Ask Forum: Spring 2012 Fashion Tips for Him

Q: I’ve had some of my suits for over a decade and they’re holding up pretty well. How do I know when it’s time to replace them?

Just because your old suits aren’t worn out doesn’t mean they’re still in style. Cuts are slimmer now, so if you haven’t bought a suit since the country had a balanced budget, your closet needs updating! Jackets are also slightly shorter, two buttons are in and pleated pants are out! The trimmer a suit gets the more important fit becomes, so it’s a good idea to invest in well-made pieces. Ask us to show you how quality canvassing, construction and fabrics all come together to form the perfect fit, one that highlights your shape and moves with you without constraining you. We’ll bring you up to speed with updated models that suit your taste and budget. And don’t forget to pick up a few slimmed-down shirts and ties to complete the new you; nothing ruins the silhouette of a trim suit faster than wearing a large, lumpy shirt under it.

Q: What can I do to make my casual wardrobe current for spring/summer 2012?

Warm weather sportswear can be casual, but never sloppy. One perfect way to update is with the season’s hottest bottoms: slim chinos. Available in bright colors and updated neutrals, the new chinos pair equally well with polos or soft coats. Make sure they hit just at the top of your shoe, or roll them up a few times for relaxed elegance. Don’t forget to ditch your socks or replace them with ones that can’t be seen, like the new styles from V.K. Nagrani. The boat shoe is also back in a big way this summer. We’re firm believers that deck shoes offer a perfect footwear option for casual style. Try them with colorful shorts for day, or dark jeans and a blazer for evening. Drivers and loafers are always safe bets, too.

Q: My wife switches her closet every season, but I wear the same suits and slacks all year round. Am I doing something wrong?

Yes! Suits in particular are often designed by season. Tropical-weight, at 6.5 to 8.5 ounces per linear yard, is comfortable for spring and summer weather. Midweight suits (9 to 10 ounces) can be worn 10 months out of the year, and regular weight suits (11 to 13 ounces) are suitable for fall and winter months. Some fabric types are also more appropriate for certain seasons: linen, cotton and seersucker in lighter colors help keep you cool in summer, while corduroy, tweed and flannel in darker seasonal tones are great layering pieces for the colder months.