5 Trends that Need To End in 2015

As a rule, I don’t regularly comment on trends or give out opinions one way or the other. Style is personal and what you make of it. Plus, there’s something to be said for keeping it positive in a field that can sometimes be overwhelmed by negativity. But reflecting on the year that was in menswear and having been a participant in the conversation for nearly two years now, I thought I’d review some of the things we might collectively want to forget about this year. So, here are five trends that need to end in 2015.

Before I get into this, I want to put something out there. How do a lot of these trends flourish? I blame the internet and social media. This may sound hypocritical since it’s the internet and social media that give me this very opportunity. But as an “influencer,” I feel an immense responsibility to you, my audience. A responsibility to be authentic, to have integrity, to produce content that expresses my point of view, my aesthetic, and that is not controlled solely by marketers and brand campaigns.

Do we participate in these sorts of campaigns? Of course. It’s one of the ways we’re able to continually bring you the high-quality content you expect and deserve. And we’ve always been extremely transparent about the brands we work with and how we generate income. This is not true all the way across the wild, wild, web.

Brands throw a lot of stuff (and sometimes a lot of money) at influencers. Some take it all. For the popularity, for the exposure, yet never disclose their connection to the brand they’re working with. We don’t do that. (We also don’t airbrush my face. Those crow’s feet are real!) If the campaign isn’t a good fit for the tone and voice of HSS. We pass. If something is “on trend” or “in style” but doesn’t fit my style. We pass. Even if we’re offered a large sum of money for one of those campaigns. Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Girl said something recently that really resonated with me: “For me, it’s the work you decline that also defines you.” Respect.

Now on with the show…

Menswear Trends to Forget in 2015

“Dressy” Sweatpants
I understand this as much as I understand Tumblr. Which is to say, not at all. Athleisurewear with suit separates? Make it stop.

Novelty Tie Bars
Please, no more whales, mustaches, or anything else worn expressly to draw attention. There’s nothing worse than trying to be “clever” when it comes to style. We’ve already covered this to a certain extent when discussing cuff links.

Shoes with Neon Soles/Laces
This trend started to come on strong in 2013 and continued well into 2014. A great example of throwing your money away and just one of the many reasons I avoid chasing trends. These types of shoes were “in” much longer than the usual trend cycle allows, but anyone who bought them probably has them sitting way in the back of their closet or under the bed at this point. Bad sartorial memories as embarrassing as a middle school yearbook photo.

The Too-Skinny Suit
I thought this was over. I really did. Now, there’s a difference between slim (or well-tailored) and skinny. Unfortunately, this trend is just starting to become more mainstream (i.e. not just for those menswear enthusiasts “in the know”). As a result, there are way too many dudes with beefy upper bodies wearing suits that don’t fit. Dress your body, not the trend. Though if you’re a Dior model, have at.

Over-Accessorizing
It’s great that more guys are embracing all things men’s style, but the problem is that one outfit cannot contain all things men’s style. Gentlemen, more does not equal better. One, two, or three bracelets? Yes. Sure. Do it. 10 on each wrist? No. Rule of thumb: accessories should complement a look, not dominate it.

BONUS: The Short Suit
Thom Browne, Nick Wooster. Yes, they can do it. That’s because they’ve been doing it for years. Before J.Crew, ASOS, and Topman started offering them last summer. It was cool because it was their thing. When something as unique as that hits a mass market, it’s over. You’re not Nick Wooster. I’m not Nick Wooster. As much as we might want to be.

DOUBLE BONUS: Slang
Not as much menswear-related as it is internet-related. I get it, slang is a part of our vocabularies. But internet slang is the worst. Just as you how you dress represents how you want to be treated, how you speak… Well, same. And just like a fashion trend, it’ll be out of style too. Put much more eloquently here. (N.B. Emojis are A-OK.)

Agree? Disagree? What would you add/remove from the list?

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian
He Spoke Style

Photo via

Recommended

Chime In

  • http://ricardorosasdesign.com Ricardo

    Thanks for sharing your views on trends. Nothing is worst that wearing or seeing someone wearing something that does not belongs to your/their personalty.
    Trends come and go and no all of us have the model type bodies. I love your statement “Dress your body, not the trend.”
    Use your creativity, feel comfortable with what you wear and people will notice. I stick with classic styles and add some personal flare every now and then. I get compliments every week just by getting creative with the same clothing I own as combine colors and textures in innovative ways. I have to wear a full suit and dress shoes every day at work, so, I might as well have some fun and look the part. Your blog is an inspiration to me. Amazing job Brian!! Happy 2015! Regards, Ricardo

    • Mike

      I have to stand up for the short suit, but that’s likely because I’ve always found it to be one of my favorite looks. It might be a trend now, but for me that’s good, because it means in a year or two, I’ll be able to get them on ebay. Granted, I’m not for wearing them because they’re in trend, but instead because they are . . . me.

      • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

        Wear what you love. Always a great mantra. Cheers, Mike.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Thanks so much for the feedback and compliments, Ricardo. I’m so glad to hear you find the blog inspiring. Happy New Year to you as well.

    • http://ricardorosasdesign.com Ricardo

      Brian, thanks for the reply. I really appreciate it.
      One more thing I wish will completely disappear are the 90’s style square toe dress shoes. I swear about 80% of the guys at my office still wear that type of shoe. Many guys just resist change and have the wrong assumption that a nice dress shoe is uncomfortable. After talking with many of them, it comes out that they have no clue on how to size their feet and end up buying shoes that are not their size. Perhaps you can make a post on how to properly size your feet and how to find the right shoe for your foot size. Many men out there need that info. Great dialogue!

  • craig

    Good list, I would add “man buns”, those lumps of hair that sit atop a man’s head to make him look like an underfed Sumo wrestler – just today’s version of a “mullet”.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Thanks for the comment, Craig.

  • http://www.gianfrancoreyes.com gianfranco

    Agree with most, never been a big fan of trends and I always encourage others to do as they please as well!

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Right. If you love it, wear it. I’m certainly not going to tell anyone otherwise.

  • William

    Brian: I agree with you on all points except the shoelaces. I like to see the rough collection of Allen-Edmonds with a color lace. I am not a fan of off color shoes (green, red, blue) but I think the right color lace can make the shoes pop. I see my son wear red laces with his Allen-Edmonds and it looks smart. On the other hand, I am not a fan of jewelry on men, so I believe a watch and a ring (if married) is all a man needs. No bracelets, necklaces, pinkie rings. Slang can be effective, when it is judiciously used to make a point.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Thanks for sharing, William. We’re just going to have to disagree about the colored shoelaces. :)

      As for bracelets, I think they can be done tastefully and I actually think this will be something more men will adopt this year. As I said, one, two, or even three, can add a little polish and understated flair to a look.

  • http://www.tailorandbarber.com Drew

    Brian,

    Great post as always, especially on a difficult topic to tackle. The challenge with trends is that while they are “in”, they are really in. So any criticism of a current trend can be alienating to some readers because people feel very strongly about them in the current moment. What I love about HSS is your respect of classic style with some injections of modern fashion, but always in the right balance. I think the one thing I would add to the list is the current trend of “business backpacks”. My personal opinion is that if you want to be taken seriously in your professional life, you should take yourself seriously. A traditional briefcase or leather messenger bag sends a much different message than a backpack.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Thanks so much, Drew. As you know, I tend to not post too many of these types of “opinion” pieces. There was some stuff I wanted to air out, however. I tried to approach it in such a way that would invite conversation rather than irritation.

      • http://www.tailorandbarber.com Drew

        You did a great job with your approach, Brian. I’m enjoying the discussion here.

  • Eoin

    I’ve looked at a lot of mens fashion blogs and the reasons why I like this one is because of the points you made above i.e. No airbrushing……real pictures of a real human being, not someone made to look so fake they resemble a character from the Polar express. And that kind of sets the tone for the blog, honest and transparent.
    Good job.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      I really appreciate that feedback, Eoin. Thanks for the support and thanks for reading.

  • Jody

    Maybe I’m far too old-school. Maybe I’m just far too old at 44. But I can’t stand to see men wearing skinny jeans. Any man. Ever.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Thanks for the comment, Jody. Like suits (and shirts, for that matter), I like to make a distinction between skinny (read: painted on) and slim-fitting/well-tailored. Clothes should always fit the build. I’m a fan of a slim silhouette – no break trousers and tapered. Would that work if I was a linebacker? Definitely not!

