Men's looks this fall range from a sweater vest thrown over a T-shirt and khaki pants to a three-piece suit.
Khakis are hot; they're a wardrobe staple.
``Khakis are the new blue jeans,'' said Earl Reineman of Weaver's Department Store.
That's one thing most clothes stores can agree on. The rest of the fashions for men this fall are varied. Suits are getting more elegant, more casual work wear is selling, and colors are mirroring the women's fall lines.
``The cargo pants are very hot for both sexes,'' said Megan McGlinn of J.C. Penney. ``I'm also seeing a lot of burgundies, deep greens. ... I think you're going to see a lot of gray come back.''
She said that sweater vests are going to be important for fall, from button-ups to pull-overs.
Men are wearing sweater vests over sport shirts or T-shirts, Reineman said.
Cotton corduroy pants with a soft twill shirt and a cotton sweater is another good look for fall.
``Comfort casual is the look for fall -- mixing soft, drapey fabrics in great patterns and color,'' he said. This season, he said, there are lots of
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earth-tones and jewel tones, mirroring much of women's fashion.
Fabrics for fall include flannel, corduroy, micro-fiber and polar fleece.
Casual looks are becoming more and more important in men's clothing.
``There's a lot emphasis on men's knits,'' said Jeremy Furse with Britches. ``More and more offices are going casual every day.''
Because of that, there is a demand for nicer casual clothing. Greg Easter of Easton's agreed.
``The emphasis on business casual is even more important this year,'' he said. So when men dress up, they are really dressing up.
``The suits are becoming even more elegant looking,'' he said. ``That's kind of the new look, the three piece suit.''
With that, he said there is a return to flat front pants among the younger set. Fabrics have more sheen to them. Colors are more solids with texture, instead of the plaids of old.
``A hot item in dress shirts has been monochromatic shirt and tie combinations,'' said Ken Campbell with Campbell's. ``That seems to be a very popular style.''
Black is still an important color in men's wear.
Campbell said that there had been a demand for black leather coats, in three-quarter length, and that dress shirts in a darker blue were very popular. Black suits and pants are always in demand.
``Brown is coming on really strong in all types of clothing,'' Campbell said. ``Khakis are big still.''
Sales of suspenders, though, are dropping, he said.
To finish an outfit, Tim Arensberg at Arensberg Shoes said cap-toed shoes are very popular. Hiking boots should continue to be a big item, particularly when it gets a little colder. In general, men's shoes are getting a bit dressier.
-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.