For spring, men lighten up

Fresh pastel colors, patterns blossom on shirts and neckties

April 20, 2003|By Christina Minor | Christina Minor,Cox News Service

This spring, the slogan for guys' clothes could be "color me colorful." The dress shirts and ties look like a flower garden bloomed in the men's department. From pastel pinks and yellows to deeper corals and greens, spring has definitely sprung.

And, style experts say, guys are ready and willing to embrace these colorful changes. They're tired of the drab grays, blacks and maroons of fall. They want the brighter, lighter hues.

Yellow, green, coral, Persian blue, light blue, pink and lavender can be found in almost any name brand. A few stripes, ginghams and checks are showing up, as well.

Because the colored shirt and patterned tie take center stage, the fashion pros recommend that men keep the pants neutral. And flat-front slacks are generally more flattering for guys.

Kelly Ely, men's department manager at J.C. Penney in Waco, Texas, said the colored shirt can bring a striking effect to a dark suit.

"We are seeing brighter colors," Ely said. "And ties are moving back toward pattern. The Regis [Philbin] look [of monochromatic shirts and ties] is not popular anymore."

The dress shirt is definitely a focal point, but the main attraction -- the deal clincher -- is the necktie.

For spring, there are still ties in solid colors, but patterned ties are now more prevalent. Some fashion experts describe the "new" ties as sophisticated novelty, because plaids, ginghams and geometrical prints are popular.

The tropical-island trend has carried over into neckwear.

Palm trees, beach scenes and bamboo branches are represented in blues, yellows, greens and browns.

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