This week, my television has gotten me more excited about men’s fashion than anything I’ve seen on the runway.
Trendsetting guys aren’t apologizing for dressing up and their confidence is magnetic. Elegance is back, but this new take is colorful, rakish and wearable, with just a touch of historical inspiration.
But I’ll get to that in a minute.
I don’t usually watch a ton of T.V. But NFL football (and, more importantly) my fantasy football season kicked off last week, which means Derrick and I have spent a ton of time watching the games, listening to expert analysis and heckling each other about our teams. We played each other in the championship last year and I won and he is totally gunning for me this year.
In between raging at Jamaal Charles for doing absolutely nothing last week (I miss you, Marshawn Lynch.), I caught myself staring at more than one commentator’s outfit and thinking, “wow, that looks cool.”
Athletes have been upping their fashion game for years now (I’m looking at you, NBA) and it’s great to see the commentators following suit — no pun intended. Sports are a vivid force in men’s fashion and the styles we see on game day affect what shows up in an American man’s closet.
The contrasting shirts and ties, the pattern mixing, the rise of the three-piece suit and the return of classic men’s accessories like cuff links and suspenders — it all looks good to me.
It wasn’t until I got an email from the folks at Paul Fredrick that I really thought about where I’d seen this dapper look before. It’s totally historical.
The latest Paul Fredrick collection is inspired by Boardwalk Empire, HBO’s gritty, decadent time capsule that showcases life in Atlantic city in the 1920s and early 1930s. So many of the trends in men’s fashion that are really working right now draw inspiration from this historical time period.
Men’s suits were usually dark and a little severe back in the day, so guys would really go wild with accessories and color. They’d play with interesting dress shirts and patterned ties, rock a white collar for contrast or add a colorful pocket square for interest.
You can totally steal their ideas to add interest to that dark suit that already hanging in your closet. It’s an easy to update your look without spending a lot of money.
If you like accessories, this is your year. Attention to detail can really elevate your look.
Invest in a pair of cuff links, or a classic statement watch you’ll wear forever. Or try a fedora or a newsboy cap. I’m also loving the range of men’s shoes on the market, like these sweet wingtips. They’re a classic look that suddenly looks fresh.
If you really want to explore the 1920s and 30s look, try a three-piece suit in wool or tweed. It’s a classic shape that somehow manages to look dapper while maintaining a tough-guy, gangster edge. And who doesn’t want that?
There’s just something about a guy in a killer suit that women respond to, so expect a little extra attention when you wear it.
And don’t be surprised if ladies who love the menswear look steal a few pieces from your wardrobe this season.
I can’t quite pull off that look, so I’ll be indulging in my favorite thing from the 1920s this fall — incredible art deco-style jewelry. Vintage jewelry is a major weakness of mine, and I love that I can get the look without going to an estate sale or auction.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a dark bar and order a whiskey old fashioned. It just seems right, somehow.
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