Tag "menswear"

You just got spotted
We just saw an example of a perfect and effortless look for the ladies. Now, it just seems right to come up with something inspirational for the gents.
Something which applies in both cases: It is not only about the right ingredients, it s also about the right styling. Rolled-up sleeves or hem are probably the easiest way to introduce some „easiness“ into your wardrobe.

Image: You just got spotted

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Tommy Ton
Suspenders are not the kind of wardrobe item you would want to find in his closet. They usually make us cringe and we like to pretend that they do not exist really. There are a few men, though, who really know how to make them look good. See proof above.

Image: Tommy Ton for GQ

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Another week, another wanted list (Ha, saying that makes me feel a bit like a showmaster). Now that the temperatures dropped for real and we experienced the first day of snow, it isn’t that hard to imagine anymore: Christmas is knocking on the door. Luckily, I’m able to report that I’m almost settled gift wise (that doesn’t necessarily make me win some sympathy points, does it?). Nevertheless, I collected a few items which, as always, range from ridiculous pricy to nicely affordable and yes, this time it’s all about and for men. So let’s get started…
(1) Can one ever have enough winter coats slash jackets? I don’t think so and if you have any doubts, one look at this beauty is more than enough to change your mind. (5) A T-Shirt? Seriously? Yes, seriously. Because of the delicate dyed effect. (2) Noting his appointments in a pocketbook schedule makes him probably a  rarity. Although he probably enjoys doing this in style. (3) A classic chrome ballpoint pen might just be the perfect companion to do that. (4) Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, because he is only human, after all. And for once, he can approve of the packaging. (7) A propos packaging: L’Occitane has not only very good quality products, they look very nice as well. (6) A cotton and leather bag which would be his new daily companion. I’m pretty sure of it.

(1) A.P.C.: Duffle-Coat (2) Mucu: Olive Pocketbook Schedule (3) Pentel: Chrome Ballpoint Pen (4) Burt’s Bees: Lip Balm (5)Maison Martin Margiela: Overdyed Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt (6)  Billykirk: Large Caryall (7) L’Occitane: After Shave Balm

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I like the laid back attitude of this shot, actually I like it a lot. There is not much to look at, a pair of jeans and a shirt, both oversized and both striped. That doesn’t sound like a recipe with a lot of potential, visually speaking, but it does work out quite well. Surprisingly. I mean, striped jeans. Pulling that one off is quite an achievement. Throw on top a striped shirt and you deserve a medal.
Maybe it helps though that the „laid back“ aspect of this shot has been pushed a little bit further than usually. Often times we see an oversized garment complement by something opposite, say an oversized jeans with a good fitting shirt. It is all about contrast and all about proportions, these rules are practically carved in stone. Whereas in this shot, both pieces come in a generous fit and additionally the shirt’s cut is pyjamas inspired. I’m tempted to say something very cliché now and I think, I just might go with it: rules are made to be broken. How about that.

Ps: Here is another shot from the same editorial.

Image: Claudia Knoepfel & Stefan Indlekofer

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A classic trench coat, a blue shirt and a white sweater are an excellent combination. Okay, this is hardly news. On the „classics“ top ten list, this one ranks on or very close to the top. Probably somewhere near the „blue-jeans-and-white-t“ combo.  When you are dressing this way in the morning, you are probably not the type to cry out for attention. Or at least not in the mood. Otherwise you would probably opt for something with a camouflage print or neon detail (maybe even the bunny costume you always dreamt of wearing, but never dared to). But believe me when I’m saying that a classic doesn’t hurt from time to time. When well done, it is incredibly easy on the eye. One couldn’t ask for more, really.

Image: The Three F 

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Sometimes you have to copy shamelessly. The best way to do so, without any remorse whatsoever, is to copy yourself. When I realized that once again I’m attracted to write about menswear, I remembered an article written during my guest blogging day at les mads earlier this year. It occurred to me that several topics relevant to this series were hidden in those lines such as the revival of the pantsuit in the spring 2011 collections or the revival of the gentleman. But let’s dip our toe into a short recap of the history of menswear in our wardrobe first.

