We don't use the word "fashion" that often. We've always been more interested in style. But you can't have one without the other and for most guys, taking fashion risks means going out of your comfort zone. Michael Macko is an expert. A favorite of the Sartorialist who's held court as both the VP of menswear for Saks Fifth Avenue and fashion director for Details, he mixes current trends, pops of colors and classic pieces without ever looking contrived. Here, he offers three tips to make sure you make the most of branching out.
I know, I hate this too, but it's key if you want to wear new brands and styles. And lately I've noticed a dramatic difference in sizing from one brand to another. You might be a large in slimmer cut lines and a medium in others. As a starting point, it will help to know the size that you wear in the brands you already wear. I keep a page on my iPhone notebook with this. If you absolutely don't want to try things on, buy a few options, try them at home with your other clothes and return what doesn't work. Just check out the store's return policy first.
Most items will look tremendously better on you if you do a little nip and tuck. I never have things tailored at stores (most charge and I would rather pay someone I trust). I go to Dynasty Tailors in New York, but the best way to find one is to ask someone whose clothes look like they fit them well. They'll most likely have a tailor, and be flattered that you asked.
A good starting point for most guys is color and pattern and then learning to incorporate them into your wardrobe. Don't worry about what people say are the latest trends, just look for things that you respond to—magazines are good, but also look at web sites and blogs that show real people. If you dig a guy wearing a plaid shirt and small medallion tie, rip out the page or copy the picture and show it to whomever is helping you shop. The two things to remember when pattern mixing is color and scale. You should have one common color in both patterns that hold them together and the scale should be similar, but not exact.