As the weather warms and you venture back out into the world, allow your friends at InsideHook to make a recommendation in the sartorial department: this spring, embrace the occasional item that is not, as they say, “understated.”
If there were ever a spring in which to announce, via one’s fashion choices, that “I am out here, I am excited about it and I have nary an eff to give,” it’s this one — emerging from winter is always a cause for celebration, but emerging from this particular winter, with better times so clearly on the horizon? We’re talking Alfred Eisenstaedt’s V-J Day in Times Square kissin’-in-the-streets territory.
Now is the perfect time to seize the day and swing for the vestiary bleachers on something outside your traditional comfort zone. To level-set, we’re not saying you need to go full-tilt in every element of your wardrobe. But incorporating a statement piece here and there — be it a flashy shirt, an eye-catching pair of kicks or even a bit of jewelry — is a great way to break up the routine and add a little bit of swagger to your step.
Below, find some of our favorite purposefully conspicuous pieces from Neiman Marcus’s spring collection, some suggestions on what to pair them with, and a few words of advice from Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman Men’s Fashion Director Bruce Pask.
We’ve been banging the drum for the knit polo (also commonly known as a “polo sweater” despite being largely a warm weather garment) for years — excellent throwback vibes and the knit construction and ribbing at the sleeves and hem tends to elevate it above its traditional pique brethren. Throw in a bold pattern and you’ve got yourself a polo that’s ready for anything from a night on the town to that Amalfi coast vacation you’ve been dreaming about for the past year.
Nothing says “warm weather is here” (and makes a brightly colored shirt pop) like a pair of crisp white pants. Skip the socks and complete the Positano vibe with a pair of snazzy tassel loafers.
A lot of guys tend to think of jewelry as something reserved for rock stars and/or cast members of The Sopranos. In truth, adding a bit of metal around your neck is a great way to add some impact to the top half of your ensemble and a fantastic excuse to unbutton that extra button on your shirt. Just keep it low-key in the size department — while the below pendant looks big in this photo, in reality it’s only about an inch in diameter (which is right where you want to be).
When you’re rocking a quality necklace, you want people to see it. So grab yourself the sort of shirt where an extra button (or two) undone looks natural, like a camp shirt with a flashy print (more on that in a bit). As these tend to be cropped a little shorter in the torso, a high-waisted pant (particularly one with a drawstring waist) is the perfect pairing.
We’re now going on three consecutive summers of the camp shirt (see: no neckband or top button) riding high as the go-to style for fashionable fellas, and the trend shows no signs of abating. The loose, relaxed neckline and overall flowy fit is extremely conducive to patterns that would seem downright outlandish on a “regular” shirt, thus making the style a great entry point into the world of “Hot damn, where did you pick that up?” shirting.
If you can grab yourself a pair of shorts in one of your shirt’s dominant hues, do so immediately — low-key coordination like this goes a long way. Keep your shoe choice understated; a clean white sneaker always looks on point and won’t distract from what you’ve got going on up top.
Make no mistake: while the belt traditionally serves as a wardrobe workhorse tasked with, you know, keeping your pants aloft, it can play center stage as well. Pick one up in a traditional color (see: black, brown) but featuring some eye-catching metal hardware, and be ready to field compliments on an element of your ensemble that was likely an afterthought previously.
The traditional button-up and slacks combo is just the type of everyday getup that benefits tremendously from some personality at the waistline. And while the belt is certainly the star of the show, that doesn’t mean everything else need be entirely muted — an understated pattern on your shirt or pants (pick one, please don’t do both) is fully encouraged, and if you can get your hands on some kicks with similar hardware to the belt, all to the better.