Sea Island Dreaming

The history and tradition of this spectacular resort fulfill a golf-lover’s fantasy.

BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN

I’m sitting on the waterfront veranda of The Lodge, one of two luxury hotels at Sea Island Golf Resort. (The Lodge, adjacent to three golf courses on St. Simons Island, feels like an old English manor; The Cloisters, built on Sea Island in 1928 but reintroduced in 2006 after a three-year renovation, blends the history and aesthetics of Mediterranean revival style.) I’m sipping a Jack Daniels, taking in a brilliant sunset, and listening to the soulful sounds of a solitary bagpiper who’s been strolling the shoreline for the past hour. Enchanted by the music, the scenery, the wildlife, the canopy of oak trees and the genteel and gracious hospitality throughout the resort, I’m more relaxed than I’ve been in ages. (I had intended to go for a massage at Sea Island’s famous spa, but after only a few hours at the resort I no longer need one…)

Truth be told: I’m not a golfer but since I’m married to one, I looked forward to a mini-vacation at this renowned Forbes Five-Star resort, home to one of the top-rated golf schools in the country. Little did I know how much the property has to offer above and beyond golf! James Gibson, Sea Island’s VP of operations, lists a hunting lodge, a shooting school, a yacht club featuring fishing, sailing and kayaking, a pristine beach, numerous swimming pools, an award-winning 65,000-square-foot spa, an indoor atrium, many fabulous restaurants (including the five-star Georgian room and my favorite, Colt & Alison) and numerous bars (I loved the Oak Room!) among the resort’s amenities. “Our demographic is multi-generational,” he explains as we sip tea in the historic Trophy Room. “Guests come with their children and grandchildren, couples come for romantic getaways, groups come for golf outings, and of course many PGA golf pros have chosen to make this their home.” Asked to articulate the essence of Sea Island, what makes it truly special,Gibson talks about the employees. “At least 80 of our people have worked here more than 25 years, which is unheard of in our business,” he explains. “Robert, who works in our men’s locker room, has been with us 50 years. Ask him how he’s doing and he’ll always respond ‘Mighty Fine’ which is what we now call him. Our repeat customers always make it a point to visit with Mighty Fine…”

Brannen Veal, Sea Island’s director of golf, grew up playing golf in Macon, Georgia but turned to baseball at Auburn University (his dad had been a professional ball player with the Detroit Tigers). “After college, I went back to golf, starting out as a golf cart attendant as many of us do. I’m a good golfer (Editor’s Note: He’s being modest; he’s actually a scratch golfer.) and I’ve taught in Golf Digest top schools, but my passion is the service aspect: I love helping people enjoy the game.”

Discussing Sea Island’s celebrated state-ofthe- art Golf Performance Center (featuring 3D capture, 13 top-rated instructors, three fitters, two fitness experts and its own psychologist), Veal talks about an individualized approach tailored to personal goals and skill levels. Focusing on five core competencies (long game, short game, fitness, club fitting and mental game), Veal notes that each competency has its own instructors. “Our goal at this Performance Center was to create the ultimate golf experience: the best courses, luxury accommodations, fine dining, top fitness programs, exceptional instructors (who currently work with Davis Love, Matt Kuchar, Harris English, Zach Johnson and other pros) and our own sports psychologist, Dr. Morris “Mo” Pickens.

Veal points out that while many professionals frequent the Performance Center, it’s not just for five-handicappers. “I’d say the average handicap is mid teens, and of course we also welcome beginners. And that’s one of the paradoxes we struggle with: because we have so many pros and so many top-50 teachers, people sometimes assume they’re not good enough to be here. So we’re trying to make the experience less intimidating. It’s essential for us to grow the game and not be so focused on professionals and top amateur players. Sure they’re great, sure we want them here, but it’s just as important to get those beginner golfers who’ve never held a club, to make them feel comfortable so they want to be part of the game.” Delving a bit further into the mental game, Veal jokes that “it’s the one place where I could destroy Dr. Mo: if he knew what was really going on in my head, he might never recover…” More seriously, he explains the process: usually a 30-minute initial assessment followed by Dr. Mo accompanying the golfer on nine holes and then coming up with suggestions. “It’s not earth-shattering stuff: it’s generally about how you compartmentalize, prioritize, focus and then let go. I know that’s oversimplified, but it works. And it’s as applicable to business, and to life, as it is to golf…”

