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Men's Fashion For Winter 2004

The holiday lights are up and the chill is in the air -- you can't escape winter. Along with winter sports and weather comes the promise of busy schedules filled with Christmas parties, family gatherings, and any excuse to have a blowout like it's 1999.

Forget about the stress associated with gift-giving for the holidays -- today is about you. And since you know what you like best, it's time to treat yourself to make sure you look super-fly this winter season, no matter the occasion. Besides, you don't need an excuse to look stylish, but that extra push can serve to give you extra motivation.

Check out the men's trends for winter 2004, and prepare to ignore the store crowds and focus on you and you alone.

The turtleneck sweater
You might live in a climate where winter simply means you need to wear a jacket on the golf course, but for those of you who experience more arctic conditions, a turtleneck is always appreciated. This season, cashmere sweaters -- V-neck, crewneck and turtleneck -- are making sure men are covered in the style department by being versatile and comfortable. This off-white cable-knit Kenneth Cole turtleneck can take you from casual to semi-formal, and will make the ladies want to cozy up next to you -- no mistletoe needed.

Wear it with: Wool pinstriped flat-front pants for a casual office party or holiday family gathering.

The wool pinstriped pants
Pinstriped pants are where it's at, by adding dimension and texture to a pair of otherwise simple flat-front pants. If you're worried that they'll be harder to match, then you obviously haven't tried on a pair. Depending on how you wear them, you can take them from the boardroom (with a button-down collared shirt and dress shoes) to the barroom (with a sweater and sneakers). These Theory black wool flat-front pinstriped pants are sure to provide a stylish and comfortable fit for any winter occasion.

The striped collared shirt
This season, there's a lot of emphasis on men's shirt cuffs, from contrast coloring to French details or classy cufflinks. In addition, a huge trend this year in men's lines is the incorporation of colors like red, plum, gold-yellow, gray, brown, and navy. Add to that the style of stripes -- from pinstripes to big and bold lines -- and you've got yourself a shirt that'll ensure you get noticed. This French cuffed striped collared shirt from Banana Republic looks great on its own with jeans, flat-front pants or a suit, and/or layered underneath a sports jacket or V-neck sweater.

Wear it with: Jeans for a very casual office party or family gathering.

The dirty denim jeans
Jeans have been the look since 2001, and especially dirty denim, which has given new meaning to the term "vintage chic." Jeans have experienced a resurgence like never before and have become more acceptable as casual wear. Remember the days when you weren't allowed to get into a trendy nightspot if you were wearing jeans? Well those days are long gone (at least mostly). If paired with a classy shirt, jeans -- even the washed-out kind, like these by Earl Jean -- are a staple in every trendsetter's wardrobe.

Bonus: V-neck sweater
Throw on a V-neck sweater over the collared shirt and show off your ability to layer like a pro. Don't be intimidated by the stripes in both the shirt and sweater, because between the stripes going in the same direction and a similar color scheme, it's the perfect match. This merino wool V-neck from Banana Republic even looks great underneath a blazer or over a solid-colored button-down, and of course, it looks cool with just about any pair of pants.

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