Fashion Group International of Houston members flocked to FGI’s panel session, “Men’s Style 101: Beyond the Suit and Tie” hosted at The Class Room in Rice Village. Panelists Alan Javilloner of The Class Room; Clinton Wagoner from Suit Supply, stylist Vico Puentes and Southern Gents blogger Fola Lawson gave advice to future stylists, designers, and fashionable dudes on how men shop and dress today.
- When it comes to the difference between how men and women shop, Wagoner said men are most attracted to “sex and speed,” a.k.a. sex appeal and great customer service. Puentes added that when you ask a woman in a store if they need help, they say they're browsing. When you ask a man, they let you know exactly what they need. They say "I need a suit. I need some jeans."
Everyone has different things that look good on them, so the panelists suggested being completely fearless and trying things out in order to determine what works best, and to figure out your own personal style.
“Not to sound cheesy, but clothes don't make you, you make the clothes,” said Javilloner. "It’s about how the clothes make you feel. When you feel proud of what you wear, you can carry off whatever outfit you choose."
Ideas on where stylish guys could shop ranged from local men's boutuques like The Class Room, Settlement Goods, and Sam & Lilly, to low-price options like H&M and Target for basics and Neiman Marcus and Suit Supply for investment pieces.
The biggest factor hurting the Houston style scene, according to these guys, is the weather. Both Javilloner and Lawsom would like to add more to their looks by layering their clothes, but most of the time it's just too damn hot.
When it comes to men's style, the foundation matters, so each panelist named the five items that every man should own:
- Javilloner: dark denim, a “good” t-shirt, jean jacket, over-shirt, and a cap or beanie
- Puentes: sneakers, dark pants, blazer, a nice t-shirt, a good haircut and shave
- Lawson: navy blue suit jacket, denim jacket, khaki pants, sneakers, collared shirt
- Wagoner: blue suit, gray suit, five button down dress shirts, dark jeans, handful of ties