A [not so] festive introduction
I'm hardly a Scrooge. Nor a Grinch. In fact, when it comes to Christmas and the winter months I'm quite the big kid. I would even take it as far as to describe myself as somewhat of an Elf. But excuse me if the feint few majority fell over, hit their heads and woke up in the wrong month. Despite the ludicrous allegations of verbal abuse piling up against me – it's all lies!
Starbucks Barista: Hello, would you like to try one of our new Christmas drinks?
Luke: Would you like to go away?
Sainsbury's Cashier: Not doing your Christmas shopping yet then Sir?
Luke: Santa isn’t real!
WH Smiths Employee: Are you aware it’s 3 for 2 on Christmas wrapping paper?
Luke: Okay, I’ll buy 6…to hit you with!
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November… oh, we’re only in November? Then remove that silly Santa hat!
When the time is right (that's December for all the calendar-deficient alleging legal action against me) I shall welcome the festive season with open arms. I will prance merrily (in a manly fashion) with glee and joy around all Christmas trees alike. I will offer a warm heartily “Merry Christmas” to all that I greet. But until such glorious time… this seasonal, ‘good will to all’ coffee you’ve delivered to me is going in your direction!
You stopped being told what to wear, indefinitely, without a say, around the age of six – so why would you start again now? FashionBeans is a tool to be used, not a reference for making your style nondescript to your individuality. Regardless of what we say, what polishes your style more than anything is your attitude and approach to dress. We sent Fashion’Beaner John Franklin on what appears to be a journey of [violent] self discovery:
I am catastrophically hung-over and the last thing I want to do is battle the general public, but, for the sake of dressing well.
Normally on these occasions I don’t put a huge amount of effort into my appearance and then return home in a huge strop because every single person I encounter dresses with more style than I do. I see someone pulling off a look I considered and then deemed far too edgy, out there or daring for myself. At the moment I am particularly irritated by rolled trousers (I end up looking like a have flippers, not feet) and jeans tucked into boots (I look like I have wandered off a landfill site). Both very cool on anyone but me.
This is not because I am unaware of, or reluctant to embrace trends, but I seem to only be able to dress like my father who dresses like his father, who dressed like his father, so I appear about 300 years old.
Today I threw caution to the wind and thought, sod it; I’m going to be the one people cast an approving style conscious eye over. This must have been the remnant of last night’s vodka confidence. I followed the basics and eventually finished off a look that I was quite proud of. Not exactly fashion forward, but just stylish enough.
I was not happy with it from the moment I stepped out of the house. By the time I got to Oxford Street, a deep unhappiness had set in. Mainly because of the general ‘everything’ people perfectly charmingly posed.
I loath the generic stylish man with his hat is nonchalantly perched on the back of his head and it doesn’t look silly. I have tried this many a time and end up looking like one of Santa’s elves or an extra from the film Coneheads. Neither of these is a tolerable affair. What is so galling is that all his clothes come from the high street. I have probably spunked about 8 times the money on what I am wearing.
Maybe I am the epitome of paranoia, but I cannot leave the house in something unsuitable for the weather. If it rains and I am wearing suede then I am so cross for hours that I cannot speak to anyone without wanting to offer him or her profanities.
Living in England, this generally means that I am stuck in sensible, waterproof shoes and some uninteresting trouser for the majority of the year.
Until then I shall just have to be ill fitting and pathologically convinced that everyone else has more style than me. Still, it could be worse, I could be in ITV2’s new sure-fire hit “The Only Way is Essex”.
The prologue to this guide produced the basic ramblings of a drunk (and apparently, that is how I came across). It took you through just how sneaky A/W10 is going to be and how you cannot expect anything other than the need to expect the unexpected.
Trends will emerge throughout the A/W months; there is no definitive head start this year. As men’s fashion emerges, it expects you to be emerging with it. Keep up chap.
The prologue has already lead to the yells of what the readers want this guide to necessitate. I’m hoping some of that bank balance (or a sufficient overdraft) is in place to usher you through this guide and the rest of A/W10.
A/W Winter Hat Trend: Beanies & Trappers
A saint rather than a sinner for bad hair days. They save many more than they create! There is a responsibility to cover Autumn/Winter headwear because the many-man is going garb a hat at some point with or without due care or advice.
Luckily the noggin-coverers for this year are limitless. That being said, the KEY pieces of headwear for this season marks the return of the trusty beanie and new to the fold trapper hats. With all the recent outdoorsy trends rising to prominence, these two forms of headwear make sense both practically and sartorially. This year is all about form and function over design; with the recent Nomad and Town meet Country trends emphasising this new approach to dressing. Layering is key to keeping comfortable during the winter months, and the beanie and trapper will keep your head warm and allow you endless versatility in your everyday outfits this season.
The generic rules when fashioning a bowler/trilby/baseball sort of hat are thrown out of the window when it comes to trappers and beanies. Basic common sense and expected [over] use of mirrors applies. The test of a good fitting hat has been perfected over millennia. Walk briskly towards a brick wall, if you stop before you head butt the painful red blocks then you can obviously see and it’s a perfect fit! (This is maybe not a test to be carried out in public).
Winter hats on lookbook.nu
As you can see below, the beanie and trapper styles can be paired with the majority of your existing wardrobe. Pair with knitwear, tee's (plain or graphic), plaid/checks, military jackets, gilets, tweed, leather, denim, Fair Isle, military boots and even a casual shirt and tie in order to give off a quirky look and clash of styles that a lot of trends are focusing on this A/W. They are both so versatile and can be utilised in casual day wear OR to dress down more formal items in order to produce an “off duty” vibe after work and at the weekends. Of course this versatility is always helped when you have the go-to “I'm going for the Nomad look” excuse saved for any situation:
Despite the baker boys and trilbies sticking around all the way through the snow/rain/whatever else we usually get-months, the line has once again been drawn. Bakers and trilby hats will err on the side of smart to be paired with your two-piece and Mac while the trapper and beanie will be your everyday style saviour.
