The menswear trend trap

A quick word about classic menswear vs. styles and trends. As a personal clothier and retailer of custom suits, I am often asked what’s in style “right now.” It’s a fair question. Many of my clients choose to work with a clothier because they don’t want to worry about making style decisions. Also, most stores cycle through inventory based on seasonal trends. New colors, cuts, prints, and textures. Women’s clothing is even more subject to changing fads.

Should you consider a trendy suit?

When it comes to my custom menswear offerings, though, I’m skeptical about the question of trends. I’ll always do my best to steer my clients away from fabrics that I don’t think are age-appropriate or versatile. Chalk stripes look great on some men in some scenarios, but if you’re ordering your first custom suit, I’ll probably steer you toward a solid charcoal or navy. And that’s the exact opposite of trendy.

Nobody wants to look like yesterday, so asking what’s in style is understandable to a point. But in suit terms, “yesterday” looks like the loose-fitting three-button jackets that everyone was wearing in the early 2000’s. (Just watch a romantic comedy from that time, or an episode of Friends.) For the past decade and for the foreseeable future, a close-fitting two-button jacket with a mid-rise flat-front pant is the “in” look. It’s classic, it’s credible, and it’s flattering to basically any body type. Leave the trends for your casual wear. Unless you wear suits on an absolute everyday basis, it’s smart to invest in a core wardrobe of classic, interchangeable pieces that you won’t be questioning in a year or two. Instead of following fashions, focus instead on quality and fit.

My mind is on trends right now after watching this hilarious, informative, and well-done video by Antonio Centeno of Real Men, Real Style. Enjoy!

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