JOE chats with Marks and Spencer's Head of Menswear design Tony O'Conner
We caught up with Tony O' Connor who is the head of Menswear design for M&S and asked him about festive clobber and style this season.
What are the must-have items for men this Christmas?
Luxe formalwear is a huge trend this festive season with many of the major films and celebrities adopting the trend. The velvet jacket in particular has become the must-have item of the moment, both epitomising the mood for the season, and adding a subtle introduction of colour to formalwear. At M&S we have doubled the offering of velvet jackets this season and introduced colour with teal, purple and red new to the collection as well as a slim fit design with a check under the Limited Collection brand. Winter colour and optimism is a key trend throughout menswear, for a subtle nod to the trend choose a bold coloured tie or sock.
What is the best type of suit to take you from day to evening through the festive period?
If you are looking to invest in a new suit for your wardrobe this festive season, choose a single breasted style with a modern, tailored cut in a classic shade, for that seamless transition from boardroom to dance floor. Autograph suits from €199 can be styled with formal accessories such as tie pins, pocket squares and silk scarves and can simply be carried in your work bag or briefcase. For a slimmer cut suit with a shorter length, choose a Limited Collection three-piece, ideal for an on-trend style statement.
How do I update my classic formalwear for Christmas?
Shoes can add that finishing finesse to classic formal looks. For a striking style choose a patent dress shoe. Limited Collection offers a sleek, narrow patent shoe with angular stitching detail. Alternatively, a round toe brogue can look equally dapper, particularly when teamed with a two-tone emerald tie designed by Richard James, or a richly coloured pocket square.
What is the best style of coat to wear over formalwear?
It is important to complete formal looks with a coat to match. A sharp, single breasted over-coat in a tonal shade is a classic option, or opt for a cashmere blend for the look of luxury. Bolder styles, such as the Limited Collection double breasted coat with a faux fur collar ensure you walk through the festive season with confidence.
What is a stylish alternative to the Christmas tie?
A sartorial alternative to the tie is the self tie bow tie, or a striped design in contrasting colours. For a touch of sparkle choose a bow tie with Swarovski crystals, for a look that will not be forgotten. To adopt a unique style, wear your top buttons open and accessorise with a printed silk scarf from the Marcel Wanders collection, or alternatively, for a new take on formal chic wear your suit with a polo neck jumper or classic t-shirt.