Good thing you stuck with that New Year’s Resolution to whittle those waists, guys, because this spring, fashion is all about the slim cut. Whether it’s a pant, jacket or suit, the dandy trend – with its body-conscious styles – is sticking around this season.
“Two years ago, we saw the renaissance of the dandy, and all of a sudden, young men were wearing their suits in a slimmer cut and were more meticulous about their accessories, incorporating pocket squares, tie bars and tie clips into their wardrobes,” says David Zyla, Emmy Award-winning stylist and author of “Color Your Style.” “That slightly retro, dandified style has continued, and it has morphed into what we’re seeing this season.”
We asked Zyla for the hottest trends in men’s fashion for spring. With those cool orange kicks and that new plaid dress shirt, no one will notice whether you skipped a workout or 12.
• Suits: Jackets and trousers aren’t quite as skinny as they have been in recent years, but a slimmer silhouette is still key. Wanna really be on trend? Look for seersucker, reinvented for spring 2013.
“Seersucker is being used in a sexier, more modern way,” Zyla says. “We’re seeing it in gray and white stripes on suits with thin lapels and one or two buttons with double vents in the back. We’re seeing navy on navy seersucker with a double-breasted blazer. We’ve really thrown out the traditional rules as to how we use it.”
• Ties: Playful, fun prints on ties are a trend for spring, with small-scale designs, multi-color stripes and floral patterns taking center stage.
“They’re all on the more delicate end, and a little more gentrified in how they’re translated,” Zyla says. “We’re also keeping our ties a little bit more slim, but we’re not going to the super-skinny tie that was like a shoelace around your neck a couple seasons ago. As for the knot, Zyla says men are skipping the traditional full Windsor for a four-hand or smaller style.
• Shoes: No need to throw out all your lace-ups, but spring is all about the loafer — even worn with a suit. And forget boring ol’ black or brown. Zyla says men are replacing the standbys with shoes in shades of taupe, baby blue, olive and tobacco.
“We’ve taken the idea of an accent color that we used to use in a tie or a pocket hank, and we are putting it on our feet,” he says. Nervous to dive into a bold shoe? Try a shoelace in a bright color, ”a great way to update a pair of shoes this season.“
• Plaid: Zyla says plaid is getting dressed up and shown on trousers and dress shirts (worn with a suit and tie) for spring.
“When we think of plaid, we usually think informal — a lumberjack shirt or something you wear in the country,” he says. “So, to see it scaled down on a dress shirt with French cuffs and a contrast collar is a very fresh, playful take on merging casual with formal.”
• Color blocking: This trend was huge for women a few seasons ago, and now it’s trickling down to men’s fashion. Zyla points to polo shirts with Mondrian-style stripes or colorful clothing combinations — think a shirt, pant and casual jacket all in different, fairly bold colors — as examples.
• Blue: Duh, you say. Of course blue is trendy for men. But Zyla says this spring the popular shade is a far cry from the navy blazer with gold buttons era of men’s fashion past.
“We’re seeing blue reinvigorated in ways such as taking azure blue in a metallic fabric and wearing in a trench coat,” he says, “Or a French blue suede buck with an orange sole.”
• Pink: Real men not only wear pink, they embrace it. Zyla says pink is all over spring fashions for men, from magenta to berry to baby pink.
“I’m already seeing it on the street in shorts and trousers,” he adds. “It’s almost being used as a neutral, the way khaki would be.”
• Orange: Last year, Tangerine Tango took honors as Pantone’s color of the year, and it’s sticking around in men’s styles, although it’s now being perked up from a rusty tone to something more vivid — like a creamsicle or brilliant tangerine.
“Orange is being used in unexpected ways,” Zyla says. “A tan suit looks very fresh with an orange belt and it’s striking when paired with white.”
• Jackets: Zyla says bomber jackets are big right now, as is the sleeveless jacket, which may make some men nervous, but can add style to a form-fitting long-sleeve crew-neck. The denim jacket in a darker wash is also back (try it with a shirt and tie for a semi-formal event for a cool rebel vibe, Zyla suggests).