Thursday, September 9, 2010

Menswear Top Trends F/W 2010

Its not always that you get an opportunity to hear Barbara Atkins, VP for Fashion Direction at Holt Renfrew talk about menswear. Last July, I met Barbara at the Holt Renfrew Fall 2010 Fashion Preview Event in Vancouver. The last time I saw her was in October at L'Oreal Fashion Week in Toronto. Barbara is one of Canada's premier fashion experts. When she says its "In", its "In". 

During the pre-show cocktails, Barbara and I had a brief chat to get re-acquainted. One thing we discussed were her thoughts around the changes in lifestyle and how that impacts the trends we're seeing this season. Not knowing, this was also the first 5-10 minutes of her presentation. Atkins said "People are moving away from formalities. Everything is quick, easy, casual. In fashion, the direction is leaning towards smart casual. Suits and ties, although still nice, are not the norm anymore. Today, its about comfort, ease and intelligence." And on personal style, Atkins gives great advice "Authenticity is your next heirloom. Personal style stems from color and off beat combinations. Have your modern classic pieces, and personalize them with folklore and global decorative inspirations." 

Here are the top Menswear Trends for FW 2010

1) Battle Gear. Military inspirations are seen across all dimensions of wardrobe. From combat boots, to military detailing on jackets and coats, to army green totes (aka "man bags"), this is the theme for the season. 

2) Knit Picking. Cardigans, vests, knit outerwear, urban joggers and toques are just some of the must have knitted pieces for Fall/Winter 2010. Cashmere is still the best when it comes to comfort, warmth and ts soft feel to the skin. Merino Wool is great alternative.

3) Jacket Required. Whether it be tweed or velvet, pinstripe or solid, every man needs a jacket in their wardrobe. Its that one piece when added to a plain white tshirt and jean ensemble makes it a sophisticated and modern trio.Coordinate your jackets with a cool, silk pocket square or fashion forward skinny tie.

4) Jean-ology. Its not a faux pas to wear denim with denim. This season, there'll be a lot of varieties on how denim is treated and worn. You'll see the brave souls mixing denim washes for their tops and bottoms. and some will simply be happy with a flattering pair of distressed denim jeans. This fall/winter dress up or dress down your denim with some of the other trends this season.

So what are my top "Must Haves" for the season? Here's what I'm thinking:

- A slim tailored tweed, herringbone or moleskin jacket.
- A pair of distressed slim boot cut ,dark indigo washed denim jeans
- A pair of vintage or vintage looking leather combat boots
- A 3 button Henley t-shirt
- Accessories: Utility Bag (aka Man Bag), necklaces with unique pendants, slouchy toque, over sized scarf.

Happy Shopping!

Greatest Hits: Banana Republic, where Classic just never goes out of STYLE

If there's one brand that is timeless yet current, its Banana Republic. I've been a big fan of this brand ever since I bought my first dress shirt from them in 2002. I may not have that shirt anymore but I will never forget why I got it. Great quality. Excellent price point. And remarkable details such as the mother of pearl buttons, crisp collar and impeccable tailoring of the shirt.
This same attention to detail still remains today with all Banana Republic products. Its one of my favorite places to shop for those eternal pieces that look good today and 10 years down the road. As proof of that, my first Banana Republic wool trench is still in great shape after 8 winters. 

Since Fall and Winter is coming up, here are my top picks from Banana Republic.

Heritage Timeless Trench Coat: One can never go wrong with well crafted trench coat. The key things to look for in a trench are as follows:

- Fit.Give enough room in the coat to accommodate times when you're wearing a sweater. Make sure the shoulders (coat and actual shoulder) line up. 
- Fabric. There are two main types of fabrics used for coats. Wool works best if you have dry, cold winters. Treated Cotton are great for wet and cold winters. 
- Cut. Trench coats are slimmer now then they were before. For slim fellas, stick with a slimmer cut as opposed to the more traditional, boxier cuts of the trench coat.

Heritage Timeless Trench, $325
Heritage Shawl Style Cardigan: Nothing says warmth better than a nice, comfortable, classic cardigan. Knits are still a must-have this season, and this is worth getting if you don't already have one in your wardrobe. This versatile and character filled cardigan is one of a kind. You can practically dress it up or down, at work or after work. I love the shawl collar, the various shades of gray, and the coziness of this piece. Highly recommended!

Heritage Shawl Collar Cardigan, $158

The Denver Boot. Fall and Winter is never complete with a good pair of boots. Whether its a cowboy boot, a military boot, or a dress boot, you just need to have one in your shoe closet. Over the years, Banana Republic has expanded their shoe collection. "Driving Loafers" are ones that this brand makes really well. This season they brought back the Denver Boot. Once only available in-store, the boot is now available online. I love the softness of the leather and the comfort of the memory foam insole. Just like most boots in the market, this one is not water-repellent. Make sure to spray it with a silicone based water repellent spray which you can buy at your favorite shoe store.

Denver Boot, $160
These items are all available in store and online at 

Happy Shopping!