The Male Lead.

Is menswear quietly paving the way?

I love menswear because I live in it. My wardrobe consists of items that are either ‘boyfriend fit’  or ninety percent of the time the items are from the menswear department. I apologise in advance as there may be a few sentences that make sweeping generalizations, but please take them with a shaker of salt, I’m being very general, I am not talking about everyone, or your mate James when he was seventeen.

I’ve focused on menswear as opposed to women’s fashion in this piece simply because women style tends to be a lot broader, have fewer boundaries and have a wider range of garments that are considered socially acceptable. Menswear is more restricted on these terms. Reasons for this include; what is considered ‘socially acceptable’ for men is more limited, they have more boxed in definitions of smart and casual wear, and it takes a lot less to cross the line’. Hence why –  River Island, Topman and H&M produce lines that are very similar, finished with a hint of whatever their USP is. However, in recent years menswear has softened around the edges and it has used history to rapidly advance and shape the future. Tailoring still has its classic edge but has evolved as a sector in the recent years of this decade.

In the nineties, grunge and hip hop had their turn on influencing fashion, older teens and men in their twenties wear wearing low slung jeans that fell off their hips, skater shoes and baggy tees all topped off with mad hair. Early noughties came and skinny jeans rocked up in force and by the end of the decade every Tom, Dick and Harry were wearing them. However, skinny jeans are far from a new concept especially in the young male fashion scene. They have just hit different genres and crews in different decades. The sixties had Mods and Rockers whilst the seventies had Teddy Boys in drainpipe trousers. In this decade (twenty-tens?*) its primarily skinny jeans coupled with a ‘tailored’ shirt, topped off with a sharp undercut hairstyle, (think Tommy Shelby, Peaky Blinders).

 

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Tommy Shelby abandoning his barber: ‘he promised me a cut like no-one else’.  Image: (BBC/Caryn Mandabach Productions Ltd/Tiger Aspect/Robert Viglasky)

 

The Male Lead?

Menswear has started to incorporate what is considered more feminine vibes into high street looks, whilst avoiding terms such as ‘girlfriend fit’ (bravo). Floral prints and tight fitted t-shirts are no longer just for queer men. Skinny jeans/shorts are for any guy that wants to wear them, from spray on to stretch-skinny to straight-skinny,  whatever your shape or size there is a pair of jeans to squeeze your calves into.

Could menswear be leading the way by not using gendered language to justify items?

Womenswear  is still fully committed though ‘boyfriend fit’ when a tee is oversized or jeans are baggy. Why are we trying to gender or justify oversized clothing? It looks fucking rad. No further explanation needed.

Topshop, Lucas Jeans. 

Topshop describe their ‘Lucas’ jeans for…

‘…THE GIRL WHO IS ALWAYS BORROWING HER BOYFRIEND’S JEANS. THE LOOSELY TAPERED, ULTRA-LOW-RISE LUCAS IS THE ULTIMATE IN ANDROGYNOUS, LAIDBACK DRESSING’

with the greatest of respect Topshop, fuck off.

Top Tip: continue borrowing baes jeans, if your always doing it then they probably don’t mind, also save yourself forty quid maybe buy them some socks because your probably always ‘borrowing’ those too…

 

 

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pastel pink suits shows a softer side to tailoring

 

London Fashion Week Mens – SS18 (June) was bold and utterly fabulous. Continuing trends of florals, graphic prints and tailoring both sharp and laid back, both sexes walked for designers ‘male’ collections and menswear fashion shows no signs of slowing down the pace.

Optimistically awaiting the shift from catwalk design to sidewalk trend. (fingers crossed)

 

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Astrid Andersen- SS18- London Fashion Week Men’s (June) – (Getty Images)

 

*will someone please confirm this is an actual thing because Google couldn’t make a decision.

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