It Might As Well Be Spring
by James Tuttle
I feel blessed and happy that I was able to get this out to you even after my retinas were burned in a terrible accident over the weekend. Yes, I accidentally watched the E! Network’s Ice Loves Coco and I’m surprised that the downtime after an ordeal like that didn’t last longer.
Even before the opening credits, we see Coco clad in a leopard-print bikini that showcases her spray-tanned curves and vacuuming around her adoring husband, the one-time rapper Ice-T, as they verbally spar over something that I didn’t catch because I was more worried about whether one of her big fake boobs was going to pop out.
When the show begins in earnest, Ice-T and Coco are in his dressing room on the set of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit where he has somehow managed to maintain a long acting career despite always seeming to have just learned his lines enough to bark them out on cue without any variation in tone or emotion. He marvels about the caliber of guest talent they have on the show, proclaiming, “Man, it’s been eptic aroun’ here.” Then he suddenly decides that he’s so burned out by filming two episodes at once that they need to go to Miami for the weekend.
Coco thinks that this is the perfect introduction to her “fish story.” That sounds like a road we don’t want to go down but fear not, it’s actually a story about fishing. It seems she once caught a 150-pound marlin off Cabo San Lucas and Ice accidentally deleted all the photos from the camera so now no one believes her when she tells them about this spectacular catch. This reminds me why we don’t like Cabo San Lucas, but I’m still a little foggy on the connection between fish and Miami.
Next we join Coco looking light and happy when she meets up with her girlfriends for drinks, totally not for the benefit of the cameras or anything, but in the intercut interview segments with her platinum corkscrew curls, she looks like the lead in an all-drag production of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, and not in a good way.
She tells the girlfriends that she’s glad to be going to Miami with Ice because it’ll be just the two of them. And a camera crew. And a sound crew and lighting and producers and production assistants. But, other than that, just the two of them. Once they get down there, we get a tour of the four thousand-square-foot condo that they decorated together and it is really difficult to describe in mere words. It’s ultra-modern, but also not in a good way. The wall-to-wall carpeting is sky blue and captured in many of the reflective surfaces of glass, crystal and chrome throughout. It makes me want to go into a Z Gallerie and slap someone.
They manage to break away from this love nest to hit the beach and, wouldn’t you know it, the paparazzi are swarming within minutes. I’m not sure how they found them out there just minding their own business but maybe sunbathing with a camera crew could’ve tipped them off.
Coco thinks that the paps will go away when they’ve got what they want and decides to take one for the team by stripping down to that leopard-print bikini and frolicking in the surf. When the photographers finally take off, Coco decides there’s no reason for her to stick around either and heads out to shop with an obligatory Pretty Woman shopping montage that includes a shot of a register totaling out at $1,022. What did she buy, a couple of pair of sunglasses?
I’m not even going to get into where Coco does apparently catch an enormous swordfish while wearing a Swiss dot lace jumper because spring is coming and us guys have to figure out what the fuck to wear. Before the seemingly endless succession of fashion weeks began, we already covered a few of the major men’s trends for the coming spring—like colors, schoolboy jackets, fuller pants and shiny eveningwear—but now we’ve had a little more time to distill all that information into something we can use.
The Colors: You may remember that blue is a predominant color in this spring’s menswear and that’s going to make our lives a little easier. There’s a wide range from navy, indigo and cerulean to ocean and turquoise so you have a lot of room to play. Mix them up, go monochromatic or throw on your jeans with a blue T-shirt and you’ll be right on trend. Even though it’s only March, I’ve already lined up a couple of pair of navy trousers, dark blue button-down shirts and pullovers and a navy linen blazer for a bunch of easy workday combinations that I won’t even have to think about when I get dressed in the morning.
Other bright colors like yellow, red, orange and hot pink are a little more challenging and I wouldn’t recommend wearing them head-to-toe as shown on the runways. If you turn up at a party in a bright yellow suit looking like Dick Tracy, you deserve to have people point and laugh at you for the rest of the evening. This is not because you pushed the boundaries of fashion, it’s because you look like a fucking idiot. Trust me, if Warren Beatty couldn’t pull it off, you can’t either.
If you still want to work the brights, affordably priced brightly colored jeans are showing up everywhere this season from Levi’s and Gap to Paige and Calvin Klein. Wear them with a crisp white cotton shirt, an easy black T or a grey sweatshirt to tone them down and still be current.
The Fabrics: Plaids are still a big deal this spring, with houses like Gucci, Etro and Bottega Venetta basically building their collections around them. They range from luxuriously subtle to in-your-face colorful so you can easily find something to fit your style. If that $3,000 plaid schoolboy jacket and pant combo at Gucci doesn’t fit your budget, though, you’re sure to find at least a couple of great pieces at your favorite vintage spot. Just don’t wear them without having them tailored to a more current shape.
Another big fabric trend is the mesh fabric that Dolce and Gabbana used for jackets, trousers, shirts and just about everything else. Even though you have mesh knitwear sweaters to full-on net bomber jackets to choose from, I’d advise you to stick to a couple of basic pieces and call it a day.
The Tailoring: We already mentioned that many of the pants are fuller for spring but, whether full or narrow, they’re also shorter. Ankles were on display at Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Lanvin and Dior but you don’t have to go that short if you’re not comfortable with it.
When I was getting my new grey plaid suit tailored, the thought of running around without socks for nine or ten hours a day made me decide on a longer hem. There are also a lot of tailored shorts out there, which I guess is to be expected for spring. What I didn’t expect was the suggestion I ran across on the blog MillionLooks.com that said, “Look for a nice pair of shorts which can be worn with a suit jacket, with or without suspenders.” Uh, yeah, don’t do that.
Double-breasted jackets also made a big appearance but in a relaxed, almost slouchy silhouette like those at Martin Margiela and Prada. Unlined jackets are another way to capture this soft tailoring for the hot weather and still look put-together for the office.
Though there are crazy stripes, short-shorts and plastic suits on the offering, a great way to think about the best look for men this season is preppy but laid-back, kind of like the Kennedys at Hyannis or Alain Delon in Purple Noon. Actually, forget the Kennedys. We should all aim to look like Alain Delon in Purple Noon. And not only this summer, but every summer.
I’m going to rent Purple Noon!
You will adore it! So much better than the “Talented Mr. Ripley” remake.
Once again, James, you have made me spit coffee with your barbs of wisdom and humor. The Spring Fashion tips are easy to follow and actually make me think I can jump on the color story this season!
I’m so glad but sorry about the coffee! Everyone can wear blue, right? Let me know how it works out for you.
I am very pleased that more relaxed fits are back—a comfy pair of slip-ons and an aisle seat are all I crave these days—although I’m not sure I can go for the all that Roland Mouret blue. That’s a rather rude blue, I think. I’m too middle class for it.
I think there will always be some designers who’ll favor more relaxed tailoring but it’s definitely on trend this season, along with the fitted “schoolboy” jackets that will continue into fall. The Roland Mouret suit is a good example of too much and I hope I don’t run into anyone wearing something like that.
Thanks for your feedback!
Did we miss a Coco de Mer pun in a caption?
This might be the first time Tuttle has mentioned a brand I’ve worn (without derision). Suddenly I feel fashionable, though I am aware of my comic ignorance when saying so. Luckily, today’s instructions were on my level. I can wear blue.
Thanks, Mr. Tuttle. I thought that ice-T show might be the worst reality show yet, and my suspicions have been confirmed.
Of course you can wear blue! You probably have lots of blue things already that you can put together and look better than that bright blue suit in the article.
I think the Ice-T show is pretty bad but not the worst yet. Remember “A-List Dallas”?!