Let Them Be Bold! Men and the Fashion Revolution

MensFloralprintsSpring2013

Isn’t it funny how over the past decade we’ve managed to revive the best and worst styles of the better part of the previous century? Since 2003, we have introduced old concepts into our new wardrobes.

I remember the ressurection of leggings worn under mini skirts paired with the large baggy tops of 2005. I remember the unflattering ballerina warm up shrugs that were meant to be tied at the waist but made everyone’s arms look fat. I also remember the 1950s inspired poodle shaped skirts with flamboyant colours and prints of 2004, heinous large neon earrings that we would see Kimmy Gibbler wearing on old episodes of Full House paired with skin tight black mini dresses that would later be a part of American Apparel’s 2007 collection.

I will never forget the vintage movement that swept the end of the decade and turn of the century or as I like to call it, The Return of the 90s. The revival of the 90s took the fashion world by storm.

Being bi-continential, I noticed even my stylishly stubborn friends back in the Middle East eventually catching on to the look. Larger glasses were introduced, fedoras and bowler hats were encouraged and wayfarer sunglasses and skinny jeans were essential.

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However, 2013 offers something different. It is almost as though the fashion industry is pushing women’s fashion aside and dedicating the evolution of trend to the male audience.

I know, it sounds like crazy talk, but think about it ladies: has this season not been really weird? Anything “new” you can think of, with the exception of swimsuits and shoes, isn’t actually new.

Last summer, we were obsessing over chiffon material and hi-lo skirts and dresses. This year, feel free to raid your closet because it seems that everything that has been fashionable over the past five years is still perfectly acceptable to create an up-to-date outfit.

My theory is we’re taking a small detour since we’ve literally circled the better half of the previous century stylistically speaking. Yes, this year, with great hesitation, we are back to the years of fashion we were trying to forget not five years ago: the early 2000s.

What does that mean? The Oriental look, metallics, spaghetti strap halters with long a-line skirts and awkward strappy sandals a la Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen in their creepy pubescent entertainment careers.

But men are seeing something different in fashion. This season, they are being given more of a chance to actually be fashionable!

mens fashion 2013Sure, more often than not you’ll still see the everyday average heterosexual dude between the ages of 18-35 wearing the same old cargo shorts, graphic tees and disgusting sports sunglasses. You’ll also spot the average sweatpants wearing, hideous high crotch, elastic band jeans with the awkward ass and high ankles wearing guy who looks like he’d just stepped out of a Mickey Mouse Club video cassette, pairing them with those insulting Velcro cross strap sandals.

It’s obvious, however, that the fashion industry has gone the extra mile for my adorable, hairy counterparts. It seems that men, regardless of their sexual orientation or personal style, are being encouraged to go bold with what they wear.

Think about it: the fashion industry for men is usually targeted towards the media’s idea of the “typical” fashion loving homosexual man, and the preppy guys (or as we call them here in Montreal, guys from France), but the everyday average guy, regardless of his sexual orientation, wouldn’t necessarily have much of an option.

What happens if you don’t like what’s coming out? If it’s too preppy for you? All they’ve been stuck with was skinny jeans, plain t shirts, and v neck sweaters (sexy). Otherwise, it’s back to the same old cargo shorts and graphic tees.

This year, shorts are encouraged, especially if they’re cuffed. The cuffed look is being pushed onto men like skinny jeans were.

I’ve spoken to quite a few men who have different tastes, and most of them agreed that the cuffed pant-leg look is too feminine. I personally disagree and feel they should give it a chance and take the risk; after all, cuffed pant legs look pretty classic with a nice loafer or boat shoe and a simple, light button down shirt that’s casually been left unbuttoned.

Now, I can see how that would look a little too Dawson’s Creek for some of you, but remember how people felt about skinny jeans when they first came out? Exactly. Just give it a couple of years.

I think that this season, it’s safe to say men are being encouraged to make bolder decisions, even in an androgynous sense. I know that the concept of androgynous style is not necessarily new, but it has definitely been expanding.

Some men are rocking heels paired with self-designed outfits and they look fierce. Same thing with dresses.

Back in the day, the public might have had negative reactions to the concept of gender-bending fashion, but especially after this season, I see great potential in the look. You wear your heels baby, and wear ‘em high.

There is nothing more beautiful than the silhouette of the androgynous look. It’s like having a bunch of beautiful mannequins walking around constantly inspiring me to go shopping.

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But you don’t have to wear heels or even cuff your pant legs to be bold. According to one of my fashion conscious, average Joe friends: “men are finally opening up to patterns that aren’t plaids or stripes…. floral, polka dots, small patterns like anchors.”

My friend does live in a in a city where these changes are more likely to take place straight away, but what about the rest of the world? Are men ready to take the plunge into this pond of fashion? All with a grain of salt and giving things a chance, even if you just start off with bold colours or wearing a denim shirt.

Keep in mind, though: rolling up your pant legs make you look taller, and I personally swoon over a tall glass of water.

 

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