The Fashion Forum

NEVER TOO LATE FOR A CHANGE

We’ve seen a complete changing of the guard in the late-night talk show world, with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, James Corden, Seth Myers, Jimmy Kimmel and Trevor Noah among the funnymen now sitting in the interviewers’ chairs. But if the faces have changed, the uniform has remained mostly the same: dark suit, white or blue shirt, boring tie. While these guys certainly look dapper, one can’t help but feel they could push the sartorial envelope a bit more. Corden is one of the faces of Burberry, so where are the cutting-edge designs and pops of plaid? Fallon recently signed a deal with G-III for licensed athletic wear, so perhaps he’s saving all his creative juices for that collaboration. And would it kill Myers to borrow something more casual and creative from Stefon, his former flame from Saturday Night Live? The time is ripe to start a trend. —Brian Scott Lipton

DURABLE DENIM

Looking at the current high-fashion uses for denim, from three-piece suits to stylish coats, it can be hard to imagine just how utilitarian the cotton fabric was in its earlier days, when it was worn during the California Gold Rush and used to make early 20th-century prison uniforms. That latter usage surprised even fashion historian Emma McClendon, author of the new book Denim: Fashion’s Frontier and curator of the exhibition of the same name at New York City’s Museum at FIT. Still, McClendon admits that denim’s constant permutations really shouldn’t be shocking. “It’s the rare fabric that’s relatively inexpensive to produce, extremely durable, and easy to care for,” she says. —Brian Scott Lipton

THE MAN, THE MYTH

Italians are known to be superstitious, none more so than the Neapolitans.

In addition to the distinctive touch Isaia’s red coral pin adds to the brand’s garments, they believe it also brings luck to the wearer. “We still keep the original piece of Isaia red coral, given to me by a friend, in our Milan flagship store,” says Gianluca Isaia. “And every jacket we make comes with a red coral lapel pin to bring good luck to he who wears it.” The coral motif can also be spotted elsewhere throughout the collection, on buttons, under collars and in stitching.

As Isaia recounts from ancient mythology, Perseus slayed Medusa and delivered her head as a gift to the king of Seriphos, who was to wed his mother. During his travels home, Perseus fell in love with Andromeda, whom he found chained to a rock about to be eaten by the evil sea-monster Cetus. To prove his love and save her life, Perseus killed the terrible beast. As he sat to wash his hands in the sea, Perseus laid down the sack that contained Medusa’s head. Her blood dripped into the water and instantly hardened into the form we recognize today as red coral.

Just as the head of Medusa brought luck to Perseus in his battle with Cetus, red coral brings luck to the distinguished man who chooses an Isaia
garment. —Jillian LaRochelle

FASHIONABLE FRIDA

Is there anything more to know about Frida Kahlo? The great Mexican artist has been given the filmic treatment by Julie Taymor (and played by Salma Hayek), and her work has been displayed everywhere from LACMA to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the New York Botanical Garden. But another side of this groundbreaking woman is explored in Frida Kahlo: Fashion as the Art of Being(Assouline, $195), a new book by journalist Susana Martinez Vidal that was inspired by an exhibition of Kahlo’s own clothing at her home, La Casa Azul. As Vidal deftly illustrates, Kahlo’s fashion aesthetic is something neither time nor death can diminish. —Brian Scott Lipton

