By Krista Lyons, AliveTampaBay Correspondent
The first month of the new year has passed, and with it, the leftover trends of 2016 have finally begun to fade. While 2016 was the year of Havana style shirts and buttoned-up trends, 2017 has brought in a new era of men’s fashion — an era where comfort is king.
Whether you are spending your days in the office or are taking a day off to relax, this year’s trends make it easy to transition. So ditch those old styles and get ready to get comfy this year with these four trends.
Pick Your Pockets
Traditional business or long sleeve button-down shirts have a breast pocket. In fact, it would seem that we have seen some variation of the breast-pocket in men’s clothing for the past century — but that is all changing now.
The pocket-free button down is a style that can be work no matter where you are going. It pairs perfectly with a tailored jacket and can work in the office or if you are heading to a gala. It can also be worn in a more relaxed setting with rolled up sleeves and jeans. While you may miss the pocket, this style adds a little bit more comfort without all of the extra seams and looks clean and crisp.
Speaking of pockets, this year, pocket watches are making a big comeback. One of the top trends is to wear the watch as a necklace. For a more classic look, loop the chain through your buttonhole and store the pocket watch on an inner vest or jacket pocket. Sure, your cell phone has a clock. Sure, a watch is a little more convenient. But there is nothing quite as classy as pulling out a pocket watch to check the time — people will take notice.
All About the Boots
Boots are nothing new — most men have had at least one good pair of boots in their lives. But this year, the more rugged, leather or work-style boot is on the rise. Whether you love them or hate them, boots have a way of making a man feel a little bit more confident.
“Boots both casual and nicer are in right now,” says David Estevez, a Tampa-based pianist and trend-setter. “Boots can be paired with just about any outfit.”
Not only are leather boots more comfortable than slip-on boat shoes or sneakers, but also they can give your outfit a more polished look. The trick is to make sure that you don’t got all-out cowboy with your boots. Lace-up boots in a medium brown or a dark brown add a rugged touch without giving the appearance that you are heading to the farm. And they look good in any setting — city or rural or suburbs. Pair your boots with well-worn jeans and your favorite tee shirt or button down for a complete look.
Effortless Business Casual
There is nothing like being completely comfortable at work. Comfort can mean the difference between an elevated blood pressure leading to stress and being able to stay calm cool and collected. The workplace can be stressful enough without having to be buttoned up in hot, stuffy clothes. Instead, opt for something a little more classic and comfortable while still looking stylish.
“My favorite style for everyday business? I keep it traditional, simple and comfortable,” says local attorney and trend-setter Andrew Graham. “No skinny Pee Wee Herman stuff.”
Andrew Graham’s cocktail attire includes a Brooks Brothers blue blazer and a BB white pinpoint cotton button-down shirt with a white cotton handkerchief.
Khaki chino pants and light colored button downs will not only meet your company’s business casual dress code, but will also bring a pop of color to your week. It is important to remember to mix it up — sticking with all black suits every day can be a little bit drab.
For shoes, keep it classic.
“Black penny loafers. No socks. Married men wear socks. Occasionally I throw on a blue blazer,” says Graham.
Graham often finds his favorite looks at Brooks Brothers and Greiners, two shops that offer suits and business casual attire. “I might pick up a tie here and there, at Salt Pines for example,” says Graham.
Suspend Your Disbelief
There are always a few trends that reappear for various reasons through the years, and this year, the way to take your outfit a step up is to add suspenders. Not only does this eliminate the need for a belt — which can sometimes cause paints to wrinkle — but this also makes it give you the appearance of added effort. Not to mention that suspenders are a great way to make your Valentine’s date feel like you dressed up a little bit extra for them.
The trick with pulling off the suspender trend is to stay away from a one-size-fits-all, one-color, bungee affair. Instead, try to find a pair of suspenders with a little bit of extra detail. Whether it is a stripe or just a color that coordinates with your shoes, suspenders can be worn with pocketed or pocket-free shirts. No blazer or jacket is required to pull them off. Without a jacket, suspenders will make you look laid-back while still being buttoned up.
As the owner of Kirby’s Men’s Wear Martin Shine says, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” In 2017, make it a good one.
To learn more about men’s fashion trends, click here.