A Look At Men's Winter Fashion NPR's Guy Raz talks about this winter's trends in men's fashion with two fashion experts: the designer Billy Reid of Florence, Ala., and Joshua Kissi of the Bronx, who writes the blog StreetEtiquette.com.
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A Look At Men's Winter Fashion

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A Look At Men's Winter Fashion

A Look At Men's Winter Fashion

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

GUY RAZ, host:

And I'm Guy Raz.

Now, until we install a webcam in the studio - and don't hold your breath - you won't see what we look like from day to day.

BLOCK: That's true. That might be a good thing, Guy. We can break the suspense here. I will reveal that I'm wearing a heavy grey sweater, black pants and red boots today. It is cold.

RAZ: It is cold.

BLOCK: It is very cold. So, we're kind of bundled up here in Washington.

RAZ: We are. And I'm staying pretty warm. I've got some tweed trousers on, an argyle sweater and a purple tie.

BLOCK: And, Guy, this week, I've been noticing you have some very stylish sneakers.

RAZ: Well, thank you very much. Trainers, actually, as they say in the U.K., which is where I got these. But, you know, Melissa, given that we are on the radio and no one sees us, I don't think we're doing too bad with our sartorial sensibility here.

BLOCK: Speak for yourself, Guy.

(Soundbite of laughter)

RAZ: But I was hoping to actually get some more fashion advice. So I called up two superstars in the world of men's fashion. First up is the Southern designer Billy Reid. And earlier this year he was named GQ's best new menswear designer of the year and he works out of a studio in Florence, Alabama. And here's how he describes his line.

Mr. BILLY REID (Menswear Designer): We sort of mixed the very tailored elements with sort of more work wear, washed down chino, oxfords. So it's sort of like mixing the cottons and the wools together, so to speak.

RAZ: So, what's one item of clothing you're most excited about to wear this winter?

Mr. REID: Well, I'm sort of an outerwear freak. We have what we call a 40-ounce melton, which is this heavy wool cashmere cloth that we do in a sort of a long trench coat. You know, as a Southerner you sort of look forward to traveling up north or in a colder climate to get to wear some of those things.

RAZ: Yeah, you won't be wearing heavy cashmere wool in Florence, Alabama this winter.

Mr. REID: You know, parts, certainly, we're in northern Alabama, so we do get four seasons. And it's chilly today. I think our wind chill was at 17 this morning. So we do get some chilliness, you know, but it'll warm up to 50 today, so you need things that are somewhat versatile, lightweight. You know, at certain times - and a great vest over a blazer is plenty.

RAZ: So, oh, I see, like, a vest coat over...

Mr. REID: Like a - yeah, like a down vest or, like, an outdoor vest. I mean, what we'll do, in a lot of cases, is take things that are classic traditional things and mix them with outdoor elements, which is, you know, somewhat of a look that we do quite a bit.

RAZ: Billy Reid, thank you so much.

Mr. REID: Guy, thank you. We appreciate it.

RAZ: That's the designer Billy Reid speaking to us from Florence, Alabama. Let's head north now to Joshua Kissi. He's from the Bronx and he's one half of the duo behind the blog StreetEtiquette.com. The blog has been making all sorts of waves in the fashion world. It's been featured in GQ and Vogue and other places. Now, the guys behind it have been called the new ambassadors of urban style. I asked Joshua Kissi to describe the term "street etiquette."

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. JOSHUA KISSI (StreetEtiquette.com): Every time we're asked this question it kind of trumps me. I mean, I can't just say I'm prep or, you know, even Americano or military. I mean, it's a mix of things that we're influenced by.

RAZ: Yeah. I've seen you wear, like, tweed coats and button-downs and jackets and bowties with a black beret.

Mr. KISSI: Yeah, yeah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

RAZ: But, like, a purple - and then, like, purple shoes.

Mr. KISSI: Yeah.

RAZ: And then rolled-up pants. Skinny jeans.

Mr. KISSI: Rolled-up pants, yup.

RAZ: So, Joshua, what is the one item you'll be seen in a lot this winter?

Mr. KISSI: When it comes to outerwear, I'd say my vintage aviator jacket. I have it on. It's pretty nice. It has, like, a nice shearling fur lining and fur collar. It's pretty warm. As far as shoes, I'd be wearing Beatle boots that I have on right now. They're very comfortable. They have a nice silhouette.

RAZ: Where do you get them?

Mr. KISSI: Ebay. I got them for, like, $20. They're Florsheim boots.

RAZ: Right. OK. And, so, when you think about, you know, the winter season coming up, what's sort of the one must-have fashion item for men out there?

Mr. KISSI: I would say a nice peacoat. I mean, peacoat is classic. It's military and it kind of fits with everything you would wear in your wardrobe. And it looks great on everybody. So a nice, warm peacoat will keep you warm this whole winter.

RAZ: Joshua, what's something that I should not be wearing outside now? Like, if I wore it outside and you saw me, like we passed each other on the street in New York, you would think, that guy just checked his fashion sensibility in 2008.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. KISSI: Maybe, I mean, this is no offense to anybody, but maybe boot-cut jeans, you know.

RAZ: Boot-cut jeans.

Mr. KISSI: Yeah, boot-cut jeans.

RAZ: I have a pair of those.

Mr. KISSI: Oh man, sorry about that.

RAZ: I'm going to go home and throw them away.

Mr. KISSI: Please.

(Soundbite of laughter)

RAZ: That's Joshua Kissi of the blog StreetEtiquette.com. And, Melissa, I suggest that you ask your husband, Stefan, to check out that website. It is very, very cool.

BLOCK: You're trying to tell him something?

RAZ: No, no, no, not at all. Not at all. But, you know, it might inspire him to throw in some purples and pinks and maybe some skinny jeans into the mix?

BLOCK: OK, noted.

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