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!

Belt Up: The Low Down on Choosing a Belt

I thought with this post it was time to take a look at one of the unsung heroes of men’s fashion; the humble belt. We all own belts, we all wear them but how much thought do we really give to that essential strip of leather or fabric which so admirably stops our jeans or trousers from falling down and getting us arrested for indecent exposure? I suspect not an awful lot, so let’s rectify that today and shine the spotlight on men’s belts for a few minutes. Or at least until I run out of things to say about them…

men's belts

Choosing a Belt

First of all, how should you choose a belt? This depends on the occasion because needless to say not all belts are built the same and if you think it’s okay to rock a fabric skater style belt with your office suit or a shiny leather belt with a silver buckle with your cargo pants, I’m sorry to say but you’re not quite down with this whole belt thing. But not to despair because choosing a belt is easy.

If you’re looking for a formal belt to wear with a suit – be it your work suit or something smarter for a wedding or court appearance – then aim for a belt that is between 1” and 1.5” – any wider will look too casual and should be saved for your downtime.

Don’t know what colour to go for? It depends entirely on your footwear. Black shoes = black belt, brown shoes = brown belt. If you are going for brown just make sure you get the shades as close as possible. men's leather belts

If you want something casual to wear with your jeans and a t-shirt then naturally do the opposite. Pick something that is wider than 1.5” and steer clear of shiny finishes. Matt leather or fabric will be your best choices unless you want to look mix-matched.

How Long is too Long?

Always buy a belt that is one size larger than your waist. You have a 32” waist? Buy a belt that is 33 inches. Any longer and you’ll have an unsightly tab of belt to tuck into your belt loops and any shorter and you’ll be turning blue due to lack of oxygen.

As a rule of thumb, your belt should be comfortable when worn on the third hole.

men's western belts

All Leathers are not Equal

Leather-wise, you have a number of options to go for which really depends on how much money you want to fork out. Here are the basics:

  • Synthetic leather: the cheapest option – don’t expect to be able to hand this belt down to your kids as a family heirloom
  • Bonded leather: this has internal layers of waste or poorer quality leather with a synthetic leather finish on top
  • Genuine leather: again this has inner layers of waste leather but with a real leather outer – beware though as sometimes this might not be the finest quality of leather, even though it’s real
  • Full leather: the best quality you can buy. This is high quality leather through and through. The downside to a real leather belt is that it scratches easily but if looked after well it will last you for years. Naturally this is your most expensive option

The Humble Belt as Fashion Accessory

Many gents don’t like to wear a belt, either feeling that it breaks their outfit up, or for other more personal, and undoubtedly sinister, reasons. And that’s fine – nobody says you have to wear one but try thinking of the belt as more than just a strip of leather whose only function is to keep your pants up, and consider it as an essential part of your outfit as your other accessories. You pay attention to your shoes, your watch, your choice of scarf; so why not your belt? The right choice of belt could instantly elevate your outfit into something truly dapper. And when I say ‘right choice of belt’ I’m not talking about a western style belt with an oversized longhorn skull on the buckle.cowboy belts

Looking after Your Belt

No matter whether you’ve pushed the boat out and treated yourself to an expensive full leather belt or you’ve gone for a budget friendly high street version, any leather or synthetic leather belt will last longer if you look after it properly. This means not leaving your belt in your trousers or jeans when you hang/fold/throw them on the floor at night but removing the belt and hanging it up vertically.

And on that note, I have officially run out of things to say about belts so why not let us know your thoughts in the comments box below? And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for more men’s fashion related things that are 140 characters or less, and visit our website too where our new t-shirt range is available to pre-order. Thanks!

 

Why Every Man Should Wear a Watch

It’s kind of sad when you think about it, but a watch is a once indispensable accessory that is becoming less and less common. Thanks to the meteoric rise of the mobile phone (which, incidentally, just turned 40 years old – happy birthday mobiles!) we no longer automatically look at our wrists when someone asks us the time; we pull our phone out of our pockets instead. I’m as guilty of it as the next person – I used to be unable to leave the house if I wasn’t wearing my watch, now however, I have a whole array of watches stuck at various times stuffed still sort-of-loved, but definitely unworn into a drawer somewhere.

Men's watches

But I’ve been thinking about this today and I’m going to take a stand and I’m going to start wearing my watch again, and here are a few reasons why.

When you’re waiting for someone, and they’re late, as my friends inevitably are (or is it that I’m always early? See – I need to start wearing a watch!) it looks so much less desperate to take the odd glance at your wrist watch instead of constantly checking your phone. A watch says “Hey, I’m not lonely – I’m waiting for someone!” whilst a mobile phone says “I’m bored, sad and lonely – please text me, someone…” It’s true – we’ve all been there.

Wearing a watch is a great way to add interest to an outfit, especially if you’re a guy. Let’s face it, women can throw on accessories with wild abandon, and sure, if we’re talking about men’s fashion, while there’s no rule that says men can’t do that too, some guys either don’t want to jingle as they walk, or just hands down can’t pull it off. Now, a watch: everyone can rock a watch.

watches for men

Thirdly, a watch makes a great present, and is great for adding interest to men’s wear. Whether it’s new and you’ve had it engraved for a special someone or it’s a family heirloom that’s been handed down through one or more generations, a watch is a truly unique gift and will mean so much more (or it should do!) than giving someone the latest mobile phone. And another thing; what do you think your child would rather receive on his or her 18th birthday? A worn and loved watch that holds definitely sentimental, and perhaps monetary, value, or a worn and battered Samsung Galaxy that’s 18 years out of date?

I was about to finish off on this post and write my final paragraph however another thought just struck me. A really awesome reason for wearing a watch is to make sure you’re on time! DON’T leave your friend sitting alone in the pub nursing a beer and too worried to go to the bathroom in case someone steals it and DO make sure you get to work with enough time to log on and pretend you’ve been there an hour before your boss. Yes, you say, but I’ve got my phone for that. But imagine, if you will, a world where everyone started wearing a watch again; maybe, just maybe, it would make us all a little more aware of time if it’s sitting there on our wrist.

g shock

OK, so I really am done now. That’s just my two cents worth on the whole watch debate. Now excuse me while I go and buy 5 new watch batteries.

 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!

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