Men’s Fall Fashion Trends – 2014

Fall2014cover

What does one do on a chilly 66 degree day…in August!?  He starts thinking about fall fashion.  A well dressed Hominid is a cultured Hominid indeed.  If it is too soon for you and you haven’t done your research yet, no worries my friends.  I’ve scoured the net for you and have chosen some age-appropriate trends that will get you started on planning your fresh look for the season.

Footwear

Fall2014shoe

This is very similar to a boot that I already own but creepers (rubber soled) were a theme that I noticed.  Comfortable and versatile, these boots will pair well with denim or a suit.

Fall2014brownshoe

These handsome oxfords with fancy toe stitch and comfortable soles are also versatile.  Wear with denim and a blazer or a pair of wool or plaid slacks.

Tailored Pant and Layering

Fall2014layering

 

After a brief excursion into roomier, baggier slacks, the tailored pant is back.  The cropped bottom was a theme I noted in many fall fashion reports.  The pant is also worn with bulkier layers on top.  The model here is sporting an overcoat, un-tucked button down shirt, cardigan sweater and scarf.

Speaking of Scarfs

Big over-sized scarfs appeared on runways from New York to Milan.  Some were tasteful for men-of-a-certain-age and some were just silly.

Do this (left)

Fall2014scarf

Not this

Fall2014hugescarf

 

The pashmina look might work for a younger man moving about the streets of NYC but for you and I…we’ll just get laughed at.

The Roll Neck

Fall2014rollneck

I was excited to see that the roll neck (turtle neck) was back on the scene.  Especially living in the Northeast United States.  Go classic with a dark roll neck under a dark jacket.

The 3’s

Fall2014Suit

The three-piece suit and 3-button jacket is in the line-up.  The look is far better suited (pun intended) for men over 6 ft tall.  Us shorties will do ourselves a favor by keeping the top button undone and covered with the lapel.

Grooming

Fall2014grooming

I read at least two reports that suggested the clean shaven look is back in.  Thank goodness because I never let my facial hair grow out.  However, if you are single and on the market, I read a study this year that suggested that women tend to find those men going against the facial hair trend more attractive.  So in seasons when beards are in, women prefer clean shaven.  When clean shaven is the norm…you get the point.

These are just a few ideas for you.  Feel free to do your own research to better define your look for Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Now go make fashion happen!

A Fresh Look

Finally some warmer weather here in Central New York has me thinking more about spring and summer, cookouts, drinks on the deck, breaking out the bike and….men’s fashion?  Yes, men’s fashion. I typically struggle this time of year as I wrestle with whether or not to stock the closet with warm weather gear, store the cold weather outfits and permanently retire outdated styles from both seasons.

So what to wear for spring and summer 2014.  Do we grab what we see on the mannequin or thoughtfully plan out our look for the season? Option A is easy and hit-or-miss at best. It requires you to trust that the store buyer is up on modern trend. Option B requires research. Have no fear though because I have scoured the interwebs for themes on men’s fashion trends for spring/summer 2014 and I, out of extreme generosity, will share them with you here.

The key for us hominids over 40 is to take these themes and fashion them to our own particular stage in life. Fashion is often a young man’s game so take the themes and apply them age-appropriately.

Theme 1 – The Whiteout

Head-to-toe white is a cool look for the summer.  You can go all white or throw in a splash of color with a shirt or pocket square.

White OutDolce & GabbanaTheme 2 – Double Breasted Blazers

It’s a classic that’s always on time.  Try pairing the blazer with a pair of shorts.

Whether it's just the jacket or full suit, you'll class up the room no matter the occasion.
Whether it’s just the jacket or full suit, you’ll class up the room no matter the occasion.

Theme 3 – Block stripes and color blocking

Select for suit or jacket or shirt. Make a subtle or bold statement.
Select for suit or jacket or shirt. Make a subtle or bold statement.

Block stripe shirt

Theme 4 – Warm Weather Leather

Designers have removed the lining and made the fabric as thin as possible to be appropriate for the season. Try a nice shirt. Don't let me see your old ass walking around in leather pants, please.
Designers have removed the lining and made the fabric as thin as possible to be appropriate for the season. Try a nice shirt. Don’t let me see your old ass walking around in leather pants, please.

Theme 5 – Floral Prints

Pants, shorts, shirts, blazers…I’m seeing it all.

