A fashion trend, purportedly started in Silicon Valley, has more than a few early adopters.
The New York Times described it this way: “It signals that you are part of the in crowd. It’s like a secret handshake for those who have arrived, and for those who want to.”
Patterns range from stripes to polka dots to super heroes like the Green Lantern.
The Wall Street Journal’s Teri Agins recently answered reader’s questions on the subject.
“Memo to all you fellows who finally got used to slipping your bare feet into driving loafers: You’re behind the curve. The cutting edge now belongs to those geeky guys in their wild and crazy socks. Novelty socks are the technology set’s version of Wall Street’s graphic neckties and silly suspenders of the 1980s.”
She says to forget rules about coordinating socks with pants. Instead, go for a sense of adventure.
“If you’re more downtown to begin with—skinny jeans, cargoes, khakis and hoodies—then, go for the gusto of the wackier sock patterns.”
The sock craze is quickly becoming a popular pastime. “But don’t just fill your sock drawer with the loud argyles and souped-up stripes. Be authentic to your individual style.”
The Wall Street Journal‘s Tina Gaudoin recently caught up with fashion designer Marc Jacobs for an interview where he described designing with his own savvy instincts rather than watching sales statistics.
“Since Jacobs has taken the creative helm at Louis Vuitton, where he has been responsible for some of the company’s most lucrative and fastest-selling products, the LVMH-owned brand has gone from strength to strength, with sales now estimated at more than €6 billion.”
Jacobs says that fashion is all about change. “For me, fashion is about a journey, it’s about going on a trip and taking with you what is always a loose interpretation of the brand,” he said. “I think of the customer as coming on that journey with me.”
Quality, craftsmanship and luxury are the buzz words in Jacob’s design.
“Those three words are always at the forefront of what we do. I apply the principles of the brand to the ready-to-wear, the jewelry, the accessories—to everything we do, in fact. Everything at Louis Vuitton is about quality.”
Jacobs, a New York City native, is a thinking man’s designer. “I think having a certain intelligence within design is important,” he said. “I’m naturally drawn to perversity and the idea of questionable style, but I don’t like to be too literal with it. I like to play with the idea of imperfection.”
“Mansome,” the latest documentary from the director of “Super SIze Me,” provides an in-depth look at how male vanity is on the rise in America today.
“We’ve created this society where what you project externally matters, almost more than anything else,” said director Morgan Spurlock after a screening last month. “To say it doesn’t matter how a man looks anymore is untrue.”
“Mansome,” which opens in select cities this week, features vignettes on individuals such as champion beard grower, a pro wrestler and a barber who creates customized toupees.The documentary also includes commentary from actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett.
“I think male vanity has lived in many different forms,” Ben Silverman, an executive producer of the film told the Boston Globe. “But it may be entering its most superficial era ever. It was once tied with Darwinist elements such as procreating. Now it’s about six-pack abs and fake tans.”
The New York Post, however, panned “Mansome” in a review that said “The movie purports to be a lighthearted look at changing notions of masculinity and appearance. But unless you find something intrinsically hilarious about a man getting a pedicure, laughs are scarce.”
Raul Esparza, who stars Jonas Nightingale in the musical “Leap of Faith,” has a cologne ritual for his plays.
He uses particular colognes to conjure sensory images. “A particular smell puts me in a place so much faster than any intellectual work I could do,” he explained to the New York Times Magazine.
Esparza selects a scent and wears it until the show shutters. He’s been wearing Tom Ford for Men for this role.
For his Tony-nominated role in “Company,” Esparza chose Royal Water by Creed. “It smells like money — expensive, crispy and chilly,” he told the Times magazine. “You inhale it and ummmm, wealth! I saw my character, Bobby, as an advertising executive living in SoHo: extraordinarily successful and an ice-cold human being.”
For those looking to conjure sensory images on a budget, Esparza has also been known to sport Old Spice, because he is drawn to tobacco-y musky smells.
Our friends at Askmen.com recently tackled the age-old question of how to contain man-boobs that was the basis for a classic “Seinfeld” episode. The modern day answer is far removed from the memorable bro versus manzere debate between Kramer and Mr. Costanza.
Q: I am fighting the man-boob battle. What clothes should I be avoiding and which ones should I be wearing?
A: Women have been using shape-wear for years to help smooth lumps and bumps in order to get closer to achieving their ideal figure. For some reason, though, shape-wear for men has virtually remained a secret, despite being readily available. Try starting with a shaping T-shirt as your base layer, like a seamless nylon model from One Flat Jack. It will compress your chest without feeling uncomfortable, leaving you with a slimmer looking physique. Over top, layer a dress shirt that skims your body but has breathing room, and pair it with a single-breasted, dark blazer worn unbuttoned.
'Mad Men' enters the plaid dimension.
The fifth season of “Mad Men,” which premiered on AMC recently, made a statement in Men’s fashion with the return of the plaid sport jacket.
Set in 1966, this fifth season features a departure from the drab suit colors of previous episodes. Colorful checkered suits and sport coats, which pay homage to the mid to late 1960s, have made a comeback on runways this spring. Gucci and Costume National debuted check jackets at spring/summer shows this year.
The throwback plaid jacket look may become a must-have this summer.
Now more than ever, men are focused on what image they project based on what they wear.
In the age of Internet, men can research their suits and sport coats online like they would with a new car.
“I’m not just talking about a `fashion guy,’ ” said Gilt Groupe’s Tyler Thoreson. “For many men, your wardrobe is part of your program of discernment. They’ll learn about it like a car or a wine or a watch.”
Men then hit the stores or online retailers, such as Suitbargains.com, like they are on a mission, said Eric Jennings of Saks Fifth Avenue.
“Men travel in herds, and when it’s OK in your friendship group to care about how you look on the weekends, it spreads pretty quickly,” Allen Edmonds CEO Paul Grangaard told the Associated Press. “Since the recession of 2008, you’re always networking. Men dress better for midweek coffees and lunches and on weekends because you never know who you’ll run into where. You always want to look secure, stable and reliable.”
Actor Zac Efron commands attention in a sharp, grey Calvin Klein suit on the red carpet of the premier of “The Lucky One” in Sydney, Australia.
When tailoring a sharp new suit one of many questions to address is to cuff or not to cuff the pants.
Style experts now agree cuffing dress pants is the way to go.
“I like cuffs on pants of just about any fabric,” designer Michael Bastian told GQ recently. “Of course, when you’re dealing with heavier corduroys and tweeds, the cuffs serve a purpose: They give the pants some weight, so they fall better. I say, if you’re gonna go for a cuff, go for it; make it at least an inch and a quarter deep.
“As for the break, 90 percent of guys keep it classic, where the front of your pants hits the top bit of your shoes and the back of them touches the tops of your heels. That always works—but if you know what you’re doing, then you can play around a bit and show a little ankle,” Bastian said.
Remember to bring a pair of shoes to the tailor to help achieve the proper length for your new suit pants.
For the third time, the king of American cool, Ralph Lauren, will design uniforms for nearly 800 United States Olympians competing in the 2012 Summer Games in London.
“The looks for the London Olympics are fitting: vintage-inspired polos, pants and sweaters on a red, white and blue color palette (above). The line includes jackets, glasses, luggage, shoes, hats, belts and beach towels, all of which go on sale online and in stores May 15,” according to Forbes.
For the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Lauren’s look was sporty-prep. The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing featured more classic attire such as sharp navy blazers, crisp white pants and scarf ascots for the women and red-striped ties for the men.
The Ralph Lauren 2012 Summer Olympics collection will debut at the opening ceremony parade on July 27.