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!

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!

Men’s Hair Care Products: Just WHAT is in those Pots, Cans and Bottles??

It’s all very well getting dressed up in your favourite men’s t-shirt and expensive designer jeans but your look isn’t complete unless you’ve taken at least a little time over your hairstyle. These days it’s not enough for the stylish guy to simply leap (or stumble) out of bed and throw on whatever clothes happen to be lying on the floor; if you want to make an impact and show the world that you care about your appearance you need to pay a little attention to your hair too.

bed head hair

The state of your hair can make or break your outfit- take a male fashion icon like David Beckham for an example. OK, you might not want to be rocking a sarong this season (sorry, Beckham but we will never forget…) and the Mohawk might not be your hairstyle of choice (unfortunately we still remember that too) but there’s no denying that the guy has got his hair care routine sorted.

But with a myriad of products lining the shelves of your local supermarket or pharmacy where does the discerning gent start? There’s a seemingly endless choice of hair products out there with new ‘wonder products’ flooding the market on an almost constant basis and if like me you’ve tried virtually every type of styling product known to man in the desperate bid for better hair – often with unfortunate results – you might be wondering where to start. Well, it’s time to stop wasting your hard earned cash and time to stop cluttering up your bathroom cabinets with half used pots of gunk and find out.

The key to finding the right hair care product for you is to understand what type of hair you have. Not all hair is created equal and hence not all styling products are suitable for your mop. It also depends on what type of look you’re going for too; are you hankering after the slicked back Mad Men look or is the tousled ‘just got out of bed’ look more your thing?

mad men

Is this what you see when you look in the mirror??

Products generally break down into three different types: those that give you a shiny or wet look finish, those that create a matte or dry look and those that add texture or hold. But which one is which? Read on as we break down the different product types so you can decide which is best for you.

First off the classic gel. Now wait a minute because I know for many of us (particularly those of a certain age) hair gel was our first foray into the world of hair care and it can bring back painful memories of being an awkward 14 year old in an ill-fitting school uniform whose hair was more of a hot (wet) mess than pop-star perfect. But hair gel has moved with the times and is no longer the electric blue, chemically scented slop in a see-thru pot of our youth, or my youth anyway. These days gel is actually a decent choice if you’re looking to add a touch of the wet look to short to medium length hair. However only those with thick hair should use gel as it’s too heavy on fine hair. It should also be used sparingly as too much will likely drip of the ends of your hair. (Trust me I know this.)

Next up, wax. Wax is also a product that’s been around for years but it is great for holding a slightly more ‘engineered’ hair style in place.  It’s much more matte than gel and will add texture too. Like gel however it works best on thicker, medium length hair. Again use fairly sparingly and warm it up in your palms first before using on your hair.

If you want to add body to thin or fine hair, mousse is your savior. Again this is seen as a slightly dated hair care product but it can still be found – companies such as Toni and Guy still produce mousse – and it definitely shouldn’t be ignored if you’re trying to add a little oomph to a lifeless head of hair. Mousse works with any length of hair too.hair care products

While we’re talking old school it would be remiss not to mention pomade. The choice of dapper black and white films stars – and granddads – this is the key to getting that slick Don Draper look. Pomade works on thin and thick and wavy and curly hair so it’s a good choice for pretty much anyone who sees themselves as a 1960’s era ad exec.

If you’ve paid any attention to hair products lately you may have been slightly perturbed by the appearance on the shelves of things called ‘clay’, ‘mud’ or ‘putty’. These are this generation’s version of wax and are similarly used to add matte texture. They are a little more pliable than wax however which makes them perfect for crafting that “I spent 30 minutes in front of the mirror this morning but I look like I’ve just rolled out of bed” look. Clays and putties can be used on all hair lengths and types from thin to thick and from poker straight to wavy.

Hair creams are a lighter option if you want a slightly more subtle finish and you don’t want to look like you’ve used anything on your hair at all. They’re good for taming flyaway or wild locks and again work on all lengths and everything from thin to thick and from straight to very curly hair.

hair spray

Not just for girls!

Finally, and stop laughing at the back, but hair spray is still knocking around and whilst you may or may not want anyone to know you have a can of your grandmother’s favourite beauty product sitting on your bathroom shelf it can’t be beaten for holding your style in place. After all you’ve gone to all that trouble, so don’t let a gust of wind destroy all your hard work the minute you step out the house!

This post was brought to you by the excellently-coiffured team at Ethereal Clothing. Check out our range of urban men’s t-shirts here and head on over to facebook to like our page and see more tips and words of (occasional) wisdom.

 

What to Wear for a Wedding

It’s wedding season! Yes, once again that time of the year has rolled round and whether you love the opportunity to get dressed up, hit the dance floor and eye up your fellow wedding guests or the thought of sitting through a ceremony, listening to interminable ‘hilarious’ speeches and nodding politely to Great Aunt Edna’s ramblings at the dinner table brings you out in a cold sweat, there’s no escaping the fact that it’s a distinct possibility you’ll get invited to a wedding this year.

For most people, and that includes guys and girls, upon receiving a wedding invite, our first thought is either something along the lines of “Yes – an excuse to go shopping!” or alternatively “$@*% – I’ve got nothing to wear!” If you’re honoured to be chosen as a member of the wedding party; best man, usher, ring bearer or the like you’ll probably have the matter taken out of your hands as the bride and groom will decide upon your look but if you’re just one of the rabble and you don’t have a stylish other half to help you get dressed, you might be wondering how on earth you’re going to cobble a half decent outfit together.

what to wear to a wedding

“Noooooooooooo! A wedding invite!”