Winter Hat Picks
Many hats will take nod from the nomad and fair isle trends but it is important not to overdo them. Use a bold hat as a statement piece to compliment your basic knitwear; you’ll then learn it works both ways!
Further Reading: Men's Fashion Hats Guide
A/W Gloves Trend: Statement Prints
Get ‘yer mits on these. Tottle around Staines or its equivalent and you’ll see their disregard for gloves – They’ve found an alternative, barbaric, means of keep their hands warm. That said, I do not expect the post-Neanderthal readers of this site to be walking round town with their hands down their underwear!
Why risk being put on a list when you could invest in the statement gloves of A/W? I think I may need to dig out a thesaurus before the word ‘staple’ becomes overused. Designers this season did not want to limit staples to, well, anything! After years of progression in men’s fashion they are removing your training wheels. They trust that you know where a staple belongs and how to garb it well.
For statement gloves the best piece of advice I can give is… don't overdo it. If you are using statement gloves (whether it be print or colour) within your outfits this year, then be aware of the other pieces you pair them with. If your outfit is already a bold coloured variation on the town meets country trend, then consider letting the bold colours of your utility trousers, the intricate pattern of your fair isle knitwear and the styling of your padded gilet shine through whilst keeping your gloves subtle and muted.
Alternatively, if your personal style usually consists of monochrome outfit coordination, use statement gloves (and other accessories covered in this guide) in order to inject a much needed shot of colour and individuality to your outfit. Remember that they can be easily removed or added in an instant, meaning they can be taken off before you start the 9-5 grind, and slipped back on when the day is over and it is time for after work drinks.
On Wednesday we let Editor-in-Chief, Ben Herbert, out of the stationary cupboard to give us a rundown of the A/W Nomad trend from ASOS. The look books he created for the collection and the editorial images show perfectly how to rock statement hands!
- <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=QmrL3jZ9kXA&subid=&offerid=186561.1&type=10&tmpid=5135&RD_PARM1=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.asos.com%2F&RD_PARM2=Asos-Collection%2FAsos-Capped-Sleeve-Grandad-T-Shirt%2FProd%2Fpgeproduct.aspx%3Fiid%3D1328928%2526cid%3D11979%2526sh%3D0%2526pge%3D0%2526pgesize%3D-1%2526sort%3D-1%2526clr%3DKhaki” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>
The gloves are ‘on’
Gloves are not as domineering as hats are within an outfit, but still maintain the idea that the effort of coordination (be it harmonising or contrasting) should by no means be eccentrically apparent. Try and pick out one of the base colours in your outfit and coordinate your gloves with them. An example of this can be found in the smart casual look above where Ben picked out brown Fair Isle statement gloves which coordinated not only with the brown chinos, but also contrasted with the olive earth tones in the jacket and check shirt. Gloves (and accessories in general) can be used in order to tie a look together, and this is a perfect example of this.
A/W Bag Trend: Rucksacks
With the come-around of duffels, Macs, leathers and other such sorts, it can be tempting to pocket your belongings. There is probably a quotation that pushes you away from this, I just can’t seem to find it, so I’ll say this… don’t!
Why do you wear a ring? It isn’t to keep your finger warm, or ward off women (no matter how much the institution of marriage intended it to); it is to add that je ne sais quoi to your ensemble, to show you mean business, sartorial speaking. The same applies with bags, you know you can find enough to fit in it, if you can’t then you are not the forward-thinking male I assumed you to be.
The woodlands, twigs and leaves inspired trends of the season means bags are going from holdall to should’all. The basic buy when considering your paraphernalia is a rucksack. Now be very careful, my words do not edge towards string bags paired with a suit, that would be less practical and more practical joke.
When dealing with tailoring, your classic leather holdall, barrel sort with suffice. But as with hats, we are once again seeing the clothed-class divide in attire. Just as your trapper compliments the casual and the trilby the suitably smart; your rucksack should be reserved for skirting around the office doors, not inside them.
Just as with almost everything else in the eyes of A/W, there is an opportunity for a staple. With the great Aztec and Fair Isle designs cropping up everywhere, don’t be afraid to put your bag on show.
With most trends surrounding print or design, an effort to limit that print to two pieces is made. With a rucksack, pair the design with your gloves or your shoes. Understanding that you will occasionally remove the bag leaves the other piece to hold down fort on your trend.
Other A/W 10 Accessories
It would take forever and a day, to the moon and back and a couple of blue fingers to cover every accessory bound for A/W. The great trait surrounding trends is that they transcend and move with the trends; they don’t fade and disappear like many once great ‘staples’. It derives from your individuality, not just style but agenda and lifestyle, to appropriate the accessories you need. Requests for style advice on an accessory not covered in this guide or the prologue can be jotted in the comment section!
Here are the ‘other’ – but by no means overlooked – AW10 accessories:
The sign off…
The need for a guide or the need for a nudge in any such way or direction is not a failure of natural style. Without ‘proud men’ we wouldn’t have half the buildings, structures or countries we have today. Similarly, without ‘humble men’ we wouldn’t have half the stamp on fashion, design and culture.
There was once a line drawn in the sand, somewhere between the humility and pride of man. Fashion is the little sh*t who trampled all over it, kicking and screaming until it became blurred beyond recognition.
What was left was the Fashion Beans men.