Spring Fashion Goes to the Boys 

I saw you eyeing that seersucker blazer last week, so don’t deny it. I also saw you linger an extra moment over a western-style snap-down with floral cuffs. You’ve started looking and it’s ok. Say it with me: “It’s ok to take an interest in fashion.”

Consider this a message in a bottle to every guy who finds himself, at the turn of every season, passing some sharply dressed mannequin thinking, “I wonder if I could pull that off?” Yes, you can, and here’s some fire under your butt.

I’ve broken the spring trends for men down to a few types; well, more specifically, to the places where these types go on vacation. Let’s be frank, everyone in these fashion shows looks like they’re on vacation somewhere. What else are those travel trunks, dark sunglasses and cable sweaters for?

The Cape Cod and Nantucket Islander:
You wake up in the morning and throw on some distressed Polo button-down, pale slacks, and aviators. When it’s warm outside, you can wear those really worn shorts that almost look like cut-offs and a shirt with the collar most decidedly flipped up. Basically, you always look like you’ve just come back from sailing or are about to go sailing. Reefs are a must, as is a navy blazer, preferably with some gold buttons and, if you’re feeling naughty, a tongue-in-cheek lining with skulls or graffiti. Crests — whether old-school or new-punk — are welcome. Browse Atrium, J. Crew and Ralph Lauren for ideas.

The Ibiza/St. Tropez Boy:
You’re Europe’s Hamptons kid: richer, tanner and hanging with women with better butts. Think dark blazers with striped shirts and linen pants or a James Bond-in-Goldfinger skinny navy suit. If you’re feeling sporty, try a “futbol” or rugby ensemble: bright colors and logos with faded skinny jeans. Marc Jacobs offered some funky riffs on this look with a collection composed of a pale palette of blues and whites (but steer clear of his dopey caps). Michael Kors really cemented this look with his blue button-downs, white pants and dark shades, but head for Bottega Veneta if you’re feeling really Euro-chic.

The New Mexico Cowboy:

You embrace a metro-Western style, like said cowboy snap-down shirt with the floral cuffs. Macho, with a touch of suave. Your jeans are skinny or thoroughly ripped, your boots are distressed and you probably drove a gas-guzzling vintage truck to meet your friends for a weekend getaway at your ranch. Try window-shopping at DSquared2 or What Goes Around Comes Around.

Now, do as the ladies do: Don’t buy a “look” ever.  At least, not if you have any identity of your own. These are archetypes to play with and steal from: Nab a crisp white blazer from St. Tropez and some ripped jeans from New Mexico, or keep all your own stuff, but embrace the floral cuffs you were gazing so furtively at last week. Come on, be brave.


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