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Start As You Mean To Go On


So, it's a new year, finally.  You feel foul.  You look foul.  Too many turkey and ham sandwiches have left you slightly cuddlier, "slightly".  Too many transactions have left you broke.  And too many beers have left you undignified and your loved ones very upset with you.  After one hazy night and an anti-climatic countdown, lets be honest, January is just, well, a bit crap.  We are all broke, we are not looking our best and once we get into February its not going to get much better.  Sound anyway familiar?

However, its not all doom and gloom.  There are a few silver linings somewhere in the heap of hangovers and humbugs: transitional menswear trends.  The end of the festive period and beginning of a new year is the perfect time for a fresh start and wardrobe revamp.  After all, there's nothing like a little reinvention from time to time.  I cant curb your post-Yuletide blues but I can offer you a few style tips here and there.  But first, lets take a look at a couple of easy rules to stick to this year so we can all remain stylish without having to think about it.  

  1. Get yourself some matching wooden hangers.  Those wire ones that you have had since university just don't cut it.  Throw them out, get your hands on some matching wooden ones and have a stylish wardrobe without putting any clothes in it.
  2. For crying out loud, get rid of those old canvas or vinyl bags you have been carrying around all year and buy yourself a man's bag.  
  3. Honor thy tailor -  because he will be your best friend for life.
  4. Throw away those knackered Reeboks, old converse and bet down nike trainers and start buying trainers that are on trend and don't make you look like you have survived a year on the streets.
  5. Learn how to put a dimple in your tie - the details make the gentleman after all.
  6. learn how to tie a bow tie - not only for those weddings and black tie events but because they're making a big appearance these days in nearly every line out there.  
  7. And remember that some rules were made to be broken, but that's another post for another day...
So, now lets take a look at this years trends preview and put down that selection box already - god knows you probably need to...

Many designers have all incorporated 1970's inspired neutrals within their SS14 collections, providing us with a fail-safe way of pulling off the current tonal dressing trend.  The opportunities are endless for you to experiment yet there are still limitations: opting for exactly the same hue throughout your look is slightly serial killer-esque, so remember to mix and match your shades and textures.  This throwback trend allows you to effortlessly integrate other vintage pieces into your look.  A camel roll neck or beige cricket jumper can be paired with modern staple such as slim fit jeans or chinos for the perfect balance of classic and contemporary.  Whoever said your dad's cream jumper is boring was wrong - very, very wrong.  



Not Breton, not nautical, not traditional - this season, stripes have been well and truly transformed (FINALLY).  Contrasting directions and upside-down geometry means you can channel a trend that's seen more reinvention than a Miley Cyrus YouTube search.  The secret here is to opt for the outlandish; differing thickness and bold prints offer visual appeal and an element of texture without going overboard.  Making your torso the stripe bearer is often the most successful way of integrating them into your current outfits. 


Love it or hate it, camo is back in full force.  I expected the military print to last a season or two before it started to fade in obscurity, but fast forward two years and its still making waves for SS14.  For 2014, the typical forest tones have been replaced by more innovative, abstract prints.  And, to differ even further, other motifs are often incorporated to produce one highly original design.  



Androgyny is back in a big way and the common overall (or the all-in-one for a more gender-balanced name) looks set to make a big impression this coming season.  Its easy to twist your mouth in hesitation but there's a formula that works, and formula that most certainly doesn't.  Think less 1973 "Boogie Nights" and more 1984 Orwellian nightmare - your perfect overall is over-sized, available in a muted hue and not diamond encrusted from wrist to heel.  The overall itself is a major statement that only few will be brave enough to wear despite heavyweights like Louis Vuitton pushing the piece for SS14.  However, it still remains to be seen whether the major high street retailers will pick up on it and produce their own take.  


And last but certainly not least, checks.  No, checks aren't for "Wizard of Oz" geeks and "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo".  Block checks are for the serious dresser this upcoming season and will be on everything from tees and blazers to trousers and shirts.  Your ideal check should be wide and feature a timeless base colour or black, grey or navy - anything brighter can look costume, but mix and match to your own discretion.  The beauty of this pattern really is its versatility: skinny jeans can pack a real statement while a flash of pocket square check is enough to exude a sense of style.  Across the spectrum, its a trend that's so easy to pick up and run with. 



So, in conclusion, whats better than a few new trends and new years resolutions to help reinvent your personal style and wardrobe?  After a season of expert tailoring and urban luxe sportswear, start 2014 as you mean to go on - in style and putting your best sartorial foot forward.  

Mark