STREET SMART

Amsterdam’s Tassenmuseum gives the term “bag lady” a whole new (chic) meaning.  Inside a beautiful canal-side building, you can view hundreds of purses in various shapes, sizes and designs, spanning from the 1500s to the modern-day. This spring, the museum’s Street Coutureexhibition (through June 5) offers an enlightening perspective on these accessories as it showcases colorful, playful and inventive bags by such top fashionnames as Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior, sometimes pairing them with international fashion ranging from Japanese “Lolita” clothing to American hip-hop outfits to illustrate how one influences the other. It’s definitely worth crossing the Atlantic to witness these crossovers! —Brian Scott Lipton

 

 

Spring ’15 Forecast

BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN

Sabine Le Chatelier of Premiere Vision

We interviewed Sabine Le Chatelier, of Premiere Vision (the world’s leading fabric trade show) for her take on men’s spring fashion. Here’s what to expect when the weather warms up:

“According to the top fabric mills, suiting fabrics will have a more casual feel for spring ’15, a trend that will influence all categories of menswear. Fabrics will feature more synthetics in the blend, creating a somewhat lustrous finish: not exactly shiny but technical inspired in a contemporary way.

“Lighter colors are taking hold in suits and sportcoats: cool tones like pale grays and shades of blue. There’s also a strong linen trend in suits, but very sophisticated, a clear departure from the soft crinkled linens of yesterday. The new linens are blended with cotton or wool for a fresh modern look with a rustic touch.

“In ties, expect more non-silk styles that reinforce the casual message. In sportswear, you’ll see new sophisticated knit tops in luxury yarns, fashioned into slim T-shirts and polos that work under a suit or sportcoat. And don’t be afraid to wear prints, even florals: these are what will separate the men from the boys…”

Pitti Party

STORY AND IMAGES BY WILLIAM BUCKLEY

Twice a year, the Tuscan city of Florence, Italy welcomes 1,050 exhibitors and more than 30,000 national and international fashion industry insiders to Pitti Uomo, a trade show like no other. Staged in a 16th-century fortress, Pitti is a place to see and be seen: a promenade affectionately known as Peacock Avenue is packed with men dressed to the nines, fervently followed by an equally impressive number of photographers from magazines and websites worldwide. Espresso is sipped in equal measure to bottles of Italian beer and the quintessential cocktail, an Aperol Spritz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the most recent Pitti showcasing spring ’15 fashion, the world-renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli kicked the show off with an exclusive one-night performance with the Cameristi del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino that included an emotive rendition of Schubert’s Ave Maria. The next morning the Prime Minister of Italy officially opened the show, followed by a whirlwind of fashion shows and festas. These included a Gucci museum cocktail party, a Z Zegna performance replete with acrobats and models, an Eton garden party at the Grand Hotel Villa Medici, a Brunello Cucinelli dinner at Il Giardino Torrigiani and an Ermanno Scervino presentation at the Forte Belvedere (where Kim Kardashian and Kanye West held their nuptials) with guests including… Kanye West!

Should you ever find yourself in Florence during this celebration of style, soak it all in. It’s one of the sartorial wonders of the world.

Reinventing the Suit

Brunello Cucinelli is changing the way men look, and feel, in a suit.

BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN

Throughout the ages, men’s clothing designers have tried to create suits that convey both power and comfort, yet too often it’s a trade-off. Power suits are frequently rigid and/or overly structured so the wearer looks uncomfortable; soft suits can lack shape and substance meaning the wearer loses the presence and panache that a proper suit conveys. But with his recent foray into tailored clothing, Brunello Cucinelli is reinventing the suit as a luxury garment that men can live in!

The new Cucinelli tailored clothing is crafted in the recently purchased D’Avenza factory, reputed to be the finest in the world. “Expanding into fine tailoring was a natural evolution of our menswear collection,” Cucinelli explains. Since suits require a different level of expertise than sportswear, he sought out, purchased and collaborated with this highly respected clothing facility, working carefully with the artisans to ensure that the suits have his particular fit and relaxed sensibility. These are full-canvas garments, entirely hand-made. It’s the shoulder that’s particularly unique: semi-constructed so that there’s enough structure for shape (so it doesn’t look like a sweater) but not so much to make it stiff and unnatural. “The broad but soft shoulder paired with the trimmer waist and shorter length of the jacket creates a modern aesthetic. The minimal construction allows for easy wear; the half-lined interior minimizes the weight and allows the jacket to conform to the body,” Cucinelli explains.

