Streetstyle Fashion Tips from Menswear Fashion Week

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The autumn/winter 2016 menswear shows are just coming to an end in Europe where mega brands like Burberry, Prada and Louis Vuitton showcased what they think men should be wearing come this fall.

These fashion weeks which started off in London before moving on to Milan and now ending this week in Paris, are attended by press, retailers, bloggers, photographers and assorted fashion lovers. Naturally, designers would present their most thought provoking ideas on the runways because it almost always guarantees editorial coverage in newspapers and magazines.

Most of those kooky outfits on the male models coming down the runway rarely make it to the stores – is any man really in the market for a lace t-shirt? But designers like to think of their runways as an exploration of ideas or commentary on world affairs.

But while esoteric sartorial musings can be seen in these runway shows, there is an all-together different runway show taking place outside the venues of these fashion shows. What the show attendees are wearing are breathlessly documented by streetstyle photographers and posted on numerous websites dedicated solely to what these peacocks are wearing.

Over the years, the rise of the fashion influence of streetstyle, is practically debated as being of equal importance of what is being shown on the runway.

So what were these fashion professionals wearing to attend the shows? This season those tried-and-true gentlemanly classics were a dominant trend on the street. Navy banker stripes, buffalo plaid, gray flannel and fedoras where all seen sported by both young and old.

Except, each person updated it in unexpected and novel ways – making it truly personal style.

Click through for a look at some the styling tricks used by these sartorialists.

Look closely at the gentleman on the right in the navy banker chalk stripe suit, here in Florence. How many times have you seen that look in the financial district? Except, that very business-like menswear fabric is not cut into a two-piece suit but a one-piece jumpsuit! That’s one way of taking something very traditional and turning it on its head. And it made you do a double take. As for the gentleman on the left, the low knot on his silk scarf just adds a dash of panache to this otherwise non-descript oatmeal coloured suit.

He could have easily and most obviously just gone with a blue sweater for a monochromatic look. But a floral print jacket – and yes, it’s 2016 and real men wear florals – add visual interest to his outfit.

David Furnish, Toronto native and husband of Elton John, at the Burberry show in London, wore very simple classic pieces – khaki coloured corduroy pants, gray blazer and turtleneck. But it’s his bag – a chocolate fringe suede tote – that prevents this look from being deemed normcore.

You wouldn’t expect someone with knee length dread locks to be sporting menswear classics like a double-breasted blazer, a crew neck sweater, window pane checked pants or toting a briefcase. But the juxtaposition of his classic clothes with his eye-catching hair style makes for an interesting and arresting image. The style lesson here is – don’t be afraid to mix esthetics. Yes, do embrace the prepster within you but perhaps add a touch of punk to the pastel mix.

A tweedy jacket often has the unfortunate image of being bookish or professorial. But layer it with a classic denim jacket and it looks fresh, invigorating and modern.

By all accounts, this is a classically cut suit. But in a delightful macaroon colour and paired with a plaid poor boy cap, it’s whimsical and sure to bring a smile on any passerby’s face on a drab winter day. But how do you avoid looking like you work on an ice cream truck? Anchor that light colour with a beatnik black turtleneck.

When is a classic camel coloured coat not so classic? When the sleeves are cropped at the elbow. Add a pair of gray flannel trousers that are baggy and it’s an expert play on proportion. Finish off with a pair of white sneakers for a youthful yet comfy look.

A favourite of Canadians everywhere, from city to country – the red and black buffalo check shirt is now a hot international fashion item. This gentleman in Milan elevates the casual shirt by pairing with dress pants and monkstrap shoes. But paying homage to the shirt’s humble roots, he keeps it untucked and pairs with a baseball jacket. But pay attention to the layering – the jacket is shorter than the shirt which adds to the overall cool factor.

Never underestimate the power of a scarf. Yes, it’s a practical accessory to keep warm in our climes but get an oversized one that can add a dramatic flourish to your look. Just don’t fuss with it – go ahead and simply drape. As for taking the stuffiness out of a fedora – just angle it.

These two super elegant gentlemen are a master class on why it’s wise to invest in quality clothes. First, there are the classic colours – navy and gray will always be stylish. When it comes to coats – keep it to simple clean shapes.