Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Katie Trotter: Come on guys - do runway, not run-of-the-mill

It isn't easy is it? You are chastised for sticking to the good old, safety-in-numbers code and are positively hung out to dry if you do dare to "experiment".

Ah, men and and fashion - poor old chaps, I feel for you, I really do.

It isn't easy is it? You are chastised for sticking to the good old, safety-in-numbers code (shirt and tie combos) and are positively hung out to dry if you do dare to "experiment".

This leaves most of you flailing around like a gaggle of geese somewhere on the periphery. I know few men who would give the runway looks a blast (and those I do, only because I'm "in fashion"). All that is really needed is a little common sense (I'm saying nothing, boys) and some pre-programmed knowledge. For every way a man can dress up, there's a better/cooler way to dress down.

You see, the battle between traditional fare and modernism shouldn't exist. The rules are rather simple: stick to refined, well-put-together, polished tailoring - and the progressive stuff will start to form by itself.

Take this season's spring/summer trends - the "dandy" (sounds like a nightmare for those who like to think testosterone) is everywhere. Yet most of you would prefer to squirm in your (very manly) boots.

However, try and rethink things a little: less of the logical and more of the explorational; more John F Kennedy chilling in Cap Ferrat than some snake-hipped hipster. Opt for a tightly (but not overly) fitted suit in an oatmeal-brown and pair with a denim dress shirt for some extra-cool points. Shoes should always be brown leather, and ditch the normal tie for a slim-fitted woollen tie.

Camouflage has been on the radar for some time now, but for 2013, it's moving away from the classic macho combat print and entering a new finer, elegant, digitally manipulated print specifically seen on lighter fabrics such as fine cotton and linens. Hothouse florals are huge for summer and, despite the initial horrific images of middle-aged barbeque chefs with bowling ball bellies, there are some rather beautiful variations. Raf Simons included the dizzying prints on light, cotton summer coats while Balenciaga engineered digital florals in red and black, inspired by the avant-garde Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. Christopher Kane's collaboration with J Brand also included roses that were painted over with big, bold brush strokes.

For those who are positively wincing at the thought of flowers in full bloom, the 1950s American sportswear trend may well tick the box. Think baseball shirts, buttery soft, boxy shorts and dark denim jeans. Look to 3.1 Phillip Lim and Alexander Wang for inspiration and opt for a wide stripe to get ahead of the game. The slip-on sneaker has also made a comeback and would even pass with the right suit.

Sharp, sleek, popular with the ladies, fashion forward? Well, keep it close to your chest, for there is nothing worse than a poser. It sounds fairly obvious but always have a fitting. Your jacket's shoulder pads should square with your shoulders and the length of your trousers should hit midway between the top of your shoe and the top of your shoe sole. In short, to heck with the bells and whistles, chaps. Keep things understated and sharp. If you have second thoughts about something it is normally your subconscious throwing you a bone, so think twice before heading out the door.


For the latest fashion news read the All Dressed Up fashion blog here.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 S*uce store at The Dubai Mall. Courtesy: S*uce

S*uce celebrates 10 years of style

As they celebrate their 10th anniversary, the founders and staff of the made-in-the-UAE boutique S*uce look back at their fashion success story.

 Who did we give five stars to? Mathew Kurian / Ravindranath K / The National

Your guide to the UAE’s best burgers

In search of the perfect burger, The National staff taste-tested the country's many burger joints. Which ones stood out from the pack?

 Sense, A Rosewood Spa offers The Gulf Cure, a 90-minute organic treatment that makes use of the detoxifying and relaxing powers of seaweed. Courtesy Sense Spa

Testing the subtle powers of seaweed at Rosewood Abu Dhabi’s Sense Spa

Add seaweed to your beauty regimen, says Kalpana Ramgopal, after a treatment at Sense, the spa at Rosewood Abu Dhabi leaves her with silken skin.

 The Emperor 1688's Golkar brothers. Courtesy Fashion Forward

The Emperor 1688, Kage and House of Fatam nominated for Woolmark Prize

Three UAE-based brands have been nominated for the International Woolmark Prize: the menswear label The Emperor 1688 and the womenswear brands Kage and House of Fatam.

 Steamed Shrimp Dumplings at Lao restaurant the Waldorf Astoria, Palm Jumeirah. (Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria)

Dim sum to die for at Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah

Waldorf Astoria has made its debut along the Eastern crescent of Palm Jumeirah. Worth a visit for the Dim Sum is Southeastern Asian restaurant Lao. Check out chef’s recipe below and see our slideshow of other top dishes to sample.

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

(serves 10 people)


Prawns 250g

Potato starch 25g

Tapioca starch 25g

Spring onions 20g

Lukewarm water 20ml

Banana leaves 20g

Sesame oil 50ml

Sesame seeds 50g

 Entrance of the Zuma restaurant at DIFC in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

Zuma bans cigar smoking

Zuma, the high-end modern Japanese restaurant concept, has banned cigar smoking in its Dubai location. The move follows the ban on cigar smoking in its bar and lounge areas during lunchtime service that was introduced in April last year and the Dubai Government’s anti-tobacco law that came into force in January.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National