Tips to help Dad find a more colorful style Fashion: With Father's Day coming up, a gift is a way of remembering him, but it is also a chance to update his wardrobe.

June 13, 1996|By Jean Patteson | Jean Patteson,ORLANDO SENTINEL

Men's fashion does not change dramatically from year to year. It evolves gradually -- until suddenly you sit up and go, "Wow! That's different."

Now the fashion pendulum has completed its slow swing from full-cut clothes, muted colors and natural fabrics, to clothes that have a slimmer fit, brighter colors and a lot of man-made fabrics. An updated look can be a total overhaul or a minor adjustment. Either way, remember these 10 directions:

1. Something colorful. After years of being dominated by neutrals and naturals, fashions now are infused with strong and cheerful colors. You will find that any item -- shirt, sweater, pocket handkerchief -- will look fresh in a new shade of blue, orange, red, rich brown or a black-white combination.

2. Something shiny. High-tech fabrics that are shiny or polished make the leap from active wear to casual and career wear. Jeans may be coated with a clear polyurethane, and shirts come in glossy fabrics such as nylon and satin polyester. Prefer the natural look? Try a leather blazer.

3. An unusual jacket. The banded-collar shirt and the cardigan sweater have been reinvented as jackets. For something more classic, there's the belted safari jacket, complete with bellows pockets.

4. A new style or color shirt. Banded-collar shirts have not lost their stylish edge yet. But for a newer look, there is the retro-'70s shirt -- with a slim fit and lay-down collar, in synthetic fabric and bold color or prints. It is to wear with flat-front pants and a lot of attitude -- or a sense of humor. Too bizarre? Then think of a new dress shirt in deep blue.

5. Knits. The stylish alternative to adress shirt under a sport coat or suit jacket is a knit shirt. Choose from several styles -- tee, polo, Henley, mock turtleneck or V-neck sweater. Most have a more fitted shape, the better to fit under a jacket. Some have zippers instead of buttons.

6. A high-neck vest. The new vests button high on the chest or are styled like sleeveless, pullover sweaters.

7. Flat-front khakis. Sure, there are already plenty of khakis in dad's closet. But are they flat-front khakis? They go great with those slim-fitting shirts. (Provided they are worn by a reasonably slim body, of course.)

8. Brighter neckwear. Bold shades of yellow, blue and red are woven into the newest ties, giving them a richer texture than color-printed ties. Most are 3 3/4 inches to 4 inches wide and have a fuller throat, which produces a bigger knot.

9. Textured shoes. It's time for shoes made from woven or perforated leathers. Rich tan and brown shades are back in vogue, as are lace-up styles, a higher instep and a squarish toe shape. These details add up to a versatile shoe that's ideal for corporate-casual dressing.

10. Oval eyewear. Small, rounded, metal-framed glasses are a look that harks back to the 1980s yuppie. Today's glasses and sunglasses sport broad, oval frames in plastic or metal.

Pub Date: 6/13/96

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