Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Chic (for Men)

Photo: Burberry Spring

Dear Men, it's nice to give you advices on what to wear and I'm happy that some of my guys friends have asked me for tips on what to buy this Spring/Summer.

My most important advise is that you need to start looking carefully at what you buy: check what's the fabric, where the clothes/shoes were made, if the shirt/jacket/pants have a good cut, feel comfortable and make you look good...don't pay for the brand name only, pay for the good quality!

I have to say that in the stores they usually dedicate you only a small corner or barely a floor in a 7th/8th floors department store and about 70% of the clothes (80% of the shoes) are not of good quality. This means that your choices are limited and most of the times some of you end up picking clothes, just because the sales assistant told you that you look great in whatever you are trying on (but you should know that most of them would tell you so even if you were trying on a trash me, sales assistants need to sell and they need to reach a specific amount of sales by the end of the day so most of times they won't tell you if you look bad with what you wish to buy).
However, this lack of choice is actually due to the fact that you are considered "bad for the economy"! Statistically, men are usually not big shoppers and that explains the few shops and little spaces dedicated to you.

Photo: Billy Reid blue trendy T-Shirt

I discovered last year Billy Reid at Bloomingdale's (photo above). I love the nice cuts and good quality fabrics they have: you can tell that their clothes are made with high quality standards. And, "surprise surprise" Billy Reid clothes are not that expensive!

Another brand I love for men is Ben Sherman: I think the iconic button down Gingham Shirt (here in the photo below) is really a must have for this Spring! It can be worn both day and night.

Photo: Tommy Bahama jeans and T-Shirt

It's still in fashion to wear jeans like in the photo shown above.

For this style, fold the hems up 1 inch (no pegging!) and roll once, and only once.
The jeans shouldn't look too perfect or too high.

Photo: "Made to measure" by Zegna

Good news for our American men who had alterations made on their pants and had them cut too short ("by accident" or not): you can finally use them without looking funny, as "ankle pants" are in fashion now (although I still don't find this look very elegant and I don't recommend this style if you are not tall)...but, no "ankle pants" when you are wearing a suit please!

Photo: Burberry mismatched suit

When you buy a new suit, make sure that your pants are tailored correctly( pants need to cover half of your shoes heels, so when you go try them on for alterations, bring with you the shoes you would wear with that suit).

This chic Tod's shoes (photo below) look great with a Spring Suit made with half wool half cotton or half wool half silk fabrics. If you are wondering why wool in Spring, wool is the most versatile fabric, the best in comfort, wrinkle-resistant, and has greater longevity than most fabrics. Another characteristic that makes wool an ideal suit fabric is its ability to absorb moisture, thus, even when you are forced to sport a suit on the hottest of days, it will keep you cool.

Photo: Tod's brown leather shoes

Photo: Gray half Spring wool suit

For your trendy shoes I'm selecting again Tod's style"
These shoes here below are very Spring and very cool to wear with your jeans or light cotton pant!

Photo: calf leather urban sneakers by Tod's

The rule of the 4 shoes styles:
And now I want to share with you the "simple rule of the 4 shoes styles" :
Men need 4 pairs of shoes styles:  
classy shoes to go with a suittrendy shoes to go with jeanstraining shoes to go with your training pantssandals/flip flop to go with your shorts or light linen Summer pants (at the beach only, not in the city)...and there is no mix and matchSo, no no no and again NO training shoes with jeans and -even worse- if you are thinking to wear them with a suit...  in Milan you might get arrested... :) just kidding

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring Chic (for women)

What's chic this Spring? More than just colors (you will see lots of green, black and white stripes, fuchsia, red, navy blue), this Spring, the focus seems to be really on the fabrics. Finally, there is a lot more fresh cotton silk, organic cotton, cashmere silk, pure silk, viscose than in the last few years, all all those amazing fabrics are so gentle on the skin.

We definitely need something soft and kind to our skin, after it suffered from the cold weather, the strong Winter winds, the heating system at home and all the wool we have been wearing for months! 
Also, designers have been focusing on geometry this year! They have been playing with shapes and you will find so many asymmetric pieces and dresses with an uneven hem this Spring in the shops. 

It will be fun to have one or two original pieces in your wardrobe (something like this Lanvin black dress and this Dior red dress for example). 

Photo: Lanvin Black Dress

Photo: Dior Red Dress (by Patrick Demarchelier)

For this type of cut for a dress or a skirt, I would pick something monochrome (white, black, ivory, a delicate pastel or a bold red...) if you want to look fashionable and chic at the same time. I don’t see asymmetry and a flower dress going together: it would look quite “pacchiano”! Pacchiano is something that looks “too much”, something that feels like a “punch in the eye”! :)
But a little flower dress (with a classy cut) by itself is fine, although careful, not everyone looks good in it. 

I find elegant this Erdem here below:

Photo: Erdem Flower dress

And I find stunning this custom made dress by a small boutique called Le Spose di Coco', near Venice, Italy (Giorgia Granzo modeling):

I totally felt in love this year with the double belt, which Victoria Beckam designed (and didn't find for purchase yet). After looking everywhere for this belt, I finally found a similar one in Italy at the Max&Co shop in Padova, Italy. This belt truly transforms every dress and gives it a more sophisticated look.

For a trendy everyday look, I like this honeycomb jacket that you can find at Jigsaw.

And this Spring, I suggest to buy a pair of fuchsia jeans like those skinny straight jeans from J.Brand.
Lovely with a white top and a statement necklace like for example the Kate Spade multi pearl torsade necklace shown below:

Photo: J. Brand jeans
Photo: Kate Spade pearls necklace

And, speaking of pearls, this February I attended Couture Fashion Week in New York and what I particularly loved is the come back of white and pure pearls...possibly lots of them! Models were even wearing them backward, which looks particularly great with a classy little black dress.

CNFW: White pearls necklace, Marc Jacobs Dress and Fratelli Rossi shoes (with the original detail of the red heels).