Spotlight: Josh Hutcherson

Now I promised to do a spotlight on Josh Hutcherson clear back on my post about his character Clapton Davis in 2012….so I guess this has been awhile in the making. But I am excited to announce that, in honor of the release of Mockingjay – Part 2 next month, I am going to do a series of spotlights on some of the Hunger Games’ leading men…beginning with the man himself, Josh Hutcherson.

If you don’t think that Hutcherson’s character Peeta is incredible, just you wait. I am so excited to see how Hutcherson portrays his journey in the last film because if anyone could do that justice, it’s Josh Hutcherson.

Josh Hutcherson

Josh Hutcherson’s first acting credits are from 2002, he would have been 10 years old, and has been featured in approximately three works a year since. There is no doubt that he is a hard worker and has escaped the “child star” curse. So while he has been working steadily for the past 13 years, Hutcherson didn’t really become a household name until Hunger Games hit theaters.

Despite all of the red carpets and award shows, Hutcherson’s wardrobe is fairly casual. He sticks to t-shirts and layers button-ups or jackets over them. This no-fail look allows him to get a lot of mileage out of some basic white and black tees. Thin sweaters and henleys are other simple, but essentially no-fail, casual looks.

The Josh Hutcherson Staple

Hutcherson keeps his hair shorter on the sides, as is in fashion, but not in such an extreme way that it dominates his appearance. This look works well when you want the ability to range from carefully coiffed to elegantly disheveled. If you’ve only seen Josh in his Hunger Games role, then you might be surprised that he is a natural brunette. While the blond is fine on Peeta, his natural dark brown works better. Natural hair colors tend to compliment your natural skin tones.

As for facial hair, he rarely has any. Yes, he is relatively young, but he also has a crazy powerful jaw (Saturday Night Live knows). Facial hair is great for defining your jaw, but if that is already one of your most prominent features, you probably don’t need to rely on it.

Although the Hunger Games series is coming to a close, I am looking forward to seeing what Josh Hutcherson is up to next. He’s played the range from Oscar nominated drama The Kids Are All Right, to the vastly underrated animated film Epic, to of course, my favorite trippy indie horror comedy Detention. Don’t miss your last chance to see him as Peeta Mellark in Mockingjay part 2, opening in November.

Easter Suits

As a little girl, one of my favorite parts of Easter was getting a new springy dress and I vaguely remember my brother often getting a new dress shirt or tie that was a little bit brighter or more colorful than usual. But shouldn’t you do the same now that you’re an adult? And why not really go for it and invest in a suit that says spring?

You could go for a pastel shirt (like those we talked about in Lightness of Spring) with one of your regular suits, but just this once go all out. It’s totally on trend.

Just like colored jeans get huge a couple of years ago, today we are seeing unexpected colors in everything. While some are better than others, we applaud this risk that has permeated the runways, if not the sidewalks just yet.

pastel easter suitsPastel suits are a preppy look, but need to fit perfectly to avoid veering into Dumb and Dumber territory. These are also a fairly seasonal look, so know that before investing too much. You can probably wear them throughout spring and summer and you will make an impact when you do. Coordinate your accessories with the same color in darker hues to keep the look more subtle, or take a risk and really stand out by donning the opposite color on the color wheel.

more neutral easter suitsIf you don’t think you would get enough wear out of a colored suit to make it worth your money, which is totally understandable, you can go for a more neutral option.

White suits, and the very, very light blue above, are also probably restricted to the spring/summer seasons, but they are perfect for any summer weddings or formal work retreats that you are planning on attending.

The light grey suit is a great option for any time of year, as is a brighter than navy blue suit. Punch up these suits with fun pops of bright color, like the pink on Idris Elba to make them springy and fun.

Whatever your choice, make sure you embrace this freedom from the winter darkness (which has its own perks, I’ll admit) and have fun with your wardrobe.

Timeless

We talk a lot about trends on this blog, for obvious reasons, but more than any of that we wish for you the basics to make a timeless wardrobe. These are staples in men’s clothing that will likely never go out of style, at least not in our lifetimes.

Exhibits A-C:

Harrison, Liam, and Jesse

Exhibit A is a picture of Harrison Ford taken in 1980, that’s 33 years ago. Now let’s be honest, Indie could have worn anything at this age and we would love it. But if you didn’t know who he was or his age, this picture could very well have been taken recently. He’s wearing dark jeans, a navy blazer, and a light button-up. Add some scruff and sunglasses and you have a pretty much no fail outfit, no matter what decade.

Exhibit B is similarly classic, even though it is just from earlier this year. Liam Hemsworth is wearing a well-fitting, crisp white button-up, nice grey slacks, and a black belt. Basically if these items fit and look new/quality, this is a homerun every time.

Exhibit C is another variation of the laidback, but sophisticated. We have long supported the blazer – t-shirt combo here at WAMSW and Jesse Spencer provides a perfect example. Grey is classic and the shades are different enough that it doesn’t look awkward. The jacket also has a nice texture that adds to the overall quality of the look.

