Roy Skibbe, owner of Gipper Formal Wear in Crystal Lake, says the driving force behind the fashion styles for men today can be summed up in two words: pop culture.
“People visible in pop culture, basically whatever they wear, that’s where the fashion goes,” he says. Wondering what the current suit styles are? Just tune into what any late night talk show host is wearing on television.
“Especially Jay Leno,” Skibbe says of the former host. “[He was] really spot-on as far as fashion.” The trend in suits today beckons back to the 1950s.
“The suits are shorter, closer fitting and more tailored,” Skibbe says. “And the pants are narrower at the bottom, closer to the ankle. That’s what’s happening.”
This look especially appeals to the younger crowd.
“We just went through prom season, and a lot of the younger guys wanted the skinny pants look and a tighter coat,” Skibbe says.
Tips for a sharp-dressed man When it comes to men’s attire, Skibbe says a big no-no in his book is mixing semi-formal, informal and formal looks, especially for wedding parties.
“I have people who want to rent a tuxedo but not the jacket,” he says. “That isn’t really appropriate. I don’t care what level you slice it, it just shouldn’t be done.”
In his opinion, the jacket is always necessary.
“Absolutely,” he says. “If you wear just the vest, you look like the wait staff at the reception venue.”
He thinks the current economy could be the driving force behind that fashion faux pas.
“People are trying to make things happen on a really close budget, so they’re cutting corners here and there, and I think that has a lot to do with why they’re not wearing jackets at weddings,” he says.
Some other fashion faux pas? Durand Guion, men’s fashion director at Macy’s, names a few.
“Buttoning the last button on a suit jacket or sport coat,” he lists. “Leaving the stitches in on the brand label on the sleeve or the stitches on the back vents of a jacket. Wearing loud colored shirts with black suits.”
Guion offers a few tips regarding what should be on the list of things well-dressed men should know.
“Make sure everything fits properly, even tees,” he says.
When it comes to formal wear, Guion says to make sure to have at least three crisp white shirts in the closet — “they make any outfit look sharp” — and never match the pocket square, dress shirt and tie.
For shoes, men should avoid flip flops unless they’re going to the pool or beach.
Thinking about a watch?
“Invest in the best watch you can afford, even if it means saving up for a while,” Guion says.
What should men avoid when it comes to finding the right look?
For one, their girlfriend’s fashion advice.
“Seek advice from other women who are unbiased,” Guion says.
Also, resist the urge to buy from only one brand or designer.
“Mix it up,” Guion says.
And don’t ignore fashion magazines.
“They really are published to help guys look great,” Guion says.
But most importantly, “understand your style and buy only those things that make you look and feel good,” he said.
Tips for a well-groomed man When it comes to men’s hair, Kevin Slimko of Slim’s Barber Shop in Crystal Lake says a lot of men want to model their hair after the styles worn by characters in “Boardwalk Empire” and “The Great Gatsby.”
“The old style from the 1920s, 30s, 40s is real big right now,” Slimko says. “They want the older styles, but with a new twist on it. A lot of guys are asking for that. They want it shaved pretty close on the sides usually, and some get the shaved-in part, which makes it a little more defined and easier for the style to be styled.”
Slim’s Barber Shop also offers hot shaves, and Slimko says a few men take advantage of the service.
“If they’re getting a hot shave, it’s a really close shave,” he says.
Slimko says facial hair is still in style, as long as it’s kept neat.
“It’s a good time to be a man, I think, because almost anything is in style if you keep it up,” he says.