rocking. Just keep the laces thin – fat sneaker style laces will make you look…I don’t know what they’ll make you look like but they won’t work, trust me on that.colored shoe laces
    • Cufflinks are another great way of adding a hint of a hue. Ditch your usual silver ones and search out something a little more interesting and colourful instead.
  • No list of how to add colour via your accessories would be complete without mentioning socks. I’m not talking about the garishly-coloured pair that Aunty Mable bought you for Christmas (for the sixth year running) but a pair of stylish, plain, striped or even spotted pair that will just add a flash of colour under the cuffs of your trousers.

So far so good but all of these are things that work with a suit or smarter trousers and if you don’t wear suits on a regular basis and yet you still want to up the ante on your casual gear, how do you do it?

    • The simplest way is to ditch that plain white t-shirt and grab something in a bold statement colour. Men’s tees don’t have to be navy, burgundy or white so why not take the plunge and buy men’s t-shirts in sizzling orange, zesty yellow, hot pink or bright red? men's t-shirts
    • Your footwear is another way of brightening up an outfit and if you’re not quite ready to slip in to a bubblegum pink t-shirt surely you’ll be big and brave enough to attempt a colourful trainer! Whether you’re a sporty Adidas or Nike kind of guy or skater style Vans and Converse are your thing, sneaker brands are not shy in putting their best foot forward when it comes to creating some eye-catching designs.
  • Finally, a bag is always a good way of adding a little interest. Ditch that boring black or navy backpack you got free with your gym membership and style it up with an acid bright holdall or messenger bag instead –they were seen all over the recent men’s fashion shows.holdall

However you add a little colour to your outfit it’s a great way of showing that you’ve thought about what you’ve put on that morning. Or afternoon or whenever it is you roll out of bed.

What do you think? What are your favourite ways of making a unique style statement? Let us know here or come on over to our Facebook page and share it on our wall for all and sundry to see!

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!