While the company has always been known for elegant sportswear, the new emphasis is on clothes with a more tailored image. Even outerwear has a more sartorial touch: overcoats are about six centimeters longer. Fabrics are less tech-y and more sartorial, many in fine wools and cashmeres. The look is still relaxed, but definitely more professional.

Brunello Cucinelli started out in 1978 at age 25 with a small workshop, evolving his business into an international luxury brand with more than 1,200 employees. Based in the 14th-century hamlet of Solomeo, Cucinelli restored a castle to its ancient splendor and purchased a second facility at the foot of the town. In addition to his world-class fashion, he is recognized for his humanistic ideals, placing people at the center of his enterprise, always with respect for the environment. In 2013 he received an award from the Ministry for Cultural Heritage for contributing to the moral, cultural and civic growth of his country.

Ask Forum: Fall 2014 Fashion Tips for Him

Courtesy of Ermenegildo Zegna

Q: Other than for weddings and special events, I don’t wear suits much these days. Is it okay to pull out what’s in my closet for occasional dress-up events?

Probably not. Although menswear is evolution rather than revolution, suits that are more than five years old, even from the best makers, will definitely look dated: trousers too long and baggy, jackets too roomy, shoulders too padded. Designers have gradually gone slimmer in suits, sportcoats and trousers, and fabrics have evolved so that today’s suits are more comfortable and travel- friendly than the old stuff in your closet. We’re betting you’ll find our fall ’14 suits so comfortable that you’ll choose to wear them in more casual settings, even when no suit is required.

 

Q: Is it okay to text or email my sales associate when I have a wardrobe question? How can I maximize our relationship?

Not only is it okay, but they would totally appreciate it! (Well maybe not at 3:00 a.m…) Our sales people have a wealth of information that can help you look your best every day. They can email you photos of new items as they arrive in store that will work with what you’ve already bought. They can inform you about the best-fitting jeans. They can help you match colors and patterns or figure out which tie to wear with which shirt collar. (For example, your new skinny tie is not likely to work with a cutaway collar shirt, but yes, you can wear the brown suede shoes with your gray suit!) They can also suggest the perfect gift, wrap it and send it without you needing to leave your desk. Never be afraid to contact your sales associate for any fashion-related issue: their passion for fine clothing is the reason they chose this career, and your trust in them is the ultimate compliment.

Q: I see that a lot of my favorite brands have their own stores: do you carry the same styles they do?

Sometimes there’s crossover, but we try to customize our mix to the needs of our community. While fashion has become somewhat international, our buyers know their customers personally so it’s easy for them to fine-tune assortments to specific tastes and lifestyles. Another advantage of shopping an independent store: since we carry so many top brands, we can suggest how to mix your favorite pieces so you’re not dressed head-to-toe in a single designer. This type of brand blending adds creativity and personality to your look so you won’t see yourself coming and going. Stop by and we’ll show you how to do it!

Spring Forward

Advances in modern materials take us through the changing seasons.

BY WILLIAM KISSEL

Clothing by Samuelsohn

If you still believe that cashmere and wool are for winter and cotton and linen must stay in the closet until the first signs of spring, you may not have a clear grasp on the material world—or at least not on the materials that have been developed in the past decade.

In today’s world, where travel is more commonplace and indoor to outdoor temperatures can fluctuate wildly, the best spring menswear is made from fabrics that are essentially seasonless. Featherweight cashmere in the summer? Why not? A small percentage of tropical wool blended into that linen shirt? Of course, especially since wool’s elastic properties help combat wrinkles.

