Classics: 10 Men’s Style Predictions for 2012

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Originally Published 1/4/12.  Might as well check in to see how accurate these predictions were.

Vegas might not be setting lines for the upcoming year in men’s style, but that doesn’t mean we all can’t do a bit of prognosticating on our own.  Leave any additional predictions in the comments.  Top photo credit: ohhhbetty

#1. Retailers continue to use premium fabrics sourced from Italy, England, etc…

You’d think it’d just be a marketing gimmick.  And maybe sometimes it is.  But feel the fabric on a standard suit or sweater, and then a similar suit or sweater from the same brand made with premium fabric.  It can be night and day.

#2. Less made in China, more made in the USA, Canada, and everywhere else

People put a premium on where their clothes are made.  And China is having some issues right now.  One example of this actually happening:  These shoes are going for $70.  Polo Ralph Lauren.  Made in the USA.

#3. J. Crew increases the frequency of their sales

Were all those decent sized sales during the holiday season just an aberration?  Or will J. Crew start to lean towards Banana Republic’s when-are-we-not-on-sale strategy?

#4.  Banana Republic continues to make GAP forgettable

At least for the guys.  Banana Republic can be a foundation for a slick looking wardrobe.  Old Navy is improving their fits all while remaining dirt cheap.  GAP?  They’re like the emo middle child.

#5. Brooks Brothers continues to skew younger

By the time their aging down process is over, they might just walk up to Ralph Lauren’s RUGBY line and flick it in the ear.  This won’t go over well with their older customers.  But credit to Brooks Brothers for at least trying to capture a new, younger customer base.

#6. The casual bow-tie trend starts to flounder

Not everyone can be Ken Rosenthal.  Or Shaq..

#7. The slight revival of men wearing hats dies off

Not everyone can be Shaq.  Or in the Adjustment Bureau.  It gets easier in summer, but it’s still not easy.

#8. Brands compensate for rising costs by cutting back on groupons

Is the party over when it comes to Groupons, LivingSocial vouchers, & other daily deals for online retail?  Lands’ End Canvas ran one.  Bonobos has run plenty.  Indochino used to run them too.  But all have drastically cut back.  Who knows precisely why, but the daily deal thing isn’t quite as prevalent in retail these days.

#9. Bonobos holds its own in Store Wars 2012

But will they win it?

#10. Menswear blogging jumps the shark, as a tumblr dedicated to nothing but cuffed selvedge denim set against bright socks in unusually colored wingtips launches.

And it becomes an instant success.  Dappered.com immediately sells out for an undisclosed amount to that aforementioned tumblr.  Former Dappered staff members are seen wandering ShopKo in Vibram 5-fingers, carpenter jeans, and short sleeve tees layered over long sleeve tees.

Prediction #1.  Look for more tags proclaiming the use of premium fabrics.