America is never more alive than in summertime. Backyard barbecues, bonfires, and lazy days by the water are filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of this country’s grand heritage. Few things say summer like seersucker, and even less speak of American heritage like red, white, and blue. This pair of shorts from New York based Ovadia & Sons says both. The paint splatters and cut off legs perfectly offset the classic preppiness of the seersucker. These shorts, first spotted on Selectism, serve as an iconic representation of everything that makes this nation great.
…O’er the land of the free and the home of the well dressed.
$275 at Boylston Trading Co.
It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Any of these PF Flyers would do the trick. And while I’m a fervent worshiper at the church of Chuck Taylor, I find myself coveting these pieces of classic Americana.
Of course I had to include the iconic black on black. Benny would’ve wanted me to.
What say you, minions, Chucks or Flyers?
The evolution of fashion is a given. Lapels get slimmer then wider again while pants are skin tight one season and almost JNCO-esque the next. But that constant tide of change is what drives re-invention and gives the industry an excitement like no other.
Headed by Creative Director Alber Elbaz, Lanvin has become one of my favorite fashion houses. It’s quintessentially French collections combine the brand’s inherent romanticism and whimsy with the edginess that permeates the streets of Paris. The men’s label, designed by Lucas Ossendrijver, showed it’s first collection for the Spring 2007 season.
I thought it might be interesting to compare Lanvin’s first spring line with its most recent, pulling my favorite looks from each and seeing how the brand has changed (and stayed the same). Think of it as a five year report card. Spoiler: it’s acing everything.
Now (left): Blues prevail while black lace up boots give a regimented feel. Bags, from duffels to portfolios, take center stage. Then (right): Trying to align itself with the women’s brand, the line is soft and relaxed. Even with almost every model wearing a tie, the collection feels casual.
Now: One of the edgiest looks of the season, the asymmetrical jacket is a favorite of mine. Then: Somehow this jumpsuit looks completely work appropriate.
Now: This jacket is killer, although I’d probably opt for pants myself. Then: The belt is the perfect update to the military jacket.
Now: The boots add a clever Parisian twist. Then: A silvery palette that worked then, still works now.
Now & Then: Both collections highlight pieces in the forget-me-not blue synonymous with Lanvin.
Now & Then: Prep isn’t the first word I’d use to describe most French runway looks, but here it’s the most appropriate.
Now: Both the collar and lapels are wide. Then: Ossendrijver opts for neither.
Now: Like so many other designers this spring season, Lanvin showed some incredible bags. Then: The line seems a bit more reserved, almost timid.
Now & Then: Lanvin has become much more playful in the last five years, stepping out and taking risks with silhouettes and materials. Where the first spring collection was well conceived and well made, it’s missing an element of surprise. It will come as no surprise, however, if the brand continues to deliver chic and progressive collections for another five years.
Fact: sometimes pockets can’t contain everything a guy needs to haul. These bags from Zara can handle your iPad, paperwork, or whatever else you need to lug around in a stylish manner. They’re the perfect gentlemanly accessory.
On this official first day of spring, treat yourself to an amazing tee. Solids, stripes, short sleeves and long, J.Crew has you covered.
In honor of Toronto Fashion Week wrapping up last Friday and at the behest of a loyal Canadian follower, I decided to turn my sights north and review the Spring 2012 collection from Joe Fresh. With the brand opening its US flagship store on Fifth Avenue this month, the Canadian retailer is taking America by storm. Joe’s line, designed by Joe Mimran, offers incredibly chic and trendy clothing at affordable prices. Think H&M but better. The Spring 2012 collection is no exception.
This season’s line is almost a perfect checklist of every major trend. It’s got bright colors, bold prints, and white solids as far as the eye can see. I’m loving the blazers paired with shorts, a combination we saw time and time again on spring runways. Orange, tangerine tango to be exact, took center stage, appearing prominently in jackets and pants and accenting the soles of classic oxfords.
As Joe Fresh plans widespread expansion into the American market, expect to hear much more about the Canadian retailer.
This jacket is the color for spring and the perfect open to the collection.
The trench is great. The pants are amazing.
The toggle jacket is a flawless convergence of two trends: nautical and color.
Neutrals, clean and simple, can be incredibly chic, too.
These white pants are loose fitting and accented by a belt that perfectly pops.
There’s no endorsement I can offer for nautical that this look can’t argue better.
Green was another big color story of the season.
This yellow is anything but mellow.
This is by far my favorite printed blazer from the collection. I hope it comes with the matching loafers.
If you learn nothing else from Joe Fresh, at least swap out your suit pants for a great pair of shorts.
A ticket to the next Joe Fresh runway show (or any of Toronto Fashion Week) would be amazing. Hint.
The Spring 2012 collection from Antonio Azzuolo delivers classic pieces impeccably tailored for the sun loving gentleman. Long shorts, hemmed and not, anchor trim blazers and bright anoraks. Double breasted jackets are slim, while pants are light and loose.
Azzuolo sells us summer in a clean and sophisticated package. Tan sold separately.
Nothing says summer like white pants, especially in a loose fit with a nice drape.
The short vest under the longer jacket is the perfect play on proportions. The unfinished hem of the shorts is a clever foil to this classic look. Love the tortoise shell sunglasses? Here’s a similar pair from Warby Parker.
In case you’ve been someplace without printed media, television, or the Internet, double breasted jackets are back. The new DB has been slimmed and trimmed to give every man a great shape. H&M welcomes you to the band wagon for just $60.