  • Daniel

    It’s not really about trends so much but the jewelry issue. I like a figaro silver necklace with a stone pendant as garish as it sounds. I would wear it if all alone on an island. I had a fascination with stones and silver ever since I was a kid. It has nothing to do with fashion at all because no one really sees it anyway under a collared shirt, unless they know me quite well, ha ha. I don’t wear it in summer with tees or polos. It’s just a satisfying, almost inspirational thing to have two miracles found in the earth on your body. Precious metal, stones. So there’s a difference between jewelry for fashion and jewelry for you own satisfaction. I guess you can look at only necklaces that way. Ankle bracelet. Geez no. I love gemstone rings too but they are too cumbersome and too hard to forget about. You wear them for a day or two and it’s over, plus you know people are judging and appraising it the whole time, coming with loads of opinions when you’re simply someone who likes to go mindless now and then inside a stone’s glint. But people are too busy with opinions. Not worth it.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Thanks for sharing, Daniel. There is something to be said for those “hidden” details. I’ve talked about this in the past. The lining of a suit jacket, the back of a waistcoat, a small monogram out of view. You know they’re there, but people don’t see them. Nor do they have to! These are often the best and most fun kind of details.

  • http://golden-shapes.blogspot.com Jorge Barrionuevo

    Brian, thanks a lot for making us realize that we don’t have to follow every single trend, I also have always kept that on my mind ever since I started blogging, really awesome how you let the things very clear in this post because social media can raise you but the price you pay sometimes is not being you at all as a blogger. Greetings from Ecuador.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Cheers, Jorge! Thanks so much for the comment.

  • http://www.twentyfirstcenturygent.com/ Ben Heath

    Definitely agree with limiting the number of accessories a man should wear. Sharp and suave is my preference over the ‘Jack Sparrow’ or ‘Christmas Tree’ look! One thing that is omitted here though is the man skirt (apologies for mentioning such a word)…

    Ben | http://www.twentyfirstcenturygent.com

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Jack Sparrow or Christmas Tree look! What an image. Thanks for the comment, Ben.

  • Bill

    As a battle scarred style veteran of the 70’s, I appreciate your candor Brian for how sometimes style influencers can be be partially responsible for how trends move us. Orange. Leisure suits. Bell bottoms. Ruffled tux shirts. I shudder just thinking about it all. But I remember indulging in all of these. Thank goodness for John Malloy, Carole Jackson, Alan Flusser and even Lisa Birnbach for turning me around in 1979. I wore a gray stroller, stripes and ascot at my 1982 wedding when most everyone else was doing white and (blecch)blue tuxes with ruffles…and have never regretted it! :) Best wishes to you, Rob and the crew in ’15!

  • Oscar

    Hey Brian, must say, love your posts and style guide! Very useful! And though for the most part, I would agree with not having any desire to practice any of these in my personal style, i must say they aren’t all that horrific. Now hear me out, I understand where you’re coming from. Dressy sweatpants (coded as Slim Joggers) are worn for good reasons. Initially, it seems crazy, but really, they’re immensely comfortable (which also instills innovation, hence dressy plus comfy), and I merely see them as being a modern take on classical breeches. Where the calf higher up with long, trouser-matching socks, or as is with a great pair of dress boots, and it looks quite good. Now as for “nifty” tie bars, they are entirely hysterical. Bright laces are definitely a crazy statement piece, as for i am a dear fan of solely dark and muted colors that give off an almost gloomy effect. Too-skinny suit, ehh? Agreed. ENTIRELY! All clothes should fit naturally, and give a great fit. Though in contrast, some (very few, i mean) men are extremely thin, and even a slim fit suit looks equal as classic fit would to the average male, and that is the only exceptional case, in my opinion. And over-accessorizing is a stunt only to be pulled (and pulled off) by punk rock stars. I feel the short suit is a contradiction, much like sweaters and shorts, or a long-sleeve in general with shorts. Defined as the phrase “Winter on top, Summer on bottom.” And you’re voice is X times more powerful than any appearance. If you speak with awkward discrepancies, your style will have that much less an effect on your image. But, lastly, much of these can be traced back to PERSONAL STYLE. Being who ‘you’ want to be, and not being defined by others. And so we must not judge those who wear bright laces, mustache clips, nor a whole chest of necklaces, simply and solely because that is their own choice of style, and it’s just one more addition (no matter how weird) that defines them as a person…. And Best Wishes in the New Year!….

  • Mark

    You are right on the money, Brian. Men who have beefy frames, especially stocky bodies, should not wear super tight or skinny suits. Not hot at all. Not to mention being uncomfortable noticing it, imagining how uncomfortable the top would become. Don’t even get me started on the pants. Men should leave more to the imagination to those of us who look or care when packages are displayed in all of its glory from mother nature. I want to know how do they even get out of them at the end of the day without a tear or a stitch coming undone. The accessories is also a valid point to illustrate. I personally prefer no jewelry whatsoever, but only a nice, chrome watch. Keep up the good blog. You inspire me. Happy New Year.

