Spring is within the air, and so are the most recent ad campaigns on style. In reality, you’d just have to live on a desert isle not to note. What’s catching my eye lately are those geared toward men — from Ralph Lauren’s bold suits and to-the-manor-born sportswear to Gillette’s Master of Style series featuring Andre 3000, Adrien Brody and Gael Garcia Bernal. Given the look and the content of such, I’d say it is the season to style-to-impress, and everything counts. It doesn’t matter what your style sensibility, this season calls for an upgrade however subtle your approach. In fashion, color is coming and it’s soft and luxe in its appeal. Whether you decide to liven up your look with a softly structured sportsjacket or spring for a number of new finds in the shirt and tie department, now’s the time to think about how you will embrace the dusty pales and stone-washed hues hitting the stores. Speaking of shirtings, the classic camp shirt has been modernized, it’s more street savvy than safari and not on pocket-overload. I say “run do not walk” to the shops for this one, especially Salvatore Ferragamo or Pringle of Scotland and if you want yours slightly more casual, by all means see Gucci. Suits still mean business, but I urge you to kick things up a notch and pick a muted plaid, an edgy windowpane or an unexpected hue to add to your work wardrobe.
Within the “accent on style” area, otherwise generally known as accessories, it is about making an announcement and no gesture is too small to be overlooked — from belts and timepieces to hose and footwear — the latter of which is having a real style moment, it’s game-on time! On the sporty front, that is the season of the two-toned shoe-stopper, otherwise known as the “Buck” (loved them at Prada in woven leather!); an espadrille or a weighty sandal with an espadrille sole and that old standby “the boat shoe” which has been reincarnated for all times at leisure, in town in fact! But not to fret, wingtips still abound, ditto for spectators and loafers, however they too have been given an upgrade and are arriving in-store in non-traditional hues and edgy finishes.
All of this brings to mind the topic of grooming and putting your best face forward. Men’s skincare, too, is in a brand new league, with an array of professional care strategies and skin perfecting treatments available at top derms and aestheticians directed to common concerns. In-store, performance driven products that keep you within the clear can be found price points to suit every budget. At the very least, your current regimen should include the next treats: a targeted cleanser, an exfoliant, moisturizer with SPF, eye cream or gel and lip balm, again with an SPF. Monthly facials, regular manicures and pedicures all combined with tech-savvy procedures and treatment benefits will go a great distance in terms of polishing your look.
At the end of the day, the measure of a man shouldn’t be based on his outward style. And much be it from me to say that one’s outward appearance is the thing that speaks volumes long before he has an actual “say so,” but I will say this: it is unquestionably a part of the conversation.