I have realized that my wardrobe has not changed much in the last 20 years. I am very happy being an adult and do not want to dress like a teenager, but as the rules around the male dress code disappear, it’s hard to know how to update and improve my wardrobe. Can you please offer some advice? — Paul, Pittsburgh
Since there is nothing like going straight to the source for an answer, and since Guy Trebay, our men’s wear critic, is currently on the front lines (or front row) of this issue at the men’s wear shows, I asked him how he would translate the latest designer developments for the everyday male wardrobe. Here’s the intel he sent back from the theater of operations:
“A distinctly positive takeaway of the recent edition of Pitti Uomo, the big men’s wear fair in Florence, and of the shows in Milan and those still underway in Paris, is how flexible the options are for guys of every age.
The broken suit — or jacket worn with one of a variety of trouser options — is now universally favored among designers. (We’re talking conservative designers, not those proposing fur pants or zippered flap-front leather shorts.) A good formula seems to be to wear one tailored article of clothing as an anchor and then please yourself. That could mean a blazer or chore jacket or even an untucked shirt with squared off tails (think guayabera) over trousers. These exist at every level of price, from Brioni to Uniqlo.
As for the pants, despite Jerry Seinfeld’s insistence that nobody over 30 has any business wearing jeans, they are still my go-to. The choices are many, although a straight leg and dark indigo selvage denim is a classic (no jeggings, saggers or wackadoodle washes, please). Personally, I like the Los Angeles label Hiroshi Kato. Yes, they’re pricey, but they wear like iron and go right in the wash. (Cold only, please, hang dry.)
If you are more comfortable in side-pocket trousers or the fuller workman pants favored by young designers like Evan Kinori, there are excellent options available from Todd Snyder as well as the labels Faherty, Officine Générale and even a newly rejiggered Gap.
Forget the tie, but wear them with a decent jacket, a pressed Oxford or even a crisp T-shirt and a good pair of shoes — which, believe it or not, are making a comeback. While I myself wear loafers almost exclusively, there is also a lot to be said for a pair of closed-toe Birkenstocks.
You should feel comfortably well-dressed for most any occasion other than your wedding or day in court, though if you want a real break from personal tradition, take inspiration from one of the best shows I’ve seen in years, and wear Issey Miyake head-to-toe.”
Your Style Questions, Answered
Every week on Open Thread, Vanessa will answer a reader’s fashion-related question, which you can send to her anytime via email or Twitter. Questions are edited and condensed.