Hey there, spring is arriving and I’m wondering what’s the right thing to rock when it gets hot. Drop-crotch shorts and a pair of high-top leather boots, or is that ich don’t think so?
I’m not personally a fan of the look you’re proposing (nor, to be honest, of shorts in general; I tend to agree with Tom Ford that they should only be worn “on the tennis court or on the beach”). But that’s not going to stop me from encouraging you to find your own sense of personal style, and to rock it with conviction. To that end, it seems like the essence of your question is: How can a more adventurously minded, fashion-forward guy find a cool-looking (and cool-feeling) alternative to the status quo polo shirt/khaki shorts/boat shoe brigade this spring? It’s a nonconformist impulse I applaud. And the good news is that many of our favorite designers, men like Rick Owens and Alexandre Plokhov, have been experimenting successfully with edgier cuts, deconstructed silhouettes, and ultra-light fabrics for some time.
Here’s where you might start: With a few frayed, soft, verging-on-sheer T-shirts of the sort being turned out by Ann Demeulemeester and Alexander Wang. Get them in shades of off-white, gray, and black (in other words: pretty much the only colors the designers make available), and play around with layering, pulling on a couple at a time (they’re light enough to do so, even when it’s sweltering out). It’s a look we’ve seen artfully done in the past by many ‘80s industrial and new wave bands (Einstürzende Neubaten comes to mind), as well as by some of contemporary New York’s more stylishly Goth-inspired denizens. As far as alternative wear for your body’s lower half, our friend Jake Davis swears by the button-fly cotton sweatpants being made by Universal Works, available from Craft in L.A.; and my colleague Jared Flint recommends the wider-leg shorts from Tomas Maier’s Spring ’11 collection for Bottega Veneta, pictured above. (Can you tell I’m a little wary of the drop-crotch?) Mix in a pair of vintage boots—or, hell, maybe even some Jil Sander gladiator-style sandals—and, most importantly, an ample dose of self-confidence. That, more than anything, is your key to avoiding the “ich don’t think so” district of the admittedly high-risk, trial-and-error territory you’re venturing into.
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