|MEN AT WORK
by Georgina Callan
There are several style components that distinguish a modern man from a man who has adopted a
more traditional way of dressing. Modern is all about slim, narrowed lines starting with the shoulders
of a jacket or suit and tapering throughout the entire outfit. Lapels, sleeves, sides of the jacket and
pants are all narrowed, and the rise on the modern pant is lower. Pants legs are often shorter, but
not high-water, because modern dressing, just like modern interiors and style, is all about balance,
scale and proportion.
|And that starts with the man. It’s all well and good if your figure is able to slide into a trim fit look,
but that doesn’t mean a man with a fuller figure is stuck with a more traditional look. Today,
designers make most pants, jackets and suits in a modern “cut”, in all sizes, with certain modern
elements, such as a slimmer fitting blazer with narrower lapels and slimmer pants; the key is to
avoid the over-arching traditional look of an over-sized jacket and wide loose pants.
|According to Keith Carlisle, Men’s Divisional Merchandise Manager, at Stanley Korshak,
“sports coats have definitely become more popular in recent years, and the change is
more in the shape of the jacket than in fabric choices.” A modern man is “definitely
open to looking at a jacket in a great color or pattern or both.” A sports coat does not
have to be too full, just because it is seen as a more casual item of clothing than a suit.
|“Dressing in a modern style is about an attitude,” says Keith, “it’s about having a distinct
preference for a collection of solid fabrics, all worn at the same time but with great emphasis
on texture, and coordinating colors.” In regard to color, Keith says, “Bold color isn’t wrong, but
the modern man tends to prefer subtle color.”
|“Work” has a different meaning for everyone, for those who work in an environment
where traditional dress is required, and for those who work from virtual desktops.
Either way, there is no need to compromise on style. Clothes are all about
communication; we state our preference for color, pattern and design, about
who we are and who we want to be. Most “modern” suits, many in dark gray
or navy, have a 2 button front on the jacket, with two side vents in the back,
¼” top pockets on the pants that are usually flat fronted. But fashion and style
is also all about exceptions to the rule—you just need to know the rules before
you break them!
|A suit often, but not always, means a tie. As Keith tells it, “a modern tie means a narrow tie or
the proportion will not work with the suit or jacket.” He notes that modern ties tend to be more
conservative, mostly solid colors with an emphasis on texture and small scale pattern. “A knot
recommended for these ties is the ‘double four-in-hand’ which results in a full yet elongated
knot, appropriate for the modern silhouette.”
|One of the questions many men ask is how to personalize their look. A pocket square is ideal,
to add color and interest but the color and texture should relate to the tie or the shirt being
worn, not both. Keith makes another suggestion of a belt that relates to the shoes but does
not have to match. And lastly he recommends socks, great socks, in almost any color, except
black, navy or grey—these colors for socks, he says, “have no personality.” We’d have to agree.
available at: M Penner