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ALPHA MALE: Top 5 Trends for Fall

Friday, September 07, 2012


Even when bulking up, the goal is to keep your overall layered look fitting. Photo: Todd Snyder.

With each passing season, a new trend always seems to rear its stylish head. For Fall/Winter 2012, we know that trends are a pretty cyclical phenomena, but we are seeing a growing trend to rely on staples—both in style and function—for the upcoming season. Almost forgotten are the yearnings for heritage wares other than a nod here and there to archival brands. Add to that a color palette that relies on the

monotone palate of cooler blues, greys and beige, infused with a rich tone of gold or burgundy, and this Fall is gearing up to be a blend of form and function through the lens of a modernist, painted by a traditionalist. Confused? Then let's make it easy and check out our Top 5 Trends for Fall below. 

Trend 1: Go grey.

Every guy could start with a base layer comprised completely of grey tones and no one would ever find fault. Using grey is like painting a blank canvas white. It is basic, functional, and will not get in the way of your creative inspiration. 

Trick 1: Layers. Utilize different fabrics, textures and shades to create a depth of field for which people have to do a double-take. 

Trend 2: Ground your look, literally.

Find a good pair of shoes. Ditch the sneakers, canvas kicks and moccasins of the summer for something more substantial. A pair of Chukas, a Brogued boot or even a nice wingtip with a heavier sole can infuse a little character into your entire ensemble. 

Trick 2:  Mixing and matching laces for every pair you own is also an easy and effective way to differentiate yourself from the pack. Think brighter colors during the dull winter grey months. 

Trend 3: Accessories are still your statement.

Bright socks, textured ties and even multi-colored backpacks or shoulder bags bring an air of individuality to your look. Accessories allow you to say something without seeming obnoxious or too loud. If you are going to make a statement, make it with class and thoughtfulness, and accessories are the way to do it. 

Trick 3: A great pair of patterned and colorful socks peeking out from under an understated trouser is a perfect way to show off your personality without asking for attention. 

Trend 4: Do not bulk up, layer up.

Every guy can throw on a winter parka or puffer coat. The guy who stands out is one who layers without overstuffing his look. This takes a little trial and error to find garments and styles that work for you, but if you do it well, there is nothing that ends up looking more natural and effortless than several layers that conform to your body and keep you warm at the same time. Form + function = the ultimate style. 

Trick 4: Size down. Keep trying on items in layers—even outerwear—until the fit is snug yet comfortable. Look in the mirror and relish how good you look in that Medium when you always thought you were a Large. 

Trend 5: Ladies in Menswear.

Okay, Okay, we threw in a softball. Ladies, you almost ALWAYS look better in our gear than we do. And here is a little secret. We approve wholeheartedly! So steal our favorite shirt, or tie, or hell, go shopping in the Men's Department. Chances are, you will impress us with your style and creativity and maybe even give us an idea or two to help us step up our game. 

Regardless of which trends you adhere to this Fall, keep in mind one thing. Make your look your own. Trends come and go, but personal style is not learned from a list. It is discovered by trial and error. Don't be afraid to fail and discover looks that work best for you.

Robert Babigian is owner of WHARF Clothing & Wares, a menswear retail boutique located at 212 Westminster Street in Providence, RI. A native Rhode Islander, Rob started WHARF after 2 decades in marketing and sales to fulfill his desire to combine his loves of consumer branding, small business and style that would fulfill a niche for desirable men's clothing in the Providence market. The apparel and accessories found at WHARF reflect Rob's own personal aesthetic—a combination of traditional New England staples mixed with modern fits, construction and fabrics blended together with a touch of European style. For more tips or to shop the store, stop in and see Rob and his staff or reach them online at shopwharf.com.


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