“The biggest trend is weight-neutral fabrics that travel well and go from one climate to the next with ease,” explains Craig Wertheim of Scabal USA, one of the top cloth makers in the world. The Brussels-based company’s solution this season is Fresh, a collection of tropical-weight, wool-blend suit fabrics treated in an advanced finishing process that makes them more breathable as well as cooler to the touch, especially for spring.

Of course, cotton and linen are still the two most versatile fabrics for the warmer months. The hygroscopic properties of both plant-based fibers make them highly absorbent and resistant to heat. That same characteristic also makes them remarkably durable, and cooler when in contact with the body.

But contrary to popular belief, traditional winter-weight cloths such as alpaca, cashmere and wool—all derived from the downy fleece of animals—are also hygroscopic, meaning they too can absorb perspiration and have the ability to keep the body cool in summer, depending on the weight of the fiber.

Clothing by Samuelsohn

In fact, cashmere’s unique molecular structure actually helps the fiber absorb as much as 35 percent of its own weight in moisture. That compares to 25 percent moisture absorption for cotton, which makes cashmere the better choice for wicking perspiration away from the body.

Thankfully, modern technology can render many classically cool-weather cloths in microscopically thin and lightweight versions. To that end, some extra-fine gauge cashmeres are now as light and airy as a pair of silk stockings, primarily because top knitting factories are using the same weaving machines to produce both.

Or consider the incredible lightness found in this season’s fine-micron wools, some of which are made of gossamer-thin fibers six times finer than human hair. The newest technologies have been embraced by makers of both sportswear and suits, so unless you’re an Icelandic fisherman, it’s hard to believe there isn’t room in your wardrobe for any of these year-round weaves.

For spring 2014, suit makers including Canali and Ermenegildo Zegna have been especially keen on seasonless blends of tropical-weight wool mixed with silk, bamboo and even mohair for a look that can add a bit of iridescence to the finished cloth. Others are using high-tech fabrics such as microfiber, which is lightweight, water-resistant and breathable, as well as Ermenegildo Zegna’s Techmarino cloth and Loro Piana’s Storm System, which both add comfort and breathability to wool and other fabrics for when temperatures rise and fall.

Clothing by Samuelsohn

“Selling wool or cashmere in summer five years ago would have been tough,” offers Arnold Silverstone, president and creative director at Samuelsohn and Hickey Freeman, two of the leading suit makers at the forefront of new trends in fabric technology. “But the weights, the weaving and the technology have all changed so much that you can have jackets that look like cotton poplin and seersucker, but are really made of wool.”

Among the company’s newest fabrics is a proprietary performance-driven wool called Extreme, created in collaboration with Loro Piana’s patented Rain System technology to give it natural stretch and render it water and wrinkle resistant as well. “We also did a lightweight cashmere/silk blend for spring that weighs only 200 grams, so it’s almost shirt weight but gives a soft hand [previously found] only in cashmere,” says Silverstone. “The ultimate summer blazer is no longer limited to cotton or linen; now you can wear a blend of wool/silk/linen and still be comfortable.”

Evolving Traditions

At Etro, creative experimentation is perfectly balanced by centuries-old inspiration.

Etro Spring/Summer 2014

As a fashion and lifestyle brand, Etro wasn’t so much founded as grown organically. In 1968, Gimmo Etro began producing high-quality fabrics embellished with original designs and innovative colors. In 1981 the furnishing textiles line made its debut, featuring a paisley print that would quickly become Etro’s leitmotif.

The addition of leather goods and travel bags (1984), home accessories (1986) and fragrances (late 1980s) consolidated the brand’s standing as a lifestyle powerhouse, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the now-iconic men’s and women’s prêt-à-porter collections were introduced.

From its headquarters on Milan’s Via Spartaco, Etro is now helmed by Gimmo’s four children. Jacopo, the eldest, oversees textiles, home and leather goods collections. Next is Kean, the “creative spirit” of the brand and director of men’s collections. Ippolito is CFO and COO, while baby of the family (and only daughter) Veronica designs women’s wear.