Now for Exhibits D-G, moving from dressier to casual:

Daniel, Eoin, Josh, and DylanExhibit D is Daniel Sharman in one of my favorite staples in a man’s wardrobe, the peacoat. Pretty much a good peacoat makes you instantly ten times hotter, like disorientingly so (I’ve done studies). To accompany this already classic piece, he has paired it with a white button-up and tie, black slacks or very dark jeans, nice brown leather shoes, and a smirk. Yes, brown and black can be worn together. Buy this outfit.

Exhibit E is a totally work ready outfit (Bonus: also good for family pictures!). Eoin Macken has layered a patterned button-up under a dark sweater. Pairing this with slacks and simple black shoes make this look perfect for a semi-dressed-up event, maybe even a holiday if your family dresses up for those. He also could have put the top combo with some nice jeans for a more casual look.

Exhibit F is a manly staple: the button-up plaid flannel. Here Josh Hutcherson has it half un-done with a white-tee underneath, but buttoning a couple more buttons and skipping the undershirt would also have been acceptable. Put with jeans and roll up the sleeves if not layering anything over the top. Ray Bans are another classic.

Exhibit G is our most casual of the post and perfect for days off. A well fitting t-shirt and khakis are comfy and relaxed. Long sleeves on the tee can add a little different flavor and jeans would be great with it too. The good fit keeps the look simple and not frumpy.

I’m willing to bet that you can find some variation of these looks anywhere in the last several decades and will keep seeing them for years to come. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t update your closet or try out some trends, but these are easy go-to’s for almost any day.

The Suspense is Killing Us

Quite awhile ago I was around some old friends, all of the guys were in nice button-ups and ties, but I couldn’t help but notice how great one looked. Sure he is a handsome guy and his clothes routinely fit well and look classy and clean, but something was different that day. The answer was simple: Suspenders. His shirt was crisp and white and accented by a thin black tie and thin black suspenders, instant extra Dashing points.

Now I would guess it has been over a year since said outfit (and I am STILL talking about it) and I have been loving suspenders more and more lately. And the trick to wearing this style couldn’t be simpler: don’t actually need them to hold up your trousers. They work because they accentuate flat abs and already well fitting clothes, no gaping or gapeing shirts please. Also keep them thin and tasteful.

Don’t believe me that these old fashioned articles are back for more than hipsters dressing like your grandpa? Just check out some of the trendsetters I found wearing them.

Sure they are a little bit of a throwback, but there is a reason they are back. When done right they are sophisticated and might conjure images of a romantic old love story. If nothing else, you won’t be forgoten.

And I can’t resist a shout out to Oregon’s own On the Rocks who have made suspenders part of their formal uniform.

– Amy

A word from Rachel: I have to agree with my colleague. Suspenders are quite dashing and they make a statement without being obnoxious or over the top. Three cheers for suspenders!

Leather Jackets

Now the weather is starting to get a little chilly, but seeing as it is not down-right cold yet, we’ve entered that magical, confusing time of jackets. And the king of said category? Why leather, of course. Nothing else could be so timeless, classy, and a little rebellious at the same time. It’s so easy to send a message with a leather jacket, as well as block that pesky wind, but finding the right one is no simple task.

I’ve searched the web for a selection of nice jackets in different colors and  features. The ones I settled on are all currently for sale at Nordstroms, Express, or Burberry. If you know anything about these stores/brands, you know that also provides a rather large range of prices. Now we all know I love me some Burberry (see: Eddie Redmayne), but their prices are ridiculous and there is no need to spend that kind of money on clothes. If for some reason you have access to such items and brands, by all means wear it all, but for us common folk, cheaper jackets will do just fine. Honestly, I don’t even care if it is real leather, just so long as it looks like real leather. (Bonus perk of the fake stuff: you don’t need to fear rain).

Let’s take a brief tour of the examples and what they are doing right:

Top Left: Grey is a refreshingly unexpected color for this type of jacket, but not so out there that it looks wrong. It’s also a slim fit, without garish zippers or collar. It also has subtle detailing on the shoulders for some added interest.

Bottom Left: Similar to the grey jacket, but in a more traditional brown. It’s a crisp style that pretty much can’t go wrong.

Center Left: I thought I would have advised against belted and the pronounced pockets, but this jacket makes it work. Wearing it open, like the model does, allows these details to be interesting, not overwhelming. It fits close to the body and has just enough biker to make it tough. Not sure how it would look when actually belted though, maybe steer clear of that.

Center Right: Another unexpected like, the sheepskin collar. Normally I’m not a fan of sheepskin or fur on coats because it is too overwhelming, and often tacky cheap looking, but this just has the old school bomber feel (like WWI old school). Also this jacket is doing wonders for his frame. This no doubt skinny model looks broad and strong with help from the epaulettes and the cut in at the waist.

Top right: Basically the black version of the first two. The collar is a little larger, but basically a clean, simple go to.

Bottom Right: A polished look, with cuffs, a little extra play around the collar, and extra detailing around the zipper.

