Column: Fashion Forward
Ringing In The Spring In New York
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 21:02
As you may already know, New York fashion week took place last week, offering a preview of what’s to come this fall. The colors to be seen once the leaves start falling will be a mixture of bright mustards, oranges, reds, and dark blues, greens, and burgundies. On the bright side of the spectrum, examples of mustard were seen in Todd Snyder’s leather jacket and turtleneck, and J. Press York Street’s sweaters and pants. Bright orange and red were prevalent in Lacoste and Marc Jacobs’s trench coats, as well as Nautica’s sweaters. The darker hues of green and blue were showcased in Elie Tahari and Marc Jacobs’s shows, along with burgundy, also featured in Band of Outsiders, Bespoken, and Perry Ellis by Duckie Brown’s collections.
In the midst of this polychromatism, the most common color was gray—in all 50 shades. All of the collections featured the color in many pieces, especially Todd Snyder’s, with the great majority of models clad in gray from head to toe. Gray was also particularly popular in the collections of Nautica and Band of Outsiders, but overall it was the common denominator in all of the shows. Come fall be sure to sport the blend of white and black—it never goes out of style, and in six months it will be the color of the season.
Menswear tends to be consistent—which is a good thing, because good articles of clothes can survive for years and still be wearable—but the pieces that stood out most last week were shawl collar and leather jackets, the former being a staple in the collections of Gucci, Diesel Black Gold, and David Hart earlier this year. Another interesting (and questionable) trend was the mixture of oversized jackets and coats and flowing ’70s-esque pants in Marc Jacobs’s collection, which also featured plaid, a pattern that prevailed in Tommy Hilfiger’s show.
Now that the worst seems to be over (I’m looking at you, Nemo) and the temperature is starting to go—and hopefully stay—up, it’s time to start thinking about spring. Come the new season keep things simple and wear solid pieces (i.e. no patterns). Color wise it will be all about pastels aka chalky, pale hues. Think pistachio green, baby blue, vanilla yellow, etc.—basically the entire color scheme of Robert Redford’s wardrobe in the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby (available on Netflix). A great source for pieces in these tones is Vineyard Vines, the pastel pro. Another good place to find pale pigments is J. Press—they offer many options of shirts and sweaters in those tones.
Now, pastels may sound boring, but bright, light colors can definitely help you stand out. Using electric solids can help take an outfit to the next level. Pair a light gray jacket, with a bright, pistachio green solid shirt and you’re in business. If minimalism isn’t your thing, adding a little bit of print to your ensemble can definitely spice things up. You can do this by incorporating a printed tie or pocket square to your otherwise color-blocked suit.
As you say goodbye to layers upon layers, snow boots, and the overall terrible weather, you might consider trying new things. The piece believed to make its comeback in spring is the cashmere polo. It has an elegant casualness to it—especially the long-sleeved version—reminiscent of mid-20th century style. Another classic and casual option worth giving a try is loafers. Get them in versatile colors like camel, brown, or black and they will carry you through the seasons, as they go with everything and are never out of style. You can wear them sockless, but if you absolutely must wear socks make sure they match your pants color-wise. Whatever your choice, do not wear them with white gym socks. The same goes for boat shoes—sockless is the way to go. Remember: white socks are the sartorial version of the devil—avoid them at all costs. The only time wearing white socks is acceptable (emphasis on acceptable) is when working out.
On an unrelated note, I have started to notice a general upgrade in people’s style around campus. To those of you who make an effort to dress properly, congratulations. It’s hard enough waking up in the morning (anything before noon is ungodly in my book), let alone pulling something together and pulling it off. I can testify that those people who put effort into their ensemble truly stand out in a sea of sweats and running shoes. It used to be like playing Where’s Waldo, but now it’s like playing Zitch Dog (shout-out to HIMYM). Not only does it allow you to realize that style isn’t dead, but it makes you wonder “where did you get that? I need it.” Keep it up guys.