Almost as deep as Etro’s family roots are its roots in textile culture. Inspired by history, the textiles interpret signs whose origins have been lost in time. Using only the finest fibers and finishings, the paisley motif is constantly reinterpreted in what Etro calls “a game of suggestive elegance.”

Etro Spring/Summer 2014

For the spring/summer 2014 men’s collection, even everyday pieces were designed to surprise. Inspired by the Mexican riding tradition of charreria, the highly researched and elaborately patchworked materials highlight Etro’s unparalleled expertise in fabric combination. Intricate leather tooling, for example, is informed by age-old saddlery techniques and used abundantly across clothing and accessories. Traditional English fabrications, from sharp pinstripes to cotton-linen twills, cut into the mix, offering a classic balance to Aztec-inspired embroidery.

Sculpted and cut close to the body, the season’s silhouettes are resolutely masculine and exalt a man’s natural shape. Jackets feature a powerful shoulder, while suits are cut in three pieces, plastered with intarsias, piped in suede or leather saddle stitching, lined in georgette silk, and layered over un-done striped shirts.

Orange, the signature hue of traditional saddle-makers, takes center stage. New shades of white were invented by blending linen and cotton or by appliquéing suede onto twill. Ice cream shades of strawberry, lemon, lime and bubblegum blue create tone-on-tone patterns used on jacquard shirts. Etro’s signature prints possess an unstudied, arte-naïf quality, as if drawn by hand. A horse print, on shirts and jackets, bears the unfinished semblance of a rough illustration. The paisley is also treated in a new way: as a blurry, black-and-white pattern that seems to emerge from a mirage.

Etro Spring/Summer 2014

On the women’s side, Veronica Etro presents her vision of deconstructed elegance, where the simplicity of dressing contrasts with the detail of handcraft. A rich array of influences includes her grandmother’s patterned bookshelf, the exotic blooms of Indo-China, and the precious metal work of the Ottoman Empire. The paisley motif is hand-sewn into complex collages along with tie-fabric patterns, exotic florals and the season’s new figurative drawings, resulting in a new “print” that’s actually a splintered patchwork pattern. Purposefully asymmetrical in their placement, the prints have an air of imperfection and are trimmed in metal fringe or enameled metal mesh that blends into the design.

“I observe everything,” explains Veronica Etro, “storing sensations and inspirations to share with my creative team. I keep a notebook in which to record things that strike me. Then I work by subtraction, gradually cleaning out the notebook and throwing away most of the notes until it is time to get up the courage to close the circle. What is left forms the heart of the collection.”

Etro Spring/Summer 2014

Bright, bold colors—lemon, coral, mint, lavender—mix effortlessly with neutrals like sage, khaki and ivory. The new ease of the season can be felt in Etro’s simple shapes, many of which wrap around the body with a casual, comfortable air. Shawl-front halter gowns fall gently in a column to the ankle. Skirts, cut below the knee, look like draped sarongs but are in fact constructed. Details like scarf necks, flap panels and pockets on the front of evening gowns or backs of jackets, fracture the sense of formality and allow summer’s optimism to shine through.

DID YOU KNOW? Paisley is an ancient decoration rich in history and meaning. The droplet-shaped motif was born in Mesopotamia, where it symbolized the seed of the tree of life. The design migrated from east to west, and has been found on objects from Indian prints to Celtic embroideries. In Kashmir, shawls printed with this pattern were offered as gifts to the Great Mogul, then passed down through the generations. Etro’s collection of 150 of these shawls, dating from 1810 to 1880, has inspired the use of paisley as the common thread that runs through its collections. Over the years the design has been illuminated with pop hues, fossilized, pulverized, corroded, overlapped, paired with flowers and stripes, enlarged, and reduced to its original essence. This special talent with prints is what puts Etro in a class of its own.

A Soft Mix: What You Need Now

No one does casual luxe quite like AG.

BY ELISE DIAMANTINI

Known for a super-soft hand, luxurious fabrics and vintage washes, AG’s jeans are American made and manufactured in its 400,000 sq. ft. Los Angeles factory. For spring 2014, AG is stepping up its game with cutting-edge styles for both men and women. Here, we highlight the must-have items for spring 2014.

