Men’s fashion. Most men will feel indifferent when hearing that phrase, but what they fail to recognize is the powerful influence the right image can have in boosting their confidence and helping them to enjoy more success in life. It’s been said that you dress for the part you want, but these days, putting on just another suit and tie won’t cut it anymore. It’s fortunate that we have New York men’s style consultant Alice Kim, founder of Veritas Image Management, here to help offer some insight into the world of men’s fashion. So whether you’re a man who’s looking to spruce up your professional image to fit the role you were meant to be in, or simply want to develop a personal style that speaks to your individuality, check out Alice’s website at www.veritasimage.com.
Story Leather: When it comes to fashion and style, “how different is it to style men vs. women?”
Alice: Apart from the obvious similarities involved in finding style solutions for both sexes that are specific to each person’s body type, face, hair, and coloring, there are certainly some differences. I think for women, it’s more about adorning themselves to express different moods and facets of their personality, with a strong emphasis on staying current with trends.
For men, it’s both simpler and more complex at the same time, because with narrower options, it’s all about the details with much less margin for error. And we have to go deeper into identifying the core essence of a man so that whatever he wears in any occasion is a true and consistent reflection of who he is. So I’d say that there’s more focus on authenticity and a certain timelessness over simply looking attractive and wearing the latest fashions.
Story Leather: “What are some key factors to consider when finding the right style for men?
Alice: The first thing to consider is fit. Most men are clueless about how clothes should fit them and generally wear everything too big. If a man just got this part right, he would look miles sharper, including looking more current, younger and fit! Fit truly takes care of a huge chunk of multiple style woes, and it’s too bad most guys aren’t aware of this.
Another factor is age-appropriateness. I see young guys looking like little old men and older guys either aging themselves unnecessarily or not being taken seriously because they never graduated from their college look.
The real key to developing a “style,” though, isn't primarily about the clothes so much as knowing who you are as an individual. This includes your personality, lifestyle, profession, likes and dislikes, and everything else that makes you uniquely who you are. Only after identifying this can you start to develop a personal style by selecting certain fashions to create looks that tell your story.
Story Leather: Women often have those 2-3 items that are essential to every outfit they wear, but with men it’s a bit harder as casual wear and formal wear are totally different. “Are there essential items that fit every situation for men or would they be specific to the occasion?”
Alice: I wouldn't say that casual wear and formal wear are distinct to just men’s wardrobes. It’s the same for women. Just as you wouldn't see a man wearing a tuxedo and dress pumps to a neighbor’s backyard BBQ, you wouldn't see a woman in a ball gown and skinny satin heels, either. It would be more accurate and practical to say that every man and woman should have a handful of timeless essentials that are specific to each occasion, from formal to professional to smart casual to yes… even that backyard BBQ.
Having said that, our world today is mostly casualized, with few opportunities for strict formal wear save an occasional wedding or year-end gala. For most occasions, casual, smart casual, or the business suit is the norm. Although no piece of clothing can fit in every situation, I’d recommend having in your arsenal at minimum a crisp white button-front shirt, a pair of dark straight-leg jeans, a great-fitting suit in navy or gray, and a pair of dressy/semi-dressy shoes.
Story Leather: Even though it’s still hot, fall is just around the corner. “What are some items you think will be trending this fall/winter?”
Alice: The advantage of cool/cold weather is that it calls for layering multiple items, which creates visual interest and depth to a man’s outfit. This is also prime season for tailored pieces, perfect for exuding a sharp masculine image.
The good thing about men’s trends is that, unlike women’s wear that’s hungry for newness each season, it’s more of a patient evolution of classic items gone through a slightly new polish. They change slowly, and in stages, so that there’s ample time for a man to evolve with them by mixing in just a few pieces he’s comfortable with into his existing wardrobe.
Items that you’ll see everywhere in menswear this fall/winter are double breasted sport jackets, patterned suits, vests, chunky cardigans, and active wear/street wear-influenced anything, from sweatshirts and jogging pants to track and baseball jackets and all types of sneakers — especially the sneakers. There’s been a sneaker explosion and it’s everywhere, from leather Chuck Taylors to ultra luxury kicks by Tom Ford. And what’s great about them is that you can wear them with everything, even with a suit.
Story Leather: My last question is about leather. As we specialize in leather I wanted to ask, “What is your opinion on leather as a men’s style item?”
Alice: Leather has always been important and integral to menswear for both its functionality and beauty. Its durability and toughness is perfect for occasions where a man needs protection, from work/combat boots to motorcycle jackets. These pieces that were once created for a specific purpose and practicality are now iconic style items representing masculine grit, individualism, and a certain cool.
On the other end hand, the beauty of leather in fine men’s shoes, bags, belts and small leather goods — in their array of rich textures, colors and finishes — ups the style quotient for any man who appreciates quality and craftsmanship and wishes to express his good taste and impeccable personal style.
For everything you need to know about men's fashion you can visit Alice Kim's website at veritasimage.com and be sure to follow her other channels as well: facebook.com/VeritasMensStyle, twitter.com/VeritasMenStyle, youtube.com/AliceKimNYC,& Google+. Alice even has a first time complementary consultation that will help you get started. So why wait to upgrade your image, see what Alice can do for you!
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