We’ve survived the hellish Polar Vortex and spring is finally here, which means it’s time to stash the winter gear and refresh your wardrobe for the warmer weather.
Playboy.com has your back as we present the first in our three-part series on men’s fashion for 2014, starting today with our trend forecaster. The good news: men’s fashion takes a relaxed turn and casual is hip. That doesn’t mean looking like a grunge slob circa 1992 Seattle is going to cut it at work, but with our help you’ll nail the laid-back look and still be a standout as the ultimate gentleman.
FORMAL WEAR CHILLS OUT
Casual cuts a wide swath from suits to daywear this spring. Thanks to the influence of Mad Men and its accompanying dose of retro mania, the last few years have seen a stream of mod-style suiting with pegged pants and contoured blazers. The pendulum is swinging the other way, however, and Don Draper’s closet is out. This spring heralds relaxed suit jackets and dress pants with softer lines and fuller shapes. On the runways there’s even a return to bulkier double-breasted blazers, but don’t go too boxy: there’s no need to bring back Dick Tracy anytime soon. No matter the trend, well-tailored clothes are never out of style. If you’re shopping for a suit, consider the English Laundry Double Breasted Suit: it’s reasonably priced, captures the zeitgeist and women will dig it.
Don’t be afraid of white pants: this deal is in for the spring and summer. Wear it right and you don’t have to fear being mistaken for Tom Wolfe or a Euro gigolo. This season, designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Armani are showcasing classic white slacks that run the full gamut from cruise casual to dandy. White trousers have some solid advantages: they show off accessories like killer shoes and belts, and a pair made of linen or cotton will keep you cool if you don’t want to resort to shorts as the temperatures rise.
ON THE SUBJECT OF PANTS
After an impressive decade-long reign, stovepipe skinny jeans are saying sayonara and ever-classic chinos and slightly looser fit denims are now where it’s at. Dressing down even has an ironic, slightly faddish moniker: “normcore.” If you want to go a little higher fashion, roll up the cuffs on your Scotch & Soda Basic Chinos and show off your great footwear.
We’re not talking about sporting your dirty runners at the office. Instead, pick up a sharp pair of kicks to hit the town in. Live dangerously: pop on colored sneaks with your new on-trend white trousers. Want to take it up a notch? Wearing sneakers with a suit works for the CEOs of tech startups and Italian film directors lounging in Roman caffetterias, and you can work it, too. Suede or leather sneakers (such as the Lanvin Suede and Patent Sneakers), in a color that complements your suit, will look awesome and feel amazing (and comfortable).
You don’t need to be on the way to the gym to leave the house in a sweatshirt. Classic sportswear—beyond the basic hoodie—is picking up in popularity. Luxe takes on classic athletic wear like jerseys, jogger pants and windbreakers are big with designers this season, so you have the option of going upscale or hitting the 10-item clothing store in your gym for the perfect jock look. Get sporty with the RLX Trailwind Jacket available at Ralph Lauren.
A popular fashion forecasting cliché is declaring bright, bold colors (those not usually considered masculine, like pink) are on their way in for men. We’re not going to make that call...but do consider throwing something in an orangey salmon at a tamer getup. It’s a flattering color for all skin tones and livens up a dull outfit. Play it safe and pick up a salmon polo or button-down shirt or go all in and get a salmon blazer. Just remember, the trick with color is to make sure you’re not letting it wear you, unless you have enough personality to handle it. Brighten up your life by throwing on the Penguin Red Clay Short Sleeve Polo.
THE '90S INFLUENCE
The 1990s revival has been swinging hard the last couple of years. Leave the neon rave wear and overalls in the back of the closet, but throw on a flannel shirt with just about any getup. Even bucket hats have made appearances on runways (like the spring/summer collection by designer Craig Green). Bucket hats, everyone! The previously mentioned looser pants and general move toward a relaxed aura is partly due to this ’90s influence, and camouflage print is back as well, so go upscale with the or the Valentino Camo Cashmere Cardigan.
It’s going to be a chill spring, fashion-wise; stay sharp with a few key sartorial choices. Stick with us tomorrow for the second installment of our Spring Fashion 2014 series as we tackle the season’s must-have accessories.