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Men’s Wardrobes Show Their Sense of Style

Photos by Ian Hicks Neckties — with “skinny ties” making a comeback — come in myriad colors and styles, making them a great way for men to express their individuality.

With Pinterest and other social media sites bringing the latest in fashion to every corner of the globe almost instantly, there are more ways than ever for men to use their wardrobes to express their personal sense of style.

“Once a look starts going, it doesn’t take a lot for it to spread,” said Matt Plittman, who runs Weisberger’s Clothing and Shoes in downtown Follansbee with his father.

The ever-changing nature of fashion has led to some trends in men’s fashion that may have drawn some raised eyebrows from wives, mothers and significant others in years past. One of those is color combinations for suits and footwear that long would have been labeled mismatches.

“The real hot thing that we wouldn’t have done a couple years ago … the light-tan shoes with gray has been the real hot look,” Plittman said.

Another popular trend when it comes to dress clothes, according to Plittman, is slim-fit suits and dress shirts. Slim-fit suits are narrower and are designed to achieve a tighter fit in the arm, chest, waist and thigh areas without being restrictive.

Ties, coming in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and patterns, are another way men can express their individual style while dressing up. One neckwear trend that is coming back is the skinny tie.

Made popular in the 1950s and 1960s by music icons such as Elvis Presley and the Beatles, the skinny tie — about 2.5 inches wide at its widest point, compared to 3-4 inches for traditional ties — disappeared for a while before making a comeback in recent years.

“Five years ago, you couldn’t have sold a skinny tie,” Plittman said.

And when it comes to wedding fashion, Plittman said he’s seeing more and more men ditching the tuxedo for looks that better represent their and their fiancees’ personalities.

Something that’s catching on for weddings, especially locally, is wearing a vest and tie with blue jeans and cowboy boots. Such choices, Plittman said, can add a “down home” touch to what typically is a black-tie affair.

What men wear also can say a lot about their interests and their lifestyle. This is particularly true with footwear, Plittman said — for example, a pair of “moc toe” or logger boots is a popular choice in the blue-collar Ohio Valley.

“It’s just to say, ‘Here’s who I am. Here’s how I want to represent myself,'” Plittman said.

“They blend function and the look people want.”

Also, many people choose to express their interest in hunting through what they wear in their daily lives, not just when they’re out tracking game.

“A low-top athletic shoe with camo is a popular item,” Plittman said.

Many people also are working social consciousness into their wardrobes, according to Plittman, as he’s seeing more and more customers ask specifically for domestically produced items.

Additional popular trends in menswear are the wide-collared shirt, sometimes also known as a Cuban collar.

“Tonal” looks — or ensembles based on a single color — also have been popular. While all-black has been a classic choice for tonal looks over the years, all-gray and all-navy are gaining ground, too, although with some variation in shade among the pieces of the ensemble.

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