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Men's trends for spring

Spring's hottest trend for everyone is distressed denim. For men, it is an essential piece since so many guys are afraid to show bare legs in public. JC Penney in the Charleston Town Center offers a surprisingly high number of affordable alternatives.

The Arizona brand carries three fits and multiple washes. The three fits are: bootcut, sneaker fit and straight fit. These describe the way the jean fits around the ankle. Fits for the waist and legs include relaxed, loose and slim. Straight and slim fits should be reserved for men who are average weight or thin. Husky guys or men with big legs should try a bootcut or sneaker fit so the jean doesn't taper at the ankle and accentuate big legs. Basically, pants should always fall in a straight line from hip to shoe.

A man who is brave enough to wear shorts has two alternatives: flat-front or cargo shorts. The over-25 set should put away the cargos and upgrade to flat-front shorts. The cost is about the same. Try a slim cut short that ends just above the knee.

As for shirts, tees, button ups and polos are still standard. Don't be afraid to try a bright color or bold graphic pattern for an updated look. Remember spring is all about colors like yellow, green and orange.

For professionals or men preparing for a job interview, a new suit is essential. Invest in a lightweight cotton suit. Hot colors are khaki, gray and olive green. Wear the shoes that will go with the suit if possible. The hem should stop about halfway down the heel of the shoe. Nobody should know what color your socks are until you sit down. A test for a well-fitted jacket is to look at the time. If you can't see your watch, the sleeves are too long. If there is skin showing above the watch, the sleeves are too short. If necessary, have a professional tailor the suit. The money spent will be worth it for a perfect-fitting suit.

A useful resource for upcoming trends is Details magazine. A free resource is JC Penney's "Spring It On Sale" Web site. Smart guys know that looking stylish doesn't have to break the bank. Remember: smart is sexy and stylish guys always get second looks.

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