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
The Backpack

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:

Men's Backpack Lookbook

ted baker ss13new look ss13asos ss13river island ss13reiss ss13matalan ss13
  • Asos Leather Look BackpackAsos Leather Look Backpack
  • Browns Leather BackpackBrowns Leather Backpack
  • Topman Woven Leather Backpack Topman Woven Leather Backpack
  • Ami Suede BackpackAmi Suede Backpack
  • Topman Safari Suede Flap BackpackTopman Safari Suede Flap Backpack
  • Canvas RucksackCanvas Rucksack
  • Herschel Little America BackpackHerschel Little America Backpack
  • Shore Leave Black Nylon RucksackShore Leave Black Nylon Rucksack
  • Fred Perry Canvas RucksackFred Perry Canvas Rucksack
  • Asos Rose Print BackpackAsos Rose Print Backpack
  • Woolrich Woolen Mills Suede-trimmed Camouflage-print BackpackWoolrich Woolen Mills Suede-trimmed Camouflage-print Backpack
  • Carhartt Camouflage Ripstop BagCarhartt Camouflage Ripstop Bag
The Holdall

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.

Men's Holdalls Lookbook

barneys aw12reiss ss13loewe ss13gant rugger ss13apc pre spring 2013gant rugger aw13
  • River Island HoldallRiver Island Holdall
  • Allsaints Orchard HoldallAllsaints Orchard Holdall
  • Allsaints Newark HoldallAllsaints Newark Holdall
  • River Island HoldallRiver Island Holdall
  • Reiss Cimaron 48 Hour Holdall BlackReiss Cimaron 48 Hour Holdall Black
  • A.p.c. Leather And Canvas HoldallA.p.c. Leather And Canvas Holdall
  • Herschel Outfitter Duffel BagHerschel Outfitter Duffel Bag
  • Mulberry Henry Woven-nylon And Textured-leather HoldallMulberry Henry Woven-nylon And Textured-leather Holdall
  • Ted Baker Antikki – Leather Canvas HoldallTed Baker Antikki - Leather Canvas Holdall
  • Herschel Ravine HoldallHerschel Ravine Holdall
  • Khaki Canvas Stripe HoldallKhaki Canvas Stripe Holdall
  • Weird Fish Hopton Canvas HoldallWeird 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.

Men's Baker Boy Cap Lookbook

ben sherman aw11gant aw13ami aw13unknownymc ss13street etiquette
  • Grey Herringbone Bakerboy CapGrey Herringbone Bakerboy Cap
  • Khaki Herringbone Bakerboy CapKhaki Herringbone Bakerboy Cap
  • Esprit Tweed Flat CapEsprit Tweed Flat Cap
  • Lock & Co Hatters Herrringbone Wool Flat CapLock & Co Hatters Herrringbone Wool Flat Cap
  • Lock & Co Hatters Plaid Harris Tweed Flat CapLock & Co Hatters Plaid Harris Tweed Flat Cap
  • Dasmarca Ivan Tweed Baker Boy Cap – ChocolateDasmarca Ivan Tweed Baker Boy Cap - Chocolate
The Panama Hat

A slightly braver choice is the Panama hat, also indicative of the 1920s and heavily featured at Pitti Uomo and in a number of spring/summer 2013 menswear campaigns.

The Panama’s Saint-Tropez chic pairs elegantly with linen blazers and cotton chinos/shorts, making it the consummate holiday headwear.

Men's Panama Hat Lookbook

lbm ss11Bailey of Hollywood aw12Nicolas Malleville for mr porterCruciani ss12Todd Snyder ss13duchamp ss13
  • Miansai Mens Panama HatMiansai Mens Panama Hat
  • Topman Straw Panama HatTopman Straw Panama Hat
  • Wide Brim Luxury Panama HatWide Brim Luxury Panama Hat
  • Gucci Straw Panama Hat 144160Gucci Straw Panama Hat 144160
  • Olney Drop Brim Panama HatOlney Drop Brim Panama Hat
  • Borsalino Large-brim Straw Panama HatBorsalino 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.

Men's Sunglasses Lookbook

ralph lauren resort ss13reiss 1971 ss13reiss 1971 ss13he by mango ss13h&m summer 2013gant ss13louis vuitton pre aw13tommy hilfiger sportswear ss13tommy hilfiger denim ss13
  • Ray-ban Clubmaster Two-tone SunglassesRay-ban Clubmaster Two-tone Sunglasses
  • Marc By Marc Jacobs Graduating Wayfarer Sunglasses 143558Marc By Marc Jacobs Graduating Wayfarer Sunglasses 143558
  • Spitfire Round SunglassesSpitfire Round Sunglasses
  • Linda Farrow Luxe Lfl40c7 SunglassesLinda Farrow Luxe Lfl40c7 Sunglasses
  • Garrett Leight California Optical Hampton Detachable-front Acetate GlassesGarrett Leight California Optical Hampton Detachable-front Acetate Glasses
  • Persol Tortoiseshell 649 Classic SunglassesPersol Tortoiseshell 649 Classic Sunglasses
  • Ray-ban Clubmaster SunglassesRay-ban Clubmaster Sunglasses
  • Ray-ban Round SunglassesRay-ban Round Sunglasses
  • Tom Ford Sunglasses Tortoiseshell Clubman Sunglasses 135894Tom Ford Sunglasses Tortoiseshell Clubman Sunglasses 135894
  • Sheriff&cherry G12 Crystal Blue SunglassesSheriff&cherry G12 Crystal Blue Sunglasses
  • Ray-ban Wayfarer SunglassesRay-ban Wayfarer Sunglasses
  • Oakley Acid FrogskinOakley 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.

Men's 2013 Ties Lookbook

lbm 1911 ss13reiss 1971 ss13austin reed ss13diegel ss13massimo dutti February 2013lbm 1911 aw12m&s ss13he by mango ss13matalan ss13
  • Paul Smith Accessories Violet Floral Jaquard Silk TiePaul Smith Accessories Violet Floral Jaquard Silk Tie
  • Topman Blue Chambray Floral 6cm TieTopman Blue Chambray Floral 6cm Tie
  • Burberry Prorsum Printed Silk TieBurberry Prorsum Printed Silk Tie
  • Reiss Hazarin Triangle Watercolour Geo Print Tie Seafoam BlueReiss Hazarin Triangle Watercolour Geo Print Tie Seafoam Blue
  • Reiss Willow Jungle Print Tie BlueReiss Willow Jungle Print Tie Blue
  • Hentsch Man Hawaiian-print Cotton TieHentsch Man Hawaiian-print Cotton Tie
  • Marwood Slub Silk TieMarwood Slub Silk Tie
  • Topman Red Chambray Fabric TieTopman Red Chambray Fabric Tie
  • Alexander Olch Chambray TieAlexander Olch Chambray Tie
  • Reiss Badlands Linen Slub Melange Tie YellowReiss Badlands Linen Slub Melange Tie Yellow
  • Austin Reed 8cm Lilac Marl Plain TieAustin Reed 8cm Lilac Marl Plain Tie
  • Austin Reed 8cm Light Blue Marl Plain TieAustin Reed 8cm Light Blue Marl Plain Tie
Final Word

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…