Men’s Fall 2012 Style Guide
by Daniel Jameson, Fashion Editor
As the seasons change and our lives adjust from the warm flow of summer to the humdrum of the academic year, we must change many aspects of our daily lives in preparation for the coming months of blustery days and cold nights. It’s no surprise, therefore, that this is the busiest and biggest period of the year in the fashion world, as publications pump out their massive September issues, all with highlight features on fall’s major trends. So why should you miss out on all the fun?
The Fall 2012 Menswear collections were a stunning array of technical prowess and envelope-pushing ready-to-wear. The pieces, although certainly not peacock-level statement, were a bit more than your average daily ensemble. Several trends established themselves as industry favorites, and, when applied properly to the collegiate wardrobe, can punch up your sartorial game for the semester to come. Take full advantage of everything below and get inspired.
When looking for new outwear this season, consider outmatching your hoodie-swathed peers by looking into offerings of mix-media jackets. In fashion, “media” refer to the individual materials used in the creation of a piece. Therefore, a “mix-media” jacket would be one created from two or more distinct materials. This fall the biggest mix-media trend manifested itself in fabric (heavy wool or cotton) jackets with leather sleeves or detail. These jackets pounded the runways in all shapes and sizes, from baseball jackets to long car coats, and are the perfect way to elevate a simple jeans-and-t-shirt look to one with stylistic edge.
Designers love to play around with different patterns and forms, and this season, designers worldwide toyed with different shapes splashed across garments . Almost every geometric shape was represented from diamond-print shirts to circular-print blazers to rectangular-print sweaters, with each design exploding across the piece.
Now I know what you’re thinking: how the hell do I wear that? The best part about the offerings this fall is that the color palettes of the prints tend to stay within neutral families, with grays, whites, and blacks serving as the dominant tones in each piece. If a color was included, it was a deep or dusky, almost neutral jewel tone, usually in a fall blue or green.
To further ease your mind, these prints found themselves mostly resigned to tops, in varieties of sweaters, suit jackets, and coats, which, thankfully, makes styling them in your wardrobe a no-brainer. With so much going on in one garment, keep everything else in your outfit calm, and match colors within respective families. Or if you’d like to be brave, opt for pops of color to frame a selection of neutral geometrics. But if you’re only ready get your feet wet, invest in a couple crew neck sweaters with the prints to just wear over your tees when the weather turns chilly.
Perhaps the coolest trend of the season was the palette of rich, full colors that pervaded collection after collection. Leafy oranges, reds, and greens were seen paired or layered with deep oxblood, sapphire, and emerald jewel tones, all cemented in dark, earthy browns. These colors flooded everything on the runway, with no piece of apparel or accessory left untouched by their glow. Best yet, the myriad of shades complement one another beautifully, and are more relaxed than bold summer brights and neons, which allows for easy mixing within a single ensemble.
Cropped Leather Jackets
If you can splurge on one big item this fall, make it a cropped leather jacket. Simply put, any style you choose will be an investment for years to come, will considerably toughen-up your wardrobe, and will be your nonstop go-to piece for making a statement whenever running out the door for class or a great night on the Capitol Square. The coolest options this fall draw their inspiration from the world of motive machines, with aviation and motorcycle trends well represented by asymmetrical zippers and hardware galore. For extra style points, pair your jacket with a thick scarf that can be wrapped around your neck and tucked under the leather for added warmth.
In this case, “chunky” refers to a style of heavier knit in a wide variety of patterns that thicken the look of the piece. Typically these knits consist of cotton and/or wool, with cashmere added or comprising the entire piece in higher-end options. Chunky sweaters are great for adding a little substance, as the difference in texture will be a welcome contrast to the other smoother, tailored components of your look. There are plenty of options to choose from, from basic cross-knit crews to thick-stitch shawl-collars, each available in the color palette of leafy jewel tones, camels, nudes, marled neutrals, and deep blues.
Once again, these pieces tend to speak for themselves, so keep the rest of your outfit quiet. You can definitely mix your plaids with your marled grays, but in general the focus is on the sweater thanks to its physical presence.
Photo credits: style.com