Be Preppy, Be Sporty, Be Sophisticated With Louis Vuitton Spring 2014
The guys walking down the Louis Vuitton runway for Spring 2014 under the direction of Marc Jacobs and Kim Jones were clean cut and styled in a way that was casual yet sharp. The looks paid tribute to many of the classic Americana inspired archetypes including fraternity brother, lover of preparatory school style and (of course?) the derelict garage mechanic… but being Louis Vuitton, the looks shone with traditional tailoring and had a polished finish.
The style I feel that is most likely going to grab attention in public is the slim cut suits with short narrow-legged pants complete with the all American neckerchief and crisply pressed brightly checked shirt. Of course there were the theatrical pieces as well including the undulating paisley handkerchief ponchos that resembled the boro inspired influences from Kim Jones Spring 2013 Vuitton men’s collection. But for the sake of simplifying this quick and easy how-to-guide (and to keep you looking cool), I’m going to focus on my favorite sartorial strengths of the collection and how to emulate them.
In order to pull off this look, start with the suit and pay close attention to the cut. You want the leg of the pant to be narrowly cut but not at all indie-rocker-ball-crushingly so. The jacket should be a two button style with a pretty average gorge and the thickness of the lapels should be no larger than 6 cm but no thinner than 3 cm (the devil’s in the details).
If you’re having it tailored then ask for a notch lapel but this small detail won’t make or break the look. Neither will the cut of the arm holes but having a high cut armhole will allow you to look a little more Italian as opposed to having the “All American” look we’re going for here so an average cut armhole is what you want. The sleeves should be comfortable, but not loose, same goes for the body of the jacket… allow it to lightly hug your frame while leaving you room to breathe. The Louis Vuitton style was single vented, once again paying tribute to a the early years of American fashion but it’s not at all necessary.
The most important detail of the suit is the length at which you hem the pants to. They need to sit just above your ankles because the goal is to be bohemian and strip yourself of the confines of socks. If you have ever been on a street style blog, you’ll see swarms of well dressed men wearing boat shoes, loafers and even brogues without socks but there’s a reason why they’re on the blog. It looks good.
As for the sleeves you can roll them up but don’t cut them too short… otherwise risk destroying your suit. Lastly the fabric of the suit should be in either a lightweight blend of cotton, linen, silk, or wool. But the color and pattern should be in the lighter tones such as sky blue, peach, mint, salmon, or banana yellow. The print on the suit should be a fun check, not a windowpane or a tartan but more of a check that includes a little of all of them. Think micro plaid in shades of blue with an overlay of cream. You may be surprised at how easy it is to find a suit in this print from your local tailor or menswear store. Once you find it, this alternative styled pattern will allow you to pick the perfect dress shirt for the look.
Think: bold colored check, that is directly related to the original color of the suit (sky blue suit means cobalt blue stripe in the shirt etc.) but make sure it has a crisp white base which will frame your face. For the collar, go for an average height that has the option to be buttoned down. You don’t get much more American than that.
When selecting the cut of the shirt select a slimmer cut that won’t add bulk from under the jacket. This way you’ll look just as good when you take the jacket off as well.
Shoes – Look for a well made brogue or other similar shoe with a sturdy heel and sole. Laces are your friend. Keep the shoes a little more classic and go with black or brown rather than risk looking overly put together or matchy-matchy.
Neckerchief – Perhaps the key to the whole thing. Okay it’s not but the traditional paisley bandana has been around since cowboys times where they would use it to keep dust out of their eyes and the terrible scent of horse manure at bay and now it’s taking your outfit from quite cottage to rowdy saloon… just urbanized.
Man-Bag – Being a Louis Vuitton look, of course there would be an epic bag to wear and they’ve created a very rugged style by using seatbelts and tanned leather. You can emulate this look by grabbing an oversized man-bag in soft caramel color that has sturdy straps for carrying. The point of this bag (believe it or not) is function of style… which ultimately adds to the overall style of the look.
Jewelry – The lapel pin worn in the show was literally a wingnut… yeah I’m going to leave that up to you but honestly something resembling a tool in a shed would definitely add to the personality of the outfit.
I hope you have all the style tips needed to rock this look and successfully pull it off with confidence.
All images courtesy of Louis Vuitton