The world of men’s fashion can seem a minefield to navigate. Instead of struggling to find the perfect button up to set yourself apart from the crowd (a fruitless effort), take a lesson from the women’s fashion playbook: learn how to accessorize.
The market for men’s accessories has swelled and evolved over the decades. What was once a genre of clothing made up of a sparse selection of fedoras and pocket squares now encompasses the realm of jewellery, hats, bags, scarves, and shoes as they have never flourished before. Functionality remains foremost, while designers take advantage of opportunities to infuse a touch of the dandy into the everyman’s everyday attire.
Of the trends in men’s fashion accoutrement, Jesar Gabino of Toronto’s Nomad observes, “Just as in women’s fashion, accessories are important because they add to a person’s basic wardrobe and can be a reflection of a person’s personality. It’s a great way to add a splash of colour into an outfit.”
With an increasing number of fashion designers leaning towards minimalism, accessories too, have followed suit. “Men are utilitarian creatures,” says Gabino, “so in terms of fashion, when they are looking at a piece most will ask if it’s something they need, is it important, and is it something they’re going to have for a long time.”
L.A. flash (think MMA-loving label slaves) and over-the-top has its place — and for better or worse, always will — but when it comes to stocking up on accessories, be wise and think simple. “There is no place for frivolousness with men’s accessories,” says Ryan Conder, owner of South Willard men’s boutique in Los Angeles. “Functionality and necessity are paramount.”