Monday, August 1, 2011

Remember When 'Trendy' Was a Bad Thing?

On my way in to work the other day, I saw a young man in oxblood loafers, black/gray horizontally-striped socks, dark, narrow pants with no break, dark gray v-neck sweater, light pink shirt, and an orange/blue patterned bow tie. The guy looked not necessarily mod, but definitely slick.

I don’t know about you, but for me, these last few years have been fantastic for men’s fashion! Thin lapels, narrow pants, thin paisley ties, knit square-bottom ties, narrow pointed shoes, bright colors, loud patterns… Years ago, we would have been laughed at for dressing like this. Now, Joe-Schmoes out there aren’t afraid to dress up in tighter, more colorful clothing. Once upon a time, most men were happy to spend all their days off in sports t-shirts, baggy jeans, and Reebok high-tops, but these days they're out there wearing suits more often, even outside of work. And yeah, I know it’s just the current trend with a limited life-span, but believe it or not, we can all benefit from it. 
No, these suits aren't perfect, but they're a step in the right direction!

We all can't afford bespoke clothing, but maybe a Macy’s weekend sale can fit into the budget. I tell yuh, Ben Sherman, Munsingwear, Hugo Boss, and even Alfani all have some nice shirts and ties out there for the buying. If you have a bit more cash falling outta your pockets, take a look at Ted Baker, Banana Republic, Paul Smith and Thomas Pink… great, great colors there! 

Banana Republic on the Mad Men bandwagon, that's alright by me!

Sixties vintage clothing is getting more difficult to find these days, but walk into a Ross or Nordstrom Rack, and you just may find a nice new Arrow or Ben Sherman button-down. In the market for some nice pocket squares? Pay a visit to your local Loehmann’s… you might be surprised! Heck, just take a look at this:

Stop rubbing your eyes... indeed, it's a NEW sweater!
Even Fred Perry, which I'm not super sold on (but I'll save that for a later post) has this vintage style polo for sale:
Photo from

For me, 'trendy' has always been a bad word, so it makes me feel a little dirty when I see that word in print these days because I know that what it's referring to is something that probably fits my taste.
Let’s face it… we’re living in a post-‘Mad Men’ world, and fellas, we gotta take advantage of these trends while they last. It’s all going to change as soon as AMC or HBO has a new hit period show on their schedule... one set in 1980s Wall Street! 

It's just around the corner and you know it! (Photo from


  1. Three button suits became quite fashionable and for nearly a year or two my business work attire was cutting edge, then the dreaded two button suit clawed it's way back to the top and once again I look dated (not that I care). I'd love to blame "Mad Men" but I feel a blog post coming on......

  2. In retrospect, I feel like the trends have been fairly good for about 10 years now. Certainly on the high-end, but increasingly so on the low end. When did Thom Browne first make his splash? These days I am focusing more on quality, workmanship, and locality. Unfortunately, the majors are lacking in all of those categories.

  3. Interestingly in New York it is nearly impossible to find a three button suit these days. I'm not sure if Mad Men's early sixties fashion has fostered the two button craze, but when searching for suits for my wedding, three button suits were non-existent. Though I've never been one to wear exclusively three button suits (I can get down with many different looks from various eras), I felt the need to go traditional for my wedding. Unfortunately only one Italian suit store uptown still made them, and they were ridiculously expensive. I also didn't have the time to have a suit made, so I opted for a two button Ben Sherman suit. Nice article Carlos!

  4. I read an blurb somewhere also crediting 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' with the current increased attention to men's fashion. Didn't think about the connection but it was a good point.

    What's been great about the two-button jackets I've seen over the last few years is that they allow room for a third button to be added. I've done that to a couple of newer 2-buttons I've purchased.

    And thanks Jarrod!