Okay guys ... you can breathe. After several seasons of skintight sartorial trends, menswear designers are loosening up. While the slim and trim silhouette is still a major look, there's more room to grow into fuller trousers, slouchier jackets and oversized coats. So relax, here are a few ways you can ease into this holiday season in style ... and you may even get a few ideas to put on your gift list.
—First, pick a color. The traditional colors of the season — red and green — are the colors of the year. But these hues are anything but traditional. The crimson tide rolls in with a twist of reddish brown tinge that makes dark burgundy a hit, in everything from velvety blazers to rugged belts and shoes. Green is another menswear favorite this season, in shades ranging from rich forest greens to military olives to cool teals and mints. Think about picking out a new suit in mossy green instead of your go-to navy.
—Red and green can all be teamed with the neutral of the year — gray. Gray balances out the more dramatic jewel tones to give them masculine appeal. Brown, which is always a fall favorite, is another neutral that plays well with the reds and greens of the season, especially when done in accessories.
—Pick a layering piece. Lightweight layers — T-shirts, shirts, jackets and coats — can provide an interesting way to add new colors and textures into your wardrobe and also experiment with new ways to wear the clothes you already have in your closet.
—The layering piece to buy this fall is the lightweight knit roll-neck top or turtleneck. Wear them under hefty sweaters for an instant update. You can also team these knit tops with vests for another easy layering option. Wear them over corduroys for an update to more casual jeans.
—Pick a pattern: it's all about graphic design this season. One new shirt or sport coat in a colorful plaid can transform those everyday jeans, workaday suits or jackets. Brighten up your basics with a bold check in teal green or rich rusty red. Then add another pattern with your tie. This can be tricky, but stick to the same color palette for best results if you choose to layer patterns on top of patterns.
—Pick a new pair of pants. If the slimmer pants of the past few seasons haven't been your look, then you're in luck this fall. The slightly baggier trousers reminiscent of the '40s and '70s are making a comeback with lots of new alternatives. Don't be afraid to at least try on a pair of higher-waisted pants or trousers with flared legs. And if you really want to relax, go for a new pair of jogger pants or flannel pajama pants.
—Pick a new coat: now is the perfect time to add a new piece of outerwear. Don't settle for boring and basic. You probably already have plenty of those kinds of coats in your closet. Instead, check out the new slouchier silhouettes in soft shearlings, wool pea coats or leather moto jackets — or try a colorful puffer vest to wear over shirts and sweaters.
—Pick a great new accessory. Of course, the holidays are always a great time to scout out some extra additions to your wardrobe ... a velvet scarf in a jewel tone color, a matching bow tie and pocket square, a soft knit beanie with matching scarf, colorful novelty socks, a pair of Chelsea boots or maybe a packable down jacket. Buy them for yourself or put them on your gift list — your picks, your way!
To find out more about Sharon Mosley, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.