Falling behind statement jackets and elegantly tailored suits, accessories in their various guises rarely top the fashion conscious man’s wardrobe wish list. Although something of an underrated and overlooked commodity, a carefully chosen belt or tie can create a coherent and well balanced outfit by seamlessly connecting its individual components in terms of colour and texture.
Accessories don’t of course have to act as the lynchpin of a given look, but can instead provide the perfect means to express your individuality without the risk of an overly elaborate or pretentious appearance. This introduces a license to be bolder and more expressive with our sartorial selections, inviting us to dip a toe into the vast depths of menswear’s more extravagant and uncharted waters.
In addition to the practicality of a backpack or watch, these items also demonstrate an advanced attention to detail normally only associated with the most seasoned of fashionistas. A well selected accessory can add depth and contrast that is often absent in tonal or minimal looks, or provide “the icing on the cake” when combined with a layered aesthetic.
Below highlights a few accessories worth closer inspection moving into spring/summer 2013.
Key Bags For 2013
After losing favour over recent seasons to its highly lauded tote and messenger counterparts, the backpack’s relaxed and rugged style is well and truly back on the menswear map. In keeping with the modern world of multitasking and hands-free lifestyle, the backpack is ideal for the rigours of the daily commute or regular trips to the gym.
Leather, canvas and suede appear to be the backpack fabrics of choice by high-end fashion houses, offering an organic and masculine aesthetic whilst remaining lightweight and durable.
Other noteworthy and visually impressive styles for SS13 present various floral prints and digital interpretations of camouflage:
- Asos Leather Look Backpack
- Browns Leather Backpack
- Topman Woven Leather Backpack
- Ami Suede Backpack
- Topman Safari Suede Flap Backpack
- Canvas Rucksack
- Herschel Little America Backpack
- Shore Leave Black Nylon Rucksack
- Fred Perry Canvas Rucksack
- Asos Rose Print Backpack
- Woolrich Woolen Mills Suede-trimmed Camouflage-print Backpack
- Carhartt Camouflage Ripstop Bag
The ever present holdall represents a luxurious alternative, slotting suitably into overhead compartments and car boots for long haul flights and weekend breaks alike.
Many now feature interior zip pockets and detachable shoulder straps for extra practicality and whilst the traditional leather design is a perfect accomplice for the modern man on the move, those who live for the country air and outdoors way of life may prefer the more contemporary, military inspired duffel.
- River Island Holdall
- Allsaints Orchard Holdall
- Allsaints Newark Holdall
- River Island Holdall
- Reiss Cimaron 48 Hour Holdall Black
- A.p.c. Leather And Canvas Holdall
- Herschel Outfitter Duffel Bag
- Mulberry Henry Woven-nylon And Textured-leather Holdall
- Ted Baker Antikki – Leather Canvas Holdall
- Herschel Ravine Holdall
- Khaki Canvas Stripe Holdall
- Weird Fish Hopton Canvas Holdall
Key Hats For 2013
The Baker Boy Cap
Although not everyone’s cup of tea, the addition of a hat can bring life and personality to an outfit, allowing for further expression and experimentation. The key pieces for 2013 appear to have taken reference from one of this year’s most highly anticipated films, ‘The Great Gatsby‘, and the art deco period in which it was set.
One such example is the Baker Boy cap (as worn by Robert Redford in the original 1974 version of the film), similar to the flat cap in shape but with a rounder, fuller body and recently sported by the likes of David Beckham and Jason Statham.
Herringbone patterns in traditional textures such as tweed, wool and twill are the order of the day, adding a fashionable flourish to any heritage inspired ensemble.
- Grey Herringbone Bakerboy Cap
- Khaki Herringbone Bakerboy Cap
- Esprit Tweed Flat Cap
- Lock & Co Hatters Herrringbone Wool Flat Cap
- Lock & Co Hatters Plaid Harris Tweed Flat Cap
- Dasmarca Ivan Tweed Baker Boy Cap – Chocolate
The Panama Hat
The Panama’s Saint-Tropez chic pairs elegantly with linen blazers and cotton chinos/shorts, making it the consummate holiday headwear.