I know this post is getting long, but here are a few tips on styling your jacket (because we don’t want you regretting that semi-hefty purchase):

The Classic, Rebel Without a Cause: take a cue from French bad/pretty boy Gaspard Ulliel and pair your jacket with a white v-neck and some Ray Ban Wayfarers. Cigarette optional.

The Singer/Songwriter: Look to newcomer musician and Burberry model Roo Panes with a no fuss jacket and jeans, and what appears to be a t-shirt and converse. For extra oh so sensitive man appeal, add lyric notebook.

The Coolest Kid in School: Josh Hutcherson rocks his leather jacket/s anywhere and everywhere. Here he has it with a tank, khakis, and always ready Ray Bans for a more relaxed look.

The Dapper Scholar: A sweater, nice trousers, loafers, and thick-rimmed glasses give Ryan Gosling that curl up by the fire look, while the jacket and military style bag give him a little extra edge.

The Sophisticated Beau:  Whoever this is has perfect fitting clothes and the combination of dress clothes and a leather jacket is nigh irresistible. Skinny tie and leather jacket gets almost instant results, I promise.

-Amy

So you want to be 80s neon hipster….

We have warned against almsot everything featured in this post, but if you must, here is how to do it.

Clapton Davis, You are More Concept than Reality

Now we all know that Josh Hutcherson knows how to dress (I’m sure it is only a matter of time until we spotlight him), but this post was inspired by Clapton Davis, his character in the SXSW film “Detention“. Now, I liked this movie, but I’m not going to recommend it because it is straight up bizarre and requires close attention–let’s just say it isn’t for everyone. But Clapton Davis works his style, a combination of hipster and 80s neon, like a second skin.

Let’s work from the bottom up. The first glimpse you catch of Clapton/Josh is classic bright Converse high tops–a can’t lose situation–on a skateboard–a possible lose situation. Some part of me believes that skateboards are a bit passe, but this movie and the recent Spiderman have warmed me to the idea a bit, but that might be because neither don that “traditional” skater dress. Also because he makes a skateboard date look so fun.

Anyway, moving up. His pants in this movie are wonderful (“I mean, look how tight his pants are, he’s totally gay”…he’s not) and quite daring. Among all the skinny jeans the pair that sticks out the most is the highlighter yellow. I wish I could find a picture of these beauts for you, but unfortunately the limited release and knowledge about this movie makes pictures hard to find. But the general message of the pants? Be Bold. Also they coordinate perfectly with his overall look.

Besides neon and skateboard, Clapton works another trend that we’ve already cautioned about. The man tank. But hey, he does it right. Summery, neon, confident, muscley. But in a vintage “Endless Summer” sort of way, not in an overly frat-y way.  All of his shirts serve a purpose, you know, other than covering his body, they do something to complete or make the outfit his own. They have a vintage vibe and do not match, but go with the rest of the outfit.

Now this movie goes for a big win in accessories. A statement hot pink hat. Huge orange 80s style sunglasses. Minimalistic bracelets. The key? Focus on one. Don’t put the hat and sunglasses together. Each are their own statement piece. (Okay so he might be wearing both in one picture, but at least the rest of his outfit is pretty neutral). Also please don’t try to rock the neon pink fanny pack.

Okay, so I admit, it might take a Josh Hutcherson sized confidence and quirky, campy movie setting to truly pull off this look. But it just screams summer, youth, and personal style.

Good taste is not a democracy- Clapton Davis

-Amy

Avoiding the Farmers’ Tan

Alright. It is an issue that must be addressed. It’s getting warmer out and clothes are getting smaller, which places you in the extremely dilemmic (yes, it’s a word) situation: To go sleeveless or not. It is a fine line; because quite frankly you would rather look like Channing Tatum than your girlfriend, or like you haven’t done laundry in three weeks. I have to admit, I used to be a purist (and I’m certain my colleague is a vehement purist) when it comes to men in tank tops; the answer was no. But more recently I have found that it can look very summer and incredibly rock and roll.

If you are unsure/aren’t a rock star/do not have the body of a greek god, you should probably (definitely) refrain, there is just too much room for error. Even Johnny Depp, the king of personal style, often makes the wife beater look like its namesake with far too much grunge.

Also be wary of the too small tank (bottom right). This is probably the only time you will ever see/hear me tell you to lean toward the baggier side of the spectrum, but trust me on this one, smaller isn’t better (I cringe, but it’s true).

Third warning. The frat bro-tank or pinny? Don’t do it. No one wants to see your beer gut or armpit fur (at that point why are you even wearing a shirt?). Plus you look like you are in a frat, and that’s never a good thing.

Confidence makes any look better, which is exactly why this look is for action stars and musicians (who else has that much expendable confidence?). You are welcome to try; just, please, no neon letters or grime. Also please, please make sure it is appropriate for the occasion (your first ever rock concert, the gym, a pool party, the beach, etc.).

– Amy

Last word of advice (from the vehement purist): if you MUST wear a man-tank PLEASE make sure the rest of your outfit is at the very least summer appropriate (shorts, sandals, shades) and at the very best Rock Star appropriate (skinny jeans, boots or other appropriate footwear, mostly just think trendy).