Menswear trends (sloppy is out) & style questions (flat pants are in): Theexperts answer
Threadwize, a consortium of owners from 10 of the nation's top family-owned clothing stores, met in Houston this week to share ideas, talk about trends and figure out ways to attract more customers in the age of giant chains and the Internet. We took the opportunity to ask them about trends in menswear (most specialize in men's clothing) and find out what style question they get asked most frequently.
What's the big trend in menswear?
1. Soft jackets would be the biggest trend. It looks like a sport coat but with not as much construction. It's meant to be worn without a tie and is mostly worn with jeans or casual trousers. — Butch Blum, owner Butch Blum, Seattle
2. Latest trends: No socks, no black shoes (I've been preaching that one for 25 years), no silk pocket squares (just cotton; usually a shirt fabric stripe or check). Wearing trousers shorter (about 2.5 inches from the floor up or shorter) with no break. No cuff on flat front cotton trousers. But always cuff on dress trousers. And make the cuff larger, like 1 and 3/4 inches. — George Bass, owner George Bass, New Orleans
3. The biggest change in menswear within the last few years (yes, sadly it takes that long for men to embrace any change) is the advent of slimmer fitting clothing and flat front trousers. This new silhouette looks fresh and modern and is an obvious way to distinguish the young and hip (chronologically or merely as a way of thinking) from the tired old establishment. Needless to say, we did the same thing with our pleated trousers and oversized jackets way back when. Dress like your grandfather = hip. Like your dad = nerd. — Dick Pattison, owner Taylor Richards & Conger, Charlotte
4. Soft jackets that are shorter, to wear with jeans or casual pants. — Greg Eveloff, owner The Clotherie, Phoenix
5. Men’s suits are definitely trending to a closer fit than they have in the past; in jackets, higher armholes, trimmer silhouette, and in pants, definitely flat front and a narrower leg. Expect to wear your trouser bottoms higher than before because of the narrower leg. Double breasted clothing is still trying to make its mark. On the other end of the spectrum (in casual wear for fall), look for cleaner denims and interesting fabrics and finishes in sportswear. Sloppy is out. (Are y’all hearing that, Houston??) There are some definite retro trends as well – references to old-fashioned jeans with belt buckles on the back, elbow patches, and HENLEYS! — Murry Penner, owner M Penner, Houston
What style question do you get asked the most?
Q: Can I wear a striped or checked shirt with a pattern jacket?
A: Absolutely, usually a check shirt with stripe jacket or striped shirt with small plaid jacket. You can wear check on check and stripe on stripe, just have the scale of the patterns different. — George Bass
Q: Can I wear flat front pants?
A: My answer is try them on, and I am sure we can find you a pair that works . . . and we do! — Greg Eveloff
Q: Do I really have to wear flat front trousers/skinny suits/narrower ties?
A: Only if you care about your appearance. — Dick Pattison
Q: What’s going on with ties? How wide should my tie be?
A: As clothing is trimming up, ties should follow the form. If you’re wearing a newer/slimmer suit or sportcoat, your tie should be slimmer as well. Eight – 8.5 cm ties go well with new silhouettes. Matching and balancing proportion, as always, is the key. — Murry Penner
Q: How do I dress for business casual?
A: Relax and wear the clothes instead of the clothes wearing you. Don’t be afraid to mix and match, and use layers. You are only limited by your own imagination. — Butch Blum