- Miansai Mens Panama Hat
- Topman Straw Panama Hat
- Wide Brim Luxury Panama Hat
- Gucci Straw Panama Hat 144160
- Olney Drop Brim Panama Hat
- Borsalino Large-brim Straw Panama Hat
Sunglasses: Round Frames & Clubmasters
Although something of a premature selection, planning purchases for the warmer months is never a bad idea. In regards to eyewear, retro styles and round frames are the must have pieces for 2013.
Pairing vintage tortoiseshell details with modern materials such as titanium and acetate, these sophisticated sunglasses have an artisanal feel inspired by the iconic dress code of 1950s era America.
Other styles to look out for over the warmer months include frames glazed with solid and vibrant hues, whilst the timeless Clubmaster design also sees a return to popularity. These bold and colourful lenses maintain a clean and minimal aesthetic, complete with keyhole bridge and a contemporary silhouette that fuses flair with function.
Ray Ban’s classic Clubmaster is a more versatile option, cutting a restrained yet distinguished figure that effortlessly complements both formal and casual attire.
- Ray-ban Clubmaster Two-tone Sunglasses
- Marc By Marc Jacobs Graduating Wayfarer Sunglasses 143558
- Spitfire Round Sunglasses
- Linda Farrow Luxe Lfl40c7 Sunglasses
- Garrett Leight California Optical Hampton Detachable-front Acetate Glasses
- Persol Tortoiseshell 649 Classic Sunglasses
- Ray-ban Clubmaster Sunglasses
- Ray-ban Round Sunglasses
- Tom Ford Sunglasses Tortoiseshell Clubman Sunglasses 135894
- Sheriff&cherry G12 Crystal Blue Sunglasses
- Ray-ban Wayfarer Sunglasses
- Oakley Acid Frogskin
Ties: Prints & Lightweight Materials
As part of the modern white-collar man’s daily routine, the tie is an everyday accessory that has the ability to spice up the sometimes dreary world of spreadsheets and middle management.
The current trend for floral and Hawaiian prints prominent in many SS13 menswear collections are a great example of this; vibrant enough to brighten up the dullest office, conference or meeting room. These flamboyantly patterned ties work wonderfully well with a contemporary, slim-fit suit and light coloured poplin shirt.
Winter’s wool knit ties make way for the lighter yet equally tactile fabrics of cotton and silk, as pastel hues and matte textures provide an understated alternative to the burnished luminosity of menswear’s current micro-trend. These more subdued tones add a cosmopolitan and cultured maturity to one of the few items that escapes the androgyny of twenty first century fashion.
A slightly wider and formal shape has overtaken the skinny tie in popularity for the coming seasons, although when featuring colour blocking, wide stripes and contemporary geometrical patterns will work equally well beneath textured knitwear as they do when paired with an impeccably tailored suit and spread collar shirt.
- Paul Smith Accessories Violet Floral Jaquard Silk Tie
- Topman Blue Chambray Floral 6cm Tie
- Burberry Prorsum Printed Silk Tie
- Reiss Hazarin Triangle Watercolour Geo Print Tie Seafoam Blue
- Reiss Willow Jungle Print Tie Blue
- Hentsch Man Hawaiian-print Cotton Tie
- Marwood Slub Silk Tie
- Topman Red Chambray Fabric Tie
- Alexander Olch Chambray Tie
- Reiss Badlands Linen Slub Melange Tie Yellow
- Austin Reed 8cm Lilac Marl Plain Tie
- Austin Reed 8cm Light Blue Marl Plain Tie
The importance of accessories should not be underestimated. Whether it’s bringing a little fashionable flair to the nine to five or topping off a trip to the tropics, investing in just a couple of key accessories this year will help add a shot of individuality to the most minimal of ensembles.
Let me know what your key accessories for 2013 are in the comments section below…