Ken's Eye View: Summer 17 Menswear Trends

The guys are back, this time with the best of Summer 2017 fashions! Traditionally, summer collections are not news making styles. It's a time for chilling out and enjoying the beautiful weather in style. After eyeing the catwalks of New York, London, Milan and Paris, the dude dolls in my house have all agreed the way to go is with super cool fashions cut in easy to wear silhouettes cut from soft cottons in white, neutrals and sometimes fruity tones.

Easy Does It!
Summer time when the livin' is easy....shapes are loose and large. Think drawstring pants, oversized tunic shirts and Tshirts that float loosely over the abs. Many of the looks on this page can be made using the basic pattern tutorials for the Ken dolls. You only need to lengthen the patterns for the oversized shirts or widen the pattern (and ignore any darts) for the wide pants.
Sport coat, slacks with a tie dye oversized tunic peaking out....this is an exotic look with a Middle Eastern flair that our guys simply love. The tie dye aspect of these shirts adds a bold graphic statement to Renauld's ensemble.
New Boys on the Block
Bold and big, this is the 2017 version of color blocking. Shirts and jackets are super wide with stark, contrasting accents. This is done by changing up the color of the sleeves or pants, or with the addition of a supersized pockets or blocks of photo images.
Country Gentleman
The same idea of loose, easy clothes is carried over to more formal daywear. Sport jackets are cut from textured cottons and linens in styles ranging from the classic blazer through safari jackets. Colors are faithful to sun bleached tones of chalk, clay, white washed pastels, light grey.
Mr. Clean
Once again, this is a story of easy fashions cut from the same neutral palette. In this theme, note the appearance of the jumpsuit, the oversized shirt with cargo pockets and the trench coat tossed over the shoulders of a white Tshirt and trousers.
Short Stop
As to be expected with summer fashions, shorts... particularly those worn with jackets, are big! Here, the guys show off the best way to wear shorts from daytime safari looks to regal nighttime styles.
Our guy, Marcus wears the total (Moncler Gamme Bleu) package: safari jacket, white shirt and shorts with lots of pockets, worn with knee socks and beige shoes.
Suits Me!
There are classic suits, by the way. But look at how they break tradition in terms of choice of color. Whether single breasted or double breasted, think of using soft colors for your Ken doll's summer wardrobe. You could also be rock star daring and use a brocade fabric for the whole( a la Editions MR)  suit OR...add a black ruffled shirt to a charcoal black suit for a glammed up guy look a la Versace.
Desert Storm
Military is on everybody's mind! Look for styles inspired by army/navy gear. Rugged fabrics in khaki, camouflage, battleship green and slate grey are key colors for clothes with a lot of structure and detail: patch or cargo pockets, snaps and straps.
From the battlefields to the mean streets of urban jungles, overcoats, shirts, and sometimes denim jeans are spattered with "stencil graffiti" motifs. Again, this is a story about great big silhouettes and even bigger, bolder patterns literally painted onto the face of the garment.
Fresh Prints of BelAir...
Speaking of prints... They're not just reserved for Barbie fashion, you know. Our guys have picked up on the trend in all of its aspects. You can use kitschy florals or vintage prints for shirts and even shorts, subtle patterns in soft cotton for elegant suits or go all out with graffiti scrawled over jackets, shorts and shorts. The patterns are kept simple. The overall effect is large!
Dudes in Denim
Not your grandfather's jeans.....these show how far designers have taken the iconic garment. In the version by Christopher Shannon, the classic jeans jacket and pants are fringed using belt loops! The message here is...get creative with your blues! We probably couldn't duplicate Shannon's styles for the doll, but we could substitute rough cut slices denim for the belt loops! guys denim with subtle patterns like those used in jackets and loose trousers OR the other extreme....super long jeans crushed around the ankles with lots of straps!
Tribal Vibes

With far away cultures the center of world events, it's no wonder we are seeing ethnic patterns and prints used in menswear. My dude dolls really loved the look of ikat prints worn with basic navy blazers, animal prints for hipster jackets or exotic geometrics etched over classy daywear gear.
For awhile now, prints, normally reserved for women's wear, has been adopted into menswear. But as styles have relaxed, the use of these prints has grown into a popular way to jazz up the look.

In the meantime, rock star mania continues its influence on men's fashions. Zak liked the idea of a waist length zebra printed jacket over slim pants. But instead of adhering to the original Louis Vuitton garment, we chose a simpler pattern and polished cotton instead of the leather version. Zak's "Nike" (which I found on eBay) perfectly compliments this look.
Summer in the City
White and neutrals aren't the only choices you have when choosing fabric for your favorite vinyl guy. There is also a tangy palette of fruit kissed tones to choose from. Keep the individual elements simple. But go as creative as your doll will let you when it comes to fabric and color!
Here, Richard wears a basic blazer (the tutorial for this is HERE) and trousers cut from apricot raw silk. The jacket and pants were made using the tutorials we did early on. To that classic pant suit, we added a shirt (that we lengthened by one inch (2.5 cm) then cut from batik dyed silk. This is the coolest way to look this summer.
If you only have the time to make one garment for Ken....let it be an oversized shirt!!!!
Richard (left) wears a classic shirt that was lengthened, whereas his friend Renauld (right), wears a tie dye shirt with no collar that is buttoned down the back. I used the same shirt pattern (which you can find by clicking HERE) but laid it out so that the front center line was on the fold. And I added seam allowance to the center back seam.
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