(It’s actually a really hard game to play)
The growing trend of young men (21 -35 years old) who are investing more time into their wardrobe is no secret. If you’re a male in that age group and you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re either hanging around chimps, or your balls are so deep into GQ-Fanboyism that you’re suffocating. The call to “suit up” has been heard and the number of males who are answering is on the rise.
Italian suits have always been considered the top tier of quality, but now young guys are craving Gucci and Zegna even though they would have to starve for half a year to afford a single garment. The term “bespoke” isn’t a scary word, but something sought after by many as somewhat of a status symbol. A lot of men view the purchasing of a bespoke suit as a way of saying, “my dick is bigger than yours”. If not that, they will go into stores and ask for the hottest words in the magazines right now. “Super 140s”, “100% merino wool” and “Slim fit” are all commonly heard, and some people use them without having the slightest clue about what they actually mean.
So, where did this sudden surge of interest in sartorial elegance come from? Less than a decade ago, guys wore jeans half-way down their pants and had mops on their heads – some still do, sadly. It wasn’t long ago that men who demonstrate a vested interest in their appearance were instantly thought to be gay – some people still think that, sadly. However, if we were to go back in time a little bit farther, males who didn’t take pride in their appearance were considered vagabonds and ne’er-do-wells..
Fashion trends definitely cycle over decades, but do the attitudes which are at the helm of those trends cycle as well?
Recently, phrases like “Oh, he dresses so well, he must be gay”, have been thrown around all the time; implying that putting effort into your appearance is something purely feminine. Although it is not a secret that a lot of girls use their appearance as a way of combating the daily tide of overwhelming, recurring insecurities, men do it as well. For example:
- Adhering to a rigorous gym routine and tasteless diet is perfectly acceptable, but tucking in your shirt if you don’t have to is lame.
- Intentionally wearing shirts a size smaller to show off your guns is hektik, but wearing a pocket square is for… well, squares.
Being a personal stylist, I have clients from 19 year old first year uni students to 59 year old CEOs with wardrobes and budgets varying in size. I can safely say that men across the board are caring about their appearance a lot more than their masculine stereotype would have you believe, and overall I think it’s a great thing.
As for me, it’s gotten to the point where I feel naked when I’m not in a suit and tie. To put it simply, I don’t want to go out in public looking like I was accidentally shat out from the wrong end of my wardrobe.
The Gentry Man is a Personal Stylist who feels scared and confused when he doesn’t know the difference between the mens and womens section in a General Pants Co store. You can follow his blog and Twitter.