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The Talent for Looking Manly
IT is widely known man's charm is not due to dress but to talent. But in the modern age, with people ever more captivated by appearance, dress, while perhaps still valued second to talent among men, is at least becoming one additional way to exhibit taste. So men, don't neglect the trend anymore.

In the coming season, men open up to new ideas while still appreciating the value of times past. The sport theme is gathering speed but far from reaching maximum velocity yet.

Casual ranks high in this season's fashion guide. Deliberately arranged negligence and intentional cross-dressing push the preppy and slick aside. Influences from the world of workmen are unmistakable.

Soft Sport: Old-school styling is revamped - prints in a frayed vintage typography, combinations featuring short sleeves over long sleeved garments and hooded pullovers are part of this style.

Bomber jackets with plenty of volume and dufflecoats dominate the outdoor segment. Patch pockets are about to find their way back onto men's trouser legs. Distinct seams leave their top-stitched traces. Blue, especially in petrol shades, is in pole position.

Personal Elegance: Pre-washed velvet does away with the slick slant to men's power uniforms. Cord and wool-cotton blends exude a casual feeling. Personal styling is more important here than the pressure of convention. If in doubt, go for the solo jacket. Waistcoats also play a leading role. Underneath? Anything goes, high collars and wide cuffs, coarse knits, un-ironed shirts.

Cool Nature: White paves the way for a cool colour scheme. Frosted blue tones and mystical foggy shades are also in evidence here. Cable stitch and Scandinavian details make these icy colours melt. Warm nuances make for exciting contrasts. Ennobled parka coats and padded jackets satisfy the demand for protection in winter just as well as thick knitted jackets do.

Vintage Country: Farm workers, mountain guides and trappers feature in this fashion theme. Alpine and Himalayan influences are translated into discrete embroidery and sophisticated patchwork. Brown and berry tones determine this theme. All types of used looks and various widths of ribs announce them.

Eccentric: Dandy, mod, new romanticism and punk serve as inspirations for this theme. Slim fits, cropped styles, kimono prints or cuts re-interpret individualism as eccentric. Leather mixes with velvet and silk as if it were the most natural thing in the world. You hardly stand a chance here without any accessories: peaked caps, classic hat styles, silver chains, zipper decorations, scarves and a powerful range of belts.

(Shanghai Star May 13, 2003)

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