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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, hey’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.
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 sneaker heads, tech wear, skate wear, pale wave, avant-garde and then everything Kayne 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 and applying fragrances 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. 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.
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 you knew then how to always be stylish and 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.
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.
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.