So the world of men's fashion is a wacky, wild and turbulent place especially thanks to the Internet, where 10 years ago if you discovered a men's fashion forum looking for advice, they'd say, "Yeah, just wear jeans and a shirt that fits properly," and you'd be leagues ahead of your average dad just by doing that.
Modern Men's Fashion
Nowadays while they're existed to some degree, those fashions and forums have diverged and then grown into huge subcultures. They include things like your mainstream business attire, high-fashion, casual wear, street wear, and all sorts of subgroups under that, including things like your sneakerheads, tech wear, skate wear, pale wave, avant-garde and then everything Kanye has been in the same room as on the surface they all seem like completely different and confusing genres, but it's kind of like how there are a million types of movies
But they're all built on the same principles.
So if you break it down into what the actual purpose or inspiration of the different trends are it starts to make some actual sense. So to start with the obvious you take business and formal attire and it literally has barely changed for a hundred and twenty-five years besides the Fat Conductor hats.
A basic suit looks fantastic all the time And the only way it doesn't is if it doesn't fit or you're wearing it at the wrong place, and that's the whole point It's a super simple yet refined outfit that says "I'm a respectable put together person representing a respectable put together company so sign this contract and let's monopolize American steel".
So is that devolves a little bit you have something like business casual, which is of course much more prevalent nowadays as business has become a lot less face-to-face and a lot more online. Some people wear business casual or chic casual outfits all the time but it works better if you're a bit older because if you're a high school student or university freshman you can come off as a bit incongruent because there's really no reason you'd ever need to wear a buttoned shirt other than when your date drove you to prom or that one job interview you've had. So I might be good to wait until you've at least paid taxes before you look like you filed someone else's.
So in my opinion, this is the point where things get interesting because you get to your casual everyday clothes where you can really express your personality by copying what popular rappers are wearing. So by far the most rapidly evolving area of men's fashion I think the most noticeable shift recently has been the huge prevalence of street wear and designer brands gaining popularity with teenagers and young guys I mean not that long ago The only people who'd spend money on Gucci were rich middle-aged guys buying their wife something for an anniversary. But nowadays the barrier for entry is getting like three a's that semester The part that I found the most interesting about some of the street-wear culture is that a lot of unfashionable items are worn ironically where you're sort of saying "I know so much about fashion that I'm wearing something I know is unfashionable, because in order to identify something so unfashionable you would have to know a lot about fashion"
Like a while ago it would be as simple as wearing a pink shirt and putting your hair in a bun because it was the opposite of traditional men's fashion at the time. Then later It was overalls in a bucket hat because you live in a city and haven't ever caught a fish. And then eventually jean joggers and a NASA fanny pack because you're emulating that one weird kid in middle school, I'm still sour about this because I was literally that kid in middle school and people did not think I was fashionable.
I did however have a pouch for my laser pointer. Now this sort of ironic incorporation of uncool items certainly doesn't end there because some brands seem to have been built almost entirely on this sense of consumer irony, and I think the most brilliant example of that is Supreme and they were originally a much smaller kind of skate shop clothing brand, but effectively they said; "Alright, we're a pretty niche shop with a pretty dedicated clientele. Do you think people would buy just a regular white shirt with a box logo on it for $30?"
And it turns out they would. And as they got bigger, they said "Alright, what about something like a Zippo lighter? "
And that sold out instantly. But as they kept getting more traction they just said
Nun chucks? Sold out instantly.
Tennis balls? Sold out instantly.
Fire-extinguisher? Sold out instantly.
And at one point they must have had a conversation that went
"All right, what is literally the least useful stand alone item we could possibly sell?
And someone said ;
"How about a brick?"
Yeah, brick and look Supreme was pretty big at the time and everything was selling out but would people actually pay $30 for a brick?
and of course the answer was no, they didn't.
Almost no one would pay $30 for a brick.
They'd pay $1,000 for a brick because it sold out instantly.
*disappointment in humanity sinks in*
So once you go deeper into different contemporary fashions you'll find some very interesting sub categorizations And they explore the extremes of other genres and some of them are pretty weird.
So, the most well-known is probably high fashion which does get a lot of flack for being weird, but it's really more of an advertising campaign for showing off a designer's inspiration for upcoming commercial lines than it is for actual practical wear. So in a way, it's almost weird by design which is neither here nor there for me but if we start looking at the niche clothing that people do wear on a day-to-day basis, it brings us to some super interesting trends. So of course a massive group that's permeated all casual wear are your sneaker heads, and these are the people you might have heard of who would camp overnight to cop a fresh pair of Jordans. But they only really wear them once for Instagram and then they resell them the next day at five times the price to rich Asian exchange students, something like normcore is wearing literally your entire outfit ironically, effectively dressing as blandly as possible on purpose.
Pale wave is a sort of minimalism that centers around a lack of detail and subtle pastel color palettes I quite enjoy this look because if people come over to my apartment, I blend in nicely with my IKEA furniture. Then there's all black everything which is also a pretty solid choice (if you don't like sorting laundry). I mean, I think it's cool because it makes your washer spin cycle look like a portal to the fourth dimension That's pretty neat. And then something like avant-garde which is sometimes called goth-ninja is way more complicated but is fundamentally about being able to sneak up on people perfectly camouflaged in the urban environment, and then being able to tap them on the shoulder and they'll drop dead instantly.
Lastly we have tech wear which is the most technically advanced clothing possible. Your jacket weighs about 14 micrograms and is resistant to all four seasons simultaneously. Your carbon fiber gore-tex underwear is completely waterproof from both directions and has a concealed pocket for up to two Magnum condoms. Honestly, the only downside I can find to a tech wear outfit
Is that it costs $4,000, and you only use it to walk to work? Now at this point we've barely scratched the surface of all the fashion ideas that are out there but moving forward all these areas of fashion will continue to evolve in some very interesting in unpredictable ways. Personally I've been trying to Pioneer comf-core which focuses on being as comfortable as possible at all time.