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Trend Spotting: An Interview with MR PORTER's Toby Bateman


We talk closet essentials, trends, and online buying with retailer MR PORTER's buying director.

Sum up the ethos of MR PORTER?
MRPORTER.COM is the global retail destination for men's style, with a combination of the best in international menswear with award-winning editorial content. We sell over 160 leading international brands, with content and new products added weekly--all executed by a team of editors, buyers, graphic designers, photographers, marketers, PR's, salespeople, customer service representatives--and many more!
What are the essentials that every man should have in his closet?
There are a number of classic pieces that every man should own, but this is determined according to your lifestyle and profession. If your resources are limited, keep it basic and know your strengths. We've dedicated an entire section to this on our site, with a detailed list of essentials updated seasonally. A new list of spring and summer essentials is launching next week on the site but to name a few: the ever-present unstructured double-breasted jacket can be worn for numerous occasions, along with the monk-strap shoe (which goes with all suits--except tuxedos). And now that the iPad has worked its way into our lives as much as that other short list of things we can't leave the house without, an iPad case proves handy for the tech-savvy, stylish gentleman.
What trends do you think are relevant this season?
Prints are coming through everywhere--on pants as well as tops--with mostly a tribal influence in pattern. In terms of color, we have seen strong blues on the runway since last spring, burgundies, and deep greens for fall 2012--all of which will help encourage men to invest in new pieces each season. Aside from color and print, there seems to be a louche and retro undertone to many collections this season--think wider seventies-inspired lapels and velvet jackets in rich colors.
Since men are limited with accessories, how can they spruce up an outfit?
Accessories heighten the sense of attention-to-detail, but enhancing an outfit can be done by simply experimenting with color, texture, or layering. You can also make an otherwise classic outfit pop just by adding a patterned pocket square or a colorful sock to your look.
What are men partial to when shopping online?
Men are privy to details and many seek advice--especially when shopping online. Men are also dressing up a lot more now, becoming a lot more knowledgeable about brands and style. They appreciate the convenience of shopping straight from home or the office without having to brave the brick and mortar stores. For men, it's about making an informed and educated decision when it comes to shopping online.
What are some easy ways for a man to stand out, but still be stylish?
Know your strengths and follow through by embracing them with a strong sense of confidence.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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