MEN’S MUST-HAVES

Every man’s closet should have a mix of denim and non-denim bottoms. Color is king, but not as bright as past seasons. Think earth tones: grays, beiges and greens.

COLORED SELVEDGE: AG is injecting its signature style into the selvedge denim craze that’s currently trending in menswear. (Selvedge refers to denim woven on a shuttle loom with a finished edge to prevent fraying.) AG uses a dyeable, comfort-stretch fabric (unique because most selvedge denim is not dyeable and raw). Key colors for spring are blues, greens, khakis, washed-out blacks and whites.

As AG’s men’s sales manager Jake Campbell explains, “White denim is very cool and poised to make a comeback for spring. It looks great with sportswear and has that elegant nautical feel.” Also exciting is the brand’s “double indigo” jean; it’s twice-dyed so when you roll up the cuff, it’s blue rather than white.

LUXE CHINOS: Non-denim pants are the hot item for spring. AG’s super-luxe colored chinos are made of Italian fabrics in sueded cottons, giving these pants the most luxurious look and feel. This modern, tailored-fit chino is offered in both five-pocket and trouser styles. These versatile pants can be dressed up with a blazer, or worn like jeans on the weekend. This season’s casual palette will feature colors like soft grays and khakis.

AG Adriano Goldschmied Spring/Summer 2014

WOMEN’S MUST-HAVES

The theme for spring is sophisticated-chic in a neutral monochromatic color palette (creams, beiges, whites).

MOTO-INSPIRED: Moto styles were a huge trend for fall/holiday, and will only gain popularity for spring. AG is updating the trend with The Reagan, a moto-inspired style with chic seaming and zipper details. Pick up a pair in one of this season’s must-have muted tones like beige, nude and white.

TWILL TROUSERS: Relaxed silhouettes are gaining traction in women’s fashion, and a more sophisticated style is the twill trouser. AG’s trouser fit is available in essential twill and has a slim, tapered leg. This twill style looks great in the season’s muted monochromatic colors as well as gray and faded black.

Ask Forum: Fall 2013 Fashion Tips for Him

Q: I recently bought some dress shirts with French cuffs. On the inside part of each cuff, there are two cufflink holes, while on the outside part of the cuffs, just one. Why?
It’s to adjust the tightness of the sleeve, although not all makers offer this option. In any case, kudos to you for wearing French cuffs and cufflinks, adding a touch of class to your sartorial style. We hope you’re also trying bowties, pocket squares, tie clips and/or boutonnieres, all of which add personality to your executive look.

Q: Boxer shorts are not working under the new slim pants I’ve been buying. What type of underwear should I try?
We suggest trim boxer briefs in some of the new high-tech fabrics that are moisture wicking, antimicrobial and amazingly comfortable. Try them in fashion colors and patterns if you dare.

Q: I’ve noticed that my darker, harder-finish wool suits (even the expensive ones) tend to pick up shine after dry cleaning. Is there anything I can do about this? I’m tempted to go over the fabric with fine sandpaper but I worry I might make it worse.
Skip the sandpaper and cut back on the dry cleaning. If your suit gets soiled, spot cleaning is best; dry clean as infrequently as possible. Other tricks of the trade: buy some good cedar hangers and leave space between suits in your closet; rotate your wardrobe so that you don’t wear the same suit on consecutive days. Most importantly: update your wardrobe with a new suit or two every year or so. With today’s slimmer fits, what’s in your closet is likely to look somewhat dated.

Q: What’s the proper length for pants these days?
Definitely shorter than they used tobe, now that slimmer leg styles arepopular. While we don’t recommend showing your ankles (although young trendsetters are doing it!), we do suggest just a slight break to no break at the top of the shoe. Unfortunately, lots of guys are still wearing their pants with a big break or even a double break: we feel that excess fabric bunched up on slim pants is a bit unflattering.