Prognosticating things in the men’s style-o-sphere isn’t easy, but let’s throw some mental darts at the board anyway. Note that these aren’t necessarily endorsements/wishes. Nor will all of these apply to us, the Dappered “audience.” They’re just predictions.
Trends Lean into the 90s and 80s. Hard.
I hope I’m wrong. Straight fit jeans. Band collar shirts and mock neck sweaters. Big blocky doses of primary (or neon) colors. What in the name of Saved by the Bell is going on??
Jock Macaulay Culkin rolls up to the AFC Championship looking like The Rock in that pic, THEN WINS THE DAMN THING. And while there’s gotta be some pretty strong meta “it’s been a while since the Bengals have been to the Super Bowl” sub context going on with Joe Burrow, just look at Jimmy G. He has unironically re-created A Night at the Roxbury. Multiple times. And yes, he can do classic… although everyone has gotta start to think twice before undoing that 2nd button. Not everyone can be Tubbs.
“What is love?… Oh baby, don’t hurt me
Don’t hurt me… No more”
Serious people who want or need to be taken seriously will still wear suits, dress shirts, ties, and dress shoes.
Sorry but it’s true.
Target & Old Navy have a good year.
Because they are somehow managing to be contemporary, classic, and cheap, all at the same time. Of course one can’t be all things to all people, but dammit those two are trying. And somehow in the last few years their relative price-to-quality ratio has improved. Will their goods blow the doors off a style/#menswear snob? Heck no! But to deny that they’ve come pretty far in recent memory would be unfair.
Target and Old Navy. Contemporary but select classic pieces. And cheap.
Yet another app or “service” debuts claiming they’ll dress you by algorithm, and predictably fails.
They just don’t get it. For a fee they’ll ship you overpriced clothing that doesn’t really fit your personal tastes (because the AI stinks), which robs you of the fun that is the hunt and the eventual self expression of assembling and cultivating a sense of personal style.
“Pay us and we’ll have robots perform your hobby for you… shittily”
Yeah sign me up man.
“Buy Now Pay Later” grows like a tick… then possibly pops.
About 30% of BNPL users fall behind on payments, doing damage to their credit scores in the process. Companies like Affirm and Klarna exploded during the pandemic as service sector spending dropped and goods spending skyrocketed. And a reckoning may be coming. Regulators could very well take a strong look at the BNPL industry. Funny thing, this buying a $40 sweater via “four easy payments of $10 a month” … it kinda feels like a bad idea. Because just like those “sign up for a credit card and we’ll give you a free t-shirt!” tables you used to see on college campuses, it is a bad idea. At least for the consumer.
Affirm. Klarna. Sezzle. Same industry, different era. (photo credit)
A geopolitical event causes a serious supply chain disruption.
It happened during the pandemic. It feels shamefully small to even write about this, especially in the context of possible events that would alter or end millions of lives, but it could happen again. Russia, Ukraine and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. China, Taiwan and Taiwan Semiconductor (maker of 90% of the world’s most advanced technological chips). Remember the Ever Given? That was one ship getting stuck. Yes it was a big ship which got stuck. But there are bigger things than one big ship getting stuck.
Jeans go from threatened to endangered.
At this point denim is basically formalwear.
Gather round Anthropology students… These are an example of what was once known as: “Jeans”
Sneakers continue to dominate footwear.
A well rounded shoe collection used to have a variety of styles. Now it seems like a lot of guys want 10 pairs of sneakers, and will then maybe resign themselves to purchasing a single pair of dress shoes. Y’know, to wear to a job interview. So they can fund buying more sneakers.
People are gonna be either really dressed up, or really dressed down.
And there will be little in-between. Which is where a lot of us thrive. And that’s GREAT. Why? Because life is 90% the middle. If you can look smart and/or sexy in some pants, a button up, and a sweater or a sportcoat… or maybe when wearing some classic court style sneakers, jeans, and a t-shirt, then you’ll be miles ahead of those who whipsaw between sweatpants, and Meta Gala/Big Night Out craziness. Plus, getting good at the middle will only make you better at the extremes.
It doesn’t have to be either Black Tie, or People of Walmart.
Find the middle ground and get good at it.
Banana Republic (maybe) tries to quit codes and promos…
…but eventually relents and goes back to their previous strategy. How long can they keep up this no codes/no promos thing? And is it actually a strategy? A temporary pause to let stock catch up? This is all speculation. But yeah, they’ve been quiet lately. Real quiet.
#menswear social media continues to leave us feeling like crap.
Does anyone ever actually feel good after scrolling through that stuff? And yet still we go. Gatekeeping and insecurity manifested as hyper-criticism are as plentiful as oxygen on menswear social media platforms. And like oxygen, the snark both gives those places life, while also fueling their perpetual destruction. We get it, some of those keyboard style warriors are just so darn clever and so darn handsome. Yet not clever enough to cease giving away their “brilliance” for free. It’s The Emperor’s New Clothes only in reverse. On social media it’s the willfully clueless subjects who are stark raving naked, while the platform Czars sit decadently swaddled, unbelieving of their luck. Their royal cash registers ceaselessly ring, their tills gleefully filled by customers paying to buy the right to sell off pieces of themselves. The customers are the product, like a herd of cattle feasting on hamburger. Cannibalistic consumers, staunchly refusing to look over their shoulders, terrified of confronting the ragged, bleeding gash in their flank, from which came the very flesh they chew.
Sheesh. Lighten up, Francis. Anyone for McSurf&Turf?
January goes by in a flash!
Where’d that month go?
Got a prediction of your own for men’s style in 2022? Got some inside intel you’d like to share that proves one of these predictions wrong? Send those in to email@example.com.