Fashion Looks That Are Hot S/S 2012 Menswear “Day In The Design Office” Style 101 Volume 4#


Here’s the scenario,( I feel like Sophia of the “Golden Girls”) Its Monday, 7:00 am. You a Design director of a fashionable and well known design house. Looking in your HUGE walk in closet, you are ‘be-fuddled” at what to wear. In I walk in,( no I did not break into your Soho flat, this is make-believe :). First, lets choose a palette, what do you want to say to day. Looking at your face, and the fact that you are a little hung-over from the evening before,entertaining out-of-town clients, I’d say earth tones, shades of brown, chocolate,and wheat would be cool. Earth toned colors are always used, when you want to be fashionable, but not draw too much attention to yourself. It’s a chilly morning,early march in NYC, so lets layer with some great,but comfortable looks. As with each client,I start out with “The Foundation” of the look, and thats a wonderful Burberry Brit Waxed Cotton / Linen-Blend Trench. By itself, this particular tench is “stuffy”, but can be articulated into any outfit, from business to casual, with ease. The trench is of a light wheat hue, and thats our palette for this look. Next, a blazer would be wonderful, you are a design director and will probably be meeting with other apparel business professionals today,so lets look the part. Ralph Lauren Black Label makes the MOST well tailored suits on the RTW market for men. This designer really knows his stuff,each suit is perfectly made, and tailored very well. A toasted wheat colored anthony wool cashmere-blend blazer  is cool. Fellas, keep in mind, there is a reason why blazers have been incorporated into almost every aspect of mens fashion. The reason is that blazers are “visually forgiving” of any silhouette. Blazers hide or camouflage problem areas in the mid-drif, disguise love-handles,and streamline the top half of the body. Affluent men have always known this, so they have always incorporated blazers into many parts of their wardrobes for the last 75 + years. Now for the trousers, the bottom half of your look. We want to still incorporate the same palette, A toasty, dark wheat color. I have chosen a dandy pair of Paul Smith Slim-Fit wool trousers. Keep in mind, if you do not have an athletic body, slim fit trousers are not for you. Try instead, a pair of loose fitting wool trousers, with a nice straight leg. Slim fits are meant for slim and toned thighs, and  toned buttocks, indirectly highlighting these areas. For a more sporty, weekend look, I would incorporate  a pair of MCQ Alexander McQueen Distressed Straight Leg Denim Jeans. These jeans are well-made, well-worn, soft to the touch, and very comfortable. For the top, I am going to utilize a Alexander McQueen Shawl-Collar wool knit sweater, in a darker charcoal hue, to give a nice visual contrast. Under the sweater knit, I have layered with a Rick Owens  long silk-blend T-Shirt in a slightly greenish charcoal hue.  Notice the long silhouette of the tee, which be tucked, or worn out, to visualize the layered effect, ( I recommend worn out ). Layering is a wonderful way to stay warm, but stylish. Many stylist recommend layering, as your final look will change throughout your day. When you take off your blazer at your office, the final look still has to work, as no piece should be dependent on the next. Even if you decide to leave the main top behind, in this case the shawl collar knit, the tee underneath still has to ‘stand on its on,working well with the trousers, shoes, and blazer. An excellent stylist is constantly dissecting and constructing the same look, to make sure it’s consistent, no matter what the changes are. The feet, as a stylist for men, are my showcase. Men’s fashions are somewhat restrained in many ways. Men can not conduct the extremes that are made in women’s looks,so subtly is the key. I chose a pair of minimalistic chocolate colored leather boots by Maison Martin Margiela. These boots are visually ‘smooth’, like delicious chocolate, with barely any seams. Coupled with a pair of slim-legged trousers, these boots will make a powerful statement. Notice I chose boots, and not a regular pair of shoes. Slim-legged trousers have tendency to ‘rise’, will walking and sitting, and regular shoes, in my opinion, are usually perfect for such a trouser. The boots selected have a high rise, that can be easily hidden by the trouser’s hem, wether sitting or walking. To make sure that this technical issue does not become a problem, I would make sure the trousers had an extra 1 to 2 inches extra, concerning inseam, to drape nicely over the boots. I would also add a second choice concerning footwear, a wonderful contemporary sneaker-style. The Balenciaga Arena-Creased-Leather sneaker is a fabulous choice, its sporty but very sexy, giving the final look a whole new aesthetic. The final touch is a controversial one, but one that is appropriate for the type of job the individual has. In the apparel industry, men wearing any type of product with label identification is considered ‘gauche’. In fact, when designers attend industry functions its often apart of the entertainment , to guess and openly discuss what the designer is wearing, product with readily identifiable labels or branding is frown upon. YSL of Paris, the RTW sportswear apparel product line from the legendary Yves Saint Laurent, has made a name for themselves in the recent 3 years. With everything from belt buckles to tees, emblazoned with the famed YSL logo, its now appropriate to wear outwardly branded product, (at least for this company it is). So I chose the quirky Yves Saint Laurent Leather YSL tote. Notice that the hue is black, combining well with the shoes. Accessories are spare, but make a masculine statement, Miansai makes a fabulous leather and metal hook bracelet. Worn with the trousers, or denim, I would recommend a Maison Marten Margiela  reversible suede /leather belt to visually combine well with the shoes and tote.  These looks  are sexy, business oriented, but very versatile going from office to cocktails, with style and subtle bravado.

Love these looks? Here is where to buy them Have Fun Shopping! :

A. Burberry Brit Waxed Cotton / Linen-Blend Trench – Buy It Here 

B. Alexander Shawl collar Sweater Knit – Buy It Here 

C. Ralph Lauren Black Label Cashmere Blend Sports Blazer – Buy It Here

D. MCQ Alexander McQueen Distressed straight leg denim – Buy It Here 

E. RICK OWENS long silk blend tee-shirt – Buy It Here 

F.  Paul Smith Slim Legged wool trousers – Buy It Here

G. Maison Martin Margiela Reversible Belt – Buy It Here 

H. Miansai Leather and Metal Bracelet – Buy It Here 

I.  YSL Leather Tote – Buy It Here 

J. Balenciaga creased leather sneakers – Buy It Here 

K. Maison Martin Margiela zipped leather boots – Buy It Here 

All items are courtesy of  Mr Porter. “Online Shopping For The Distinguished Man”


About Seaki Fashion Designer / Illustrator

Seaki Nelson is owner and founder of Seaki Creative Services, a freelance design company based out of NYC. With over 19 years in the international fashion community, Seaki is a fashion industry veteran, working with companies such as , such as Calvin Klien, Baby Phat,Phat Farm,Sean John,Marithe Francious Girbaud, Tommy Hilfiger to name a few. His enormous product design talent, and eye for detail and trend-spotting has garnered Seaki a dedicated following of some of the world's most powerful fashion industry professionals. Thank you for your support Thank You :)

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