Hell of a year 2015. Prognosticating the ebb and flow of Men’s style is not easy. But that doesn’t mean we can’t throw a few mental darts at the board. Below you’ll find 10 predictions for the upcoming year in men’s style. An emphasis has been placed on the affordable realm, and note that these aren’t necessarily endorsements/wishes. Just predictions.
#1. Slim is still in, but fits finally loosen up.
Watch for more straight fits and less skinny. Slim? Of course. Slim will still be there. But expect the shrink wrapped stuff to start to fade. If you can’t put your socks on AFTER your trousers, because the pant legs are so tight you can’t pull em’ above your calves to pull up your socks, then they’re too tight. For goodness sakes scroll through this spread from GQ. The hell is the opposite of a cankle? An ankalf? How do those guys climb a flight of stairs on those twigs?
#2. Two Camps Emerge: Fast Fashion vs. Super High Quality
And that’s not good news for those of us who prefer decent quality at a reasonable price. Apparel seems to be like our political culture. Polarized. You’d think there’d be a market for goods that land somewhere between H&M and Savile Row. But for the time being, it’s the brands in the middle that are really struggling. Many of us have our fingers crossed for that middle ground , since more often than not, the fast fashion stuff looks hyper-trendy and feels/wears like crap, while the super high end is just not realistic, price-wise.
#3. Shopping continues to = Screen –> Click –> Mailbox
How many of us are on a first name basis with our postal carrier and/or UPS driver? Perhaps blame Amazon Prime, but heading to the mall is quickly becoming like writing a physical check in the grocery line. It’s not worth the effort.
#4. Lands’ End Keeps Gaining Style Steam
They’re going slow here, but there has been a noticeable pivot in terms of their styling. Musta been some of those new hires. It hasn’t been an enormous switch, but it’s hard to miss the more contemporary styles (look, you can’t fall off the floor). This could also backfire, a la JCP, by alienating their “norm-core who doesn’t know they’re norm-core” customer base.
This is not your Father’s Lands’ End.
#5. Less Lining (blazers, sportcoats) FINALLY catches on
Even the full-lining-addicted Banana Republic has started to make some unlined/half-lined blazers in recent months. It costs more to do it (you can’t hide any wonky stitching or lose-ish threads) and it might not drape perfect, but boy are they more comfortable.
#6. J. Crew Continues to Struggle a Bit
The women’s line is suffering. (But the Men’s seems to be doing decent?) The “Mercantile” labeling of “J. Crew Factory” … is that working? J. Crew, like their GAP inc. competition, is somewhere in the middle. And the women’s side has strayed to the point that it might drag the guy’s side down a bit. Recently, I wandered over to the ladies side to do some Christmas shopping for Mrs. Dappered and… nothing. I knew she wouldn’t like much of anything they were offering. And plenty who know the two of us would say she’s got a much better sense of style than I could ever pretend to have (for example, this is what I’m wearing now… HA! LIES! THIS WEBSITE IS BUILT ON LIES!!!!) And look, it’s not like the men’s side for J. Crew is without its critics either.
#7. Laces take a Vacation
Chelsea Boots. Monk Straps. Loafers. Don’t worry lace fans, the foot corset isn’t going anywhere, but the more affordable retailers are branching out in terms of the styles they’re offering. It’s no longer just oxfords and bluchers.
#8. Expensive, clean looking sneakers get real popular.
It’s not just sneaker heads who are falling victim to these sleek leather sneaks often based on classic canvas styles. Some guys just don’t get the appeal, and that’s totally understandable. Yet it’s also understandable that if you like dress shoes and solid quality boots, you might be attracted to some Horween CXL #8 sneakers or a pair of grey nubuck high tops.
#9. Watches shrink.
There will still be bigger wrist clocks out there, but the availability of smaller, more classically sized watches might increase. Think somewhere between 36mm and 40mm. Even in sportier styles.
#10. More color, but muted color
Instead of bright red, think burgundy. Instead of Kermit the Frog green, think forest. More shades of blue start to show up too. Washed out sky blue, dark & desaturated turquoise, etc.
#11. More trends than normal, but even less will “stick.”
Blame it on all that screen time. A tv show gets hot, a music video explodes, twitter loses its mind over something, and some piece of that pop culture sticks to the fashion wall. Emulation occurs, but then the next thing comes along. In our accelerated point and gawk culture, trends turn over faster than Real Madrid Coaching staffs.