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.

Which T-shirt should I Wear with Which Jeans?

Men: such brave and daring creatures, yet if there’s one thing most guys are scared of it’s colour. If you find yourself reaching into your wardrobe (or let’s be honest, picking up yesterday’s clothes from the bedroom floor) to pull out your usual plain men’s t-shirt and jeans combo, then it’s time to start showing a little more sartorial courage when it comes to getting dressed.

But what colours work in men’s fashion and make a great outfit and which combinations will have people gasping with horror at your ‘wacky’ attempt at teaming yellow trousers with a pink t-shirt and red sneakers?

<img src= alt="Men's T-Shirt and Jeans">

Proof that Ethereal Clothing t-shirts make you look tougher!

Of course classic, crisp (i.e. clean!) white men’s tees go with everything but we’re talking about colours and prints here, so whilst we acknowledge the universal appeal of a plain white t-shirt, read on for a few pointers as to what else will work.

Light or medium blue jeans: most colours go with lighter denim so here you can afford to experiment a little. One thing to keep in mind is your complexion. The colour of your t-shirt can make or break an outfit regardless of your jean colour. If you’re particularly pale, men’s t-shirts in pastels and whites will make you look washed out so try dark brown, dark green or jewel tones like burgundy which will compliment your fair complexion. If you’re tanned or have dark skin baby blue and bright yellow will look great on you.

Dark blue jeans: dark denim looks good with patterned t-shirts as it is strong enough to balance out a distinctive look on your top half. Ditch your usual sports team top or beer logo shirt and become instantly more stylish with a men’s tee that has a great print. Red also looks smart with navy or dark blue denim – or why not really push the boat and try pink?

Black or white jeans: I have to admit here I’m not the hugest fan of either black or white denim but if you are, my advice would be to stick with a white tee and black jeans and brightly coloured stripes with white denim.

Chinos and cotton trousers: for a summery look try blue chinos with nautical stripes in red, white and blue, whilst a yellow or brown tee will look good with green trousers.

<img src= alt="Ethereal Clothing Logo">

Get ready for Ethereal Clothing!

Khakis and army trousers: avoid the Sylvester Stallone in Rambo look and quit wearing black, olive green or – heaven forbid – camouflage t-shirts and wife beaters with your combats. Chances are you’re not an urban soldier and you don’t (I hope) carry an AK-47 as your accessory of choice. Printed men’s tshirts look much more stylish with plain cargo pants, or go for brown or yellow tees in various shades, again depending on your skin tone.

Finally, the fact that you’re reading this indicates that clearly you’re a stylish guy who takes men’s fashion seriously, so forgive me if I’m preaching to the converted, but if you have any ‘comedy’ slogan or logo t-shirts lounging around on your bedroom floor do yourself, and everyone that has to look at you on a daily basis, a favour and throw them out. Give them to charity. Cut them up and use them for rags to wash the car with. Let the dog wear them. Just get rid of them. Honestly, they don’t make anyone laugh and think ‘what a witty guy’ when they look at you, they just feel pity and shame on your behalf. Harsh words maybe, but sometimes tough-love is the only way and when it comes to the sort of men’s t-shirts that are advertised with the heading ‘College Humour’ in the back of magazines, frankly my dear fellows, I don’t give a damn!

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!