Trends for Spring and Summer

Tom-Ford-Spring-2014

If you know the strange, wonderful world of fashion, you know that trends are an extremely odd animal.  They’re partly organic, arising on their own as people start dressing differently over time.  But they’re also deliberate, with designers chosing a look to start pushing, hoping to angle the public zeitgeist in that direction.  And, even more strangely, that pushing starts a year in advance.  The trends for spring and summer 2017, for instance, will be displayed and start being pushed by designers in the spring and summer of 2016!

So, now that spring and summer of 2014 is actually upon us, how did the fashion world do?  How close to reality were the fashionistas when they started their push last summer?  Let’s jump in the Wayback Machine, and take a look at GQ‘s reporting on just that last year.  You be the judge!

Head-to-Toe White

If you’re prone to spilling, you’ve got until about May to brush up on your hand-eye coordination: head-to-toe white was the most noticeable trend to come off the catwalks this season. Trust us, a bright white suit is going to be essential to your summer wardrobe this time next year – we suggest you add in an accent color for interest, as seen at Jil Sander.

Block Stripes Everywhere

Last season it was big squares, this season it’s big stripes. While the horizontal patterns at Moschino and Miharayasuhiro were certainly the boldest way to wear this trend, it was the block color stripes on suiting really caught our attention (exhibits A and B: the surprisingly wearable tailoring at Wooyoungmi and Valentino).

Long, Loose Summer Coats

The designers in Milan realize that some countries – like our own – are not blessed with a dry, Mediterranean climate all season long; sometimes a coat is essential even on the hottest days. This season thin belted trench coats are the solution. Look for one that hits between the ankle and the thigh and opt into an ultra-light fabric as well as a bright color if you’re feeling as brave as our brothers on the continent.

Anything in Pink

Rose gold emerged as one of the strongest men’s watch trends at Baselworld, so it perhaps comes as no surprise that pink was also all-over the catwalks. However, what was surprising was the sheer variety of colors for the new season. Whether you’re more partial to the pastels at Richard James or the highlighter pink at Paul Smith, prep your wardrobe with at least one shade for spring.

See the rest of the trends, and a million pictures of them, RIGHT HERE on GQ.  And let us know what you think of the trend predictions, accurate or not?

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Pink is Power

pink1Help us and our 5th Avenue partners celebrate Pink is Power, and raise awareness of breast cancer!  On Thursday, all pink items at Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers, including pink ties, socks, cufflinks, shirts, sport coats, pants, and suit items, will be on sale for 15% off, and 10% of every sale of these items will go to breast cancer-related charities.

So be sure to drop by and take advantage of this offer, and enjoy this wonderful night out in Downtown Naples!

 

Women’s Menswear

Ties, and menswear in general, have recently been showing a up a lot on the fashion show circuit on female models, much to the delight of fashion bloggers everywhere.  To be sure, this isn’t a new thing.  Women wearing modern men’s suits and clothes was seen as early as the late Victorian era, frequently as a playful, fetching, even libidinous and flirtatious way of advertising a product or service of some sort.

Or, you know, taking part in one of the largest conflicts in human history.

Or, you know, advertising taking part in one of the largest conflicts in human history.

As the 20th century wore on, though, wearing men’s clothes became more a matter of practicality, or a statement of intent: women as equal to men.

YOU tell Ms. Earhart she has to spend 20 hours crammed into a tiny plane while wearing a frilly dress.  We're sure that will go over well.

YOU tell Ms. Earhart she has to spend 20 hours crammed into a tiny plane while wearing a frilly dress. We’re sure that will go over well.

The androgynous styles of the 1920s, in particular, had done a great deal to get women out of overly elaborate, excessively, artificially “feminine” dresses.  And then World War II featured more women in military roles than ever before, further cementing the notion that women in traditionally “masculine” clothing was not odd, nor was it necessarily “masculine.”

Meet Cpl. Barbara Lauwers, an OSS agent for two years during World War II, who even managed to impress General William "Wild Bill" Donovan with her marksmanship, to say nothing of her hand-crafted psyops campaigns.

Meet Cpl. Barbara Lauwers, an OSS agent for two years during World War II, who even managed to impress General William “Wild Bill” Donovan himself with her marksmanship, to say nothing of her hand-crafted psyops campaigns.

After the war, though, notions of “traditional” femininity came roaring back with a vengeance, mostly banishing women in menswear to the fringes once again.  What changed since then?  Well, the ’60s happened, for one, and then there was a certain character who epitomized quirky cuteness and unique fashion sense while appearing in one of the most well-regarded films of the ’70s…

This one.

This one.

Yep, Diane Keaton’s turn as the eponymous Annie Hall did more to cement what was traditionally “menswear” as viable women’s fashion than arguably anything else in recent history.  Echoes of her unusual sense of style were still showing up as late as the 2000s on characters like Sarah Jessica Parker’s “so-feminine-she-bleeds-pink” Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex and the City.”

Annie Hall wouldn't have been caught dead in those shoes, though...

Annie Hall wouldn’t have been caught dead in those shoes, though…

For whatever reason, though the trend has been looming for decades, and has been showing up sporadically in films and music throughout that time, women in menswear didn’t really become a “thing” until about two years ago.  Since then, it’s exploded all over the fashion world, and is slowly appearing more and more on the streets of major cities, a sure sign that this is an actual trend in the making, and not just another “thing fashion designers like for a while.”

