It’s no secret that fashion run in cycles and things that were once fashionable will almost always come back in style. It is nonetheless a little sad and disheartening that truly atrocious styles can’t be weeded out for good. When the seventies were over, I believe it was the general consensus that the Village People-lumberjack look was over. Not so, apparently.
Though not an exact copy of the late 70’s look, the lumberjack style has been reincarnated as what I would call a “bohemian intellectual look.” Making their way back into not only the pages of GQ, but also quickly spreading into the streets, are bootcut jeans, plaid shirts, corduroy jackets, and oversized sweaters.
This is a clear departure from the past few couple years of structured pieces and slim cut jeans. The worst perpetrator of this style has been J. Crew. Because of its accessible prices, it has been able to promulgate among the masses.
I have never liked plaid so I am clearly biased against its resurgence. The entire grunge look of the 90’s was a dark time for style. I believe that it set the stage for an entirely new level of lower standards when it came to dressing as grunge was, in a sense, a repudiation of fashion.
To be fair, I think there is a way to embrace the trend in a classic way that exudes “weekend at the country manor” rather than hipster punk. Tartan does, after all, possess a rich history dating back to Braveheart days. Shawl collar and toggle close sweaters are two ways of interpreting the style in a positive way.
Another decent aspect of the “bohemian intellectual” look is the importance of layering. This means that you shouldn’t get rid of your cardigan just yet. One good approach of making this work in the dead of winter would be to wear a down vest over a shirt and cardigan, then finish with a close cut overcoat. I like the contrast of new and old this creates. For a discreet nod to the plaid trend, you could include a tartan scarf from Burberry or elsewhere. As for the bootcut jeans, I recommend staying away and opting for just straight leg jeans, which are a compromise between skinny jeans and flared ones.
With this trend, you can also expect to see more clothes in earth tones and a move away from black and gray. The shoe of choice to match would be a moccasin unless you are actually going to be at your country manor, in which case may I suggest the Hunter rain boot (pictured).
If you are in a lumberjack mood, J. Crew is currently having a fall sale where you’ll be able to stock up on enough plaid to clothe an entire Irish village.