Billy Fong Sez…

Musing on Menswear for the Fall

Billy Fong
October 01, 2013

I first started this column ranting about this year’s Vanity Fair Best Dressed List. Snooze fest. Come on, it felt like something InStyle would have put together. Brooke Shields? Really? Her stock plummeted when she started doing infomercials for Latisse and La-Z-Boy. I get it: A girl needs to work, but why not head to Tokyo to do tequila commercials? As for Justin Timberlake, he’s barely out of his Mickey Mouse Club days. So many repeats from the past few years: Tom and Gisele, Kate Middleton, Victoria Beckham ... Yes, all very good, but let’s see some new folks. There has to be another sibling of Lapo and Ginevra Elkann that we haven’t heard about yet. Or some obscure Saudi princess fresh out of Brown University or an off-the-radar South African who wears Tom Ford with a bush hat.

So, instead of getting on my soapbox about Graydon Carter being asleep at the wheel, I have opted to wax rhapsodic about the exciting season ahead in menswear. Whether it be an octogenarian oil-and-gas type or an on-the-town Bravo gay boy, any man will agree that it’s not usually about what you are wearing if you have yummy arm candy. For fall, however, we should aspire to look as good as the lady or lad by our side. The fall runway offerings were brilliant and left me inspired to rock many different looks for the months ahead. Some pieces you will likely see me in this season include:

• Double-breasted jackets. As fashion forward as I think I am, I was still torn when this trend re-emerged last fall since it reminds me of the uniform adopted by Tony Soprano’s guys. However, the super-cinched-in tailored versions truly are brilliant. Worn with a T-shirt, they work for warmer Indian summer days; paired with a denim shirt and scarf, they transition beautifully into November

• Boyfriend jeans. It started with girls borrowing their guys’ jeans, and now it’s time
to take them back again. 

• Short-sleeved polo shirts layered over long-sleeved oxfords.

Some specific items that I’m hoping to score before waiting lists are issued:

• Alexander McQueen black leather polo.

• Monsieur Honoré black umbrella with silver skull.

• Hunter rain boots in orange.

• Valentino tweed cape.

• Belstaff leather jacket and boots.

• Dior Homme blue sneakers.

The two prevailing themes were variations on the 1990s: sleek minimalism or grunge rock. All in all, I prefer the more streamlined look over the flannel aesthetic reminiscent of Seattle, although I do love layering when I am feeling particularly svelte in size 28 jeans. For grunge, don’t channel Nirvana and Cobain, but rather Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth. Both aesthetics offered pant lengths appropriate for floodwaters. To make the look complete, wear yours sockless with brogues or paired with ankle boots and chunky military socks. And don’t forget a pop of color (shades of blue to balance out the gray) and/or metal accessories — cuffs, large belt buckles, brass knuckles and, perhaps, multiple brooches on your jacket, à la a fashionable cub scout with many merit badges. Also, facial hair is appropriate for either.

Another accessory I am dying for is a techy item. I happened upon one when Chris Hite invited me to attend a men’s trend show at the Dallas Apparel Mart. We visited the Nixon showroom, and I fell in love with the Blaster speaker in army green. Wireless connectivity with utilitarian design made of rubber that’s practically indestructible — perfection.

As Uber continues to ferry me about, I want songs from The Stone Roses and Blur to be the soundtrack announcing my entrance. But if House of Pain’s “Top O’ The Mornin’ To Ya” starts playing while you are dining on Poulet Cajun at Le Bilboquet, chances are I’m being shown to the corner table with my swans. Be prepared, I may approach your party with my recent find, Mad Libs, the sexy edition, to request your contribution of a verb or noun to a lurid storyline. My strategy for fall fun. Billy Fong,