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!

Advertisements

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?

 

 

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!

Men’s White Shirts – A Wardrobe Essential

If you’re a guy reading this you probably don’t need us to tell you that the amount of ‘wardrobe essentials’ that you’re supposed to have are a lot fewer in number than your female counterparts. Whilst the ladies are told that they ‘must have’ a great trouser suit, a classic mackintosh, a pencil skirt, a crisp white blouse, a great pair of heels and of course an LBD (that’s a little black dress, don’t you know!) – among a myriad of other garments, for men the go-to items are considerably less.

So what should you, as a self-respecting man about town, have hanging in your closet? And do you?! Obviously a pair of nicely fitting blue jeans is probably top of most men’s lists, as well as some great white t-shirts. A good quality cashmere sweater will never go out of style and a pair of smart-casual chinos is always handy, as well as a blazer and a couple of decently-cut dark suits; especially if you work in a traditional office environment. Get these basics sorted, add a couple of good quality white shirts and you’ll be laughing.

men's shirts

Finding the perfect white men’s shirt can be a little tricky but once you’ve nailed it you’ll have the perfect capsule wardrobe to take you from breakfast meeting to boardroom to after works drinks – and even a formal black tie event. But don’t forget, it has to be white; a blue or grey shirt just isn’t going to cut it under these circumstances.

A crisp, white shirt says you’re a confident professional who cares about the way he dresses – providing it’s clean and wrinkle-free of course! And it’s not only the colour that can make a difference, but the fabric you choose too can play a part in how you pull off your finished look. For a preppy look choose something made from Oxford cloth with its basket weave finish – shirts made from this will walk the line between casual and smart, whilst for a dressier look that you can still wear with your favourite denims, opt for poplin.

If you’re wearing a plain white shirt you can afford to be a little more flamboyant with your accessories too. Try rolling your sleeves up and sporting a smart, brightly coloured or otherwise eye-catching watch on your wrist. Or say goodbye to your boring black loafers and throw caution to the wind with something a little braver in the footwear department. For a pop of colour throw a bright red cashmere sweater over the top, or alternatively tone it down with a grey sweater or cardigan to soften the look.

men's white shirts

Play around with your tie too – and we don’t mean that comedy Homer Simpson tie that you got for Christmas from your aunt, but choose something understated and stylish in wool or silk. Or try Paul Smith who always does great ties, especially in the stripes department.

One thing to remember when buying men’s shirts is to make sure that the style of the collar suits your face. If you have a particularly wide or round head choose a narrow collar and conversely, if your face is on the narrow or pinched side a spread shirt collar will help give the illusion of a little more width.

homer simpson

No! Doh!

Finally, don’t just relegate your white shirt to the 9 to 5 or to weddings; if you’ve spent some money on a decent quality shirt get the most from it and use it to add a new dimension to your casual or weekend gear too.

What’s your take on this enduring men’s fashion staple? Do you love a crisp white shirt or are you a strictly t-shirt and jeans kind of guy? Let us know your thoughts in the guest book below –  and don’t forget to check out our range of men’s urban t-shirts on our website!

Men’s Spring Summer 2013 Fashion Trends

If you like to think of yourself as a bit of a well-dressed man about town you’ll no doubt be wondering what trends the summer 2013 season has in store for you. Well guys, it’s time to smarten up because next summer you’re going to be channeling your inner Jay Gatsby and reaching deep within yourself to unleash that preppy monster lurking somewhere in the dark recesses of your sartorial soul.

Yes, that’s right; next summer is looking decidedly grown up, with shorts being the most consistent look on the men’s catwalks. If you’re not the biggest fan of your thighs (do guys worry about that sort of stuff too?) don’t worry because we’re not talking Kylie-esque hot pants, we’re looking at smart, knee-length, dressy, tailored shorts. Manly shorts. Teamed with overcoats, double breasted blazers and men’s designer shirts, this is the look that guys in the know will be rocking come summer.

kylie minogue hot pants

Gratuitous picture of Kylie’s gold hot pants

If you’re a fan of colour you’ll be loving next season as blue was a dominant force at the summer 2013 men’s fashion shows. Electric blue, duck egg blue, aqua – it seems designers couldn’t get enough of this aptly summery hue both for men’s shirts and trousers. Unusual textures and fabrics will also come out to play, elevating the smarter looks to something slightly quirkier and injecting a little personality into the tailored trend.

For those of you who don’t do tailoring or suits, thanks to 2012 being an action packed year for sporting events there’s also a strong influence of sportswear coming through, albeit a styled-up one. This will not be the summer where you’ll be killing it with the ladies in a faded old football shirt, but one where you’ll be sporting (excuse the pun) patterned bomber jackets, lux parkas and smart men’s t-shirts.

mens designer t-shirts

T-shirts can be smart too

A touch of military flare, smarter men’s shirts and printed t-shirts should also be hanging in any self-respecting gent’s wardrobe as will garments in shades of orange, yellow and brown. All in all, summer 2013 is looking decidedly chipper on the men’s fashion front and there should be something to keep everyone happy, whether you’re a wannabe 1930’s suave playboy or you fancy going all out in a textured orange silk bomber jacket teamed with navy blue sailor striped trousers.

In fact the only black cloud that I can foresee on this otherwise cheerfully hued, up and coming summer season, and my apologies for saving the bad news for last, is that there was more than one disturbing occurrence of socks and sandals at the men’s fashion shows. The designers may be extolling the aesthetic virtues of opened toed footwear and wool, but frankly, gentlemen, that is something you’ll need to decide for yourselves just how much of a dedicated follower of fashion you really are.

socks and sandals

I can’t believe people still think this is OK

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!