Fashion News

MENSWEAR CLOSET MAKEOVER: FALL 2008

With the Summer collections already out, it will only be a matter of time—in fact, in as little as a month or two—when stores will roll out the Fall / Winter clothes. Here’s a nifty guide to help you sort through the trends, and what you should be wearing when things start getting cold.

The return of the three-piece suit:

Layering during the Fall-Winter seasons is not a new phenomenon, and neither is the three-piece suit. For anyone who has to be out and about on days when it’s freezer-cold, the extra insulation provided by the vest is a welcome addition.

Fortunately, you won’t just see a sea of black when you go suit-shopping next season. Designers have taken bright colors from the runways and styled complementary looks.

The opening design in Perry Ellis’s show is one example. None of the three items are in the same color, but they are layered to produce a warm and cohesive effect.

Buying Guide:  If you already have a two-piece suit, purchase the last member of this trifecta—the vest. But instead of getting it in the same color as your suits, find one with a strong burst of color. Since you’ll be covered most of the time, the right amount of the vest will peek through your outfit and give your look character.


Ready to stand at attention:

Military themes never stray too far from a menswear collection. After all, men and the call-to-action are often found in the same sentence. Also, men’s clothing has a reputation for being precise and razor-sharp, and these two qualities are commonplace in military clothing. This season, martial references run the gamut from clothing details like oversize buttons at Rag & Bone, down to styling decisions like tucking pants inside heavy boots, seen at John Galliano’s show in Paris. Like the inspiration pieces, the palette is predominantly dark, with black and gray getting the most iterations.

Buying Guide: Get your dusty epaulet-decorated overcoat and use it often during the cold months. Just make sure that it’s fitted and doesn’t billow. Easy as that.


Wrap me up in a soft cardigan:

The prep-boy’s staple makes a return appearance in the catwalks this season. During days when the weather can’t make up its mind, swapping your blazer or peacoat for a lighter, more casual cardigan makes complete sense. And it’s even available in two persuasions:  no-nonsense in solids in Louis Vuitton and Burberry, and trimmed and decorated like Frida Giannini at Gucci, who adds leather trims to her version.

Buying Guide: Solids are easier to pair with everything else in your wardrobe than decorated cardigans, although the latter makes for a stronger style impact. It’s completely up to you. If you choose to buy decorated ones, let it be the only statement by keeping the rest of your outfit (shirt, pants) in a neutral color.


Give someone the boot:

Boot are the de rigeur footwear for Fall / Winter 2008, and rightly so, and not only because they provide warmth. Designers offered them in practically every flavor (cowboy-style, Chelsea, zip-up, riding, and army combat were the most popular) and paired them with the simplest jeans-and-shirt and the most put-together of suits.

Buying Guide: No question – if you haven’t built up your boot collection, this is the perfect time to do so, as there are a number of options. Here’s an easy cheat sheet to get you started: If your job requires you to be in suits, get Chelsea boots and those with side zipper closures and rotate these two with your laceups. For offices with a more relaxed dress code or weekend wear, ankle and chukka boots are safe choices.

Photos courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.