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Fashion versus style

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson 

When it comes to men's fashion, there is one big question: go with fashion or go with style?  While fashion is much more fun for women, it is also more forgiving.  Trends come and go, and it's easier for women to play with the trends.  For men, it is an entirely different story.  If you ever have an urge to go crazy with a trend, keep these two names in mind: Von Dutch and Ed Hardy, and avoid them.  Men all over the world that own fashion based companies agree and insist that having your own style will make you look sharper than following fashion trends.

Courtesy of
Justin Timberlake 

The late and great Michael Jackson is a perfect example of what it means to have personal style.  The movie poster for the recently released "This is it" film shows an outline of a figure filled in by scenes from the movie.  The outlined figure is obviously  Jackson.  His style was so unique, albeit at times over the top, that an outline of him wearing one of his signature styles is enough for an audience to identify a faceless figure of him within seconds.

Ricky Gervais
British Comedian, Ricky Gervais 

If Michael Jackson is a little too over the top for you, consider Justin Timberlake.  Like Jackson, Timberlake is know for wearing Fedora hats, but he's also known for wearing scarves and blazers.  While it's more subtle, Timberlake definitely has his own unique style.  Another celebrity with personal style is Ricky Gervais.   Unless he is in formal wear for an awards show, he wears a black t-shirt, black jeans, and black shoes.  He's a great example of having style without being dressed up all the time.

If you feel uncomfortable wearing blazers everyday or well fitted jeans, take a queue from Gervais.  Pick a dark color that fits you, and run with it.  Black is an amazing color, because even when worn all over in casual clothing, something about it gives the look panache.  A dear friend of yours truly is a loose jeans, t-shirt, and hoodie guy.  What gives him style and forgiveness from me, is that he wears black; all black.  His shirts are always basic, which contrary to Christian Audigier's (creator of Von Dutch and Ed Hardy) beliefs, adds style. 

The over the top military look was all over the Fall runways.  While some men out there can and will pick up this trend,  and look amazing while doing it; most men just don't want to.  So how does one solve this conundrum?  Get a toned down military jacket (Ragstock has a great selection of real ones) in a color that flows with what you already own.  If you're not known for dressing out of your comfort zone, then don't.  Find a jacket that you feel carries a resemblance of the Fall trends, find it in a cut that fits your body, and a color that you're comfortable wearing.

With so many trends for this time of year, it's important to not get lost in them, or to give up.  Take a glance in your closet and ask yourself if you have your own personal style.  If you think that your closet is a little all over the board, pick out your five favorite garments.  These can be anything from shirts, to pants, to coats.  Lay them out in front of you, and look for the common theme among them.  Once you found the theme, then look for that when shopping for yourself in the future.  Over time, you will build upon that specific style, and that's what will make you recognizable and stylish.

Maureen's favorite trends for Fall are: turn of the century dandy, naval military, large scarves, geek chic, and biker chic.