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ALPHA MALE: Transitioning Your Seasonal Wardrobe

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Making the transition to Early Fall brings certain pieces, like a denim jacket, into your current look. Photo: WHARF Clothing.

Last week I discussed the challenge for a guy to move beyond the "male uniform" and truly make it his own, infused with his own personality. That really is the crux of menswear. There are trends and there are traditions. The trick is to blend them to your own personal style. Here in New England like other parts of the world, seasonality plays a big role as well. This makes for a greater challenge in creating your style, but also one that's way more fun!

I am always on the hunt for new brands and products that "get it right." Twice per year, I also take a weeklong trip to New York City for menswear trade shows. I am currently on one of these semi-annual pilgrimages to buy for WHARF's upcoming Spring 2013 season. Retailers buy 2 seasons ahead to allow for scheduling of sourcing and samples, production, and marketing amongst other industry demands. Attending "Market" reminds me every time how challenging it is for you to really make the right choices for your wardrobe.

Moving between seasons

My job is to edit down brands' collections into understandable and usable items for you. It is a fun yet exhausting experience, not unlike what most guys feel about going shopping for themselves! Currently I am buying for Spring '13. Spring tends to be a "lighter" season for menswear in all facets—colors, fabrics, layers and just overall themes or stories of a collection typically exude a brighter attitude. Contrast that with Fall trends—earthy tones, heavier fabrics, and layers that are more mute or tonal. A very diverse picture begins to form in your closet from this dichotomy. Some pieces transition well from season to season while others should be put away until next year.

Best items for transition

We are currently moving from Spring/Summer to early Fall in the store and now is the time to begin thinking about transitional pieces. A cotton twill blazer can be a slightly heavier addition to your daily wear versus the Summer linen or cotton one you have been sporting. Cotton and merino wool blend sweaters and denim should begin to see more wear once again in your rotation instead of the polo or madras shirt and chino trousers or shorts. During Market, I am looking for pieces that may be seasonal, but I could see being thrown into your mix at other points, even for one wear here and there in its "off-season".

As guys, we need to extend the utility of our wardrobes as best as we can because we shop less frequently and, as previously discussed, we base it on our uniform. But do not be afraid of those seasonal pieces because they help make your look appropriate as well as help show off your own personal style. Eventually you will find a mix of your "go-to" pieces and get excited like I do to pick out something new and noteworthy for your next season's wardrobe.

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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