Piecing It All Together

Don’t look for the trendy velvet, mod suits
in area stores. Classics still reign in Columbia in menswear.
Wednesday, November 12, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 4:40 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 5, 2008

Men’s fall fashions have been all over the runways of New York, Paris and Milan and are now making their appearance on the Columbia fashion scene, adapted to a mid-Missouri lifestyle. The styles appearing in New York fashion houses include velvet and mod suits a la Austin Powers in ’70s-inspired colors such as mustard and olive green, and slim tuxedos, which feature tailored, black pants with a slender satin stripe down each side. Although many of the latest looks will be available in Columbia, do not expect to see these particular fashions in local stores.

Keith Caldwell, manager and buyer of men’s fashions at Puckett’s Menswear reminds the trendsetters and fashionistas of Columbia, “Keep in mind this is Columbia, Missouri. When it comes to finding something like that in mid-Missouri, it is going to be hard.”

Caldwell goes to fashion shows in Las Vegas and Chicago. New styles for fall are shown in spring shows and spring fashions appear in fall shows. He said the clothing vendors at the shows “may have hundreds of items, and only one would be a very trendy item such as a velvet or mod suit or slim tuxedo.”

Men’s fall fashions making news in New York include tops with zippers, big sweaters, military coats, turtlenecks, parkas, velvet suits, aviator jackets, vests, peacoats, trench coats and biker jackets, according to the New York Metro Web site.

According to DNR, the leading men’s fashion and retail trade magazine, other trends for fall are cropped or waist-length jackets, metallic colors, pencil-slim pants and uniform-inspired looks.

The fall line at locally owned Puckett’s includes bulky sweaters, three-quarter length loden green wool coats, mock turtlenecks, heavy ribbed turtlenecks, aviator jackets, sweater vests, trench coats and leather jackets. Puckett’s also features men’s jeans by Seven for All Mankind, the trendy brand popular among women and recently released for fashionable men.

“We also carry Bill’s Khakis which are based on the original World War II khaki pant and are made of a nice heavy twill,” Caldwell said.

This fall, Puckett’s is “doing a lot of microfiber slacks because they lay nicely and are easier to take care of than a silk pant,” Caldwell said. “We also have a lot of reversible jackets that convert from a microsuede to leather and machine washable suede jackets that come with a bag to wash them in.”

Conventional items, such as alpaca, lambswool and cashmere sweaters and three-quarter length wool coats resembling peacoats, but made without typical peacoat buttons, are also included in the fall fashion

line at Puckett’s.

So far, the best selling fall items at Puckett’s have been black mock turtlenecks and washable suedes, Caldwell said. For spring, he expects brighter colors, silvers, light blues, and solid ties to make a comeback.

The Gap is also keeping its looks stylized this fall by continuing to offer what it is best known for: classic pieces and twists on traditional items, as well as a few trendier styles.

Katie Hall, senior public relations coordinator for The Gap, said, “Our fall line includes five pocket, denim corduroy pants, broken-in jeans in dark denim, corduroy and suede blazers, field corduroy jackets, and sherpa denim jackets. For our holiday line, we expect Fair Isle sweaters to be popular.” Fair Isle sweaters are composed of horizontal row patterns, knitted in two or more colored yarns, according to the Shetland Museum.

At The Gap, “Men’s fall fashions are very versatile. Blazers can be dressed up or worn with jeans,” Hall said. “Sherpa jean jackets are popular because they can be worn alone or layered.”

Layering is a rugged, masculine, comfortable look for fall. Not only does this style look pulled together, it is also functional because clothing can be added or subtracted as the fall weather fluctuates. An easy way to make this trend work is to mix up textures, fabrics and layer weights.

The Gap Web site suggests that men “layer woven shirts and outerwear in rich textures and colors to create rugged, yet sophisticated looks. Relaxed boot fit cords paired with a plaid shirt and sherpa jean jacket or suede blazer” is a versatile look for fall.

Other trends for fall include mixing patterns, wearing stripes, combining casual and dressy clothing, wearing one bright color with an otherwise plain outfit and matching your shirt to your eyes.

The best colors this season are shades of cinnamon, gold and pumpkin, which can add fall spirit to any outfit, according to the style section.

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