Some dudes can pull off trends as effortlessly as they pour themselves into their hipster-huggin’ jeans. Others struggle to make the distinction between the V and the Crew in the world of undershirt necklines. And as delightful as the 2011 Men’s Fashion Week was for my man-hungry eyes, many a fella cringes at the thought of a week devoted to clothes.
Enter Junglecents et moi. Whether you’re a style savant, ignorant but eager, or reading this through glazed-over eyes, our men’s fashion guide will have you struttin’ in style faster than you can say “Dries Van Noten”. Let’s kick things off with the king of all accessories.
Nobody needs a timepiece anymore—cell phones pretty much killed them—but every good outfit does need a watch. In the world of outfit power-ups, the watch is The Starman. But don’t grab the first Swatch or Rolex you see: your swag’s gotta match your style.
If you’re poppin’ a collar, for example, you may want a piece with poppin’ color. For the man on a flexible budget, go straight to the source: Lacoste. They’ve got a Mainsail model in green that just screams “I LOVE YACHTS!” Or keep it chic on the cheap with Nixon’s “Mellor” in a navy/brown colorway. It goes perfectly with seersucker. And for the preppy loud-and-proud, just give in already to the BlumLux “Louie Quattro” (right).
If color’s not your thing, but luxury is, try Swiss Army Victorinox’s “Infantry Vintage Chrono”. The heavy stitching and muted colors keep it casual yet classy. Alternately, you can stay Swiss but go monochromatic with Yeslam, who offers the “Aviator” as laidback yet stunning piece. Bonus: if you’re a pilot, you can use the mechanical watch to calculate airspeed! (Because most pilots we know can afford a watch that runs as high as $24,000…).
If you’re suiting up, on the other hand, you don’t have to look too hard to find some august accoutrements. Think elegant and timeless. You can’t go wrong with the simple, yet exquisite, Ebel “Classic Hexagon 41mm Large Date”, or Movado’s “SE Extreme” or “Movado Master” collections. The accident-prone and adrenaline-junkie shouldn’t be without the by Swedish brand GoS. Their indestructible pieces are custom-made from Damascus steel by watchmaker Patrik Sjögren and bladesmith Johan Gustafsson. (Yes. Bladesmith.) Finally, the easygoing-with-pockets-overflowing should just say “yeah, why not” to the muted magnificence of Cartier’s Santos 100.
The Hipster / The Nerd
Even if you’re not actually a hipster, you’re probably a hipster. It’s inescapable if you buy clothes…anywhere. Skinnier jeans, flatter shoes, thicker glasses, and plaid-ier shirts have infiltrated even the squarest department store. At the moment, being fashionable requires partaking of the trend.
But there’s no need to go whole hog, if you don’t so desire. There’s a passel of timepieces that will get the job done. Like the Vestal “Rosewood” clock edition, which adds an organic flavor to garments ranging from surfer to business-casual. Bonus: if you get tired of it, simply toss it out the window—it’s biodegradable (below). Got a meeting with potential investors for your Echo Park vintage bike shop? Check back in with Nixon for a grown-up, dressed-down piece. Their “Mellor” watches are sophistication with a dash of quirk (below).
Hipster’s awkward cousin is the nerd, and there ain’t no shame in bein’ a brain. Capitalize off The Big Bang Theory’s glorification of intelligence and go geek chic with your timepiece. After all, there are watches with built-in calculators. ‘Nuff said. Nerd, artist, and hippie all collide in Phosphor’s “E Ink Digital Hour Black Clock Watch” (left), Swiss Army Victorinix’s “Infantry Vintage” (center), and Nixon’s “Newton Digital Watch”.
Your tie, cuff links, and belt must match your garments, but your watch must match you. When choosing a timepiece, you have the opportunity to add your essence, your you-ness, to whatever you’re wearing. Of course, there’s all the boring stuff to consider, as well—lifestyle, activity, budget, longevity, social scene, materials, future trends. But like most things, and style especially, to thine own self be true and the rest will fall into place.