The world of menswear seems not to work like a line reaching forward, but rather an ever repeating circle. This spring, the hottest designers are coming back with antiquated fashions in a big way; the good news is that you don’t have to shell out half your monthly wages to fit in with the most cutting edge fashions; in fact, many of these styles can be easily picked up on the cheap from your local vintage dealer, such as T+A Vinyl and Fashion.
The first trend that is taking menswear by storm is the bold, 1930’s-esque pin collar dress shirt. Arguably revitalized by the great Tom Ford, the pin collar shirt has once again taken its spot as a formal yet edgy wardrobe piece that sets you apart from the crowd. You can pull off this look in one of three ways; either you can shell out some mad cash and get a beautiful white Eton pin collar shirt like I did, you can hunt for the unicorn that is the vintage pin collar shirt, or you can buy a purpose-built collar pin like this one. If you’re the kind of gentleman who wears ties often, then the transition to this accessory will be non-existent; fasten the pin through your shirt collar and you are ready to roll.
My second trend of this season is the classic monk strap dress shoe. A distinctly British flair, the monk strap shoe (both single and double) has been in and out of popular menswear trends since its inception. Regarded as the most formal shoe option, the monk strap is now making a massive comeback in environments of all formality; from the boardroom to the barstool. Because of the how long the monk strap has been a popular option, a gentleman can frequently find high quality vintage monk strap shoes from vintage dealers and thrift shops alike. Something to look for in a vintage shoe is a construction method called a goodyear welt. Used by shoe manufacturers like Allen Edmonds, Church’s, and Loake, it allows you to have a cobbler entirely resole your shoe, making for an incredibly cheap way ($100ish) to score a like-new pair of classic vintage footwear. If your vintage hunting comes up short, you can also find this style of shoe brand new from several retailers, both here in Regina and around the world. With jeans and a t-shirt, a suit, a blazer, or pretty much anything else, the monk strap is an effortless and classic way to elevate your look this season, and for many more to come.
My third and final trend of this spring/summer ‘15 season is the waistcoat. Although this is a broad category, the waistcoat (or vest) is making a big comeback in several arenas. Casually, we are seeing the waistcoat make a big comeback; wearing a waistcoat from your three piece suit, one that you picked up from a vintage dealer with jeans takes your outfit up a level, without looking overdressed. John Varvatos and Oliver Spencer, among other cutting-edge modern designers, are aiming directly at the vintage waistcoat look, and both collections feature both double breasted (the style of vest featured in my outfit) and single breasted vests (one row of buttons). Key things to consider when buying a vest are colour versatility (grey is best), good fit, and of course how much you like the piece. A strong inherent advantage of the waistcoat is that it can be heavily tailored, which means that most skilled tailors can make a vest that doesn’t fit you well, hug you like a glove.
Though these trends are currently in vogue, their classic nature assures that they will have at least another hundred years or so in the spotlight. With so many gentlemen currently falling for trends that will soon fall into the category of “definitively out of date”, dressing with an appreciation for classic styles means you will stand out without ever breaking your cool. Happy hunting, and be sure to stay creative with utilizing any or all of these pieces. Jeans, suit, jacket and slack, you just “do you”. Stay classy gentlemen.
Scott is a professional haberdasher at Colin O’Brian Man’s Shoppe in Regina, SK.