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Prognosticating the ebb and flow of Mens style is not easy. But that doesnt mean we cant throw a few mental darts at the board. Note that thesearentnecessarilyendorsements/wishes. Just predictions.
Social Media usage, and its influence, starts to falter
I truly believe one day well look at social media the way we now look at cigarettes. People who are really good at consuming this stuff think theyre hip, look cool, and (sadly) believe theyre more of an individual than the pack. Yet more and more of us are starting to view those who are constantly on social media as pathetic. Addicts who are easily manipulated by the large corporations behind this thing they cant get out of their hands and minds. Its over. No one cares about your selfie (because theyre too busy taking their own, of which you dont care about). Oh, and give us a follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, wont you?
I cant remember the last time this thing made me feel good.
Buy-Now-Pay-Later Installment Shopping cannibalizes the customer base
There have been a lot of get this sweater now, pay for it in 4 easy installments later! gimmicks popping up across retailers lately. One could argue that if theyre interest free, then perhaps its better than racking up high interest credit card debt. But there is a (weird) argument that high interest on credit cards should act as a disincentive. Its not very nice, and predatory behavior should be punished, but theres a price to pay for getting it now, even though you dont have the money. This quad-payment/after-bill nonsense removes the disincentive, and only encourages people to overspend even more. One would think this might increase the users chance of insolvency? Which means theyll have zero money to spend later at the retailer. Nice work guys! Lets eat our young!
Trashy Fast Fashion starts to slip
Theres only so many times someone can be conned into buying a piece of crap that (surprise) ends up being a piece of crap and leaves them feeling disappointed that it was such a piece of crap before they realize that these fast-fashion brands they buy from ONLY MAKE PIECES OF CRAP.
Fast fashion. Faster to the trash than the rest.
2nd Hand goes mainstream
Macys, J.C. Penney, and now Nordstrom. All are big-time traditional retailers who have embraced the trend of selling 2nd hand. And Nordy wants to pay you in gift cards for your stuff:Nordstrom said it will issue gift cards in exchange for customers used clothing, handbags, shoes, jewelry and watches, which will be cleaned and repaired as needed before being resold.Interesting. Now to be fair, its really Nordstrom jumping on board that makes me think this could work. Nordy seems to do everything right. Macys and JC Penney on the other hand could invent a cold-fusion machine and Id be skeptical. Plus, theyd just lose the thing under a pile of clearance rack crap. Hey Mike! You know where we put the cold-fusion machine? Ahhh, last time I saw it it was under the pile of 3-for-1 Tasso Elba sweaters from 2006.
More athleisure. And athleisure branches out.
I tried to resist. And I lost. You guys kept telling me you wanted it. And yknow? As long as you follow some simple, common sense rules, you can still look pretty decent wearing this stuff. Plus their focus on technical-fabrics, sleekness, and true performance can pay off. Meanwhile, look for athleisure brands to branch out into more traditional styles. Like stuff to look semi-professional in. Why? Money of course. Because now that they have you in their joggers, one way to get more money out of you is to convince you that you also need their chinos. Business!
I fought the Lu, and the Lu won.
Righteousness as a marketing strategy grows
I believe the following two things can co-exist in the same universe:
- Its good to value companies and brands that say their products are green, sustainable, ethical, free range, and arent made from freshly-born baby seals clubbed to death with stolen artifacts.
- Its still a marketing strategy used to sell you more stuff.
Bonobos, Spier & Mackay, and Todd Snyder will all look great in 2020
Not just good. Great. Of course, all of them do have their drawbacks and challenges. Bonobos is trying to fight off any creeping influence from Wal-Mart. Spier and Mackay has their stock issues (stuff still sells out fast). And Todd Snyder is expensive. But in terms of who might make the most drool worthy stuff in 2020? Im thinking these three will excel. Also prepped for a good year, I think? Banana Republic (again), Nodus Watches, and Huckberrys exclusive Proof performance clothes and Rhodes boots lines.
Bonobos looks to look pretty top-shelf this year.
Jeans start to fall out of favor
The rise of tech-fabrics and athleisure must have, at least in part, led to the stretchification of mens denim over the last 5-10 years. The rigid, selvedge these things were made on shuttle looms. SHUTTLE LOOMS renaissance was the equal and opposite reaction to that stretchification. And here we are, I think, seeing denim sorta-kinda-maybe burning out. I hope this isnt true, but I think jeans might take a step back in 2020.
Whimsy has its moment
Grown men recently went absolutely bananas over a sweater with a cute teddybear (and various versions thereof) on the front. Bonobos is making OCBDs with totes-adorbs snails (or robots!) on them. This stuff is spreading. I dont quite get it myself, but a ton of other dudes do.
To all the Whimsy haters (Joe included), Polo bear serves up a steaming cup of shut the *bleep* up.
A new brand (or 12) promises to pass along major savings to its customers by selling DIRECTLY to them over the internet!
No middlemen! We only sell directly to you over the internet! Major savings! This is not new. At all. Quit it with the dumb flow charts of how traditional retail works, and how your new business model works. But the arrows! We have so many fewer arrows!Weve seen it. We get it. And we reserve the right to still give you the side-eye.
Suit jackets, sportcoats, and blazer tails STOP getting chopped
Stop. Chopping. The damn jacket tails. Super-short tails make the wearer look boxy and awkward. Suit jackets, sportcoats, and blazers are supposed to make the wearer look slimmer and more athletic. Chopping the tails does the opposite. It makes you look like SpongeBob SquarePants. To avoid this problem, stick with Suitsupply and Spier & Mackay. Thankfully, they do not do this.
WHO LIVES IN A PINEAPPLE UNDER THE SEA?
January goes by in a flash!
Whered that month go? Maybe its under the Macys clearance pile with the cold fusion machine.
Got a prediction of your own for mens style in 2020? Got some inside intel youd like to share that proves one of these predictions wrong? Send those in to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Top photo credit)