Fall 2011 Men's Fashion Preview

Heather O'Brien looks at the main menswear trends due to hit Prague stores this autumn

Hooray! Men of Prague, you made it through your first trend report without losing too much sleep. Were you successful in purchasing new clothes? If you answered yes, then you will be happy to know that Fall/Winter 2011 will be good to you. This season our designers have made clothing for two types of men: those that have the physique of a Greek statue and those of you that spend a little more time in the office than in the gym.

The Preppy Handbook remade

From left to right: Gant by Michael Bastian (courtesy photo); Antonio Azzuolo (Filippo Fior/GoRunway.com); courtesy photo; Gianfranco Ferre (courtesy photo); J. Crew (courtesy photo)

The 1980s classic -- yes, I personally own an original copy -- has undergone a transformation. Out go the garden shorts and plaids of Summer 2011 and in come classic tees and shorts for the winter. Colors are closer to earth tones (dusty reds, burnt orange, light yellow, sky blue, navy blue, and khaki) mixed with grays and black. Tweed peacoats and Oxford-style shoes remake our Nouveau Preppy man and update him for the 21st Century.


From left to right: J.Crew (courtesy photo); Antonio Azzuolo (Filippo Fior/GoRunway.com); Bottega Venetta (Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com); Shipley & Halmos (courtesy photo)

Fitted suits will end up causing some problems for the more portly man this season, as lines are tapered close to the body. The single-breasted suit will be the staple of choice this winter for buyers in big chains like Marks & Spencer. Of course, if you aren't a male model walking around the city, there are boxier shapes that will allow you a bit more room to breathe and consume a few beers while still fitting into your latest leather jacket or peacoat purchase.

Unfortunately, the fitted issue doesn't just stop with suits but extends to trousers and dress shirts as well. Leather, being the material of choice, may end up helping you in the end, because unless you are very "aware" of your sexuality or are planning on going to Munich for Oktoberfest, I can't say that I expect to see the leather trouser running around much of Europe, let alone Prague.

Blue collar comeback

From left to right: dsquared (Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com); Gany by Michael Bastian (courtesy photo); Bally (courtesy photo); Richard Chai (Monica Feudi/Feudi e Guaineri)

Work clothes associated with the blue collar industries made a revival on our favorite runways: suspenders clipped to a slightly larger trouser, usually mixed with a well-worn-looking shirt; anoraks and puffers to keep the winter cold out when working outside; plaids and traditional tartans, in all colors, were also seen throughout many collections, perhaps in response to some designers' overly preppy attitude.


From left to right: Calvin Klein (Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com); Antonio Azzuolo (Filippo Fior/GoRunway.com); Bottega Venetta (Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com); Gianfranco Ferre (courtesy photo)

While some designers went to one extreme, with tightly-fitted suits, other designers decided to go to the opposite end of the spectrum, remaking old favorites with a little more "room to breathe" aka a man shape. Boxier shoulders give way to stronger looking men, i.e. stronger shoulders, trousers that fit, which should also be seen as a classic anyway.

Of course, the above are trends that were not only on most runways throughout the major shows but also things that I felt were wearable for the "normal" man. As always, London and Berlin are excellent places to shop for mens clothing but if you can't make it there, stick with the ones you know in Prague, namely the larger department stores.

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