Gentlemen, the winds of sartorial change are a-blowin’. With warmer temps — as well as a return to some approximation of normalcy — on the horizon, our time spent working from home may very well soon be spent working from an office. Or eating on a restaurant patio. Or enjoying some live music. Literally anything other than sitting at home in front of a laptop. Dare to dream!
Here’s the issue, though: I can’t speak for anyone else, but your correspondent has gotten pretty darn used to being comfortable at this point. While I certainly do miss the feeling of putting together a proper stylish kit and heading out into the great wide world, I don’t think I’m ready to jump right back into super buttoned-up, restrictive attire. A transitional stage is necessary.
Thus, we’ve partnered with our friends at Neiman Marcus on a series of ensembles that deftly marry the relaxed vibes we’ve grown accustomed to with some elevated style and vestiary prowess. That’s right, we can have it both ways.
Below, find some of our favorite 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.
No longer expressly the purview of hip-hop habitués and British soccer aficionados, the track suit has gotten a serious glow-up over the past year, emerging as not just an accepted mode of dress, but a go-to sporty look for the fashion-forward gent — particularly when done in elevated fabrics and low-key classic colorways.
When your top and bottoms match, it’s hard to go wrong with a crisp white sneaker to anchor the proceedings. And a classic white polo not only makes for a nice upgrade to a T-shirt underneath, it also looks great in the event you decide to remove your jacket (sporty chest stripe a plus).
Real talk: the time we’ve spent wearing footwear into which we can jauntily slide our feet is not something we want to end. And it need not — when you really get down to it, a pair of buttery soft calfskin moccasin drivers are essentially slippers that have been churched up enough for public consumption. Especially when said drivers are in an eye-catching colorway, allowing for maximum comfort/vibe crossover. Win-win.
Keep your overall aesthetic relaxed with a pair of comfy washed-out denim, and throw a long-sleeved polo sweater (a criminally underrated garment if ever there was one) into the mix to keep ‘em guessing.
The democratization of the trouser was already well underway by early 2020, with many a luxury designer lending an upscale aesthetic to the previously pooh-poohed world of the elastic waist. The past year has poured the equivalent of sartorial gasoline on the trend, and now it’s darn near impossible to find a brand not proffering an appropriately tailored pant boasting the stretchy goodness we all appreciate. Remember when we said we could have it both ways? Right here, baby.
A crewneck cashmere sweater is not only a decidedly comfy hang, but is also super breathable and thus versatile out on the town. If the temperature dips more than expected, a solid bomber is about as foolproof a jacket option as you’re gonna find.
For the uninitiated, “sprezzatura” is an Italian term that connotes effortless, nonchalant style. In jacket form, this translates to a lightweight blazer with minimal lining and a natural shoulder (hallmarks of Italian tailoring) that lends an air of sophistication while simultaneously feeling super laid-back. And if it boasts a playful pattern, all to the better.
When your jacket is more relaxed, the rest of your ensemble should reflect it — ditch the dress trousers for a pair of tailored jeans (bonus points for a white pair that sets off your jacket’s color) and replace your dress shoes with a jaunty pair of drivers.
It’s strange that we tend to view the sweater as a fall staple but often fail to consider it for spring. Sweater weather can go both ways, after all — particularly when said sweater is done in a super lightweight fabric blend that makes it the perfect layering piece and, believe it or not, a fantastic alternative to a T-shirt in many situations.
Case in point: you’d typically think a T-shirt would be your go-to when busting out a leather moto jacket and a pair of aviators, but these two paired with that lightweight sweater (particularly if you can keep them all in the same color family) make for a slightly more considered (and thus more impactful) look.
Things that are lightweight are comfortable. That’s just science. And it doesn’t get more lightweight than linen, the sturdy, fast-drying fabric that’s been keeping humans in hot climates feeling easy and breezy since the days of ancient Mesopotamia. Bonus points for a nice pastel like pink, which just adds to the laid back feels.
A linen shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a nice pair of shorts is one of the more foolproof combos out there, particularly when the shirt is a solid color and the shorts are bringing something in the table in the pattern department. A white slip-on sneaker is also a can’t-miss to complete a casual-yet-put-together look.