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by Georgina Callan

There are several style components that distinguish a modern man from a man who has adopted a
more traditional way of dressing.  Modern is all about slim, narrowed lines starting with the shoulders
of a jacket or suit and tapering throughout the entire outfit. Lapels, sleeves, sides of the jacket and
pants are all narrowed, and the rise on the modern pant is lower. Pants legs are often shorter, but
not high-water, because modern dressing, just like modern interiors and style, is all about balance,
scale and proportion.
(Eleventy from Stanley Korshak, Men’s Shak)
And that starts with the man. It’s all well and good if your figure is able to slide into a trim fit look,
but that doesn’t mean a man with a fuller figure is stuck with a more traditional look. Today,
designers make most pants, jackets and suits in a modern “cut”, in all sizes, with certain modern
elements, such as a slimmer fitting blazer with narrower lapels and slimmer pants; the key is to
avoid the over-arching traditional look of an over-sized jacket and wide loose pants.  
Kiton sports coat (Stanley Korshak main store)
According to Keith Carlisle, Men’s Divisional Merchandise Manager, at Dallas’ Stanley Korshak,
“sports coats have definitely become more popular in recent years, and the change is more
in the shape of the jacket than in fabric choices.” A modern man is “definitely open to looking
at a jacket in a great color or pattern or both.” A sports coat does not have to be too full, just
because it is seen as a more casual item of clothing than a suit.
“Dressing in a modern style is about an attitude,” says Keith, “it’s about having a distinct
preference for a collection of solid fabrics, all worn at the same time but with great emphasis
on texture, and coordinating colors.” In regard to color, Keith says, “Bold color isn’t wrong, but
the modern man tends to prefer subtle color.”
Zegna suit (Stanley Korshak main store)
Bruno Cucinelli (Stanley Korshak main store)
Eleventy (Men’s Shak)
A suit often, but not always, means a tie.  As Keith tells it, “a modern tie means a narrow tie or
the proportion will not work with the suit or jacket.” He notes that modern ties tend to be more
conservative, mostly solid colors with an emphasis on texture and small scale pattern.  “A knot
recommended for these ties is the ‘double four-in-hand’ which results in a full yet elongated
Tiger of Sweden (Men’s Shak)
Bruno Cucinelli (Stanley Korshak Main Store)
One of the questions many men ask is how to personalize their look.  A pocket square is ideal,
to add color and interest but the color and texture should relate to the tie or the shirt being
worn, not both. Keith makes another suggestion of a belt that relates to the shoes but does
not have to match. And lastly he recommends socks, great socks, in almost any color, except
black, navy or grey—these colors for socks, he says, “have no personality.”  We’d have to agree.
available at:
Stanley Korshak

Georgina O'Hara Callan | Author + Dictionary of Fashion & Fashion Designers