Fall 2012: The dollar’s in the details

by Elise Diamantini

Every season, before I start the tradeshow circuit, I make an appointment with Doneger’s Tim Bess to check out his trend forecast presentation. Tim’s charismatic personality and thorough assessment of the market always gets me pumped to enter the next round of shows.

Over the past few seasons menswear has seriously cleaned up and gone back to basics (which doesn’t always equate a rush in retail sales). But as Tim says, “We needed to clean-up. The mainstream customer is finally moving away from blinged-out styles and into vintage and retro themes.” He notes the importance of focusing on special details to generate the consumer’s interest and says to look for things like elbow patches, toggles, zippers, quilting, textures and shawl collars. During New York market last week there were a ton of tasteful details bringing modern twists to the classic staples. Here are a few of my favorite brands that remixed the basics.

The Blazer: Barque
Barque reinvents the classic blazer with a quilting technique that creates beautiful texture ($265 retail).

The Basic Polo: Lazy Oaf
Kitschy British-brand Lazy Oaf injects some fun into the basic polo with this bold collar.

The Work Boot: J. Shoes
J. Shoes updated this work boot style by adding pieces of Army blankets to the upper ($145 wholesale).

The Woven Shirt: Isaiah Hemmingway
Isaiah Hemmingway spices up the basic woven shirt by mixing patterns and fabrics. What’s more, his woven shirts have convertible sleeve cuffs so a guy can switch from regular to French ($99 to $150 retail).

The Leather Bag: Will Leathergoods
Will Leathergoods incorporated vintage hardware into these leather bags.

Outerwear: Makia
Wooden toggles and bold stripes make this jacket a true standout.

The Sweater: Hickey Freeman Sportswear
Elbow patches on colorful knits from Hickey Freeman Sportswear.