Bold colours are high on the risk list for many men, which makes the colour blocking trend feel particularly daunting. Colour blocking uses two or more solid segments of colour in a single outfit in a mix of warm, cool, or complementary tones.
Here is where the colour wheel from art class comes inapproach to colour blocking blends shades from either a warm or cool palette, and anchors them with neutral tones. A second approach uses complementary/contrasting colours – opposites on the colour wheel – to give an outfit a bright but harmonious look.
Don’t be afraid to pair clashing colours, but mix no more than 3 or 4 in one ensemble.
Believe it or not, you can rock a white suit without looking like Colonel Sanders, John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, or anyone on the set of Miami Vice. It’s a dandified, devilishly stylish look that’s criminally underused.
Think of it as the summer equivalent of your grey and navy suits – a neutral that’s seasonally-appropriate and versatile. As per usual, the suit must be well-fitted first and foremost.
Then you’re free to experiment – team it with a tee for a dressed-down occasion, wear it with a gingham shirt for a more formal event, and separate the jacket and trousers for even more sartorial possibilities.
Two-tone shoes are a smart choice when you want to take a simple look to the next level with minimal effort. The most famous two-tone shoe is the spectator, allegedly first designed by legendary English footwear maker John Lobb.
Wearing a two-toned shoe adds a distinctly retro feel to a modern outfit, so avoid anything else with a vintage look unless you’re deliberately trying to create a costume. Otherwise, the footwear world is your oyster and you can be as audacious or as safe as you want to be in your colour choices. Consider mixing materials while you’re at it.
Socks are one of the smallest garments that can have a big impact on an outfit. They’re also one of the most inexpensive ways to rev up your getup. Block colours are the easiest place to start. Try to pick out accent colours in your look and contrast or complement your socks accordingly.
For slightly more advanced levels of sockery, try rocking a pair with a print or pattern. The sky’s nearly the limit, just don’t match a pattern that’s already in the rest of your look. If you’re wearing an argyle cardigan, save the argyle socks for another day.
We can practically hear your confused cries of “Huh?” through the screen, but hear us out. On one hand, wearing a watch on the outside of your cuff looks innovative and unique – the perfect expression of sprezzatura. But on the other hand, it’s simply a practical move.
If your watch is on the outside, you don’t have to worry about it being too big to fit underneath and you don’t have to peel away your clothing in order to tell the time. Besides, why hide your carefully chosen timepiece beneath layers of fabric when you could show your good taste off?
During the cooler months, layering is the name of the game. The shirt-jumper-jacket look is most men’s go-to, but for the guy who’s looking for something a little more unusual, there’s another option: the gilet. The gilet can be worn as an outer layer, but it’s equally interesting (if not more so) as a mid-layer.
Look for one that’s fitted and not too puffy, then pop it between your shirt and your suit blazer for a new twist on office attire. Just remember to take it off when you get indoors. If you need more help check out our guide on how to wear the gilet with a blazer.
Your father carted around a bulky black briefcase. In your university days, you carried a nylon laptop bag (or maybe a messenger bag, if you were an especially stylish student). Neither of those will do now. Every man needs a reliable and sophisticated work bag. Throwing a backpack over your suit simply won’t do, nor will stuffing important papers into your pockets.
The answer is a document satchel, which is both functional and a stylish way of maintaining your professional image. If anyone dares call it a purse, tell them you can’t hear them over the sound of your corner office.
The classic fedora hat catches a lot of flak these days, but well-dressed gents aren’t afraid to rock a hat no matter what the Internet says. First, familiarise yourself with the many hat styles available to you. If you think headgear begins and ends with the fedora, you have much to learn. Then figure out what works with your facial features and your hairstyle.
A hat is an adventurous, original accent – but remember that the hat doesn’t make the outfit, the hat completes the outfit. If the hat is wearing you, something needs to change.
Bad jokes? Ginger beards? An overcooked steak?
Or do you think of the single worst, most offensive fashion faux pas to ever exist in the world ever – the toe shoe?
