You don't have to wear male leggings to be a stylish Irish chap this year, writes Joe O'Shea
Irish men looking to be a little more fashion forward in 2013 have plenty of options. But even the most adventurous might consider the latest fad, 'meggings', a trend too far.
For those yet to encounter meggings, they are basically men's leggings, the male version of the tight-fitting, underwear-inspired pants that have been so ubiquitous in women's fashion.
These ultra-tight, leave-nothing-to-the-imagination creations are already all the rage in the more fashionable parts of New York, London and Stockholm.
And if high-fashion men's mags such as GQ are to be believed, meggings will be the thing to be seen in for the ultra-fashionable in 2013.
However, Garrett Pitcher (inset), of men's clothing store Indigo & Cloth in Dublin, says he is not expecting a mass outbreak of meggings-wearing here in Ireland.
Garrett, who has a reputation for finding and stocking some of the freshest and most fashion-forward men's labels, believes this latest trend will likely pass the men of Ireland by.
"Let's face it, you really have to have the right body and the right look and attitude to carry something like that off. And it's really only in the seriously fashion-obsessed parts of New York or Stockholm that you will see guys wearing them," says Garrett.
"It's like most of the more out-there trends. It has to be done in the right way in the right context or it just doesn't work. And let's be honest, most Irish guys just wouldn't have the legs for it."
However, while meggings are probably out for most Irish men, Garrett says there are still lots of options for looking stylish in 2013, and the tips he would give his customers include:
Use a pop of colour
Garrett says the the basics are important – but a little splash of colour here and there can transform an outfit from the everyday to something that stands out.
"We are selling a lot of ties right now, and handkerchiefs, belts, and shirts with a pop of colour around the collar or on the cuff.
"You can still have a fairly office look and there is no need to go over the top.
A classic one-colour shirt, slacks and a suit jacket will still look great.
But just use your belt, a handkerchief or your shirt collar to introduce bright colours."
Printed shirts are going to be big in 2013, and again, they tend to add that individualistic touch to what might otherwise be a relatively safe look.
Labels that will be seen include Hentsch Man, Acne and Saturdays (the latter being a New York label that will continue to be extremely big for men in 2013).
Go mad in the sales – but buy quality
Garrett advises buying just one or two high-quality pairs of jeans rather than five so-so pairs.
"Quality will last, it always looks good, it's actually value for money in the long run and it can be mixed and matched much more handily.
"Classic jeans, not boot cut. The jeans and suit jacket has been the go-to look for many Irish guys for a long time now but that's no reason to avoid it. However, team it with a bit of colour to give it a lift. And always buy quality, you can still stay within budget by buying less."
The tailored look is still in
Blame Mad Men for the return to the tailored look several years ago, a trend that some might say has run its course and then some.
But most designers will say that this reliance on the well-cut, slightly Madison Avenue office look is no bad thing, as long as men keep it fresh and use a bit of imagination with their accessories.
"We have a lot of guys who I would call Office Boys, maybe working in a creative area like graphic design or in financial services. And they like to have that Friday Night-ready look, something with a bit more style than just the classic shirt and tie for the office," says Garrett.
Don't be blinded by labels
The worse excesses of the boom years, when Irish men tended to wear anything, as long as it was eye-wateringly expensive and had the name of two Italian blokes emblazoned across it in foot-high letters, are well behind us.
Avoid the obvious brands. It's worth spending time on the web or looking at magazines to find more progressive labels.
And these looks are not just for square-jawed models. Men in their 40s and 50s or beyond can still take the best street influences, mix them with classic tailoring and find a fresh, stylish image that won't look try-hard.