Written by Jason Lin (an occasional contributor to ReCultured ), posted by Elaine Lin
Before reading this article further, please humour me and ask yourselves these questions:
1) When shopping for new clothes, is your mindset to go in, find something that looks relatively ‘safe’ and comfortable, and then get out ASAP?
2) Do you own way too many t-shirts from American Eagle?
3) Do you think you could dress better but do not necessarily know where to start?
Well then, do I have the product for you! For only three payments of… Wait, sorry. Wrong blog.
Let me make one thing clear. My intent for this blog piece is not to dictate what is ‘in’ or not or to persuade you to buy overpriced crap you do not necessarily need. I appreciate seasonal fashion trends but at the same time, I think there is something to say about sticking to (or finding) your own individual style. And, yes, designer clothes can look pretty badass, but price tags and labels do not immediately equal style. My intent for this article is simply to help out males who are: 1) mildly or highly allergic to malls and shopping, 2) self-proclaimed fashion connoisseurs, or 3) those who are looking for tips and ideas to freshen up their wardrobe.
I will also try to get overly ‘fashion-safe’ males (yeah, I am talking to you—the guy who wears the same tee and jeans combo from class to a date and elsewhere) out of their lacklustre, monochromatic wardrobe and encourage them to venture outside of their comfort zone and into clothes that can look and fit a lot better without compromising comfort. To achieve this, I often measure particular garments and styles on their level of ‘safeness’.
Gray hoody – really safe. I would wear that when I am in study mode or lazying around at home.
Neon, spandex ‘short shorts’ – whoa. Really bold. Wear with extreme confidence and/or caution.
So now that my long introduction is over and done with, let’s get straight to the point.
Fall/winter is here. Maybe you have noticed, yeah? And that tee and jeans combo is not going to help when the cold, rain, snow, and more rain come. It is time to bundle up and put away the shorts and flip flops. But that does not mean you cannot still look stylin’ in your new fall/winter threads. The key is finding the right pieces and layering them well.
Coats and Jackets for Fall/Winter 2011
A very important staple of your fall and winter wardrobe. Nothing keeps you warmer and looking more sauve than a nice, well-fitted coat or jacket. Plus, knowing good, old Vancouver weather, you will probably spend most of your time zipped up tight in it. If you are looking to replace that old jacket or if you just simply want a new coat or jacket, below are a few tips and things to think about.
When buying a coat or jacket (and any clothing item, really), it is always wise to consider the length and cut before making your purchase. That means doing a bit of pre-assessment. It might seem stupid but, hey, why waste more time trying out each coat in the store? Or coming back to return it when you realize it does not fit?
Also, to ensure maximum satisfaction and fit, it is always better to try clothing in store first before making your purchase than buying it directly online.
Guys with Shorter Builds
If you are of shorter stature, stay away from coats that extend to your knees or lower. They can make you look shorter and disproportionate since they visually reduce the length of your legs (something you will want to avoid with a shorter build) while elongating your torso. Yup, clothes can do that—the psychedelic power of optical illusions.
That means the typical trench coat would not work. But if you are going for that particular cut, try a trench coat styled jacket that ends mid-thigh or higher. Here are several suggestions:
Double-breasted jacket from H&M ($99). Also comes in black & gray. (Note: although the coat is no longer available online, you can still have an idea of what you may want to look for.) Flip the collar up for a less structured and more edgy look (the same method, however, does not apply to polo shirts, contrary to popular belief). Add a scarf for a pop of colour.
Wool-Blend Peacoat from Old Navy. (CA$89.94 CA$59.50–a steal!). Also comes in heather gray.
2) Military-inspired jacket
Faux-Fur Lined Utility Jacket from Old Navy (CA$99.94 CA$69.96). Also comes in black. For a more casual look, try a military-inspired jacket. The faux fur-lined interior will keep you super warm!
3) Faux Leather Jackets
There should not be too much open space in the waist area and it should look well-fitted and not boxy. It is a leather jacket, not some old, frumpy bomber jacket. Think a modern, edgy, not cheesy, 70’s used car salesman look.
Charles & 1/2 Daniel Faux Leather Moto from Urban Outfitters ($128 U.S.$99). (Check if Canada offers the same style)
Faux Leather Jacket with Hoody (for a more relaxed look) from Zara. (CA$99).
Guys with Taller Builds
Style and cut selection varies a bit if you are above average in height. If you are slender and tall, avoid coats that end at the waist. You may end up looking like a torso attached to stilts. I am sure that would make an amusing Halloween costume but maybe not for everyday wear. Long coats that extend well below your knees can also have a similar, disproportionate effect. Instead, consider coats that are of three quarter length (for a more modern look) or end mid-thigh.
Classic Peacoat (three quarter length) from American Eagle. (CA$134.14 CA$103.57). Also comes in navy and charcoal.
Button Coat (mid-thigh length) from Zara. (CA$159).
Guys with Average Builds
If you are around average height, lucky you. Most styles and cuts should work for you. Just pick and choose!
Guys with Tall but Large Builds
If you have trouble finding a coat or jacket that fits right, try shopping beyond the border in the States, like Bellis Fair Mall (in Bellinghmam, WA). Sizes in the States usually go higher than in Canada. (No, I am not saying you are so fat that you need to look outside B.C., but the States usually offer a wider range of sizes (and styles and lower prices, which are bonuses!).
Some Final Tips
Remember, finding the style that speaks you is utmost important. Trends are secondary—something you can incorporate.
Clothing is both a necessity (well, if you live in Vancouver) and an opportunity for self-expression.