Or the foot glove? Depending on how you’re feeling.
If you’re pretty much entirely unfamiliar with the concept of the toe shoe, don’t worry because you’ll know exactly what they are (and how woeful they are) after you see this pic.
Anyway, it’s probably safe to go ahead and say that these debaucherous items were never in fashion.
Not in 2007. Not now. Not ever.
Except, apparently they are now because Vogue has said so and who’s ever going to argue with Vogue?
The magazine’s creative director Jonathan Anderson posted a few snaps of the toe shoes on his Instagram recently, seemingly to refute the fact that Vogue had dubbed the shoes the most “hideous footwear of all time” previously.
And then, much to the shock of many, Vogue ran with the idea of the toe shoe themselves, suggesting that they might be the next Balenciaga product that people are willing to pay upwards of a grand for.
But still, stranger things have happened.
What do you get when luxury fashion meets sport? US$10,000 sneakers.
High-end brands such as Kering’s Gucci, Prada and Balenciaga are increasingly looking to sneakers for growth, putting them in direct competition with sportswear giants like Nike, Puma and adidas, and giving rise to ever-more striking and expensive designs. Luxury groups say they are now increasing investments and marketing budgets to face down their new opponents.
“When I saw sneakers were going to be a thing, I fought it for a bit,” Salvatore Ferragamo’s designer Paul Andrew said.
“We’re definitely now investing heavily in that category, getting in very specialized people.”
Global sales of sneakers, or trainers, rose 10 percent to 3.5 billion euros (US$4.1b) last year, outperforming a 7 percent rise in handbags, according to consultancy Bain & Co.
“It’s not really even a trend anymore, it’s become a category,” said Bruce Pask, Men’s Fashion Director at US department store Neiman Marcus.
Both luxury groups and sports companies are looking to cash in on a booming market. Premium sneakers can start at around US$400 but can easily rise as high as US$3,000, for a pair of Christian Louboutin’s leather, crystal-embellished sneakers.
Limited editions can sell for well over US$10,000, including the Chanel X Pharrell Hu Race Trail or Nike’s Air Jordan 3 Retro DJ Khaled Grateful. Sneakers are a big driver of the luxury shoe business, which accountancy firm EY says is the fashion industry’s fastest-growing area.
The rise of luxury sneakers is part of the growing influence of casual and streetwear in high-end fashion, where it is now acceptable to team sneakers with a tailored suit.
Upmarket brands are tapping into street style to refresh their looks and young buyers are driving the shift.
“Millennials” — born between the early 1980s and mid-90s — already represent a third of the luxury market, according to Bain.
Several luxury group executives recently noted the importance of sneakers for their business and the need to step up their game and face the rising competition.
Emilio Macellari, finance chief of Italian luxury goods company Tod’s — a pioneer in the sector, having launched its first Hogan luxury sneaker in 1986 — said, “there is no brand that is not currently considering its (sneaker) offer.”
Pointing out how times are changing, he said luxury brands were now “under attack” from sportswear companies, on top of the usual competition from their luxury peers.
But so-called “sneakerization” could steal market share from more traditional and formal-looking footwear, industry operators say.
“After many seasons of comfortable shoes, it will be hard to bring women back on heels,” said Federica Montelli, head of fashion at Milan’s renowned la Rinascente department store.
Blue snake and profit margins
In central Milan a pair of Nike’s black leather, ankle-high Air Jordan 5 Retro Premium sneakers sell for over 400 euros. Only steps away, in one of the city’s most exclusive shopping areas, clients buy a pair of Gucci’s ACE made with the GG logo canvas, with a blue snake-leather detail for 450 euros.
“What has changed is competition, with a clear overlap,” said Claudia D’Arpizio, partner at Bain & Co. “Luxury consumers are buying Nike and adidas and vice-versa.”
Ilaria, a young saleswoman in Milan streetwear shop One Block Down, said that many customers walk in carrying shopping bags from the nearby luxury boutiques.
Sports groups say they are not worried by the competition.
