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. Note that these aren’t necessarily endorsements/wishes. Just predictions.
Nothing you own is gonna fit
After a year in elastic waisted pants, nothing is gonna feel right. Because it probably won’t be right. Some of us gained a ton of weight via snacking and total sedentary shut down. Some of us lost a lot of weight because restaurants were closed, and the stress took its toll. You might want to take a stroll through your wardrobe, now, and try on things you haven’t worn in forever. Be prepared to make a call to your tailor once it’s safe to go visit her or him. Stuff is gonna have to be let out. Stuff is gonna have to be brought in. Speaking from personal experience on this one.
Get ready to get reacquainted with your tailor.
Social media usage slows down
Whether it’s WIWT posts, Instagram flexing, or blasting away on men’s style message boards, I’m predicting (maybe hopefully) that this stuff is heading into a legitimate contraction phase. Its not fun anymore. Maybe it never was. But people are waking up to the fact that platforms have been weaponized. It’s also extraordinarily difficult to avoid the crazies. When a discussion about pants, or comments on a new wristwatch release devolves into crackpot conspiracy theories about lizard people and chemtrails, then screw it. Life is too short. Plus, after all the WFH and Zoom calls, haven’t we all had enough screen time for, I don’t know, a lifetime?
J. Crew Stabilizes
J. Crew filed for bankruptcy back in May. And since… doesn’t it seem like they’ve stabilized a bit? Sure they’ve been running what feels like fire-sale promos for, well, ever, but that was the state of retail as a whole in 2020. Maybe last year was the bottom. They’ve had some real style wins since. Can they start heading back towards the surface in 2021? Get back to doing what made them one of the biggest names in contemporary but still timeless style?
“Well, everyone needs a hobby.”
“So what’s yours?”
Brooks Brothers struggles to find new footing
Yes they brought in Michael Bastian to lead them into their post bankruptcy future. But Brooks Brothers has a LOT of history, and turning that ship around is going to take a lot of time, and a lot of effort. It is a big… boat. It’s the QE2. And like the QE2, no one under the age of 30 knows what it is. Good luck turning that thing on a dime.
Parties. Lots of parties, in late 2021.
Deep down, people want to be seen. And after more than a year of basically living in the psychological equivalent of a bird cage with a blanket thrown over it, a lot of people are going to be ready to blow off steam, and be seen once again. And many will think to themselves: “debt, bad decisions, and drunkenness be damned.” Get ready for the roar. This prediction is of course dependent on vaccine distribution, vaccine participation levels among the public, whether or not the vaccine prevents or reduces transmission by people who have been inoculated, and if the new strain (and/or potential strains) isn’t resistant to the vaccine. So. Yeah. Who knows.
Live look at everyone once they get their final dose of the vaccine.
Bonobos, Target, and Lululemon all look good in 2021
Bonobos is backed by Walmart. Target is Target. And Lululemon will ride both the athleisure wave (which they created) as well as the luxury purchase spending trend. Because while the stuff they make is SPENDY, it does feel, fit, and work better than the competition. And it kills me to say that. You try honestly and sincerely recommending a $98 henley on an “affordable men’s style” site. It’s weird. Square those two things. $98 is NOT affordable for a henley. I know that goes through your, the reader’s head. Even if they really are the best.
Your local mall closes… and turns into an Amazon distribution center
Malls were already on their last legs BEFORE a raging disease forced us all to reduce, reconsider, and reprioritize how we spend time outside of our homes. Good luck to mall owners trying to bait us back to fighting for a parking spot so we can browse the clearance racks at Macy’s. I can’t recall who said this and said this first, but years back someone said: “Right now, consumers go out and find products and services. In the future, products and services will find the consumer.” The future is now.
If I sit here long enough, will my package get delivered by an Amazon Prime employee on roller skates?
Casual and Tailored Wear continue to be blended together
Sneakers with suits. Polos and tees with suits and sportcoats. Tracksuits made out of fancy fabrics like wool suiting material. These hybrids in both looks and items will continue as we emerge from the COVID cocoon.
Luxury Purchases tick up (whether the buyer has the money or not)
Very similar to the “lots of parties” prediction. People have had it. 2021 might just be one big Pitbull song. There’s a lot of pent up… pent-up-ness, and that might come spilling out in people saying “F-it, I’m gonna get that stupid expensive thing I’ve always wanted.” Revenue streams (or lack thereof) be damned. And with the proliferation of all the “buy now pay later” schemes out there, there’s even less disincentives to not be reckless with your money. And that spells trouble, big trouble, down the line.
Will 2021 be the year itches get scratched, until we bleed?
Something really bad happens and brands will make a ham-fisted attempt to speak out about it on social media even though doing so is unavoidably part of their marketing strategy to try and sell you more stuff, thereby devaluing the seriousness of the situation while crowding out intelligent, experienced voices which should actually be heard.
It sucks. Welcome to Costco. I love you.
We’re all gonna feel super awkward getting dressed up
I don’t care if you’re fluent in Sanskrit or you’re a concert pianist. If you spend a year not speaking Sanskrit, and/or never so much as touch a key on synthesizer, it’s going to feel weird the first time you get back at it. And that’s okay. But if you want to mitigate some of those feelings, get some reps in now.
This feels weird. Do I look weird? I hope no one notices I feel weird.
January goes by in a flash!
Where’d that month go?
Got a prediction of your own for men’s style in 2021? Got some inside intel you’d like to share that proves one of these predictions wrong? Send those in to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Top photo credit)