Work it in but remember your age.  And for god's sake don cheat by dusting off the old Tommy Bahama shirt in the back of your closet.
Work it in but remember your age. And for god’s sake don cheat by dusting off the old Tommy Bahama shirt in the back of your closet.

Theme 6 – Sporty

The athletic motif is in this season. This doesn’t mean breaking out the old Penny Hardaway jersey. Be fashion conscious about working in the sport that you are fanatic about.

Sporty

Joe’s wish list

I’m putting these reptile skin gladiator sandals on my list just because…I’m a bad mutha…..

Gladiator Sandals

Other things to keep in mind are colors for spring and summer 2014. A few previews have mentioned very light grey, various shades of pink and purple.  Make it pop! Adopt a few of these to give yourself a fresh look this season and when we see each other, we will salute with the Man Up Hominid casual head nod.

Do any of these float your boat? I’m interested in knowing.

Cheers!

 

Your Shoes Are Under Scrutiny

When it comes to decking yourself out from head to toe, I think that the “toe” part of the equation is quite often overlooked by men.  Ellie Krupnik and Rebecca Adams challenge you to Man Up with these 5 tips.

  1. Cover up those toes.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent the previous night using a jackhammer to rid yourself of unsightly corns and bunions.  Toes are not often the most attractive part of a man’s body.  Skip the sandals and wear anything but.
  2. Never wear shiny black dress shoes with jeans.  Do I really need to explain this?
  3. Suede desert boots are man’s best friend!  When you need something nicer than sneakers and less formal than dress shoes, the desert boot adds a touch of class.
  4. Don’t wear white athletic socks unless you are wearing athletic shoes.  Do I really need to explain this? Come on son!!
  5. Match your shoes to your belt.  It’s an old rule but it has been around for good reason.  It’s freaking classy!
If you are interested in reading the entire article complete with photos, click here.
I know I’ve covered shoes in a previous post but it’s worth repeating because some of you are clearly not listening.  I’m still seeing square-toed shoes when I politely asked you to stop.
Your goal for this weekend is to treat yourself to a new pair of shoes.  Now go and make change happen!

You 2.0 Part 3

You 2.0 Part 3 – Fine Tune the Logo

I struggle with writing this final installment of You 2.0 because fashion is often considered a frivolity by many.  Something that only the superficial, self-centered embrace.  An exercise in narcissism if you will.  The old style over substance argument that you’ve heard a million times.  But placed in the context of self-improvement and rebranding, I think it makes sense to give the subject some consideration.  Man up Hominid because it just might be time to elevate your style by concentrating on the basics.

You know the saying, you only have one shot to make a first impression.  What do others think when they are meeting you for the first time?  Positive impressions might include the fact that you look “professional”, “put together”, “organized”, “stylish”, “trendy”, “dapper” etc..  Some not so positives include “unprofessional”, “sloppy”, “out-dated”, “unorganized”, and “oafish”.  We are talking first impressions here so the fact the you are a truly wonderful, bright, witty and insightful human being might get dismissed right off the bat.  It sucks but that’s the society we live in.

This post is not about high fashion.  Rather, it offers basic tips for those who struggle to define and refine their look.  If your gear is tight, then you need not read on.  If you hate buying clothes because you just can’t quite figure out what you should be concentrating on, you are likely to find some helpful hints here.

Why be conscious about your appearance?  For reasons other than first impressions, consider pride in your look, a boost in self-confidence, making a statement, impressing a first date, impressing a hiring manager, building social capital, and giving your partner a good reason to want to be seen with you in public.  If your plan to get healthier and fitter pans out, why put that sexy new body in your tired old clothes?  Here’s a head-to-toe look at what to concentrate on.