For the timid gents among us, a great way to diffuse a bold color is pairing it with black.
The nautical stripe is the summer pattern. The Saint James tee from J.Crew exemplifies this trend.
Anoraks are the jackets of the season. They’re lightweight, easy to throw on, and handy for those pesky pop up showers.
A hooded nylon zip up, like one from Old Navy, is a great alternative to an anorak. Just think color. Bright color.
While I don’t wear shorts myself, I can appreciate the perfect pair. Check out this offering from Express.
“Extra, extra! Twenty years after Newsies’ release, Azzuolo offers a fashionable update!”
Wear this to those half dozen summer weddings you’re getting dragged to this year. I guarantee you wont’t regret it.
When I first saw the Fall 2011 collection from General Idea last February, I was admittedly not familiar with the brand. The Korean menswear label immediately grabbed me with its ingenius mix of high fashion and practicality. The line was a refreshing blend of traditional plaids and khakis with clever outerwear and re-interpreted camo prints. And while the collection was clearly design oriented, everything seemed surprisingly wearable.
Fast forward to the Spring 2012 show and the same can still be said. Bright colors are paired with bold stripes and muted neutrals. The use of color is often brazen but never overwhelming. The jackets are ridiculous, in a good way, eliciting thoughts of lounging on a sail boat off some beautiful coastline. But make no mistake, the ship has definitely not sailed on General Idea.
This color blocked jacket sets the tone for the entire collection.
I love the stripes and the mix of blues is simple but really smart.
I fully endorse a good tie tuck, especially when said tie is bright orange.
While the jacket and pink collar are exceptional, the neon belt is a perfect pop of color.
This is not your typical nautical. It’s better. I can’t get over those jeans and belt (as I Google “neon cord”).
Before I saw this collection, I wasn’t an orange person. Mea culpa.
These colors pair perfectly together; one doesn’t overpower the other.
Keep an eye on General Idea as it continues to do everything right.
When it was confirmed last year that the D&G line would be closed down and merged into its parent Dolce & Gabbana, I was devastated. D&G had been one of the primary brands attracting me to menswear. With its vibrant, youthful feel and brazen attitude, the line was a distinct departure from the less playful, often slightly austere collections from Dolce & Gabbana. And while Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce assured the fashion world that the decision was to add “even more strength and energy to [their] collections,” I saw no hint of D&G anywhere in the Fall 2012 show this past January, the first collection since the brand’s dissolution. I found myself missing the cheekiness of D&G that had defined the brand for years.
To pay homage to D&G’s Spring 2012 collection, its finale, I’ve assembled my favorite looks from the runway. The show was rich with vibrant Moroccan prints and light, heavily distressed denim. It is a quintessential summer collection and a fitting farewell to an incredibly influential brand.
I couldn’t get over the the denim waistbands mixed with the silk prints. It’s absolute genius.
Those denim waistbands are insanely clever, a trait inherent in all of D&G’s collections.
Guys, if you don’t have a faded denim shirt, get one immediately. For the next 6 months, it will never look wrong.
And while you’re at it, grab a pair of loose fitting ripped denim in a medium blue. It’s hot outside, so it’s okay to betray your skinny jeans for awhile.
When denim shorts initially resurfaced on runways several seasons back, they were short, tight, and generally terrible. A loose fitting pair is a much better option and works on almost every guy.
Denim on denim? Cool on cool.
Gentleman, cargo shorts can be stylish! An added plus is that they can be purchased everywhere and on any budget.
Find, steal, or purchase a denim jacket this year. Medium is good. Lighter is better.
So long, D&G. I’ll catch you on the fashion flip side.
Menswear has evolved in recent years. Correction: talking about menswear has evolved. Once discussed only by venerable fashion critics and snarky GQ writers, the topic of men’s fashion is now covered by bloggers all over the world. The not so common common man has taken to his keyboard to give his two cents on everything from lapels to Lanvin. Regular Joes aren’t just matching their belts to their shoes, they’re sporting camo watch straps and blue suede boots. And designers are taking notice, reserving front row seats for bloggers to live tweet at fashion shows from New York to Paris. For the first time, maybe ever, fashion is becoming a trickle up industry.
The Modern Minion is me joining the menswear conversation. And in discussing men’s style, it’s best to start with my own.
As spring draws near, a great lightweight jacket is a must. I especially love all the vintage inspired nylon windbreakers this season. They’re clean and simple and go with everything, here paired with H&M suit pants and Chuck Taylors.
This jacket was an incredible find at Target, although not as incredible as the $3.88 sunglasses, also from Target. I’m not a hat person, but this one is ideal for days when I just don’t feel like messing with my hair, which is more often than not. Thank you, Mr. Mraz.
This trench was my best purchase last year. I found it on clearance at Macy’s for less than $40 dollars but it makes me look like a million bucks on rainy days. A man should count himself lucky should he find the perfect pair of jeans. Mine? Levi’s 510′s.
Ever since I saw a video from Listener, I’ve wanted to play around with safety flares. This shoot gave me the opportunity to do just that.
Style isn’t about being on trend or ripping every look off the runway, it’s about dressing your best every day. And if some days that entails playing with fire and looking cool doing it, so be it.
Welcome to The Modern Minion.
A very special thanks to Erica Lee from Erica Lee Style for her amazing photography and logo.
Photography by Erica Lee Photo