“If (luxury groups) go the sports way, it is only positive,” said Puma Chief Executive Bjorn Gulden said. “If that is a trend that pulls the sneaker market up, we can only be happy.”
Analysts also say the intensifying competition is unlikely to erode profit margins because the market is expanding.
“There is large space for prices moving up,” said Erwan Rambourg from HSBC. “The ‘luxurization’ of sneakers could possibly impact margins positively.”
The reality TV star met with the US president to discuss prison reform, and wore the playful French brand for the occasion. Was she trolling Trump or making a bigger statement?
Let’s hear it for the ladies! We rarely — if ever — miss the opportunity to spotlight all the trailblazing women in our lives out there doing amazing things. And by amazing, we mean solving everyday problems plaguing women everywhere. Like when you’re in a pinch and need deodorant towelettes and double-sided tape on the go. Or when you’re on the verge of a wardrobe malfunction (been there, done that), and could use that little-known something (ahem, Spanx) to help save the day. Ahead, you’ll find 10 fashion and lifestyle fixes that were created by and for women. From smaller startups to side hustles, these female-founded fashion brands have blossomed into full-fledged businesses.
1. Sphynx: Forgot to shave? No problem. Self-proclaimed SHE-EO Leila Kashani Manshoory read every busy girl’s mind when she prototyped her idea for Sphynx. The Sphynx Pink Me Up 3-in-1 Portable Razor ($15) includes two razor blades, a refillable water spray bottle, and a moisturizing pre-shave bar to make shaving on the go a breeze — should you be en route to a high-stakes business meeting, the gym, or a hot date.
2. Pinch Provisions: What started out as a mother-daughter venture between Jamie Kaplan and her mother Georgette has officially grown into a full-fledged business — now serving over two million women and counting — of shemergency kits stocked with all those little extras you need stat. Make a splash (pun intended) with the Pinch Provisions Pool Party Kit($14) complete with everything from an emergency drink umbrella to a floatie repair patch (#priorities).
3. Dress Downs: Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by the wind on a gusty day by having the hem of your dress unexpectedly blow up. Girllll, we feel ya. After experiencing her very own Marilyn Monroe moment (in the Windy City, no less), Simone Magee, a native Floridian-turned-Chicagoan, founded Dress Downs ($12). Easy as peel, place, and go, these reusable garment weights can be applied to the inside hem of your dress for a stress-free commute.
4. Commando: You need not be a Hollywood starlet to reap the benefits that come along with rocking Commando to your next formal or summer soiree. Kerry O’Brien, the driving force behind the intimates line known for its seamless “invisible underwear,” simply wants all women to look and feel fabulous from the bottom on up. Ditch the VPL (visible panty lines) with this cheeky Commando Cherries Thong ($26) that’ll be a fit for all your summer-ready frocks.
5. Solemates: Calling all well-heeled ladies! Gear up for a season of outdoor weddings and shindigs with a set of Solemates’ Heel Protectors ($25). The OG crystal clear heel stoppers — founded by Monica Ferguson and Becca Brown — are a discreet way to protect your stilettos from, er, potentially tricky situations, whether it be wobbly cobblestone streets, city sidewalk grates, or grass.
6. Hollywood Secret: We turn to founders Jane Dailey and Marni Bumsted for the fast fashion fix that err’body should have on standby. Hollywood Fashion Secrets’ best-selling Hollywood Fashion Tape ($11) remains celeb stylists’ #1 choice, and for good reason. Known to perform undercover wardrobe magic, the clear double-stick fashion tape can be used to secure plunging necklines and keep more risqué pieces (think: backless summer tops and barely-there gowns) in place.
7. Bagnet: Public restrooms without a bag hook should be a crime, amirite? Bagnet founder Kelley Daring set out to rescue handbags everywhere with her line of luxury magnetic key fobs that double as impromptu handbag holders. How it works: Once the Emma Bagnet ($25) has been fastened to your purse strap, the strong magnets will then attach to a bathroom stall door, a barstool, or any table base to create a portable hook.
