I’ve written about what women should wear depending on their body style. This week I was asked by a “real man” what men should wear depending on body types. Over the years I do have to admit, I have not been equal in sharing men’s wear vs. women’s wear. So I gave this some thought and here is what I have come up with.
The most important and most misused element of menswear is that of fashion. Considering the confusion, claims and counterclaims about what is taking place in the field today, it would seem worthwhile to reflect on just what fashion really does mean….especially to men.
With the changes going on in our world today, it is the culture that demands fashion. Any retailer, any manufacturer, any designer who is unaware of these changes will be, after a while, destroyed by the dated quality of his merchandise. Numerous examples could be cited of progressive manufacturers, designers and retailers who have been successful because they understand the dynamics of change and fashion. This success has occurred not only in the freaky world of alternate culture boutiques, but across the board from business suits to sportswear.
We have seen in the past few years a tremendous cultural change among men; there is a polarization between young and old, establishment and radicalism, conformity and individualism. We have often talked about how this has led to the creation of three distinct fashion markets: Dominant, Middle and Alternate.
So, to ignore fashion I today’s culture or to define it incorrectly are both mistakes. Instead, if you think of fashion as a constant broad supply of new ideas stimulating the consumer to loosen up, to express pleasure in his clothes, to accept change, you will be in the right position to deal with today’s world.
Much in life is a matter of timing, so the surge of consumerism and the social, creative and economic value of home sewing make this new interest in men’s wear an important element in dressmaking/tailoring. Designers influence each other. And designers are not the only creator of fashion. Young people have an international grapevine that carries street fashion from one country to another. The influence of street fashion is strong; it affects what people of all ages wear.
I stressed that women take a long, hard look at themselves before they leave the house. The advice is the same for men—allow the mirror to become your friend – a very close friend.