For men, fashion is a much slower roller-coaster ride than for women. Men's fashion trends evolve over time — they don't change overnight as in women's trends.
“By not going extreme on the fashions, the changes are more subtle,” said David Ooley, owner of Mr. Ooley's Designer Clothes, Suits & Shoes at Penn Square Mall. “I think men are a little slower to change, and they don't demand the change.
“Sometimes they have to be given a gentle nudge.”
One thing men do notice, however, is how other men dress, and they do not want to be out of step. For spring, men's fashion is bright, playful and full of patterns, with new high-tech fabrics and a slim, sleek silhouette reminiscent of the 1960s “Mad Men” look.
This week in Mood, we talked with four local fashion experts about what men will be wearing this spring and summer. Our experts are Steve Haggard of S.J. Haggard & Co., Lucas Westendorf and Spencer Stone of Spencer Stone Co. (both stores are in Nichols Hills Plaza) and Ooley.
Today, we focus on men's fashion from the waist up. We'll take a look at men's pant and shoe trends in a future edition of Mood.
One of the most important trends in menswear is the narrow silhouette. Still playing off the “Mad Men” trend, it's all about proportions as they relate to the shape of a shirt, rise of a collar, width of a lapel, shirt sleeve length and coat and pant lengths.
Westendorf: “When you look at a gentleman, you're supposed to see about an inch of shirt collar sticking out of the lapel of the jacket when you look at him from the back. It correlates to the amount of cuff that's sticking out of the sport coat, to the amount of pocket square sticking out. If one of those things are out of proportion like a miniature collar or the sleeves of his shirt aren't long enough, it doesn't create a visually pleasing look.”
Stone: “Our ties are all three inches or narrower. No wider. A younger perspective, with narrower size lapel, keeps it all in balance. Everything we have just fits slimmer, trimmer.”
Ooley: “Sometimes (the slim fit trend) frightens guys because they're afraid they're going to lose comfort if the clothing is downsized. But we're careful to edit our buys for our store into models that have a contemporary look but are not extreme. Real guys can wear them. If you wear a dress shirt that you bought several yeas ago that is much more oversized, you'll find that it doesn't fit in the jacket because there's all this extra material in the arm hole and around the waist. You kind of need a little more contemporary cut shirt to work with the jackets and trousers.”
Haggard: “If you tie a great big tie and you're wearing narrow lapels, it throws everything out of balance. Cuff should break right at your wrist. The bigger the neck size, the larger the cuff. Some guys end up with a big neck, but their (wrists) are not that big. And the cuffs come down and fall over their hands. Cuffs should never fall down on the heel of the hand. It should stop where the heel begins.”
Allow an inch and a half of blousing in the sleeve, Haggard says, so the cuff stays in place however you move.
Men's suits, shirts and ties are blooming in shades of blue, green and lavender, along with the traditional gray and navy. When putting together a suit, shirt, tie and pocket square, don't get too matchy-matchy. In men's shirts, collars and cuffs lined with contrasting colors, or white, are popular.