Fashion : A SPECIAL REPORT: SPRING INTO FALL : Men’s Details : Accessories: Not Just for Women

Men have begun to learn what women have known forever--that a few well-chosen accessories with excitement in the design can update a tired wardrobe without a huge expense.

It’s a plucky kind of plumage, if you will, with the pizazz added precisely--in the print of the necktie, the swirl of the pocket square, a snazzy sock, a silver bracelet at the wrist, the sculpting of a buckle on a classic belt, or even something as simple as the rethinking of the button on a shirt.

“Men are finally over that boring power trip of the ‘80s and now they want to have some fun and rebel a bit--like back in the ‘60s. Crazy ties are one way to be wild,” says Brian Bubb, an accessories designer who worked on Perry Ellis’ men’s collection, then started his own company two seasons ago. His designs include vests, scarfs, bathrobes and bow ties and cummerbunds, all sold at Studio in Santa Monica and Fred Segal in West Hollywood.

“I couldn’t find anything I liked, so I decided to do it myself,” says Anne Klein women’s wear designer Louis Dell’Olio of his two-seasons-old Anne Klein Men accessories collection. The elegant but adventurous line includes ties in abstract florals, Deco patterns and “exploded” rep stripes; belts with sculpted buckles; small leather goods and jewelry cast in sterling silver with a vermeil finish, including cuff links; tie bars; vest chains; key rings, and money clips.


Adds Dell’Olio, whose line is available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bullocks Wilshire-I.Magnin and The Final Touch: “Accessories are really the only way men can express their personalities.”

Coty Award-winning jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris has expanded his line to accommodate men, though his designs have a decidedly unisex look.

Morris designs are offered at Maxfield, Miriam Rubens, Ice, Weathervane II, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. “I started wearing more bracelets, and my male customer saw how good it looked. A bracelet is more progressive than cuff links.”

Even Ralph Lauren’s consciousness has been raised, though on a more traditional plane. Lauren offers what may be the hottest new accessory for the businessman--the knapsack. Though the shoulder tote has been a staple on the streets and at schools for some time, it is beginning to show up in the financial district. While Lauren’s leather knapsack is often seen on Wall Street, his Black Watch-plaid version is the biggest seller in the Polo Shop on Rodeo Drive.

Lauren also interprets another street accessory--the baseball cap--for his upscale customer. His Rodeo Drive Dodgers wear caps with a leather bill and twill top. Or, for captains of industry, a white cap with a navy visor and an anchor motif in gold bullion.