The suit is as old as time (well, kinda) but we’re in 2013 now and it’s time to break rules. Fashion, or style rather, has always been a cultural constant, but when it comes to men’s suiting, we’ve always erred on the side of caution. The suit is one of those things that we all have and we utilize in the same way. While some may be afraid to shake things up with their suiting, others might not know how. No need to fret. Listen up guys, let’s get with it and mix things up. Want to know how? Read below…and repeat.
MIX IT UP – Play with fabrics and textures. Who says a suit needs to match? The editorial pages have been dictating this ‘suiting contradiction’ for a while now, and it seems that only recently the sartorial-forward population has caught on. A Tweed blazer mixed with a pair of khakis? Check. A midnight blue suit with a camel cashmere cardigan underneath? Check. There’s also something to be said about utilizing pieces from your suit as separates. Your blazer should be worn with dark denim on the weekends (a pair of white Converse will complement this look nicely) and your slim-fitting suit trousers can and should be worn with a chunky cable knit grey sweater. There are no rules anymore.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF COLOR – Color is your friend….when it’s done right. The runways of Paris, New York, Milan and London have been presenting bold men’s collections with pops of color – namely in the form of blazers with matching trousers. If we are going to be realistic and apply this trend to men far and wide, I’d say break down the color scheme into manageable pieces. Start with the dress shirt – think about a solid color (red or navy or royal blue are my go-to’s) and a solid suit (grey, Tweed, brown). Then, take it a step further and work a bold blazer into your wardrobe. Still maintain your trousers as a neutral. It helps to ‘ground’ the color and really makes the focal point of your wardrobe stand out.
SHOW SOME SKIN – It’s a fine line between showing too much skin and looking tragic and trashy. There are three areas where it’s acceptable to show some skin – the ankles, the wrists, and the chest…but only in small doses. A cuffed pant showing an inch or two of a bare ankle is not only fashion-forward, it’s sexy and conveys a more relaxed vibe. The same can be said for the cuffs. Roll them up…especially after 3 PM. Now the chest – 2 buttons undone…max, and you should know when and were? The boardroom? No. Happy Hour drinks? Yes.
BE BOLD IN TIES AND SOCKS – Here’s where the fun comes in – patterned socks and ties. The approach to suiting encompasses not just the suit, shit, and trousers, but the socks and tie as well and there’s no need to take yourself too seriously, so why not have some fun. From a bold color, a pinstripe, an argyle pattern, our only tip is stay away from anything ‘Holiday Related’. This includes pumpkins, Christmas lights, Easter eggs and the like.
Yale Breslin is a writer living in New York.
Riley Stewart is a photographer living in Toronto.
Steven Lee is a streetstyle photographer living in Toronto.