Over the last few years, you may have noticed a revolution in the fashion industry, I certainly have. A shift in fashion trends, however, isn’t exactly strange. Change is as common in fashion as sunshine is in the summer or Canada day in July. But something feels different about this specific change. Something about where men’s wear is headed feels permanent (or maybe that’s just me hoping).
Quite often men’s fashion off of the runway is, in my opinion, somewhat uninspired. I have always thought that men weren’t as exploratory with their clothing as they could be. I used to will my friends to try more patterns, more colour, for goodness sakes take bigger risks! Experimentation and borrowing from men’s fashion are so commonplace in women’s wear, why should men’s wear be any different? For some reason, rules about what our brothers, uncles, neighbours, and friends are wearing seem to be more static than the ones given to women. This means men aren’t as open to experimentation as we are. Whether this is due to a lack of option or the “rules” is really just another chicken and egg conundrum. Regardless of which came first, I have felt menswear could benefit from laxer “rules” about what is hip and acceptable (lol hip). This way we wouldn’t be stuck with the variation of the same thing.
Despite many designers attempts to put men in bold colours and textiles, the everyday man simply could not get behind that. Season after season men everywhere clung to stern rules about what was acceptable to wear. I have noticed, however, with rules about gender being disregarded, it seems men’s fashion off of the runway will finally get the infusion of life I’ve been craving. My hope is that the more we open up our minds to fit larger definitions of gender expression, masculinity and style, the more we will see street wear that is more reflective of what designers have been showing on runways for years.
More diversity in the range of clothing deemed acceptable for the everyday man to wear is a bigger win more than just more pink worn to business meetings. To me, shifts in fashion are reflective of the times. Which makes me wonder if the external shift we see in men is indicative of a larger change. Can we equate the change in men’s street wear to a change in the way we view masculinity? Are we finally giving men permission to be expressive, push boundaries and play with textiles, and colours once reserved for women? I can’t say for certain but what I am sure about is the street wear I can hope to see. I am saying yes to blurring lines of gender and throwing out rules that limit expression. Women have been doing it (without issue) for decades, it’s time we let the boys in. Yes to bright suits! Yes to loud textiles, from plaids to florals! Yes to more “feminine” silhouettes! Yes to changing the associations we make about clothing! Viva La Revolution!