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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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!

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.

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!

 

6 Basic Style Tips for Guys

Sometimes the world of men’s fashion can feel a little bewildering, especially if you have an event or special occasion coming up and you’re not sure what constitutes appropriate dress. Do men’s t-shirts work when worn under a suit? Can you wear shorts with formal shoes? How much jewellery is TOO much jewellery? The conundrums are endless so read on as we lay out six basics that every guy whose mom doesn’t still pick out his clothes for him, should know.

1)      This is a hotly debated topic with some hipsters embracing it, but in general, unless you’ve really got a certain way with style, we think that double denim is still a no-no. There are so many other styles for men out there – consider this season’s reappearance of camo for example – that you really shouldn’t have to resort to the denim jacket and jeans look. If, however, you’re a member of an ‘80’s metal band feel free to continue as you were.

denim jackets and jeans

Too much, Shakin’ Stevens, too much.

2)      Do you like to accessorize? Good for you, but do keep accessories in proportion to your size. Bigger guys can get away with chunky chains or wrist cuffs whilst smaller men should downsize a little to avoid drowning themselves.

3)      Scored a job interview? Well done, but to increase the chances of actually landing the position make sure your attire is appropriate. And no that doesn’t always mean wearing your best wedding/funeral suit. Applying for a job as an accountant? Of course, keep it smart – although don’t be afraid to add a dash of personality with an interesting tie (and by interesting we don’t mean a ‘comedy’ South Park design.) If you’re applying for a job as a graphic designer in a marketing agency however, you’ll be far more likely to impress if you’re wearing something that lets your unique style and creative flair shine through.

4)      Size matters. Do you hate your skinny body? Bulk up with heavier fabrics and avoid baggy styles as these will swamp your frame. If you’re on the larger side though the opposite applies: avoid thick fabrics such as tweed or chunky knits and make sure clothing isn’t too tight as this will accentuate your size.

men's jewelry

The right amount or a little too much?

5)      Got a wedding, function or business conference to attend? There are a couple of rules associated with men’s formal wear. One; never wear braces (suspenders for you Americans!) and a belt at the same time – it looks way too much. Two; your tie should just touch your waist line or belt. Any shorter or longer and it looks like you’re wearing a comedy tie. And three; for those really dressy events that require evening dress or a tuxedo – sorry but your work tie isn’t going to cut it. We’re talking bow tie territory here, guys.

6)      Know what colours suit you. If you’re pale  you’ll look drained if you wear men’s t-shirts in pastel colours or white so try something with a little more oomph such as an earthy brown, maroon or navy blue.  If you’re dark skinned or tanned, darker colours can be a little ‘samey’ so try picking a tee in sunshine yellow, pale blue or a classic white men’s tshirt.

Men’s style doesn’t have to be tricky to get right and with just a little care and attention you’ll find that your confidence will improve as people start to take more notice of the new, sartorially improved you.

bow ties

Looking dapper in a dicky

Got any great, basic style tips? Why not share them in the comments box? And don’t forget to check out our website for our forthcoming range of urban men’s t-shirts.