Men aren’t quite the slaves to fashion as their female counterparts, but most understand that the clothes that they wear can make a powerful statement; projecting confidence and an aura of success, or unfortunately, sometimes just the opposite. In the words of Mark Twain, “The clothes make the man”. As a visual culture, we often base our first impressions on appearance and men with an edgy fashion sense get noticed. They are flexible; able to shift easily from one style to another. And whether they are aiming for a rugged, casual or formal look, they are always able to pull it off. To develop that edge, you have to be willing to take some risks and play around with different styles until you learn what works best for you. If it’s outside of your comfort zone, start with men’s shirts. Just changing that one item can change your entire look.
One of the edgiest new looks for men in the past couple of seasons is the trend toward military influenced tailoring. From navy blazers to army green shirts, combat boots and military jackets complete with epaulettes, the military-inspired aesthetic is back in vogue. This trend has heralded the resurgence of the classic trench coat. In tan, black, beige, Khaki, navy or grey, these versatile and practical coats are a great addition to any man’s wardrobe. The modern versions boast a host of new fabrics from lightweight wools to leather, cotton, nylon and polyester. Whether you are wearing your trench over a pin-striped suit or with your favorite jeans, you’ll always be in style with a timeless trench coat.
For their spring 2011 collections, a number of designers were inspired by a masculine woodsman theme. To achieve this edgy look combine plaid shirts in rustic colors with slim fitting cargo pants or five-pocket cords. Puffer vests and heavy-knit socks peeking out of hunting boots complete the look. For an upscale version of this look, combine a lambswool turtleneck with a boot cut tailored trouser and top it off with a shearling coat or a herringbone tweed trench.
The extreme slender silhouettes of past seasons are giving way to more relaxed tailoring. Comfortable fit and layering are once more back in style. Skinny jeans are on the way out and drop crotch or relaxed straight leg jeans are in. They can be topped off with an oversized shirt made from lightweight fabrics. Achieve an edge to this laid back style by playing with color, pattern, texture and unusual combinations. Try wearing a tailored suit jacket with jeans or even shorts. Layer a hooded sweatshirt with a tweed jacket. Add a little geek chic to your look by layering a short sleeved t-shirt with mathematical equations or videogame characters printed on it, over a plain long-sleeved tee. But remember, when it comes to fashion, sometimes less is more.
The best dressed men of today are those that are boldly challenging traditional fashion mores; developing a unique style that reflects their personalities. The epitome of cool, they incorporate some of the edgiest new pieces into their wardrobes, blending the latest fashions with classic, timeless pieces, rather than slavishly following trends.