Monday, October 22, 2012

Menswear Uncovered




Men and shopping may not traditionally be two words one would put together – but if you add Dundrum Town Centre in to the mix, things start to make sense. Menswear is not the mystery we may think it is – because let’s face it, men and women alike can find it somewhat baffling, but never fear your Dundrum blogger is here and I’ve enlisted the help of the professionals! I spoke to Przemek and Jacques, House Brands Specialist and Menswear Stylist of House of Fraser, Karen O'Sullivan from Marks and Spencers and Daniela of Harvey Nichols who shared their insight into the world of menswear.

“...life if colourful, you have to enjoy it – and fashion is one of those things that can help enjoy it.” (Przemek, House of Fraser)


With that in mind, Dundrum Town Centre is a veritable rainbow of choice for the well-dressed man. That’s right, a shopping trip to Dundrum is not just for the girls, with over 20 stores and dozens of labels catering for every style and any age – and it's so much more than just t-shirts and jeans.

We all fall into the trap of buying what’s comfortable, what we’re familiar with – but it doesn't hurt to cast an eye over this seasons trends and maybe try something new. When I asked how Irish men fair when it comes to fashion, I got a resounding answer of "they play it safe".

"For me the outfit is 'I'm going to meet my friend in the pub. (...) Baggy jeans, tshirt, hoodie… they play safe, always safe and stick to one colour” says Jacques.

"I think the younger generation in Ireland could definitely stand next to the most fashionable cities
in the world e.g. London, Paris and Milan and not look out of place although (but)... I think some Irish men are stuck in a time warp..." Karen explains. As Przemek put it, Irish men need "...to look on the clothes as fashion not only as something to wear. Experimenting more with their own personal style as opposed to playing it safe." 

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, as the stylists admitted there is a slowly increasing trend of men paying attention to details and investing in good key pieces. Take this season for example, incorporating this seasons rich colours like olive green, berry tones and mustard yellow couldn't be easier. If there's one thing every man needs in his wardrobe this season it's a good knit - be it a cosy lambswool cardigan or a classic round neck. Teamed with a buttoned up shirt and a neat blazer - it's sophisticated and it will keep out cold.



"It is all about the jumper for men this winter with shawl necks and cable jumpers coming in with a bang. These jumpers are so simple and easy to wear team the shawl neck jumper with a button up check shirt and rolled up chinos or smarten it up with an Oxford shirt and a tie to complement and an indigo jean." Karen

Don't be fooled by thinking knitwear is too casual, dressed up and dressed down it's always a winner, and investing in a good wool jumper will be money well spent, especially considering Irish weather. Jumpers and cardigans can also be great gateway pieces for those trying to get away from the faithful hoodie. Similarly a chunky cardigan, which according to Daniela of Harvey Nichols is becoming more and more popular, is an all-round winner for picking up on the trends of layering, colours and knits - and for those shopping for a man this season, it's a perfect gift.

The big sellers in menswear are the staple pieces - jeans, t-shirts and jumpers. When it comes to jeans and trousers in particular the trends have moved far, far away from the bootcut in favour of straight legs, slim cut, and chinos are here to stay.

"Chinos are in all the time, you could wear chinos with everything really." Prezemek remarks, with a general casual rugby trend running through the younger labels, chinos can be worn day-to-day as casual wear or dressed up as part of the English country, equestrian trend as Daniela explains:


"Loose leg trousers are also very apparent especially when combined with heavy overcoats and polished double breasted suits."

But as ever, there is a trick to picking out the right trouser - it's not just women who have trouble finding that just-right pair of jeans, as Karen from Marks and Spencers explains;

"The most common mistake would be the wrong length trouser either its ankle length or running
along the ground it is important that the trousers are hitting off the back of the heel no longer no
shorter."

Picking up on this seasons trends and incorporating them into your wardrobe is just as much about personal taste - there's no point in walking out of the changing room looking like a carbon copy of one of the mannequins if you don't feel comfortable in it. It's always important to remember that trends are guidelines, not gospel - it's about adapting the trends for your own personal style. 

"It seems that those who do attempt being more fashion conscious make the common mistake of copying trends as opposed to adapting the trends to their own individual style." Daniela, of Harvey Nichols, advises.


Prefer denim jeans to coloured? Try a dark wash straight leg jean, darker denims are always popular in winter months. Feeling adventurous, check out Topman slim leg coloured jeans in a variety of winter colours. Classic chinos don't have to be beige - grey and navy will look smart and comfortable especially teamed with a good shoe. With so much choice out there, it doesn't take long to pick something that's both on trend and still feels like you. There's nothing worse than finding that top in the back of the wardrobe with the tags still on.


Similarly, for those out there shopping for the man in their life, it can sometimes seem daunting and you can find yourself doubting you choices for fear you bring home something that won't be worn.


Przemek explained: "From my point of view girls are scared as well, they know that if they get something new, something trendy the guy is gonna be like 'oh it’s nice' but they’re not going to wear it really. They always go for something safe again." Sound familiar? Believe me, we've all been there.


Daniela suggests; "In order to introduce new ideas to him, perhaps choose a style he is already familiar with but with a slightly different touch be it a print or fit."


Spruce up any outfit with these quick tips on must-have accessories:



Of course you can't go wrong with a well-fitted suit - Dundrum Town Centre offers plenty of selection in that area from Marks and Spencer, to Best right up high-end tailoring in Harvey Nichols. Take the time to invest in a good fit and a fine suit will last you years and many occasions from dinner, to interviews to celebrations.

As Karen from Marks and Spencer points out; "I personally would love to see men in more suits. There is nothing like a man dressed in a great fitted suit. There is just something that when a man wears a suit he is powerful professional he oozes confidence he is important and is making a statement."



A good way to approach day-to-day fashion, for men and women alike is to think of it as Jacques describes “Every time I come out of my house, I have to feel like I'm on the red carpet. Why? Because you never know what paparazzi you meet.” 

Looking for some inspiration? Well according to these stylists look no further than David Beckham!




"He has to be credited for taking risks and evolving his style throughout the years. He always looks well groomed, trendy and smart at the same time." says Daniela.
"I could see wearing Superdry tomorrow or Armani the day after." Jacques remarked.

So hopefully I've cleared up some of the mystery around menswear and showed you what Dundrum has to offer for all those guys out there! Before long I'm sure the guys will be giving us a run for our money when it comes to shopping! But be sure to stay tunes for my next instalment, when I'll be looking at all things glam for fabulous nights out!

Until next time
Lisa x

For a full list of men's fashion store - clickidy here!