Don’t believe us?  Check out the following gallery and judge for yourself.  We are big fans of the look, and we really hope it’s here to stay!

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Color Commentary on the Color Commentators

In case it isn’t obvious from our blog and our Facebook page, we’re kind of big on football here at Joseph’s.  And this is the time of year when we’re most excited about it: just as the preseason starts!  Preseason means football on television again for the first time in months!  It also means that in just a few weeks, those wonderful, cozy Sundays spent in front of the TV with friends and family watching America’s favorite game will be here again.  What does any of this have to do with us, custom suit designers?  Well, for one thing, a lot of our customers are NFL players and people associated with the League.  Which is a big reason football season is so exciting for us, especially based, as we are, in the hometown of the defending Super Bowl Champions!  But another fantastic pastime is returning along with the football season: the pre-game shows and their commentators, who are always, ALWAYS decked out in top-of-the-line suits and accessories.

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: just because a suit cost a lot or was made by a great company doesn’t automatically mean it looks good or that you’re wearing it right!  With that in mind, let’s take a look at the “big three” NFL pre-game broadcasts and their lineup of sartorially-minded sportscasters.
CBS – The NFL Today

CBS’ broadcast has the feel of being the most old-fashioned of the three.  While FOX, being FOX, is somewhat flashier, and NBC is full-on epic, complete with a John Williams-penned opening theme, CBS still feels like the broadcasts from the halcyon days of the Steelers and 49ers in the ’70s and ’80s (somewhere out there, a Baby Boomer Packers fan is rolling their eyes).  And their lineup of hosts is no exception.  Featuring the always stalwart Boomer Esiason, Dan Marino and James Brown, the group is perked up by “The Chin” himself, Bill Cowher, and the always energetic and hilarious Shannon Sharpe.  This is reflected in the way they dress:

Left to right: Sharpe, Marino, Brown, Cowher, Esiason.

Nice, all of them, but a little “run-of-the-mill broadcaster” in some cases.  Esiason and Brown could pass for Senators.  Marino spices it up a little with unusual ties.  This works sometimes, like in this picture, where the seemingly mismatched colors work with the pale blue undershirt.  Other times, not so much.

But check out Coach Cowher, who seems to have embraced the power of the pinstripe wholeheartedly. For a guy best known for this…

AAAAHHHH!!

He certainly cleans up well:

It’s very easy to overuse pinstripes and end up looking like a ’20s gangster. Cowher never does this, and always wears pale, subtle pinstripes, that accentuate his fit form, and make him look quite dashing.

But the winner on CBS?

He wears pink ties and pocket squares without a care in the world.

Shannon Sharpe take elements that would look garish and over-the-top on many people, and makes them WORK.  Mostly because he carries himself with a comfortable, happy, easy confidence.  If he felt awkward, he’d look awkward.  As is, he just looks classically flashy and suave.  And pocket squares can make an outfit all on their own, but only if they’re used right.  Sharpe uses them right, picking the right suits to add them to, and the right colors of squares to add.  Just look at this guy!

He KNOWS he looks good.

We cannot stress this enough, all the money and tailoring in the world doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the confidence and swagger to make it a part of you, like a second skin.  Sharpe does this in spades.

FOX – The NFL on Fox

FOX, flashy as it is with its orchestral hard rock theme and big, yellow graphics, would seem to be the perfect place for a bevy of Shannon Sharpes.  Instead, they have a group of more old-school names…

Left to right: Menefee, Bradshaw, Long, Strahan, Glazer, Johnson.

But they dress a lot flashier than their opposite numbers at CBS.  Colorful ties abound, as does a spectrum of suit colors, through blacks, blues, greys and even a touch of violet.  Some with pinstripes, some without, some with pocket squares, some without…  The experimentation looks great on the very, very tall Howie Long, who towers over everyone but Michael Strahan.  A three-piece black suit with a pale violet pocket square and tie?  Up-scale flashiness.  Nice.  But the crew cut isn’t doing him any favors.  Strahan has the same kind of comfortableness with color and style experimenting.  They both work, really, so it’s a tie here.

All bow before The Gap.

Gotta love the hatched lines in the fabric.

NBC – Football Night in America

Ah, NBC.  Poor NBC.  It’s getting torn a new one for its Olympic coverage right now, and the golden days of Must See TV are long gone.  But say what you will about the occasionally awkward Faith Hill intro sequence, NBC Sunday Night Football is probably the slickest sports production on TV right now, and the pre-game show is no exception.  Headlined by Bob Costas, the analyst team is an unusual mix of sportscasters, former players and coaches of extremely varied ages and styles.

C’mon, he’s been the voice of the Olympics for 20 years, Costas deserves his own picture!

Left to Right: Patrick, Dungy, Harrison.

Really, all of them do it well.  Costas, despite his small frame, always wears great color combos and well-tailored suits for his build.  Rodney Harrison has a lot of fun with his suits, bounding between traditional and blindingly unusual from week-to-week, and Tony Dungy and Dan Patrick are always sartorially solid, dressed perfectly every week.  So who wins this round?  The guy who isn’t there yet.

This guy.

Hines Ward will be joining Football Night in America this season, and a quick look at some of the more fantastic suits he’s worn over the years tells us he’ll be bringing a Sharpe-like fun and confident tone to the show.

Just leave the dance moves at home, Hines.