Make Your Statement

By Johnny McCutcheon

Spring is the perfect time to make your statement. The warmer weather and bright colors of spring inspire us to have more fun and change our attitudes and wardrobes. There are several ways to make these changes that I will share with you. We can add color by choosing lighter, brighter hues for our suits and shirts. Patterns change for spring, as well, by letting us take a breather from the winter weight fabrics and colors. Spring is the perfect time to open our minds to fun accessories and fabrics with a lighter look and feel.

Adding Color and Pattern
This spring, look to add color through brighter hues and bold patterns that turn heads. With suits and sport coats, move into lighter shades of blue and gray. This is the time of year that I like to replace colors like dark navy and charcoal suits with slate blue and light gray. Adding khaki and light brown back into the mix with your suit and jacket choices also gives you more options for the warmer weather. Now is also the time to throw in a touch of color with pink, lavender, or light blue pinstripes and plaids.
Change up the look of your shirts by adding patterns such as small and large checks or stripes with a splash of color. My personal favorite is gingham. Spring is also the perfect time to bring out bright beautiful, spring time color solids. Make your spring statement this season by taking more risks with boldness and hue. If all of this talk about color and pattern is too far out of your comfort zone, then a crisp white well-fitted shirt is always a good option, as well.

Accessories are a simple and subtle way to add pops of color that make a definite difference in your appearance. If you tend to be more conservative with your style, accessories are a great place to start taking some risks. Start by trying bright and bold shades of color with your ties, pocket squares, or socks. For example, adding a light pink paisley pocket square with a light blue suit and a pink plaid or check shirt may change your look from drab to right on point. The bottom line with accessories for all of us: This is the place to be bold.

Ties, pocket squares, and socks:
Yellow, mint green, light blue, pink, purple, and lighter shades of orange and red are great colors to try in the spring.
Patterns make a difference. Make your statement with a light blue sock with pink stripes or polka dots. Sometimes it is also acceptable to ditch the socks altogether, but make sure that the audience and the environment is right for that selection.

Lighten your look by trading out brown or black shoes for a walnut or chili colored shoe. You can also change colors completely with white or lighter shades of gray suede but stay natural and neutral with your shoe color.
In spring, feel free to give your lace-up shoes a breather and rotate in a nice pair of slip-ons when the wardrobe selection calls for a more relaxed look.
Don’t forget, the details matter. When you take the time to make small, careful, thought out adjustments to your appearance and/or wardrobe, all of these details combine to enhance your complete image. John Wooden’s quotation, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen” not only applies to basketball but applies equally to men’s fashion.

Fabric Options:
As temperatures heat up, it is always great to wear fabrics that are lighter weight because they breathe a little easier than traditional woolen fabrics. Choose lighter fabric blends of linen or silk mixed with wool and of course there are always linen and seersucker, two true southern staples. I personally like to make or wear garments in lighter weight wools that are unconstructed or unlined for a more natural, lighter feel. Finally, remember if a suit or sport coat is not on the agenda, wear a lightweight shirt that fits well paired with a nice tailored pant for a comfortable put together look. For spring, especially in the south, a lighter look and feel is the way to go.
Whether you use one or all of the ideas suggested, make your statement this spring dressed with confidence.
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