In our search for dashing rehearsal dinner options for grooms, Brian Leahy (founder of The Groom Says blog) and I start the day at Kmart and end up at Michael Andrews Bespoke. Part I of the interview (at Kmart) can be read on Brian’s blog here, and Part II (at MAB) here.
Special thanks to our gorgeous models, Alex and Adam, and to Michael Andrews Bespoke.
Images courtesy of Joanna Wilson Photography.
I know I’ve said before that no grown man should be seen wearing a backpack, but rules were made to be broken. Designers have been giving us some surprisingly terrific options lately, which makes me more inclined to suggest this style bag for my clients. The vibe on these is cool and grown-up — not a backpack you’d use for Lunchable and Trapper Keeper-toting. Below are seven that I’m particularly fond of in varying price ranges.
From the venerable Mulberry brand, the Henry backpack ($570) is sleek and sophisticated, and the gold hardware adds an element of class. This backpack is padded and sturdy enough to carry a laptop.
Urban Outfitters calls this attractive surplus-style option ($98) from The Brothers Bray & Co. a rucksack. It might be a easier for you to feel like a grown-up carrying a backpack if you call it by this term (“It’s not my backpack. It’s my rucksack.”). Whatever butters your biscuit.
Another of the rucksack ilk, this one from Topman ($60) is a great, affordable option. At this price, I wouldn’t trust it to hold a laptop, but it can certainly get you around town in style otherwise.
Made from durable (and beautiful) leather and blue Harris tweed, this backpack (£475) for sure is an investment. It will, however, last forever if you take care of it.
A common site on the L train here in NYC, the Fjallraven can run the risk of looking hipster-y when worn in one of the bright primary colors. That’s why I like the subtler vibe of the leather label and shades on offer for the anniversary edition ($60).
Like the Fjallraven above, this bag from Seil Marschall ($475) has a 70′s day hike feel, but the leather and metal accents make it appropriate for stylish city life.
There you go, 7 fantastic, Rath & Co. approved backpacks for Fall. Now there’s no excuse for dressing like the middle schooler next door.
As a Personal Stylist, my mission is to create outfits that make my clients look and feel terrific. Dressing well is about manhandling the rules and trends to create a look that’s uniquely one’s own.
This roundup of Fall’s menswear trends and my corresponding “real life” suggestions are meant to serve as inspiration as you figure out what works for you.
Trend #1 Military
Military is a perennial favorite, and designers are adept at keeping it fresh each season. A major bonus that comes with it is the epaulette, which fools the eye into thinking the wearer’s shoulders are broader than they actually are. Look for jackets like Reiss’s military macintosh coat ($485) or Burberry’s wool and cashmere peacoat ($1195).
You could also go the authentic route and hit up an Army-Navy surplus or thrift store for a military peacoat. I found this handsome one (complete with arm patch and interior stencil and name plate) below for $60 at a thrift store in Connecticut last Fall.
Trend #2 British Countryside
Collections from designers like Louis Vuitton and Ferragamo presented an upscale equestrian feel as seen in details like tall boots and neutral and muted colors. Camel and grey are often mixed with burnt orange and deep purple and seen in patterns like plaid and argyle. If you’ve got spare coin and the proper coloring, then this burnt orange toggle coat from Burberry Prorsum ($2990) would take you from zero to Fall in a matter of seconds.
Another option that’s a little less up in the proverbial fashion grill is this tan toggle coat from RL Rugby ($348).
As for fabrics, corduroy and velvet are getting a lot of airplay this Fall. One easy way for you to incorporate some of this into your wardrobe is via neckwear. Check the corduroy ties below from Brooklyn Industries, ($30, below left) and Lands’ End Canvas ($49.50, below right) along with Lanvin’s silk twill and velvet bowtie ($562).
Trend #3 “Tough Guy”
Needless to say, the look here is aggressive. It’s replete with leather, padding, hoods, motorcycle jackets and angry-looking patterns. [Note: Proceed with caution when wearing gym towel and boxing gloves for activities occurring outside the ring.] If you like this vibe, then try Alexander McQueen’s Regal Skull T-Shirt ($195) below.
A leather jacket is another easy way to rock this trend. I like this charcoal one from Second Sunday ($215) because the grey is an unexpected color for a leather jacket.
Trend #4 English Schoolboy
The pants are tight, and that’s (sort of) ok. I think it goes without saying that this trend — tight pants — is one of the hardest to, er, pull off. Plaid “party pants” like those seen in the above runway images can be a marmite choice for some, as they often have a privileged prep-school feel. But if you have a slim build and would like to go down this plaid-bottomed path, consider a pattern with minimal contrast, and make sure the pants give you ample breathing room. And keep everything else understated. I would pair Thom Browne’s unconstructed trouser below ($595) with a clean white dress shirt and navy or grey blazer. At the very least, Chuck Bass would approve.
Trend #5 Industrial Revolution
For his debut namesake collection, former Cloak and Versace designer Alexandre Plokhov looked to industrial photography for inspiration. Elements of this are apparent in his collection, along with those of YSL, Ermanno Scervino, Burberry Prorsum and Dolce and Gabbana. Designers showed items like chambray shirts, leather, stained denim, henleys (my go-to layering piece), vests, and hooligan hats, all in moody colors like grey and black. A great way to implement this trend would be with the charcoal DSquared2 henley ($390) below. I like the inclusion of brown elbow patches for color and textural contrast.
I also recommend this extended double-layer vest from John Varvatos ($498). Note that the color of this vest is called “Iron Grey”…very Industrial Revolution-chic.
Trend #6 Lumberjack
I sincerely hope you did not have your fill of brawny man style over the last few seasons because this trend is back in force. Check out all of the tweed, twill and plaid in the runway images above. Even if you do not frequently engage in the chopping down of wood, you, too, can incorporate this trend into your daily steez. Try this plaid half-zip work shirt from Polo Ralph Lauren ($195). It’s a cool mash-up of the half-zip silhouette typically seen in sweaters, with the plaid typically seen in a sport shirt. The half-zip also lends to easy, interesting layering.
Another easy way to do it up lumberjack-style is with a sporting vest. Look for details like padding, pockets and zippers. Try Moncler’s Ander houndstooth vest ($895) or Ralph Lauren Black Label’s short canteen vest ($695) for an outdoorsy, woodsman-y feel.
There you have it — my Fall 2011 trend report. Good luck in molding these themes into your own taste and budget as the leaves hit the ground. And as always, I welcome your comments and questions. Happy Fall, people!