2014 Men’s Fashion Trend Projection: Our Jury’s Still Out

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We just scoped out a recent Daily News article covering some of the “hottest styles” that men can expect to see in stores over the next 12 months. Our advice? Don’t go there. We know that runway looks are exaggerated interpretations of what will actually hit shelves, but we still can’t get on board with most of these trends at all. Unless, of course, you can put a sophisticated, toned-down twist on these outrageous looks that will supposedly be available in stores this year. Here are some of the upcoming styles, and our suggestions for trying them without standing out in the worst kind of way.

1) Flowers. Designers like Gucci and Prada are exploring flashy floral prints for their newest pieces. The article illustrates this bold choice with a runway photo of a full men’s suit – pants, jacket and all –entirely comprised of a girlish, flowery pattern. We wouldn’t be caught dead in something this extreme – especially at an occasion that requires a suit.

How to do flowers right: This is tricky, but we recommend trying a safer, more toned-down pattern as just one piece of a full outfit. Try this Charles & 1/2 Blue Floral button-down shirt from Urban Outfitters ($54), perhaps tucked in underneath a sweater or with a plain pair of slim-fit corduroys. The pattern is subtle and manlier than the feminine, multi-colored eyesore above. That said, flowers just may not be for you. We’re wary ourselves.

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2) “Soft man bags.” The name alone is scaring us away. The article suggests that structured tech and messenger bags for laptops and tablets are out, and more feminine-looking “soft man bags” are in. The article describes them as “slouchier, soft leather clutch bags for men.” The photo depicts tote bags that look more like purses than functional necessities. Sigh. We just can’t get on board with this yet.

How to do “soft man bags” right: We may end up regretting this, but for now, we refuse to advise you on how to carry a “soft man bag.” See our suggestions on how to carry your stuff on style if you’re in the market for a new bag.

3) Slouchy summer suiting. The article alludes to cotton, linen and wool blends for summer. We’d shy away from wool in the summer (it’s bad enough being in a suit at all when it’s hot), but we do dig a tailored linen suit.

How to do linen suiting right: As long as it fits and the color isn’t too bold (we’re not trying for “Miami Vice”, here), we love the look of a slim-fit linen suit. Check out Perry Ellis’ linen cotton herringbone pants ($79.50) or J. Crew’s Ludlow classic suit pant in Irish linen ($158) for a casual summer affair.

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