What’s Next For Men’s Style?

And why there has never been a better time to dress like a gentleman

I started this conversation on Instagram a couple days ago and thought it would be a suitable topic for the site as well. Fashion is and always has been influenced by the culture that surrounds it.

Sometimes it is reactionary, sometimes it seems very much a product of the times. Sometimes it comes in the form of a trend, which is generally fleeting. And other times it slowly morphs over time and you don’t even see it change until one day you look up and think, “wow, where did that come from?”

windowpane plaid three piece suit

windowpane plaid three piece suit

| WEARING | Suit c/o Reiss, Ermengildo Zegna shirt, J.Crew tie, Cartier watch, Suitsupply shoes | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

When fashion is reactionary, it tends to be pretty easy to spot and to put into context. Think about the counterculture movement in the 1960s and the associated fashion. Tie dye t-shirts, long hair, and so on. This was done in a spirit of rebellion by a generation that didn’t want to be cookie cutter like their parents, that questioned authority in a way that the country had never seen.

In terms of fashion being a product of the times, think about how 1980s style captures the very beginning of the coming technology explosion. Sharp lines. Extremely defined sihouettes. It just looked like the 1980s.

As we stand on the doorstep of a potentially radically different era and climate, both here in the states and around the world, I’m curious to see what fashion’s reaction will be. Regardless of what happens in a larger cultural context, our stance here at HSS is that there has never been a better time to dress (and act) like a gentleman.

windowpane plaid three piece suit

Indeed, looking ahead to the New Year when we make our blanket pronouncements of what principles will guide our content (and what trends we hope will die), I, Brian Sacawa, founder and executive editor of this website, would personally like to see the continued adoption of the type of style we’ve been promoting from the beginning. And that is very much what I embrace in my personal style – a classic sense of dress with a modern sensibility. And let’s apply that to manners and etiquette as well.

We’ll have more on this topic in our first few posts in the New Year. It’s a topic we’re eager to exlore.

windowpane plaid three piece suit

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Chime In

  • BRENT SMITH

    I share your views but I wonder if there ever was a time when anyone other than a gentleman would take the trouble to dress like one. Of course, nowadays it is easy to pick up a reasonable suit or pair of shoes from any number of outlets, so the question of manners becomes even more important as a mark of a good upbringing than the cut of one’s coat or the hideousness of one’s tie. I fear though that we live in a boorish age; putting the other person first is seen by too many as a weakness, the ability to listen is not nearly as prized as the propensity to shout, and courtesy has been replaced by crass egotism. Of course we must make a stand, but regrettably I sometimes look around me and feel like Vercingetorix besieged by the legions at Alesia — and we all know what happened to him!

    • Micalos Arnold

      Well said my friend. Well said.

  • Mike

    It’s amazing how many men, young and old, shun the idea of looking great and being a true gentleman. Many are eternally happy wearing an NFL jersey most of the week and seldom deviate from this look even when they are “stepping things up a bit” and actually taking their mates on an evening out. So when I came upon your site today I was extremely pleased, and will share it’s virtues where I can….though for many I am already too late. Bravo.

  • RJ Giddings

    I wish I could say that I’ve always wanted to be a
    gentleman. I’ve always had pretty good manners. But it wasn’t like that. It was initially something that started with work, needing some key pieces for the office Monday through Friday.

    This was in the early 2000’s where it was impossible to find
    a nice fitting, crisp white dress shirt that was massively huge with way too much fabric. Darts ? What’s that ? Trim fit? Never heard of it.

    For a few years I’d collect a few pieces about once a month
    it seems. It was more of background noise. Not a concerted attempt, really. A nice vest here, thrift shop score there. Save up for a killer pair of single monks from a retailer in Seattle. And after a while – with some tweaking I’d make all the pieces work pretty well.

    But something else was and still is happening. I’d find
    myself noticing what I called ‘The Slop’.
    The Slop is the guy in the workplace who just can’t/won’t get out of his high school days – baseball caps, baggy pants, sloppy t-shirts. It is literally on every corner in Seattle. In every store. The Slop is
    everywhere. Folks who never put the 30 seconds of effort to stop and think about their clothes. Maybe it’s a sociology experiment, who knows, maybe were all hurried, caffeine fueled to the point of disconnect from self? Maybe people just don’t own mirrors anymore
    and run out of the house blindly.

    And by choosing to dress differently from that, I am, by
    proxy choosing to stand out. Trust me- in Seattle – if you dress well, you will stand out. It’s inevitable. And it’s not even a bad thing. I get
    compliments from men and women. I’m fighting against The Slop I guess. And I likely always will.

    The people at my work don’t question as much anymore- that’s
    just me. No I don’t have a job interview. No I don’t have a wedding, or a funeral, or a court hearing. ( ?). It’s just that I have a closet full of this stuff now and I’m going to rock it.

    Period.