Hell of a year 2016. 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. A major shakeup happens at J. Crew
J. Crew’s clock is ticking. And that’s not a good thing for those of us who really appreciate their sportcoats, outerwear, Goodyear welted shoes, slim sweaters, and suits (when on sale.) But they sell more than men’s stuff at J. Crew, and it’s the women’s side that has perhaps been the main source of their recent struggles. Maybe. They’ve been trying a lot of different things as of late (branding J. Crew Factory as “Mercantile,” selling some stuff at Nordstrom, etc…) and nothing seems to have righted the ship. But would changing the Captain or First Mate really solve the problems? I have no idea.
#2. Trends: Colorful classics & Futuristic Monochrome
Look for classic pieces to get unexpected dashes of color (think of those marine blue suits that got so much play in 2016), while there’s a segment of the more fashion forward, riskier stuff that’ll stick to black, grey, and white.
A green sportcoat? Why not? Would look pretty good with jeans now, and light grey chinos in summer.
#3. Technical innovation continues to invade foundational pieces
High stretch denim. Breathable, quick drying tees and polos. Technical fabrics get cut and sewn into clothing that actually look stylish, instead of looking like discarded costumes extras wore in a straight to video TRON knockoff.
#4. Suit jacket / Sportcoat / Blazer tails finally return to a normal length
The chopped look is finally put to a stop.
Less of the left and more of the right? Hopefully.
#5. The Middle Suffers: The Public demands Cheap Fast Fashion and/or High End Luxury
The middle continues to get squeezed. And that’s not good for those of us who frequent (or, run) this website. There’s plenty of solid quality, reasonably affordable stuff out there. Hooray for supply chains, smart designs, and innovation. But it seems like more and more people are fine with dirt cheap, disposable clothing, while also dropping ungodly amounts of cash on a designer good here and there. (Think, a guy wearing an H&M t-shirt, paper thin Zara pants, and a Rolex.)
#6. Traditional, big box retail, continues to struggle. Badly.
Macy’s is not doing so hot. Nor is many other, similarly styled department stores. Identifying the problem isn’t rocket science. There is no “there” there. (When’s the last time you skipped happily into a Macy’s?) It’s solving the problem that’s immensely troublesome. Meanwhile, fingers crossed for Nordstrom. Out of all of the department stores out there, they’re the one that seems to get just about everything oh-so-right.
The dark days for most big-box stores might get even darker.
#7. Gaudy & Loud tries to have a moment
From Mar-a-Lago to 24K Magic, loud, shiny, and garish seems to be “in” right now. For some. Again, this isn’t an endorsement of any look (although, hey, if it works for you, go for it). It’s not a suggestion that you should work such trends into your own wardrobe. But be prepared to see brands pushing more flash, more logos, more bold prints, more gold. Shades of Ed Hardy and Coogi and Magic Eye stuff. Why? I don’t know. Maybe social media just isn’t scratching the “look at me!” itch for some anymore.
#8. Allen Edmonds keeps doing what they’ve been doing
The hand-wringing post sale was predictable. But, at least for this year, Allen Edmonds continues to produce classic, well made American footwear, while also continuing to introduce a few new, more fashion forward styles of the same super high quality each season. Why would anyone want to change that?
These are not broken. So why try to fix them?
#9. More clean, simple sneakers in more places
This has been gaining steam for the last few years, but it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Think red carpets, or the “cool” boss (whatever that means) wearing some sleek kicks with a suit and polo or tee in the spring. Some guys will never like this look. Some might try and give it a shot, even if that means wearing a pair of bright white, leather sneakers with jeans and an unconstructed sportcoat.
#10. Joggers finally fall out of favor.