If you’ve been keeping up-to-date with this blog, you’ll know that recently I’ve been writing primarily for fashion newbies looking to get started in the world of menswear -- topics like “Five Menswear Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs” and “How To Develop Good Taste for Absolute Newbies”.
I think articles like these are definitely good resources, but while brainstorming topics for today’s article, I had a realization: what about the menswear aficionados who already know not to wear cargo shorts, and are far more likely to find something they love at Blaine’s?
So, menswear experts of the Greater Cincinnati region, this one is for you: no matter how complete your wardrobe or how dashing your daily wear, it’s time to take a step outside of your comfort zone and into some experimental, cutting edge menswear aesthetics that are perfect to try out this summer.
One of my favorite things about fashion is how much the clothes you wear can change the way you feel, and the way you experience your daily life: knowing that I look great is enough to boost my mood on almost any day of the week. That’s why I think it’s so important (and even fun) to take the opportunity to experiment, even in small ways. There’s the chance you’ll discover something that’s a perfect fit for your style, and even if you don’t, you’re sure to refine and adjust what already works about your wardrobe by trying new things.
There are dozens of discrete aesthetics I could have selected for this list, but for today, I chose four unique looks that can augment many typical styles and are sure to breathe some fresh air into your wardrobe.
Mori-inspired looks have been trending hard this summer, and for good reason: if you’re not already familiar, Mori looks emphasize soft, breathable textures, natural tones, and loose, layered silhouettes, which make them absolutely perfect for sweltering summer afternoons.
I’ve previously seen this style described as “fashion for hobbits”, and silly as it is, it’s kind of spot on: Mori-inspired looks are earthy and understated, giving off a relaxed, outdoorsy vibe that looks perfect for lounging in a garden. If you’re hoping to effortlessly evoke relaxed vibes this summer, and feel comfortable doing it, this look might be for you.
If you’re feeling daring, you could try for an all-Mori look, but I think just one or two Mori details can add an exciting twist to many outfits you probably already own. Consider picking up a loose band-collar button down in a natural hue, or a breathable, drapey cardigan to add some Mori into your wardrobe.
Looking to get inspired? I recommend scrolling through this amazing Tumblr that collects Mori looks for men to identify some pieces you’d like to experiment with.
Of all of the experimental looks on this list, this one is probably the most “tame”, but it definitely still makes a bold impression.
If you aren’t familiar yet, the monochromatic look is exactly what it sounds like it would be: pick one color and stick with it head to toe. Without the ability to use color to contrast, tons of exciting possibilities emerge: why not try to use fit to differentiate elements of your outfit in the absence of color? How about texture?
What’s great about monochromatic looks is that you probably have all of the elements needed to put something together already, but one or two calculated pickups can make your monochrome looks seriously jaw-dropping.
An all-black outfit is a tried and true classic, but this summer, I’m inspired by all-white or all-earthtone possibilities if you’re hoping to get a little more “out there”. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, this article from The Idle Man has great examples of monochrome looks for multiple discrete personal styles.
This entry might seem pretty straightforward, but there’s a big difference between day-to-day menswear and capital M Menswear. With this one, I’m encouraging you to pull out all the stops at your next formal event this summer: full three-piece fitted suit and tie, a pocket square, amazing dress shoes, the whole nine yards.
In recent years, the trend has been to simplify and modernize classic mens formalwear, but going in the exact opposite direction can produce extremely powerful results. Especially if you find yourself dressing up often, this is a sure-fire way to bring the excitement and make sure everyone remembers you at your next event.
If you’re looking to get started with some absolutely jaw-dropping full-featured menswear, my recommendation shouldn’t be too much of a surprise: of course, it has to be Blaine’s. Simply put, especially in the Greater Cincinnati area, the selection of American & European brands is unparalleled, and their knowledgeable staff can help you step outside of your comfort zone and into some classic garb that makes you look outstanding.
For a lot of guys, I’d guess that experimenting with androgynous or even feminine fashion elements is probably out of their comfort zone, but those that are willing to experiment will find some seriously amazing looks await them.
You don’t have to be the next winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race to enjoy the benefits of gender-bent aesthetics: your experimentation can be as subtle (or as ostentatious) as you’d like. Something as simple as adding a little nail polish, kicking up the height of the heel on your next pair of boots, or experimenting with the cut of your top (trying a V-neck or a slow scoop neck) can add surprise and intrigue into almost any outfit.
And the results speak for themselves. If you’re somebody ready to flex your self-confidence and bend cultural boundaries to your very whim, gender bent aesthetics can improve the wardrobes of even the manliest of men.
Looking for inspiration? This awesome Tumblr has plenty of examples of androgynous styles no matter your comfort level, many of which aren’t too difficult or expensive.
Are you rocking a new aesthetic this summer that didn’t make it onto this list? Let us know -- leave a comment on our Facebook page with what you’d like to see covered on this blog in the future.