Guys grab chance to try things

Shock, horror, nana, this fashion trend of pants sitting on the hips is a bit strange. What about their poor kidneys?

Why are guys wearing basketball singlets off the basketball court? Where are we, down-town Los Angeles?

Well, fashion is what fashion does, and, judging by the streets, cafes and sports grounds around Nelson, this is what guys are calling fashion these days.

Actually, I think it is pretty cool that guys are starting to like and experiment with fashion. A few years back I thought Kiwi guys didn't care for it whatsoever.

As in this season's women's fashion, there is swarm pattern and print injecting colour into guys' wardrobes. In fact, solid one-coloured tees are an anomaly among the overwhelming amount of pattern this season.

Stripes are everywhere, large or small, along with (manly) floral, camo, retro, Navajo and psychedelic, and geometric 1980s patterns have also come to the forefront of fashion in tees, shirts and shorts.

Colour blocking is big this season with bright bold colour being teamed with other bright bold colours and a tone. New Zealand label Federation are doing this well, with their popular block-coloured tops (eg, different colours for sleeves, front and back blocks of each tee), each put together in a tasteful way. Colour blocking is also huge when matching colourful shorts with tees and shoes.

Coloured bottom halves have made a comeback from the 90s, with coloured tailored shorts that end just above the knee, with turn-up or without. These are more aesthetically pleasing than the "blokey stubbie", but I must admit they are a little harder to wear for bulkier athletic "man quads".

For brisker evenings, opt for more length. This summer has said "e noho ra" to jeans and "kia ora" to the softer chino. But watch the mozzies because these slim chinos should be rolled at the ankle with no socks and a slip on shoe if we follow the season's "preppy" trend to a "t".

Another option is what designers call "Glide" or "Flight" pants. These are styled to have a dropped crotch and elasticised to end at the ankle.

Young men are wearing their pants low on the hips, and the dropped crotch of some successful brands will be welcomed in the family jewels department, a relief from restricting skinny jean.

To combat "the crack", tops are kept long at the back this season. These "mullet"-hemmed tops look great, especially on tall men or men that are proportionately longer in the leg.

Short-sleeved shirts, buttoned to the neck or left open with a tee are in. The popular fabric is faded retro-patterned designs. These shirts could have been pulled straight from granddad's drawers and back on to the rack, with price tags that wouldn't have been acceptable back-in-the-day, but they are not too bad by today's standards.

Colours of the season are plentiful, with something to suit all complexions, dark or fair: bright fluro colours, to bold primary colours and also navy, wine, mustard, khaki and pale washed-out denim blue.

Unlike women, men tend to have only the bare minimum footwear in their wardrobe. The essential casual shoes of the season are a slip-on or lace-up canvas shoe. There are lots about in popular colours navy, white or sand. Alternatively, there is always the good-old Kiwi jandal.

Guys are no fun when it comes to accessories, with minimal effort taken, but sunnies are one way to express yourself. The latest sunglass trends are mirrored lenses in 90s designs, and for "man bags" stick to the trusted old-school satchel.

Blokes, get out there shopping and make the most of the summer sales - I know you like a bargain. Just remember the following: Colour blocking mixed back with tones; strong, bright hues; mix prints and patterns in tees, shirts, and be sure to buy some coloured tailored shorts and chinos. These are all fashion ingredients of a good-old Kiwi summer.