Delving into the World of Men’s Fashion
By Nichole A. Cavallaro
My first experience with men’s fashion or style was with a good friend of mine. He and his dad owned a high-end designer store, at which they’d do tailoring, sell merchandise and hold trunk shows. I was asked to help out during summers off from college.
When asked, I was already bored, but said, “Sure, I’ll help.” Men’s style? There’s nothing but tedious palettes and one style of shoe, right? Wrong.
I stepped into the showroom and was met with perfectly-lined suit jackets. A rack of gorgeous designer button-down shirts were stiffly hung on wooden hangers, each one a vibrant color that reminded me of a tropical sunset, a blue ocean and a perfect white.
Folding the cuff up, you’d see the lining was a contrasting pattern, but, at the same time, it matched.
And then I saw them: ties.
All in a perfect line under lit glass, they spanned from where I stood near the entrance to the end of the store. They were in every color you could imagine — and the detail! They were exquisitely displayed, one half-hidden under the next, reminding me of dominos.
I asked to hold one. My friend slid the door open, reached in and held one out to me. It was slightly heavy and the embroidery was immaculate. It was a deep scarlet hue, adorned with tiny purple, blue and yellow patterns. As I moved my hand, it appeared to shimmer in the light.
Then, I saw heavy (and expensive) cufflinks in thick boxes, luxurious socks with tissue between them and slacks as soft to the touch as a silk blouse.
I stood corrected. I’d thought that men’s style was boring. It certainly wasn’t. Although some men don’t share the taste for brightly-colored button-downs, this dimension of quality and practicality exists in some wardrobes and it definitely isn’t boring.
For this Man Edition, I decided to interview men from different backgrounds about what pieces of style they can’t live without. Here’s what they said:
• Symon, who works in the film/entertainment industry in Los Angeles, chooses the following items: Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 30, Kiehls Deep Pore Daily Cleanser and Red Wing Heritage Iron Rangers boots.
• Jason, the founder of nonprofit organization Inkululeko, is based out of NYC. He prefers socks with character, stating that, “a fun pair of patterned socks always dress up an outfit nicely!” I’d have to agree. Fun socks with a business suit are always a pleasant surprise to me, and add a sort of trendiness.
• Eli, a photographer also based out of NYC, prefers the following: a variety of watches and cologne, a pair of sneakers (a must in the city of commuting on foot), T-shirts and buttondowns in black and gray. As we move up to cold weather parts of New York, black logo-less T-shirts and comfortable hoodies are a must. I’d agree since cold weather dictates much of what we wear up here!
• Gary, head of maintenance at a local management company and soon-to-be father of twins, states he doesn’t go anywhere without his Timberland Pros, a pair of Levis and his safety sunglasses.
It’s been my misconception that only women have more fun with style and self-care. Men have many things that offer a unique and stylish flair, such as gorgeous watches, luxurious skincare products, beautifully-patterned button-downs, imported cotton T-shirts, classic and American-made denim, Italian leather shoes and thick, well-made sweaters, along with well-made footwear to handle any sort of lifestyle and occupation. SWM
Nichole A. Cavallaro is a Syracuse-based fashion blogger. Read more of her work at eneverythingnice.blogspot.com.