Sometimes we have to remember that some influences in fashion were not always a given. Long before expressions like the boyfriend look belonged to the repertoire in our language and were included in the vocabulary of the fashion editors, women were inspired by menswear. You have just to remember Mademoiselle Chanel who urgently wanted to flee the uncomfortable feeling of restriction due to the corset. She was so fed up that she simply grabbed her boyfriend’s riding clothes and walked straight to a tailor where she ordered a pair of jodhpurs – in her size. The commissioned tailor cried out in despair: “But Madame this isn’t appropriate for ladies!” Eventually he executed the wish, but only reluctantly. Her boyfriend, Étienne Balsan, found those peculiarities quite charming back in the days, yet in 1907 this kind of fashion choice was unconventional to say the least and lead to many a raised eyebrow.
Actress Diane Keaton had to encounter quite a similar experience during the making of the film Annie Hall. Once she stepped on the set, the costume designer wasn’t enthusiastic about her look to say the least, as remembers director Woody Allen. She implored him not to let her wear this kind of outfits on the screen. „Tell her not to wear that. She can’t wear that. It’s so crazy.“ Woody Allen in turn wasn’t fazed and simply replied to leave her alone, „she should be wearing what she wants“. And what Diane wanted were oversized men’s jackets skillfully combined with loosely cut trousers and long skirts. She also had a soft spot for ties. What was surprising back then, and what was sometimes seen as outrageously bad taste, developed over time into a trend and is still a path breaking influence in fashion.

One of the numerous homages to the style icon is the editorial Diane K shot by Mikael Jansson in 2009 for Vogue Paris.

More and more women become true enthusiasts when it comes to menswear, a phenomenon which can be easily observed in the blogging world. Illustrator and streetstyle photographer Garance Doré shops frequently in the closet of her boyfriend Scott Schuman aka The Sartorialist. Her love and dedication to rolled-up trousers, men’s shirts and brogues goes a long way: menswear counts among her essential inspiration sources when it comes to her personal style, she stated in an interview with Refinery 29. The outcome: looks with a laid-back attitude. In my opinion they deserve their very own post. Not a raised eyebrow.

Images: Mikael Jansson

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When reading a review of Haider Ackerman’s latest collection, I stumbled over the following sentence: „You love the idea that she would steal the clothes from her husband,“ he said, before correcting himself: „Her lover, not her husband.“ A certain image is brought up: The sun filters through the curtains. She wakes up. Slightly tousled hair. Well, tousled just the right amount of tousled. No need for a brush whatsoever. She stands up, tiptoes into the kitchen and grabs a cup of coffee. His shirt is hanging casually on the back of the chair. She spontaneously picks it up and throws it on. She grabs his jeans, slightly oversized yet just the perfect fit. One hour later she is sitting with him in a café, sipping on a cappucino and tearing a flaky croissant apart. She looks utterly relaxed. The epitome of someone laid back.

It is just one version of many images which belong to some sort of a fantasy and they all found their way into our minds the moment menswear found its way into the woman’s closet. The idea, stealing shamelessly from your boyfriend’s array of clothes, is two things: really alluring  and not as new as you might think.  Alluring simply because looking laid back and good is not as easy as it might sound. Not really new, because there is a history of women who broke the rules and that was not just five years ago. A third point should be added to the list: If it is well executed, a menswear item (or even several for that matter) can not only make her look that much more interesting. It can make her look incredibly cool and underline her femininity a lot more than the usual clichés. Something I am really sure about is that the subject deserves more than just one post, so this would make the post a nice introduction. In the next episodes we are going to flip a little trough the history and explore some well executed examples on this matter. Because as much as introducing menswear pieces into your life can do wonders, it can also go fabulouly wrong. And that would be much more of a nightmare than a fantasy. Nobody wants to sit in a café and look like they have run out of clothes to wear because it is laundry day.

Images: Martien Mulder  

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