Natalia Oh!, Contributor
We are fortunate to live in a tropical country where we don't have a true fall or winter season complete with severe drops in climate. However, we are a nation that is very stylish and we look to the fall and winter collections globally for help in choosing what to wear in the cooler months. We like to be on point, and though we may not need heavy outerwear we can interpret trends globally and make it our own.
This week, it's all about the gents, and so I have highlighted some of the key trends in men's fashion for 2013-14, which, hopefully, will inspire you. Bear in mind that nothing is ever really new. This season is a throwback to perennial fall favourites and timeless classics.
Currently in men's fashion, the silhouette is gentlemanly sophistication, with cropped and fitted pants seen in a luxurious and sophisticated palette where navy is king and grey his reliable compadre.
Blues: Navy blue, like in women's wear, is considered the new black for the seasons ahead; it is a universally flattering colour for every skin colour. Navy fades to light blue this season, which adds variety and interest for colour blocking and offers a seamless monotone look.
Grey: Also referred to as slate, grey is the backbone of the colour wheel, as it balances and highlights any other colour perfectly. Grey is a neutral and if worn alone, looks best with varying textures. For holiday parties, try a grey lightweight round neck sweater with darker grey tweed dress slacks for a sophisticated alternative to black.
Green: Dark green is the powerful transition from spring and summer's faved emerald green. It pairs well with navy, mustard and burgundy, and is great when attempting colour blocking for fall.
Burgundy: Deep magenta or burgundy with pink undertones is a brighter and more vivid version of the 'oxblood red' that was everywhere last year. Invest in a bold burgundy blazer and wear with denim or black pants, or choose burgundy shoes and accessories in ties, hats and belts.
Plaid: Nothing says fall more than the perennial favourite plaid, also known as tartan, but this season it has substantially dominated the runways in men's and women's wear. Seen in dark greens, navy blues and reds, plaid is on everything from jackets to shirts to pants and in accessories such as hats, scarves, socks, ties, and bags.
Camo: Manly camouflage, referred to as 'camo', though so tough can be toned down to prevent you from looking like you're going to 'bird bush'. Choose pieces with good tailoring or with leather-trim detail, and be sure not to wear camo with another rough fashion element, example, hiking boots or dog tags, as it would be too rough and themed. Wear camo with dark greens or with mustard and you will be right on point. The most important thing to remember when wearing camo is 'balance'.
Animal Prints: Animal prints have made it to men's wear in leopard, snake skin and zebra. If too daunted by this print in heavy doses, choose it in pieces that feature it as an accent, for example on shirt collars, piping detail and accessories.
Black Leather: What else is manlier than black leather? Nothing. It reigns supreme and a black biker jacket will be the best investment a guy can ever make, because it looks better as it ages. Be sure to take care of your high-quality leather pieces by paying attention to the care labels. If budgetary constraints limit you from real leather, choose faux leather or, better yet, get leather in design details seen on trims and accessories.
Tweeds: A tad similar to plaid but in a micro design where the emphasis is on texture and feel.Be sure to invest in good quality tweeds because there is a severe itch factor in a low-quality variety. Having tweeds in your wardrobe will add design depth and promises to be another timeless investment.
Leather backpacks are everywhere, structured and perfect or worn and slouchy in olives, browns and blacks.
Newsboy caps are taking over from the trendy beanies of last fall.
Hiking boots give the 'bad boy' a chance to shine this season in fashion.
Perforated oxford shoes will be here forever and every man should own a high-quality pair, worn without socks and with cropped pants for a European chic look.
Have fun with your clothes and reinvent the pieces you already own, take your dress shirts to the tailor, get them taken in to make them more fitted; cut the sleeves off and convert from a long-sleeved shirt to a short sleeve version. Change the buttons on your shirts, the front pockets and sometimes even the collars. A great way to update a white dress shirt could be to change the collar to a a fabric in a plaid or camo. Similarly, change the front pocket to another print, camo, plaid or paisley print. It is a quick way to be in fashion and on budget! Save the bank and the planet.
With this entire fall-fashion forecasting, I take a jab at myself and end with the iconic words of the late Gianni Versace: 'Don't be into trends. Don't make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.'
Enjoy! Be sure to visit my blog for more style and fashion tips at www.nataliaoh.com.