Autumn 2013 Fashion – What are the Trends to Know About?

Autumn (or fall depending where you’re from) is the season I look forward to most – especially when it comes to fashion. Sure, it’s great to be able to spend the summer hanging out in the sunshine in just shorts and a t-shirt but there’s something comforting about being able to unpack your winter woolies from storage and rediscover all those things with sleeves.

autumn fashion

The leaves where I live are usually damper and smellier than this

But it’s not just about digging out all the old favourites, it’s the opportunity to add something new to your wardrobe too. Checking out the fall trends is something to look forward to every year – after all it pays to stay one step ahead of the game. It’s always good to be aware of coming seasonal trends before they hit the high street or mall too as that way you can narrow down which ones you want to embrace – and which ones you want to avoid.

Of course what us mere mortals will be wearing next season has already been decided by those fashion savvy individuals who attended the A/W 2013 men’s fashion shows and fashion editors and street wear style snappers with an eye for a trend who were long ago out on the sidewalks spotting recurring themes so they can tell us, runways aside, which themes are most likely to be hitting our streets this coming season.

men's plaid shirts

Don’t throw away that plaid shirt just yet

So I decided to do a little research and have been checking out what those in the know have predicted will be what any self-respecting guy will want to be wearing. Of course, not every trend is right for everyone but by knowing what we can expect we can cherry pick our nods to the up and coming men’s trends. And with this being the chilly time of year, naturally accessories play an important part, which is great as this is a budget friendly (depending on how expensive your tastes are!) way to update your existing urban wear.

It looks like plaid is going to be surviving the summer and seeing us though the year. So far it’s mostly been about plaid shirts, but next season sees plaid patterns on anything and everything, from jackets and vests (body warmers) to scarves, bags and beanies. And don’t worry if you’re a self-confessed plaid shirt fan – you don’t need to stop wearing yours as they are still very much in evidence too.

cropped pants

Hmmm

I have to admit I’m still not quite sold on this next trend: cuffed pants and shorter length trousers. I know, I know – I’m hopelessly out of touch but I just feel more comfortable in a pair of trousers that doesn’t show my ankles. But it seems that menswear is fully onboard with cropped trousers so I guess I’ll just have to get over myself as it really does seem like this is a streetwear style that’s not going away any time soon.

Here’s an easier one; backpacks. There were hoards of guys carrying backpacks outside the autumn winter shows – which is great because backpacks are useful! They hold all your stuff and they look way better than carrying a plastic bag or that free holdall you got when you signed up for gym membership. I’m happy I can now carry my shabby backpack with pride – at least for a couple of months. Army style and smart leather were the main looks on the streets.

men's backpacks

Ditch that sad free gym bag for good!

Another useful trend is scarves. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – who doesn’t wear a scarf in winter?! – but scarves are having a definite moment. This winter they’re coming in all shapes and sizes from small knotted cotton bandanas to chunky knitted scarves and from infinity style cowls to full on blankets. I’ll pick something stripy, knitted and colourful that will add a bright pop to my urbanwear outfits.

Last but not least: the ultimate in street wear – camo. I don’t think you can go wrong with camo and I must admit that I have mixed feelings when it pops up in the menswear shows every few years. I sort of don’t want it to be ‘a thing’ but I do relish the chance to wear the urban fashion that I already own and feel slightly on top of my game!

men'sscarves

Too much??

Getting dressed over the coming months should be relatively easy and I’m looking forward to trying out some of the above combinations. As urban wear evolves, men’s apparel gets more interesting and it’s great that guys can let their personality shine through just as much as the women. As for me, I’m going to start getting in the mood for autumn and start rocking my favourite tee shirts, with my beaten up old army pants, some grungy DM boots and a chunky, stripy scarf. I’m not sure if it will work – but’s that half the fun, isn’t it?!

What trends will you be embracing next season? Are you a camo fan? I love scarves but are you one of those people that can’t stand having something around your neck? And how about my nemesis the cuffed pants – I’d love to hear your thoughts on those!

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Summer Trends for Men 2013: Grunge

I have to admit to being quite excited about one of this season’s trends. I can also admit that I was there the first time round, so perhaps I’m looking at this through rose tinted glasses, but grunge is back in a big way in 2013 and I for one am pretty pleased about it.

men's fashion

Everyone’s Going Grunge

But it’s not just that grunge 2013 reminds me of some of my favourite bands of all time, although of course that’s a big part of it – let’s face it, who would ever get sick of listening to Nirvana – but it’s also the fact that grunge is so easy to wear. These days it seems as if the men’s shows are just as chock full as the women’s when it comes to outfits that look, let’s be honest, really quite silly! I understand that fashion shows are there to inspire and the looks filter down to the high street or shopping mall and become more practical and less crazy versions of the high fashion looks, but with grunge you know that these are going to be easy to adopt street wear looks that aren’t going to have people pointing and laughing at you in public.

And if you’re not the sort of guy who likes to be the most showy one in the room, going grunge is the ideal way to show that you know the trends but you’re not a total fashion victim. I don’t think there is anyone who would feel a fool walking down the street in a plaid shirt worn open over a men’s t-shirt. The same can’t quite be said for some of the other looks that the designers were showing for this season: head to toe safari prints anyone? Bright blue suits? ‘Luxury’ sportswear featuring silk bomber jackets? Yeah…didn’t think so!

Doctor Martin Boots

Good Old Doctor Martin!