Grooming

Are you clean shaven or sporting facial hair?  Long or short hair cut?  Do you pay attention to skin care?  Eyebrows?  Regardless of your choice to go bare or go hair, keep your look neat, tight and professional.  If you are in your 40’s and 50’s, your daily interactions with others are likely in a professional setting.  The unkempt look is best left for the Hollywood and music industry glitterati.  Whether short cropped or medium length, keep your hair cut, trimmed and styled.  If you aren’t sure what the modern trend is, consult your barber or stylist.  If you’ve been wearing the same hair cut for the past 10-15 years, it might be time for a change.  The same holds true for facial hair.  Whether you embrace facial hair or not, keep it trimmed or freshly shaven each day.  Your face should be the focal point when interacting with someone, not food stuck to your mountain man whiskers.  Avoid having stray hairs pointing in all directions.  Keep your eyebrows trimmed as well.  It shouldn’t look as if a caterpillar is napping on your forehead.
Do you have a skin regimen?  You should. Keep your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.  Invest in a decent facial cleanser (no body soap on the face) and moisturize before bed and again in the morning for clean, blemish-free skin.  Keep your hands clean and nails trimmed (not chewed).  People notice and judge hands more than you think.  And for goodness sake keep your nose hair trimmed.  There’s nothing worse than being distracted by someone’s dueling nose hairs when you are attempting to concentrate on the conversation.  Add to your tool kit a nose hair trimmer, razor, electric hair clipper (for the tufts of hair attempting to escape the collar of your t-shirt), nail clipper and hand-held mirror.

The Gear

Your goal should be to look sharp for all occasions.  That includes the office environment, after work activities, weekends, the kids basketball games etc.  You never know who you are going to run into at the grocery store so why not have a consistent, stylish look for all segments of your life?   Do you work in a formal office environment where the suit is the uniform of choice?  Invest in a couple well made suits with modern lines (there is no substitute for quality).  If you can’t afford multiple suits, choose fabrics that will get you through all seasons.  Invest in shirts with varying collar styles and don’t shy away from color.  If all of your shirts are white or blue, get more adventurous with your color selections.  Regardless of whether you go with short lapels or normal, pinstripes or solids, the key to looking your best in a suit is the fit.  If the suit off the rack does not fit you just right, seek the service of a good tailor.  It’s worth the additional $30 or so to get it right.  A loose fitting suit will make you look sloppy and disheveled.
Whereas a tailored look projects a more stylish image.  One that is neat, organized and professional.
Perhaps your office culture is a bit more relaxed and suits are not necessary.  So trousers, shirts & ties or sweaters are the name of the game.  If that’s the case, load up on trousers.  Mix up the patterns, colors and fabrics.  I spoke with a friend who said that her boyfriend has the one obligatory pair of “dress pants” for special occasions.  Black of course.  Why limit yourself?  Black, blue, earth tones, olive and grey should occupy space in your closet.  Go for flat front whenever you can.  Not every man can pull of pleated trousers.  If you carry a little extra weight, pleated trousers will look like a balloon.  Men like me who suffer from height deficiency often find it difficult to acquire trousers in the proper length.  Bad trouser breaks are a common mistake.  You should have just a small fold at the front of the trouser and reaching halfway down the back of your shoe heel for the perfect length.  If not, spend the $10 bucks and get them hemmed.  The image to the left illustrates the break you want.

Opting for chinos a couple times a week?  Mix it up my friend!  Chinos are available in all kinds of flavors these days.  I snapped this pic of a chino display while shopping.  Skip the khaki color and grab a red, blue or green.  Make it pop!

Put some color in your shirts.  Mix it up a bit by including some patterns (stripes, checkers, plaids).  Don’t be afraid to experiment with mixing patterns.  Afine striped blue shirt with a grey plaid tie makes more sense than you think.  Just don’t mix more than two patterns in any one ensemble.  And tuck your shirt for goodness sake.  An untucked shirt screams “I can’t dress myself!” or “I just don’t give a damn!”

The Feet

You can follow all of the above suggestions and look your sharpest, but it can all go to pot if your shoes are whacked.  THE most common mistake that I see in footwear choice is the square toed shoe.  It’s gone people!  Finished!  Done!  Kaput!  Your toes aren’t square so why should your shoes be?  Choose a round toe shoe please and thank you.  Dusty, scuffed up shoes are equally egregious.  Get a cheap shine kit and polish and, with some care, a good pair of shoes will last you a while.  Invest in a few good pairs appropriate for the season and in different hues.  Grab a couple of lace-up Oxfords and slip-on loafers.  You’ll be able to get through most office and social occasions.  Add a nice pair of boots or two and you’ll be set.  Build your collection slowly with classics and you need not worry about being out of style after having come out of pocket the prior season.

 Final Thought

With so many styles and trends to choose from, you can often neglect the basics.  Stick with the basics described above and you’ll have a good foundation to build on.  Just remember to dress for the occasion, the proper season, go for quality rather than quantity and build your look around one piece that will bring your outfit to life like adding a print tie to a solid suit and solid shirt.  Most of all, have fun.  New body, new look, new attitude.  You 2.0.  Now go get it.