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As we walk the ladies through spring trends at several of our favorite Boston boutiques, we couldn't help but think the gents might appreciate wardrobe assistance, too. To assemble our Guys' Guide to Spring, we tapped the collective expertise of Ball and Buck owner Mark Bollman, Sault owner Philip Saul, Caramelo Clothing Co. owner Carolina Tejedor-Meyers, and style consultant Jeff Lahens. You'll want to bookmark our easy-to-follow list of prints, colors, shapes, and trends to pick up this season.
Patterns this season are totally wearable, but some command a bit more boldness than others. Lahens points out camo and polka dots as carryovers from past seasons, and Saul is a proponent of seeing prints on both short and long sleeved shirts. Ball and Buck holds camo in high regard given its hunting focus, but for men who aren't the outdoorsy type, its new Freeman rain jacket offers an on-trend option for city life. Now, when we're talking bold, we're talking florals...
Florals: Blooms are going to be everywhere these next few months. According to Saul, "Later in the summer it will be more of a surf vibe, but in the spring it's micro." He adds, "The bigger the pattern, the more bold the person has to be." When it comes to styling tips, Saul suggests to treat it like a plaid and always mix it with solids, particularly olive green—though more daring guys can pair floral with contrast prints like camo. To avoid loud florals, Tejedor-Meyers recommends weaving in neckwear with a small print or throwing a sweater over a floral shirt. Lahens echoes the sentiment: "If you don't want to do a full floral shirt, try a pocket square, ties, and details."
Blues (and micro prints) at Sault, via Instagram
Don't worry...you won't have to work out the puzzle of wearing pink this spring. Rather, blue is a strong hue, with a variety ranging from bright almost-neon shades to overdyed indigo. Strong complementary colors include gray, yellow, and a pop of orange or red.
Slim fits still reign supreme. With pants, look for tapered legs. Cuffing is undeniably in, and should you want to show off unique detailing, Ball and Buck's 6 Point chino features blaze stitching on the inner seam. For shorts, Lahens asserts that they should hit right above the knee, while sitting looser on the hip: "Wear them with loafers or cool trainers to avoid looking like you're going to the beach." And in lieu of the typical chino, Bollman will soon introduce Ball and Buck's first short, made of a 9oz organic cotton duck cloth, "a casual short you can really beat up."
Ball and Buck's faded plaid chambray via Facebook
The Anti-Trend Trend: Classics that are built to last always work for Boston men. Bollman says, "We want our customers to be able to buy something they can wear for seasons to come and at the same time get a little nod to what people are looking for now. We're doing chambray, and bringing it in a sun washed, faded plaid into neckwear and more of an accessory side."
Athletic: Lahens has certainly noticed an athletic trend this season: "Sports and music are two things that influence our culture so strongly. We get a combination of sportswear and streetwear. For example, a suit with cool sneakers, not your regular running shoes. You see a lot of high fashion designers coming out with trainers—Gucci, Giuseppe Zanotti, Margiela." Saul calls it "taking the gym out onto the street," going for a 1950s gymnasium look with Converse Jack Purcells.
WE DARE YOU TO TRY...
Listen, what works on the sidewalks of New York won't always find an audience here in Boston. In this category, Saul encourages guys to try novelty socks—a look bolstered by the cuffed-pants trend. Lahens reminds that tapered athletic pants (which Saul says fly off the racks at Sault) are a trend to put effort into: "They can work with a nice sweater on top. Take some calculated risk and be creative." Finally, Tejedor-Meyers digs the color blocked shirt—either with contrast pockets or split down the button placket—in spite of its slow adoption.
· Ball and Buck [Official Site]
· Caramelo Clothing Co. [Official Site]
· DressCode Boston [Official Site]
· Sault [Official Site]