Thursday, August 20, 2009

fashion issue review: Men's Health

Men's Health, while not necessarily known as a fashion magazine but rather a men's lifestyle magazine, is the first to arrive with their "Fall '09 Guide to Style" issue, which features two covers featuring actor Eric Bana and 40 pages dedicated to previewing the Fall's upcoming looks.
The magazine starts with a how-to on how to wear one of the go-to colors of fall - gray - including ties, belts, shoes and accessories. Next is a brief but worthwhile look at New York's Jean Shop, which offers a selection of customizable denim, and certainly looks like a shop that warrants a visit if you're in NYC.
The first feature article highlights the return to American classics that is being shown by Claiborne, J. Crew, Woolrich, Pendleton and Banana Republic. While the article is brief, it does offer a chance to hear from some of the designers of each of these lines, and offers insight into what their key pieces will be this season. While Banana Republic continues to make high-quality staples, J. Crew is expanding into new ground that is leaving their reputation for simply being a "preppy" clothing line in the dust.
That is followed by a fashion profile on Justin Timberlake, and how his style has changed dramatically throughout his career. Timberlake offers some fashion tips which are fundamentally sound - nothing really groundbreaking, but good reminders of to approach putting your outfits together.
Australian actor Eric Bana is profiled as well, revealing his fondness for the classic American navy suit, as well as sharing some tips of his own, which seem a bit more practical than Timberlake's, as he relays tips on both picking out clothes and appreciating the subtle nuances in them that will make you both value what you have in your closet while making you look your best.
The issue closes with their five trends for Fall 2009 - the double-breasted suit, thick knits, modern prep, belted coats and long scarves. While each trend is given it's own page and photo, the examples of how to carry out each trend is sorely lacking, which seems to be what most men could benefit from.
Of course, advertisements are plentiful from plenty of mainstream retailers and designers - Macy's, Hugo Boss, Ermendgildo Zegna (albeit is was a four-page spread for their Zegna Colonia cologne), Calvin Klein, Aldo, and Nautica to name a few.
Given that Men's Health isn't known as a fashion magazine as much as it is a lifestyle magazine, the offerings are in line with what would be expected - but does that mean it's worth picking up as you shop for your fall fashion? As of now, the verdict is no. Given that GQ, Details, Esquire, and numerous others are still to arrive on newsstands and in mailboxes, fashionable fellows should take a wait and see approach with what those have to offer.