Originally created 03/12/06

Stripes, shapes, white are big for spring



Expect to see a lot of pastel and paisley on store shelves this spring - and that's in the men's section.

Springtime means it's time to shed heavy, dark colors, and fashion designers have just one thing to say to their male consumers - lighten up, baby.

The key, according to Doug Pecore, the creator of the new NYNE menswear line, is finding pieces that can take you from desk to dance floor.

In years past, older consumers were serviced by retail giants such as Dockers, Mr. Pecore said, and younger men had a variety of labels to choose from, including Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters.

"A lot of these guys are growing up and they're realizing that 'I can't have a FUBU label on my shirt at work,'" he said with a laugh, and the NYNE line is meant to bridge that gap.

Colorful cottons and comfortable jackets and trousers are meant to give men more choices both for day and night.

"One key trend for spring is versatility," Mr. Pecore said. "Guys have to be smart with their dollar. They want something that might be appropriate to wear to the office but can take you to the nightclub."

That's not to say that men can't have a little fun with their wardrobe.

"The big trend involving preppy attire is all about Madras plaid and polo shirts," said Stephen Rector, a buyer for men's updated collections for Macy's. "The new thing is stripes in that polo shirt, and really, Madras shorts - it's the must-have short for men."

Although color is hot this season, Mr. Rector said the absence of color also is expected to be big on store shelves this spring.

"Another big trend is white as an emerging color," he said. "A white linen blazer is must-have piece for our contemporary customer. It's very beachy. Kind of Miami Vice."

But don't think you have to fully embrace your inner Sonny Crockett to enjoy this season's bright whites.

"It's all about taking one piece, so you don't wear all white from head to toe," Mr. Rector said. "A white blazer looks fantastic with denim jeans. It's just taking one piece and putting it together with your existing wardrobe."

A SEASON OF 'MUSTS'



Here's a look at the must-have purchases for spring, according to Stephen Rector, a buyer for men's updated collections for Macy's:

- White blazer

- Striped polo

- Driving shoes, especially in brown or white

- Linen shirt

- Patterned tie, especially paisley or geometric shapes

Reach Erica Cline at 828-2946 or erica.cline@augustachronicle.com.