Ask A Woman: Marsala, it’s not just for cooking.
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Ever heard of Pantone? (No, not the shampoo, that’s Pantene.) Pantone are the folks who dapple in all things color related. Truth be told, I’m not sure exactly what they do (that Wikipedia page reads like stereo instructions) but I do know they’re responsible for picking THE color of the year. They look at what is currently trending, consult with people in the fashion industry, and then declare a color, which manufacturers in turn use to direct what they make available in stores.
Most of the time these colors seem to be relevant only for women’s fashion (can’t imagine many men rushed out to get a shirt in “Radiant Orchid” or a pair of shoes in “Honeysuckle”), but this year’s color, Marsala, a dusty dark red-purple (think… burgundy in a morning fog), is fairly manly, so you may see a lot of items in this shade. Yes, a bit of liberty has been taken with just how Marsala-y these “Marsala” picks are, but expect to see more and more Marsala and Marsala-like items as you browse the racks this year. Here are a few items that caught my eye that I think would look quite handsome on you men:
Ben Sherman Fair Isle Shawl Collar Sweater – $69.49 ($139)
I’m such a sucker for a shawl collar on men. I think it looks good on everyone, plus that Fair Isle pattern is timeless and cozy. 60% lambswool, 40% nylon, and 50%… off! Ships and returns free as well.
Neiman Marcus V-Neck Wool-Blend Sweater – $26.00 ($89.50)
If you prefer a more standard sweater, this simple v-neck in bordeaux will do the trick. Great for layering, or worn by itself. Merino wool with acrylic.
Barbour Melrose Fair Isle Scarf – $99
Up close, this scarf is comprised of many different beautiful shades, but from far away, they sort of mute into a deep red color. 100% wool, so guaranteed to be very warm. A big splurge, but it’s from one of the UK’s heritage brands. Made in the UK as well.
Hugo Boss Fadon Virgin Wool Scarf – $46.90 ($70)
Yeah, this one’s a leeeetle bit of a cheat, but if you squint, you can see stripes of Marsala, I swear. Love the skinny vertical stripes on this bad boy, and the color combo, which would work really well with a black, grey or navy coat.
Topman Stitch Pattern Socks – $6.00
Tight budget but still want in on this action? Socks. The big bold loud socks thing might be over, to some, but an unusual color like this in a more subtle pattern is another way to work in some interesting interaction between your cuffs and your shoes.
Missoni Houndstooth Pattern Silk Tie – $52.50 ($125)
Love the Missoni brand–they do patterns better than almost anyone. This elegant tie features a subtle houndstooth pattern. It looks really modern to my eye, but also like something your grandfather might have worn. Maybe if your grandfather was in American Hustle. BUT… keep the rest of your outfit simple, and a more eye-grabbing pattern and color like this can work.
Komono Magnus Round Dial Watch – $100
This simple, sturdy watch is handsome and versatile. Silver hardware and burgundy leather is a great combo. Minimalist with a twist, thanks to the crown being at 4 o’clock.
Ben Minkoff Fulton Briefcase – $325
It must be a bummer that men don’t have a ton of color and pattern options when it comes to briefcases, not like how women have so many choices with handbags. Or maybe that’s one more thing you don’t want to worry about. Anyway, this brick red briefcase gives you a pop of color, if you’re craving it. Big price tag, but all leather. For some, this shade will cross the brief into “man purse” territory. Boo. Yet more adventurous types could easily pull this off.
Saks Fifth Avenue Leather & Cashmere Gloves –$74 ($148)
Leather and cashmere in an elegant glove. Total luxury.
Brooks Brothers Classic Leather Belt – $34.50
Your basic belt in basic burgundy, which of course, is just a really very dark Marsala. Who knew Brooks Brothers could be so darn trendy?
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