The other thing good thing about grunge and urbanwear is that you don’t have to spend hours puting together your outfit, then getting dressed and fretting whether you’re pulling it off. Streetwear is supposed to look effortlessly cool and grunge is the essence of not looking like you give two hoots about your clothes (even if you do on the sly!)

plaid shirts

Just Being Grunge and Hanging out in some Rubble

So what should be hanging in your wardrobe if you want to get with the trend before it’s too late? The obvious one is a checked shirt. Whether you go for cotton or flannel, the plaid shirt is the basis of your grungy closet. You can button it up but for the ultimate in ‘don’t care chic’ you need to leave it open and wear a printed t-shirts underneath. The grunge urban wear look wouldn’t be complete either without an over-sized hoody streetwear top or, if you really want to pander to your inner Kurt Cobain, a chunky wool cardigan or sweater. Holes optional.

Nirvana

The Godfather of Grunge?

Men’s jeans are still at the skinny end of the scale which is fine. Grab your oldest most battered pair and team with classic Converse All Stars or toughen up with worn work wear boots or DM’s. Denim jackets are also in this season and are perfect for adding another layer to the urbanwear look.

Finally, what about accessorizing? Well as we all know the devil is in the details and if you welcome any opportunity to pile on the accessories, street wear trends provide you with the perfect opportunity. Grab some rope or leather bracelets, invest in chunky silver jewellery and don’t forget your finishing touch – a knitted beanie. Too warm for hats? Rock that unkempt bedhead just woken up look instead by investing in some styling products.

Will you be embracing the grunge trend or do you prefer your men’s fashion to be a little on the smarter side. Let us know what you think in the guest book!

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!

How to Wear Accessories: a Guide for Guys

Men’s fashion accessories are back in a big way and according to industry insiders and retailers, since the beginning of 2012 men have been purchasing fashion items traditionally associated with women in wild abandon. From scarves to belts and from jewellery to umbrellas, men everywhere have been letting their accessory flag fly.

There are a couple of reasons cited behind this sudden surge of guys who need the latest hat or shoe, the first being that the recession has made men realize that they need to up their game to stay in the game. Turning up to the office in a crumpled suit with last night’s beer stains still on the lapel is not going to impress anyone in the current cut throat job market. Don a smart men’s designer shirt and show a little more elan around the workplace, however, and you’ll stand out and look, dare we say it, much more professional.

men's accessories

Looking cool even when sitting in rubble!

Another reason behind the men’s fashion accessories trend is street style blogs. It’s hard to browse anything relating to fashion or style without stumbling across a ‘real people’ style blog, meaning that more men who have a passing interest in clothes can take inspiration from original styles across the globe. The types of men featured on these blogs are not afraid to experiment, especially in countries like Japan where men think nothing of piling on cuffs, caps and chains.

Buckle up guys, as we take a look at some ways you can get the most out of your men’s accessories

1. Make your bag work for you. Gone are the days when you had to stuff everything in your pockets. These days it’s perfectly acceptable, de rigueur even, for guys to carry a bag. And no, we’re not talking about man bags or man purses – the latest holdalls and satchels are man enough and big enough for any guy normally afraid of being seen in public with something that has handles or straps!

2. Get ahead, get a hat, so the cliché goes but the thing with clichés is they’re often true. Not only does a hat say “Look at me – I’m confident!” it also keeps your hair dry when it’s raining. OK, not exactly breaking news that one, but if you’re one of those guys with an aversion to using an umbrella, get yourself a hat and stop turning up to work and/or the bar looking like a wet dog.

men's trilby fedora hats

Looking good in a men’s trilby

3. Hangovers. Yes, most of us get them. Most of us hate them. Most of us look like crap when we’ve got one. That’s where sunglasses come in. Sunny or not, slap on a pair of aviators and not only will you look cooler but you’ll be protecting your aching eyes from daylight – as well as protecting other people from having to look at the entirety of your miserable, hungover face. Think of it as a public duty.

4. Are you one of those guys who pretends you’re not cold, even when you’re visibly quivering in your designer t-shirts? Stop it – no one’s impressed! There’s no reason whatsoever to suffer because thanks to men’s scarves having had a recent moment in the spotlight, and beanies always being a reliable old favourite, staying warm is now an option even for macho men.

5. Do you ever feel that you’re overlooked in the workplace? Do you blend in to the crowd when you’re in a bar? You need jewellery! I’m not talking diamond earrings or gold sovereign rings, God forbid no. The new men’s jewellery is classy and understated yet makes an impact. Cuffs, rope bracelets and cords stacked up on your wrist say ‘this is a guy that knows what he’s doing when it comes to men’s fashion’. And your boss and potential dates will fall right for it. Probably.

men's leather wrist cuff

Add a tough accent to an outfit with a leather cuff

6. Get organized. A decent wallet or card holder can’t be underestimated. As with bags, stop jamming everything into your pockets. For one thing it makes it easy to lose bank cards, cash and keys, for the other, it ruins the way your clothes hang. Pulling out a great wallet when you pay for something is a million times cooler than fumbling around in the pocket of your jeans for a fistful of (crumpled) dollars and a battered looking Visa card.

So there you have it. Accessories are not just frivolous things meant for the ladies; they’re useful too. Any self-respecting guy with an eye for style knows that the devil is in the detail, and if that prevents you from getting wet, being cold, losing your keys or being passed over for promotion then that gold sequined trucker cap and tiny man purse that you’ve just purchased is well worth the investment!

This guide to accessories was brought to you by Ethereal Clothing