In ASOS Holiday 2014 Preview Mens Fall/Winter 2013 Review

Cold Weather Remedies: ASOS Menswear Holiday 2014 Preview

Maybe, to some, nothing says Fall like a cleaning out of the gutters.  Or perhaps it's watching your kids dive into a pile of leaves you've just raked into an iceberg-like structure.  Well whatever says Fall to you, it's all to prepare you for the ensuing shoveling of the walkway and driveway perhaps.  It may even be the Olympic style leaping and pirouetting over curbs and corners of salt-laced slushy grey melted snow that says Old Man Winter has come and conquered.  Well, to all my fashionable summer lovers and stylish spring admirers, the weather may be 'oh so frightful' in the winter but I'd like to think that the onslaught of fabrics and layers and ways to wrap yourself in warmth could help to get through the 32 below weather.  

Now I get that you'd rather be in Tulum sipping a righteous margarita.  However, if you're going to be where the trees bask in their nakedness and the snow lays heavy during the winter then isn't it only proper to get some enjoyment out of making sure your body temp stays waxing on the memories of summer's heat and humidity.  This is where the leathers, tweeds, the quilted and the lined (not to mention the eggnogs, champagnes and mistletoes) roll in to make sure life is just as warm as the middle six months of the year.  
Well fret not!  ASOS Menswear has a holiday line that is sure to please.  ASOS, that dapper British transporter of cool, affordable and quite stylishly apropo clothing has a holiday line-up filled with the fabrics, silhouettes and trimmings that keep men sharp and appropriately attired for that holiday suare or that winter weather fight.  

For Holiday 2013, ASOS Menswear offers up great categories of threads for men to drool over. First up, a man needn't show up ill-fitted for any holiday party with ASOS's line of tailored holiday garments.  It's more for a suave evening engagement than for opening gifts at grandma's.  Trim suits and sport coats with lame and leather embellishments on lapels and sleeves and dress shoes with all the shine of a Christmas star made for an attractive capsule that screamed a night of dancing and a night on the town.

Next up was the über-attractive ASOS Black collection.  The inspiration was still sporty and this season was given cool flavor by being fashioned in black and red graphic color-blocks and plaids.  Shapes range from varsity bombers, to tees and techno-fabric balmacaans while shoes like Chelsea boots, wing-tips and monk-strap oxfords have dashes or vibrant red to liven them up.  Quite attractive I must say.

Holiday 2013 ASOS Menswear continues to give men great outerwear choices with modern updates like a wool moto-jacket with leather sleeves and quilted and plaid wool varsity jackets all with a stylish and youthful approach.  What's also great to note this season is ASOS's 'Crafted In' line of garments where the garment's fabric and construction was all done in the same country of origin.  So in this collection you have attractive Harris Tweed suits and jumpers made in England and trim nicely tailored suits made in Italy of Italian wool.  

What's also nice to see from ASOS Menswear is that they always give you great accessories to choose from, for yourself or to give as great stocking stuffers.  Sweet leather bags, knit wool beanies, festive cuff links, vintage inspired notables and fun socks anchored a pretty attractive collection of clothing that can speak to stylish young men in all walks of life.  So along with the drop in daylight, the dropping leaves and the dropping barometer it has to create a bit of a warming feeling to be able to find your own inner warmth by way of the garb.

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In Mens Spring/Summer 2014 Review NumberLab

Why End With The Gym?: Number:Lab Spring/Summer 2014 Collection Review

I've been in a casual menswear mood lately.  Is it a bit lazy? Not really!  Is it a bit like giving up?  Hardly!  I still absolutely love the influx of glen plaids, houndstooths and herringbones that the Fall season ushers in.  When I saw Tom Ford's ad campaign for Fall with the nods to Carnaby Street and Savile Row donned effortlessly on the young be-speckled model, I exclaimed 'this is the menswear I know and love'.  When I saw the precision cool images from Neil Barrett for Fall 2013 I had no choice but to become enthralled with the clean minimalism translated for a new generation of guys that wanted a bit of 'fine-tuned grease' with their squeaky clean.  When I look at the slender ankle-grazing pants for Fall paired with the influx of 'not necessarily for the gym' sweats and trainers, I think in wonderment that this is modern menswear.  Menswear today is for a man who knows and unashamedly dresses for his life.  The good thing is that many many more companies are aware of this and are making it their bottom line to provide options for the diverse kinds of men that will trove shops and peruse on-line sites  for the clothes that complement their lives.

So back to my mood.  It's easy to become conflicted when I can love everything from Tom Ford to Bernhard Willhelm.  Or is it?  One of the greatest attributes of modern menswear is that there are less rules than there were ten years ago, which also means thats there's more to choose from.  So now the photographer who also DJ's and goes to the gym five days a week has options just as the wardrobe stylist who is out around town from sun up to sundown and moonlights with the gym (that's me) has options too.  This is one of the reasons I dig lines like NUMBER:Lab.

I first became acquainted with NUMBER:Lab a few years ago when I purchased a cool pair of reversible sweatpants from Bloomingdales.  They were comfy and easy and not baggy like a corner-boy's yet not suck-on tight like a pair of terry sweats with 'Juicy' printed across the bum.  What I gathered from the label was its being a fresh approach to active clothing to live in or even exercise in comfortably.  What I appreciated from the label was that the fabrics walked the line of sporty and casual and I found it acceptable to wear to work with a clean button-down and Converse and on my days off with a fitted v-neck and trainers to the gym (very me).

So I had to give this label another look for Spring 2014.  What I found was something very approachable that adheres to how I and menswear have been moving as of late.  In dressing for my life, I occasionally need and want fabrics and silhouettes that move with me and can appropriately be slightly dressed up or down.  

Inspired by robotics and astro-technology, NUMBER:Lab offered up clean easy zip-up outerwear, shorts, tees and trousers for Spring 2014.  The collection was peppered with color-blocked pieces that had a futuristic execution to them but not one that was over the top.  All the clothing was very attractive in their ease and the design were kept simple enough to adhere to the brand's aesthetic.  These were the kinds of pieces that had active inspiration but could also be easily integrated into a modern cosmopolitan man's wardrobe (that's me).  For example, I would totally tuck a button-down into their trim sweatpants with a chukka-sneaker hybrid.  I would absolutely wear their varsity bomber or hooded parka over a shrunken dropped lightweight spring suit with some Converse or sock-less with some colorful brogues.  Would I wear them to the gym?  Yeah, probably.  However, with a line like this, the point is seeing beyond the obvious and being equipped for a day of the unexpected (also me).

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