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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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?

 

 

What to do when you Wake Up Late (and Hungover)

We’ve all been there; that horrible moment when you reach over and blearily squint at the bedside clock or your phone and realize with a jolt of horror that you should have been in the office half an hour ago. Whether it’s due to genuinely over sleeping or the result of too much alcohol the night before (let’s be honest, it’s usually the fault of too much alcohol the night before) crawling into the office not only makes you look bad in front of your superiors and colleagues but it just kind of makes you look…well…bad too. And by bad I mean unkempt.

hungover

We’ve ALL had Mornings Like This

So how can you minimize the damage and convince your boss that this was a mere one off and the fault of a faulty alarm clock and not actually anything to do with the fact that you were pounding cheap tequila shots at 2am the night (morning…) before? The answer is in the way you handle the situation and, crucially, not rolling into the office looking like you spent the night sleeping in the gutter. Even if you did. This is where your man’s instinct for survival needs to kick in. Your sartorial Bear Grylls if you will. So what do you do – and how do you do it….fast?

1)      Okay, well first get your hungover ass out of bed. Lying there moaning isn’t going to help the situation – unless of course you’re thinking about pulling a sickie in which case you can stop reading this post right here. Depending on how brave you’re feeling you might want to put a call in to your manager or whoever else is responsible for keeping tabs on tardy employees. Personally I usually wimp out and text the guy that sits next to me and ask him to cover for me, but this isn’t about me, this is about me telling you how to do it properly. So, calling in has two benefits; it will make you look slightly more responsible/less of a liability and it will buy you some time. You can also get your excuse/blatant lie in over the phone first – it’s always easier to lie on the phone rather than face to face.

Blast Away the Cobwebs

Blast Away the Cobwebs

2)      Get in the shower. This is vital. You need to wash that stench of stale beer and shame off you. Don’t think you can save valuable minutes by not showering; it’s not nice for the people that sit near you. If you can face it, blast yourself with cold water but if you can’t, minimize the risk of this turning into a shower of epic proportions by getting wet, turning off the water, lathering up and then turning the shower back on. If you keep the water running you’ll be more tempted to linger.

3)      Clean your teeth. And then gargle with mouth wash. Hold the mouth wash longer than you normally would, yes it will start to burn, but you deserve it!

Go On - Gargle!

Go On – Gargle!

4)      If you need to for your job and you don’t think you can get away with it, you’ll have to shave. This isn’t really something that you can hurry – rocking up to the office with bits of bloodied toilet paper stuck all over your jawline is an even worse look than being hungover. Use a razor with a new blade as this will glide over your skin more easily and minimize the risk of you taking chunks out of yourself.

5)      If you didn’t wash or wet your hair while you were in the shower, no problem. Simply grab a can of dry shampoo and blast through the roots of your hair. Wait a moment, ruffle your hair and bingo – that greasy, flat, bed head mop is a thing of the past. If you haven’t heard of dry shampoo, ask a girl. It’s a miracle, seriously. You can pick some brands up for next to nothing and if you make a regular habit out of going out late, waking up feeling like hell and looking like something the cat dragged in then it’s a cosmetic lifesaver. You have my word on that…

6)      Now is the time to moisturize; don’t skip this as it will help brighten that dull and pallid booze hound complexion.

the morning after

Uggghhh

7)      You’re almost done, you just need to get dressed. If your workplace allows you to wear urban wear or street wear then pick out something you know you look good in. This isn’t the time to start messing around with new experiments in men’s fashion. If urbanwear or streetwear are a no-no in your working environment then wear one of your suits that you feel confident in. If you only have the one you were wearing the night before and it’s a crumpled mess hang it up in the bathroom whilst you take a shower – if you’re showering with hot water (and let’s face it, you were probably never going to do the cold shower thing, were you?) and the steam will help the creases drop out. A squirt of cologne will help mask any lingering eau d’booze too.

8)      Finally eat something. It might be tempting to save a few minutes by going without but trust me you will feel far worse if you don’t. A couple of pieces of toast will suffice or if you have a deli or café on the way to work, run in and grab a sandwich. A strong coffee or a sports energy drink might be a good idea too!

bacon buttie

Mmmmm

By paying just a little more care and attention to your appearance, just because you’ve woken up late doesn’t mean that your colleagues have to know that you were out clubbing on a Tuesday until 4am. Unless they were there with you and then at least you’ll have some solidarity…

Got anymore tips on how to cover up a hangover or a late start to the day without anyone finding out the real reason? Why not leave them in the comments box? And whether you can get away with smart urban wear or stylish street wear at your place of work or you have to save it for the weekends, why not check out our men’s t-shirts at Ethereal Clothing.

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!

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.

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!

 

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!