Mens Fashion Report: School Days

 In Feature, Style

The Cliffs Notes on Spring 2011: Youll foot the bill for the same pants, pockets and poppy colors you bought in seventh grade, just without your moms credit card.


If your “shorts” collection currently consists strictly of boardshorts and boxer briefs, you best prepare your gams for the spotlight (spray tan?). Turning up on many a Spring 2011 runway, the latest takes on abbreviated pantaloons span a wide spectrum: Costume National’s cuffed khaki crops skew “uniform” (“Boy Scout” when paired with a matching button-up; “UPS man” when topped with a brown leather-look golf jacket) while several white incarnations, including Salvatore Ferragamo’s and Hermès’, call up Venetian gondoliers. In addition, bike shorts at Lanvin, borderline-culottes at Prada and fluorescent drawers at Jil Sander round out the mix of this season’s skimpy trousers—each of which looks complete out?tted with any slim-fit shirt and of-the-moment mandals. Hesitant to show so much skin? Luckily, Emporio Armani (of which styles abound at Saks Fifth Avenue), Miharayasuhiro and Moncler Gamme Bleu’s common idea warrants an underlayer option: leggings, though your white legs may prove less shocking.

When your wardrobe was defined by Adidas’ and Umbros’ latest, there was no shortage of color; now neutrals crowd your quiet closet, save a “crazy” pink tie. You’re in for a spring awakening. Seemingly bored by consecutive seasons lacking punch, designers brought it—and they were impactful, to say the least. Thanks to Prada’s electrified scrubs, Giorgio Armani’s nonconformist yellow leather, Calvin Klein’s Tiffany-blue suiting and DSquared2’s sherbet- or pastel-hued everything, the season’s most-touted palette is, if nothing else, loud. Whether you take your look up a mere notch by way of a shirt in D&G’s current choice gingham print (carried locally at Neiman Marcus) or jolt your systematic style by color blocking together several of Raf Simons’ solid separates, now is the time to doodle with color. Ease into the mode via classics, like nautical stripes by Trussardi 1911 or a perennially popular tennis sweater by Rene Lacoste—or revert to your childhood and jump in head first.

While you banished the idea of a man’s bag long ago, your accumulating gear is getting annoying. You may be in luck. Far from the baggy cargo styles worn by John Goodman in “The Big Lebowski,” pocketed pieces look new this season, and are musts in more ways than one. A slew of snug camp shirts was only the half of it, turned out by Gucci’s Frida Giannini as safari wear, Burberry’s Christopher Bailey as alterna-military dress (score this look at Saks Fifth Avenue) and Pringle of Scotland’s Clare Waight Keller as part of a khaki army uniform that would have worked perfectly with a garrison cap. Then there were the pants, few of which would not serve well as business casual attire. If intrigued by the Alexander McQueen lineup, you could opt for two-toned chinos this spring. By Alexis Mabille’s collection? Scavenge for fatigues with tapered ankles, and mechanic-coverall zips. Or you can simply hit the Dockers department for a version as legit as any; your iPad won’t fit, but you can definitely stash your bowling glove.


1401_526.jpgShorts: Perry Ellis available at Macy’s, 314.726.1810.


1403_526.jpgCargo Pockets: Corneliani available at Mister Guy, 314.991.5262.


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