  • Rae

    Fantastic list. I would like to add to this list eyeglasses worn by people who don’t need them and just see them as a fashion accessory. I have been wearing eyeglasses since I was 9, and the sight of normal visioned people wearing trendy eyeglass frames upsets me.

  • erosan

    I just want one thing to disappear from the face of the planet:

    CROCS

    No, the do not look good. EVER. Under any circumstance. Wear them at home if it pleases you, but please do not go out wearing a pair if you are over 12 years old. Hell, even if you are under.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      I hate one word answers, but… YES. Hahaha, I joke with people that I’m allergic to them and the allergic reaction is that they make me growl.

  • Sam Stephenson

    Here’s my two cents worth…pajama bottoms as “casual” wear. One may as well add a t-shirt that says “I’m so lazy that I barely got out of bed this morning!” I just don’t get it!!

    Brian, I’m a new reader but have to say that I really appreciate your approach; you’ve helped me feel comfortable with being a guy who wants to look (and therefore feel)my best. I’ve always struggled with a poor self-image and decided last year to take the offensive and do my best to look my best at ALL times. I found your site while looking for tips and it’s been a great help. And while I’ll never be voted the Sexiest Man Alive, I’m proud to be in style and it shows. Thanks man!!

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Thanks so much for the comment, Sam. I’m so happy to hear that I’ve played a small role in inspiring you to dress your best!

      Are people wearing pajama bottoms? When I posted that last year, it was an April Fool’s joke!

  • Bgreen

    Thanks for banning the skinny suit–didn’t look good on Pee Wee and doesn’t look good on you.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Ha! Second Pee Wee comment. As I said, I think there’s a big difference between skinny and slim-fitting (or well-tailored). I have a smaller build so I’m comfortable in a slimmer fit and think it looks best on me. Sorry you don’t agree, but that’s the fit I like. Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading!

  • Rob Dex

    I agree with you on the “dress sweatpants” and jackets. How do you feel about the dress sweatpants for casual looks? For some looks I’m excited with the combination of comfort and a more trim fit which gives people another outlet for to avoid wearing jeans again. Also would love nothing more than to rid the world of 90’s rapper sweatpants.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Thanks for the comment, Rob. Personally, “dress sweatpants” (seems like such an oxymoron!) are not for me. I don’t doubt that they’re comfortable – as I type this in my pajama bottoms – but it’s a trend nonetheless. And one that doesn’t work for my personal style. Are there dudes who can pull it off like a boss? Absolutely. It’s all about personal comfort level.

  • http://www.meetup.com/atlanta-mens-style/ Mike Schinkel

    Completely agree with your list (except one); I didn’t every realize some of those were “a thing.” Short suits? UGH! NOBODY looks good in those!

    However, I agree with William and disagree with you on colored shoe laces (although neon is bad, colored is good.) I literally just ordered some more before reading your post: fortunately the Shoe Snob blogger agrees with me since he sells them!

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Thanks for chiming in, Mike! I personally think Nick Wooster and Thom Browne OWN the short suit look and it looks amazing on them.

  • http://gregorroth.com Gregor

    Brian

    I completely agree with your “5 Trends” comments. I think, and this is just me talking, that you’re tapping on a larger issue. Put simply, I believe you’re referring to the difference between men of culture, understanding and eloquence (these characteristics do not require money or breeding) and men who are, how shall I put this, uni-brow, mouth breathers. You’re points are on target given societal levels of (lack of) refinement. I applaud your desire to bring another strata of refinement to your blog, what I might refer to as cultural literacy and style articulation, to today’s 21st century culture. And, while we are on the subject of “trends and refinement” its time to discuss cell phone etiquette.

    Gregor

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      I’d argue that being “on trend” and being elegant/eloquent/refined aren’t separated by societal or socioeconomic concerns. There can be quite a monetary barrier to entry for some of the trendiest items.

      I’m glad that these posts are sparking this kind of conversation and debate. We’ll keep them coming because these are great discussions to have. I really appreciate you taking the time to craft such a well-thought out comment.

      Cell phone etiquette…. Good topic! What’s your take?

      • Gregor

        When refering to cell phone etiquette I mean how one uses the phone in public. Specifically, does it vibrate or ring and, is it answered loudly, without regard for those nearby, or taken out / away so others aren’t part of the conversation. I realize this topic strays beyond the art of style but, I believe style, without manners or regard for others, attributes that define the character of the man, is worthless. Character, traits some might say are in decline, only brighten one’s style and supports the choices of dress. And, when these, character and style, are confected become a bold statement to one’s sense of self.

        • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

          Well said, Gregor. And I am in agreement. What good is dressing the part if you don’t act like a gentleman?