FromValentino to Bottega Veneta, casual elegance – in the form of tailored jackets and pants, sophisticated fabrics, and attention to detail – is the dominating theme. The New York Times offered an extensive review of the recent shows, tagging it the “hedge fund” look. DNR notes that lighter colors will be prevalent too. You can also check out slideshows of many of the shows.
The Wall Street Journal, identifying a parallel effect, noted that shoemakers are bulking up dress shoe offerings this fall in light of lagging casual shoe sales. Many well known brands are increasing their products lines and focusing more attention on style, quality and details. Of course increasing price points are keeping pace. While options in the dress shoe category may be increasing, keep in mind that you still get what you pay for. Treating dress shoes as an investment is still the rule.
So, what does this mean for the average guy this fall? Expect to see more jackets and tailored pieces, a dressier feel to the basics, lighter colors, and a trend toward retro elegance. These things take effect in different ways; at the high end of the market there may be more of a literal interpretation of the ‘50s chic runway look seen in several shows (Valentino’s, pictured above, was called “natty”). For the rest of us, pieces will still work in the everyday real world but reflect the trend in slimmer, tailored silhouettes; formal styles; luxury fabrics; and finer stitching. Classic but not old fashioned.
Michael Macko, vice-president, men’s fashion at Saks Fifth Avenue described the trend this way, “Guys are discovering sartorial dressing, but they don’t want to look like their dads.”
The ripple effect of these trends is that all the ancillary stuff of life needs to be re-thought. If you are dressing better day-to-day try some new ties. Why not carry a nicer bag, use a more elegant pen; heck, why not splurge and get personalized stationary?