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
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.
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.
He Spoke Style