8. The Handbag Raincoat: YOU GUYS. Handbag raincoats do exist… all thanks to Morgan Sarner and her experience with big-city living. Should you find yourself caught in a torrential downpour, allow The Handbag Raincoat Star Print With Benefits ($18) — made to fit any medium-sized handbag — to come to the rescue. Complete with a top velcro seam, this rainy day topper is an efficient (and chic) way to protect your stylish carryalls from Mother Nature’s elements.
9. Spanx: “It all started with a pair of pantyhose, some scissors, and a bright idea.” And so, Spanx was born. With a mission to help empower and elevate women everywhere, Sara Blakely’s line of confidence-boosting slimming shapewear — a cult-favorite fashion fix on and off the red carpet — has since expanded to include bras, underwear and, most recently, activewear. Allow this Spanx Workout to Waves Mesh Panel Sports Bra ($58) to accompany you to your next spinning class.
10. Bandalettes: Having struggled with uncomfortable thigh chafing for years, Julia Abasova joined forces with now business partner Rena Abramoff to establish Bandalettes($17), the covetable lingerie addition that’s about to change the way you dress. Promoting self-love and encouraging confidence with each wear, the lace thigh bands featuring anti-slip silicone technology are designed to prevent the irritation that comes along with wearing a dress or skirt on a balmy summer day.
Is Jonathan Anderson as obsessed with the gangly oddities of feet as much as I am? It seems so. A few days ago, he posted a print from his JW Anderson men’s Fall 2018 collection that showed a cartoon man’s tongue slobbering on a whiskered pinkie toe. Soon after, he followed up with a wiggly preview of what to expect from the Loewe Resort 2019 collection: He posted a pair of cheerful needlepoint slippers depicting naked toes—toe rings and snazzy French pedicures included!—and a jet-black, hardened gladiator sandal with sculpted—and also bejeweled—Roman statue feet.
Anderson’s foray into the realm of human hooves doesn’t come as a complete surprise. In fact, there was a phalangeal shake-up in the footwear world just a few months ago. It started slowly with a single digit playing peekaboo here and there, like at Y/Project Spring 2018, which featured shocking highlighter-yellow and dainty rose-printed mules that showcased the big toe. Then the complete opposite structure appeared at Céline Pre-Fall 2017, where the big toe was hidden by a cap on a sandal that showed off its four scrunched siblings. Of course, the thong heel—a practical pedestal for splayed toes—came back with a vengeance thanks to Kim Kardashian West, who recently took a pair out for a spin. Meanwhile, Rebel Royale, the creator behind the bringer-of-bad-shoes Instagram account@crimesagainstshoemanity, created a cheap mock-up of a “high fashion” toe shoe—an actual rubbery toe shoe with “Balenciaga” printed on its side. The foot-filled feed gave way to the phenomenon that my colleagues and I have branded “The Year of the Toe.”
Of course, toe shoes have been rearing their unsexy and fascinating heads for quite some time. On the casual end of the spectrum, Vibram is known for its webby digit-defining shoes—one for every on-the-go lifestyle and sport. And then, there are the runway incarnations of toe shoes, too, like Céline’s frightening trompe l’oeil toe-polish pumps from Spring 2013. More recently, MM6 Maison Margiela released a mule that separates each toe. It’s like the freaky OCD cousin of the Margiela Tabi shoe.
But Loewe’s toe shoes have a more down-to-earth appeal, a perfect mix of gift shop cheek and meticulous craftsmanship. Similar humorous examples have appeared on @crimesagainstshoemanity. Here, in this deliciously grotesque trove of heinous footwear, there are slideshows dedicated to shoes with crude, painted-on bare feet, complete with anklets and yes, toe rings. (Run, don’t walk: Some of those very pieces are currently available for purchase on Etsy. For Royale, today’s toe shoe moment is a natural progression. “It’s not the first time for a label to make such an emphasis of the toenail, as I feel like [I] need to mention the Céline red-painted toenail heels. But for me the biggest crime with those was that they only came in one skin tone,” she writes in an email. “The Loewe has the upper hand, or foot, on that one.”