Nick Wooster is the Men’s Fashion Director at Neiman Marcus and well-recognized throughout the fashion blogosphere for his forward, inspirational and downright handsomely elegant sense of style. Being that it is a rare day for me to write about men’s fashion and that more and more men are requesting me to do so, I enlisted his advice and help. In this fashion interview, Wooster has some great tips for men and information on what will be hot for Spring.
LS: Why is it that men are not as fashion obsessed as women are? Is it the marketing, or is it just the way we’re built?
NW: I think it’s the way we’re built. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. I think it’s just built into our gene pool.
LS: But there has been change.
NW: The metrosexualization that occurred in the late 90s and the earlier part of this decade has given men the okay to care about how they look. What a 50-year-old guy looks like today is different than what a 50-year-old looked like 20 years ago, so guys have learned to take better care of themselves. They’ve got to go to the gym. They’ve got to use skincare products. And consequently, they are interested in how they present themselves and how they dress. I think it’s all the events, economical and societal, that have given them the okay. And I think it’s their own desire. Everybody wants to be told they look great. When men realize with a little effort and care they can transform how they look, they’re interested in doing it.
LS: In fashion history, men used to be the ones who set the trends and women just stole them. Do you think we’ll ever get back to a time when that happens again? When men are more fashion obsessed than women?
NW: I hope so. [laughs] I’m not a sociologist or anthropologist, but it would seem that the signs are there. In England, the men who buy designer clothing do so because their favorite footballer is wearing it. And I think that’s the kind of change we’re seeing in America.
LS: My husband is just now taking an interest in clothes and sunglasses. He’s never been interested before, and I don’t know how to guide him, because my interest has always been in women’s fashion. So, for the man who is trying to discover his style and fashion sense, what sort of advice do you have for him?
NW: That’s what the better specialty stores are about. At Neiman Marcus, we’re here to answer those questions. Men don’t shop for sport. They shop for problem solving. When they find an associate or sales person to help answer their questions, that person is theirs for life. That’s how we’ve built our business.
LS: What male public figures do you think display great style?
NW: I think there are millions of them. Bill Clinton has always dressed himself in a modern way. I think our current president does that too. I think guys on the news, like Brian Williams, show great style. Of course there are style icons like David Beckham, too. What’s so great is that any well-dressed guy can show great style. It doesn’t have to be a celebrity. I think it’s better when it’s someone outside of the celebrity culture that can help drive how a guy ought to look.
LS: What do guys have to look forward to for Spring?
NW: I think in Spring you’re going to see a continuation of military, and we’re going to really focus on that. And how I think it looks really cool is when you pair it with something preppy. I love the idea of military and preppy: “prepitary.” Shorts are going to be the silhouette of the season. You’ll see a lot of shorts with jackets. As for shoes, we love the boat shoe, chukka boots and ankle boots. And the color blue is everywhere.
LS: When we talk about shorts, are we talking short-shorts or walking shorts?
NW: Just like the length of a woman’s hemline, the length of a short is dictated by the style and the guy wearing it. But overall, they tend to be a little slimmer and a little shorter.
For more men’s fashion, visit www.neimanmarcus.com and follow the retailer on Twitter, too (@NeimanMarcus).