The Triumphant Return Of Our Annual Rant
Here at He Spoke Style, we don’t really traffic in men’s style trends, preferring to take a more classic and timeless approach for reasons embedded in our values that we’ll also make abundantly clear below. But we do observe trends and tolerate some of them. Yet, each year there are some men’s style trends that we get utterly sick of — so sick of, in fact, that we’d prefer if they were flushed down the drain.
So here, dear reader, is the triumphant return of our list of the five men’s style trends we hope die in 2024. Oh, how I’ve missed writing this . . .
Let me tell you, I’m not the only one who’s sick of this. An informal poll of followers on Instagram and in our YouTube Community section cemented the oversized trend in men’s style as the top trend that you all want to see die as well.
It is well known that in the realm of fashion and style that these types of things are cyclical and are generally a form of limit-pushing rebellion. Sack suits become skinny suits become shrunken suits become oversized suits. Relaxed fit jeans become skinny jeans become wide-leg jeans. It’s never-ending.
The oversized anything thing though? Let’s wave the white flag, surrender, and retire this trend, okay? Because if you’re an oversized-adherent all you’re going to end up with is a closet full of crap that doesn’t fit you and some fit pics that were “dope” last year but will probably make you cringe in 2024 — that is, if you haven’t already hid or deleted them from your feed.
Instead, let’s wear things that fit properly. Now, there can certainly be room for interpretation in terms of “proper fit” — I’ve been enjoying clothing with a bit more room recently myself — but getting in the ballpark and playing within those boundaries is important. Why, you ask? Well, I’m just looking out for you. I’d prefer you spend your money on and invest in items that will stand the test of time.
Although it is widely accepted that the very first GRWM (Get Ready With Me, for the uninitiated) video appeared on YouTube in 2011, the format really began to take off in 2019 and 2020 and is now completely, utterly, and ridiculously saturating TikTok and Instagram feeds. In the beginning, I will admit that it was somewhat interesting to have an unvarnished behind the scenes look at someone’s process for putting an outfit together. Along with that, there was a sense of mystery — what is this all going to add up to? — with a guaranteed payoff at the end.
However, if I’m being honest, I am completely over of this type of voyeurism.
Seriously, if I see one more video of some dude in his underwear slowly putting on his shirt, pants, unfurling his goddamn belt . . . you know exactly what I’m talking about. I really don’t need to see that! There is more of a “worship me” vibe than a “let me help/inspire you” one, which falls squarely into my perpetual social media “look at me” vs. “listen to me” beef.
Listen, while I think there is some value in this type of short video, I believe it’s time for the GRWM format to evolve. How? Well, I’ve definitely got some ideas so be sure to follow along on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest to see where we take it.
High-Waisted Trouser Lust
“Are those high-waisted trousers?” “Where can I buy high-waisted trousers?” “Do you sell high-waisted trousers?” I’ve often wondered why so many people have suddenly gone so gaga over trousers with a higher rise. Is it the thrill of the hunt? The style? Very good marketing by “big high-waist”? A combination of factors? What I talk about in trend number four (see below)?
Whatever it is, I’m tired of hearing about it. So tired.
For the sake of clarity, let’s define “high-waisted” as a trouser rise that is either right at or over the belly button — more exaggerated forms can be even higher. Some people can pull the look off well. I’m thinking of my exceptionally tall friend Nat Schedler. But it’s not for everyone.
Instead of chasing a trend, it’s always the best idea to dress your own body as classically as possible. Here at He Spoke Style, we sell trousers with “regular” rise that ends just below the belly button. (Interestingly, some consider this a high-rise.) There are three benefits to this particular style. First, it’s very comfortable. Second, it ensures there’s no “white triangle of death” when your suit jacket or sport coat is buttoned — i.e. shirt showing below the button and above the waist. And third, it’s never going to be out of style.
Overuse Of Menswear Nerd Terminology
Within the menswear world, there is a sect made up of a very specific and special kind of jerk. These individuals brandish certain mildly esoteric menswear terms as a way of asserting their dominance and superiority and to hopefully be embraced by the elitist, pretentious, and self-anointed menswear cognoscenti.
Words like “drape” and “silhouette” are used multiple times in a single sentence. The benefits, joys, and orgasmic qualities of “high-twist wool” are rammed down your throat in conversation. They don’t order new clothing, they “commission” it, even if it’s MTM . . . There aren’t enough eye-roll emojis to adequately express how this makes me feel. It’s seriously obnoxious.
It’s quite obvious why this class of menswear jerk exists — they crave acceptance into a community. I totally get that because the menswear community is, by and large, quite welcoming and supportive. However, my concern is and always has been the effect that this elitist posturing has on the menswear-curious “regular guy.” It’s interesting for me to bring this up now as I wrote an in-depth think piece about a similar topic nearly seven years ago.
Anyway, I’ll end this little rant by saying that I think we all want the same thing here — to proselytize about the joys of menswear — but let’s please be cognizant of the attitude you adopt because it may do more harm than good. Or don’t think about it at all and be perpetually disappointed in how stupid everyone else is and continue to bask in your own superiority.
Trends, In General
I will admit that hoping that trends, in general, die for good is something of an idealistic lost cause. It ain’t gonna happen. But what’s so wrong with trends? This is what’s so wrong with trends. Trends exist to create a demand for something. That demand fuels consumption. And the cyclical nature of trends traps you, the consumer, in a viscous cycle of spending money to be “cool” in the moment. But what happens when slim fit is out and baggy fit is in? Or, high-waisted vs. low-waisted? Narrow lapels vs. wide lapels?
Rhetorical questions with an obvious answer — you’re not cool until you spend money to be cool again.
One of the best trends in men’s style and fashion of late has been the sustainability trend. Yes, you could certainly argue that some brands have exploited this as a marketing opportunity with little to no regard for the actual meaning of a sustainable wardrobe but if there’s one thing we truly believe here at He Spoke Style it’s that building a timeless and classic wardrobe is not only one of the best practices in terms of sustainability, but it also makes incredible economic sense.
The Bottom Line
You will hopefully have gleaned that while there is a measure of seriousness on this page, there is also an (almost) equal measure of this list being tongue-in-cheek. I certainly don’t have the right to tell anyone how they should dress or what they should (or shouldn’t) buy. You have to do you, after all.
However, we do have a certain set of values here at HSS. If you didn’t initially, now would be the time to return to the first paragraph of this post and click on the link in the very first sentence to review some of the principles that guide everything we do. If you’ve read this far, though, you probably “get it” and are part of this community.
At any rate, I shared my top five men’s style trends that need to die in 2024, but what about you? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Thanks, as always, for reading.