Flipping Through: GQ April 2014 (Part 1)
A recurring criticism in previous posts is how most media relating to men’s style – specifically blogs and magazines – tend to favor those living in cool-to-cold, dry weather climates (usually in cosmopolitan cities), as well as being moderately successful financially, i.e., well-off. Many of the spreads, advertisements and pieces of advice featured in said mags and blogs don’t necessarily apply to most regular guys, especially those living in underdeveloped areas like Manila.
To that end, I thought I’d flip through some of major men’s monthly publications (GQ, Details, Esquire), pick out the most relateable-looking outfits, try to make sense of some of the trends, and figure out a way to make certain looks work for many Pinoy guys living the day-to-day grind.
Cover Page, featuring musician/artist Pharrel (“Get Lucky,” “Blurred Lines”) – An interesting blue, two-tone. sweater-pants combo. Great beat-up Converses (if you’re doing it, best to pair with some crisp, clean accompaniments like Mr. Williams, so as to avoid looking sloppy). The pants have a nice, pastel hue, but the yellow shirt doesn’t quite work. A plaid, or more subtle color would work better if you’re going for stylish but subdued.
Page 1, Polo/Ralph Lauren ad – Summer prep staple; patterned shorts, bengal stripe shirt, repp tie and jacket/blazer. Subtract the jacket and tie, get shorts with a more muted color (navy, beige), and you have a cool, comfy look.
Page 4, Another Polo ad – featuring nantucket red pants, the same(?) bengal shirt, but this time with a navy cardigan and blackwatch/tartan jacket. Jacket’s not practical (good dark-ish color, but too attention-calling) in the hot weather, and the nantucket may be a bit too bright and ostentatious for some. Instead, a darker, burgundy color might work.
Page 24, “Style Made Simple” ad for GQ.com/selects – These are the classics – Chambray shirt, grey sweatshirt, dark blue vintage Levi’s, white canvas sneakers, light brown brogues – that would make a fantastic foundation to any stylish wardrobe.
Page 32, Table of Contents – Another Pharrel look, fresh-looking and skewing closer to young; striped long-sleeved t-shirt, rolled-up jeans, pastel boat shoes. Variations on these pieces would work (the chambray boat shoe from Old Navy would make an improved substitute) for many guys. Minus the big hat, of course.
Page 49, Express Ad – A “go-to” look for many guys due to its “mix-and-match-what-I-already-have” aesthetic – jeans, plaid shirt, grey blazer – though many fail miserably in pulling it off. The trick is to nail the fit, keeping the jacket and jeans slim (with little-to-no break on the hem, or rolled-up).
Page 54, “Manual: GQ Endorses” – Double-breasted blazer? Pass (classic but not suitable for many). Instead, focus on the clothes underneath (counterclockwise from top): grey sweatshirt (for cold weather/environment), lighter wash jeans; dress shirt, beige pants, killer loafers; striped naval shirt, white pants (though sorta not practical, go beige/khaki instead).
Page 55 and 60 – GQ’s Menswear Winners Contest – getkempt.com pointed out that in the magazine’s annual “Best Menswear Designers” list of nominees, only one of them was wearing a suit, which, in turn, may be pointing towards a shift in menswear and the concept of “dressing well.” That is, dressing well doesn’t have to mean wearing suits at all. Which is good news for the rest of us that don’t even wear a blazer most of the time. Does this mean sweatpants will be acceptable out-of-the-house wear? Well, it depends on the situation, but for intents and purposes, the classics still rule.
Page 56, Tommy Hilfiger Ad – Interesting looks that don’t quite work; between the bright colors, pattern mixing, and multiple layers (on a beach?). Instead, take one or two elements from each, tone it down slightly, and you’ll have some decent, presentable ensembles.
Page 63, Ad – The double-breasted blazer and shorts look, (though kudos to the blue/grey coloring), simply isn’t practical for most. Subtract the blazer, lose the tie, unbutton the shirt – now you have a smart, chic casual look that would work on the sidelines or bar area of a resort.
Page 67, “Big Decision – What to Wear on Your Wedding Day” – One of the best looks in the issue for its simplicity. A linen/denim shirt with rolled-up short sleeves, coupled with navy slacks/ chinos (and for a wedding, at that)? Yeah, stylish and simple.
Page 93, Big Star Ad – Purple t-shirt, brown/khaki jeans, tough, rugged boots, denim jacket with rolled-up sleeves – pretty good. You can also switch the boots to canvas sneakers/slip-ons with a distinct texture or pattern to raise the style quotient of the look (and not make it so simple and solid-y).
Page 95, Nautica Ad – Patterned shorts – For the beach, forgo the long, solid color board shorts in the usual black, tan or olive, and reach for a trimmer, more fitted style that makes you look taller (i.e., with a hem on or above the knees) and flatters your overall silhouette.
Halfway there! Part 2 will cover the rest of the issue.