Hell of a year 2018. 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 a few 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.
Amazon keeps on expanding Goodthreads/Buttoned Down
Uncle Jeff’s internet emporium is coming for your style budget. Fashion/Style has always been the oddly large hole in the “everything store’s” arsenal. Now, with their own house brands picking up steam, I’d say they’re poised to start bumping off struggling, traditional, wearing the albatross that is mall footprint possessing brands that haven’t been as quick to adapt to the 21st century. Amazon’s house brands are now doing everything from selvedge denim to Italian wool sportcoats to basics like merino sweaters. And more often than not, they’re doing these things really well.
Amazon. They’re doing style surprisingly well.
J. Crew Scales Back. A Lot.
Maybe, maybe not. But they’ve been in turmoil for a while now, and 2018 seemed to have been the year where they ended up taking a knee on the canvas. Mickey Drexler is now gone (not just kinda gone, real gone). The influences of Jenna Lyons and Frank Muyjtens are fading further and further from memory. 2019 might be when changes at J. Crew become even more obvious in terms of what they’re making and selling.
Menswear finds some sort of new status symbol
Millennials aren’t buying cars. Phones are too pricey. Watches, while having a moment for sure, are still too niche to some (especially when you’re struggling to make your student loan payments). I don’t know what it’s gonna be though. I mean, this is sorta why intentional ugly caught on. If you wear ugly ass luxury sneakers, you’re showing the world you have so much money (or are pretending to) that you can buy ugly ass luxury sneakers.
Intentional Ugly gains even more steam
Speaking of Intentional ugly… I wish I could say the opposite was gonna happen, but I don’t think we’ve hit peak intentional ugly yet. Rising income inequality + a decade of social media convincing their disaffected users they need to express individuality, on their platforms, in the loudest way possible = these ugly ass expensive sneakers.
Patient zero for intentional ugly. $900. But they stand out on the ‘gram!!
Social Media “Influencers” start having less influence
Thank goodness. SUNSET HEART HANDS.
Banana Republic has a very good year, style wise
I don’t know how they’re doing on the business side in terms of profits, but they’ve been winning a LOT lately with what they’ve been making. I can’t remember the last time they stumbled. They even took something that can be a disaster (celebrity capsule collections) and made it a huge winner (the Kevin Love collaboration). From basics like sweaters and jeans, to more investment worthy stuff like sportcoats and outerwear, Banana Republic has been knocking it out of the park.
Banana Republic has been doing real well style-wise.
The New Allen Edmonds Ownership keeps trying, awkwardly, to young up their customer base
How do you do fellow kids? Also, looks like they’ve killed off the online, e-commerce platform for their factory 2nds shoes. Shoebank.com continues to live though. So, maybe it’s just back to the old ways of actually having to pick up the phone and making a call?
The march towards casual but intentional/modern casual picks up
There was a point in late December to mid January that I hadn’t tucked a shirt in in weeks. And if someone who, at his core, is a bit of a traditionalist/old fuddy duddy is actually buying into this intentional-casual thing? Then maybe that says something.
Just because it’s casual doesn’t mean it has to look sloppy.
A big retailer tries to kill off sales + promo codes in favor of “everyday” low prices, and it fails spectacularly
JC Penney tried it. Orient tried it. It doesn’t seem to work. So why do brands keep trying it? Because they make the mistake in assuming that we humans are rational. We’re not.
Target does their best to match Amazon’s Prime shipping service
Target rolled out free two day shipping over the holidays in an attempt to compete with Amazon’s stranglehold on general retail thanks to their 2-day shipping promise. I wouldn’t be shocked if they try it again, or make it a semi-permanent feature. Target seems the likely David to Amazon’s Goliath, and if the way they’ve named their menswear brands (goodfellow vs goodthreads) is any indication, these two are gonna slug it out for the foreseeable future.
A new brand (or 12) launches online promising to pass along major savings to its customers by cutting out the middlemen and selling DIRECTLY to the consumer over the internet!
This is not new. At all. Quit it with the dumb flow charts of how “traditional” retail works, and how your “new” business model works. We’ve seen it. And we’re not believing you.
The Mall has a comeback
Just kidding, those things are corpses.
Got a prediction of your own for men’s style in 2019? Got some inside intel you’d like to share that proves one of these predictions wrong? Send those into firstname.lastname@example.org.