What Makes Men Suits New….Checkered Print

Still in Melbourne and looking at men’s suiting.  Men’s suits are great, but sometimes I wonder just how much a designer can do to make them seem new and interesting.  It seems that almost EVERYthing has been done to the men’s suit leaving it forever stuck in a cycle that never ends….the same tapering of a pant….or a sleeve….or the same angle of a lapel.  Sigh.  I became bored looking at them and I love men’s suits.  I began to wonder what could possibly make them seem new until…..

I went out and saw the most amazing men’s suit….the trend?  Checkered stripes.

Yes checkered stripes and not just small ones but large bold prints.  This is a print that makes me think of the early 1900s.  Something men on unicycles and the bicycles would’ve worn back in the day.  However this print seems new and fresh and is totally welcomed because it brings a new vibe to the typical men’s suit.

Calibre.  The Suit of the Hour.
The Calibre Store Window: The Suit of the Hour.

I thought I’d seen sort of a one-off style at Calibre (where I saw the suit) until I came to Armani and discovered they had a modern take on the same theme.  And where did that take me?  It took me to my men’s styling test subjects:  Maroon 5.

Potential looks for Marron 5....the Grammys....the Oscars....New Year's....drinks or house party?  who cares...as long as these outfits make it out of the window and onto the streets....
Potential looks for Marron 5….the Grammys….the Oscars….New Year’s….drinks or house party? who cares…as long as these outfits make it out of the window and onto the streets….

I wondered could Adam Levine rock the checked print suit?  Could Mickey Madden or PJ Morton?  I think PJ Morton would be an obvious choice taking him into a Raphael Saadiq mode which is EXACTLY why he should NOT wear it.  Not because he couldn’t rock it or look hot in it, but because you want to do something a little different.  Something not expected.  Now I haven’t been exactly monitoring PJ’s style so perhaps he might not opt to wear it at all which would be EXACTLY the reason for him TO wear it.  LOL.  You get it?  Let’s take this group a little abroad and see if they can handle it and see how it would make them rock it.  After all clothes can change your whole vibe and bring a fresh perspective to something totally mundane.

Not for the weak hearted.
Not for the weak hearted.

MenClothing (8 of 64)


So what would you give the other members?  Hmmm….why not check everybody out…pun intended.  Meaning why not take the theme and run it through the group.  Have Adam wear the suit?  Sure.  Then someone else where the Armani…?  Maybe not.  It could be a bridge too far to mix and mingle the two different looks, but it might be easy to say that the Armani looks might be more expected to be seen rocked at a Maroon 5 concert seeing as the guys tend to dress it down. The Armani look is totally dressed down.  It’s hip though.  On trend.  And totally fab.


....whoa...checks again...but a different take....sleek...though the scarves are a bit too much for my tastes.
….whoa…checks again…but a different take….sleek…though the scarves are a bit too much for my tastes.
Checks.....nice....a bit retro...even a bit video game-ish...fresh take either way.
Checks…..nice….a bit retro…even a bit video game-ish…fresh take either way.

If I were to design a look for the group based on the initial suit I might split things up.  Give Adam the pants and a plain Tee with perhaps a leather jacket.  Then perhaps Mickey might get the jacket over a gray Tee or purple Tee with a plain maybe even lavender slacks with perhaps Matt Flynn wearing the entire suit maybe in a different color though it might be too much to wear throughout an entire set with the stage lights.  I’d continue the theme making it a bit ‘barroom quartet’, but not cheesy.  It can be done.  Consider it plain-clothes tuxedos.  After all 5 guys don’t seem to have a problem running around all in tuxedos (as seen in the Sugar video) that might be too similar so why not checkered suits?  I think it could be hot.  I think it could be rock and roll.  I think it could be edgy because it takes a certain edge to wear something that has a bold presence as seen with this textile.

what to put with the suit if broken down into parts?
what to put with the suit if broken down into parts?

Other trends I saw that seemed too cool was ‘hand’ stitching along lapels.  Too cool!  It’s a bit deconstructed in it’s vibe as it lines the edges of the lapel.  I think it takes the suit to another level. So this is where I think we might see trends seen in everyday clothing such the raw edges and patchwork stitching seen in denim make their way to men’s suiting.  It could be that this might lead to a revival of the patch on the elbow (still seen in rare men’s suits likely for hunting or such) but maybe someone might take it a bit further (such as myself) and patchwork the entire collar and lapel (yes I said here….and perhaps said it first).  Think of it.  The patchwork collar and lapel could be the new tie.  I like it.  Hmm…it makes me want to put pen to paper…..until next time.  Travel Spritely.

Top stitching on the lapel....just makes it pop...
Top stitching on the lapel….just makes it pop…

Expect more detail on the stores in my next post when I plan to add a little more imagery and a little bit of video.

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