If you don’t wear suits on a regular basis you might want to grab that one that’s hanging in the back of your wardrobe sooner rather than later and give it a once over. Yes, they can cost a lot of money but men’s suits don’t last forever and if you’ve been wearing yours to every wedding, funeral and court appearance (?!) for the last 15 years it may well have seen better days. Check the seat, the lapels and the elbows in particular for the shininess that indicates, well, that your suit’s next stop should be your local charity shop.

If that’s the case and you’re faced with the formidable task of buying a new suit there are a few things to bear in mind before you set out on your quest. First of all fabric: it may be summer but if you’re investing in a new men’s suit you might want to go for a material that can be worn all year round and avoid linen, no matter how warm the weather. Besides linen creases terribly and it won’t be long before you look as rumpled and disheveled as the bride’s drunken uncle Monty. Rule of thumb: stick with wool, or if you can afford, it a wool-cashmere mix.

Fit is crucial when buying a suit; tempting as it may be don’t just grab the nearest thing that ‘looks about right’ – after all buying men’s t-shirts is one thing but a suit is an investment. The shoulder padding in the jacket should fit your shoulders squarely and if the pads are drooping or hanging down or there are indentations in the fabric, it’s too big and you need to drop down a size.

men's suits

It’s all about the fit

The cuffs of a suit jacket are one sure fire way to tell if the suit is too big for you. We’ve all seen guys in ill-fitting suits that look like school boys trying to impress in their older brother or dad’s suit. Getting the length of the cuff right is vital if this is NOT the look you’re going for. Make sure that the cuffs hang no lower than the point where your thumb joins your hand.

You’ve got your suit but what about your shirt and tie? Contrary to popular belief, you can play around with spots, stripes and checks – just don’t go overboard or you’ll end up looking like a third rate comedian. Men’s shirts in a two-colour way check will look great with a plain suit and a bold striped tie. If you go for a stripy shirt AND a stripy tie ensure that the stripes are of different widths. Likewise if you wear a patterned tie with a striped shirt if the stripes are wide make sure your pattern is smaller or more low key – and vice versa.

men's suits and ties

A tasteful clash of stripes and patterns

Getting dressed for a wedding doesn’t have to be a complete nightmare and with a few pointers you’ll be able to relax and maybe even look forward to it! After all even the dullest sounding weddings can turn into nights out to remember. Although obviously it does help if there’s a free bar involved.

Have you got any crazy wedding stories or formal menswear fashion tips? Why not leave them in the comments or come on over to our Facebook page and share them on there? 

How to Buy Men’s Underwear

Whilst it might not be as much fun for guys to buy men’s underwear as it is for the girls, it’s still important to find the style that suits not only you but the outfit you’re wearing. The ladies are all too aware of the dreaded VPL (that’s visible panty line for the uninitiated!) but with men’s coloured t-shirts and skinny jeans having a moment this spring and summer it might just be something that you want to think about too.

So whether you’re a boxer shorts kind of guy, you stick with briefs, you rock old skool Y-fronts, or perhaps you’re even a thong man, let’s get the low down on men’s undies.

men's underwear

“Let’s just, uh, hang out on the beach in our Y-fronts”

First of all, as any female can tell you, there’s more to looking stylish than picking out a matching top and bottom because what lies beneath can both improve the look of the outfit and make it a whole lot more comfortable too. And when you feel comfortable you’re more confident, right? So believe me when I say men’s fashion isn’t just about throwing on jeans and t-shirts for men getting the right shorts can be make or break.

Let’s start with that 8 letter word so loved by some and so loathed by others: shopping. The same principle that applies to buying men’s t-shirts, shorts or jeans should similarly apply to picking out the right underwear. You wouldn’t buy a pair of cargo pants that were 2 sizes too small and you probably wouldn’t buy a tee that was 4 sizes too big; the same goes for your underwear.

men's boxer shorts

Y-fronts not your thing?

Wearing a pair of boxers that are too loose is just going to add unsightly bulky fabric whilst wearing a pair of briefs that are too tight is not only going to be excruciatingly uncomfortable (there’s probably no need to go into detail here) but it can affect blood circulations too. So how do you know what size to go for? Men’s underwear normally goes by waist size, so buy it as you would a pair of trousers.

Naturally the type of clothes you wear should be taken into consideration when you’re picking out your pants. As mentioned above, if you’re a fan of this season’s skinny jeans for men then briefs are a better bet (or a G-string if that’s your thing!) but if you’re a baggy jeans and tshirt kind of guy, boxer shorts will be just fine.

men's thongs

Hey, no one’s judging you if that’s what you find comfortable!

The life you lead can also have a bearing on your choice. Are you sporty and always on the go? Briefs or tight boxers are best as they’ll afford more support than cotton short style boxers. Likewise if you’re less get-up-and-go and lead a more office/pub/couch type of existence you should be fine with looser fitting boxer shorts.

So you’re sorted for size and style now all that remains is your choice of fabric. Of course this is a unique personal preference although most men say that they prefer cotton. However if you’re feeling flash and you want to impress a special someone or you think you might get lucky next weekend, you could always push the boat out and go for silk.

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!