Essential Style Tips To Finish Off 2016 On A High Note
If menswear is the high school jock, streetwear is its scrappy little brother. Menswear, the all-inclusive term for all men’s fashion, plays by the rules, evokes tradition, and hits all the right notes to gain the respect of veterans and newbies alike. Streetwear flamboyantly tosses all of the rules in the trash and dares to turn the industry upside down. When GQ directs its readers to suit up, streetwear strips down. And for the streetwear industry, playing against convention has paid off.
According to Racked, menswear generated an estimated $9 billion in 2015. Streetwear accounts for a large chunk of that. For every dandy blogger that champions the classic appeal of suiting, there are a hundred more that praise at the altar of Yeezy. Streetwear is the only menswear category that inspires extreme fandom. Lines span blocks at the announcement of a new sneaker release or a celebrity tour pop-up shop. Unlike traditional menswear, streetwear capitalizes on hype. It’s this hype that propels upstart talent like Heron Preston from Instagram DM salesman to in-demand designer of $800 custom sneakers. The feverish excitement and experimentation of streetwear is unparalleled by any other industry.
While much of 2016 has already passed, there’s still a few months to nail down some key streetwear looks. And not to mention, there’s a big weather shift just a few weeks away. As you head into the last quarter of the year, these are the streetwear moves you need to master.
For some time, global men’s style was heavily influenced by Scandinavian minimalism. Outfits were steeped in black or soft neutrals. The overall focus of the looks was function. It was sleek and simple. But more than anything, it was boring. Throughout 2016, men have been latching onto prints to stand out from the crowd. And it isn’t just the mavens and peacocks who are taking risks. This is a style move within reach of even the least adventurous guys out there.
It’s important to use a printed shirt as a point of elevation for a basic look. For example, if you’re wearing a pair of ripped black jeans and a gray t-shirt, you can throw on our Roses Zip Short Sleeve Shirt over it. Leave it open so you can show off the layers of your look. Our shirt showcases intricately outlined roses pinned against a black background. It’s a bold statement that, given the opportunity to shine, can really anchor a strong outfit.
When most guys think about wearing clothing that screams patriotism, it usually elicits an eye roll. Shirts that prominently display the American flag are typically reserved for bargain bins at truck stops and Wal-Marts. But this year, we’re not talking about your grandad’s flag tee. Thanks to Team USA’s historic domination at the Rio Olympics, flag apparel is back in style big time.
Our patriotic gear takes everything you know about patriotic clothing and turns it upside down. On our Tropical Floral USA Flag Longline T-shirt, the only indicators of the flag are its stars and stripes. But instead of red, white, and blue, the stripes are covered in exotic flowers. The stars are scaled back to black and white. It’s an avant garde way to reconcile your love of country with your love of streetwear. Showing pride in America doesn’t have to be a cheesy affair. Selecting a modern, abstract interpretation of the flag can help you showcase your patriotic side without killing your style.
Denim will probably be a part of the trend conversation every year. This year is no exception to that rule. The current state of denim is one of extreme experimentation. Jeans that are plain and straightforward look old-fashioned and stale compared to what’s trending. The more altered your pair is, the better. Jeans like our Distressed Rib Biker Jean and Frayed Slim Fit Denim Biker Ribbed Jeans combine the best of all the denim trends. Each pair is fantastically frayed and ripped with signature ribbing across the knee panels. The wash is vaguely reminiscent of the acid trend, which has remained steady over the last decade. Each detail works together to create a style collage that makes for a head-turning pair of jeans. Throw simple out the window this year. It’s all about taking chances and treating your denim like a work of art.
As we mentioned earlier, the current state of menswear is moving in the opposite direction of Scandinavian minimalism. In fact, guys are hoping to do the exact opposite and stand out. One breathtaking way to do this is through metallic detailing. Where a simple stripe might stand out a little, a metallic stripe shines brightly. It elevates a simple shirt or hoodie from basic to bold. It’s a brash accent that adds a touch of refinement as well as excitement. Our Danger Print Longline Short Sleeve Hoodie in blackgold is a strong graphic alternative to the basic black hoodie. The danger print is a warning to everyone else that you’ve arrived; that your style is next level.
Let’s face it. While guys may be really into fashion, they’re even more into fashion that helps improve the efficiency of their lives. If you can unzip a shirt instead of buttoning it, getting dressed is an infinitely quicker affair. If you can toss your belongings into your pockets, you don’t need to carry a bag. When your clothes pack in some utilitarian function, it makes your life easier all while elevating your style. We offer a wide variety of shirts and hoodies that favor primary zippers over traditional button plackets or pullover designs. The Acid Wash Zip Baseball Denim Shirt and Basic Long Sleeve Zip-Up Hoodie Jacket are prime examples. Even our pants like our Basic Athletic Jogger Sweatpants feature zipper closure pockets that add a futuristic design element as well as increased functionality.
A quick look at any runway recap from the Fall/Winter men’s weeks featured yellow or some variant shade as a top color. The colder months see people shifting toward dark color palettes. They’re flattering for our winter weight gain and they match the overarching mood of darker days. But cold weather is no excuse to abandon color. Yellow is a bold choice. It’s a literal representation of sunlight. When you opt for a golden tone over a more festive or neon yellow, the brightness is subdued and instead replaced by refinement. It’s a strong color choice that’s still appropriate. Our Basic Cotton Longline Crewneck T-shirt comes in Timber, which is the perfect use of yellow in your wardrobe.
Joggers are a foundational streetwear item. To include them on a trend list for 2016 might seem a bit redundant, but this year’s trend isn’t so much about the jogger as it is about the color. As a whole, joggers are the A-list superstar of the athleisure movement. Every collection includes them, and it’s often assumed that they’ll be a part of the look without question. But unlike denim, with its experimentation and mixed media application, joggers are having a subtler moment.
Gray is a malleable color. Like black, it matches just about everything in your wardrobe. But unlike black, it adds life, vitality, and balance to your look. Through its versatility, it allows you to go bright above the waist or keep things neutral. And luckily, we offer several styles of jogger in a gray hue. Our Fashion Jogger Sweatpants, Ribbed Jogger Sweatpants, Ribbed Drawstring Sweatpants, and Drawstring Sweatpants all come in this essential color.
One of the biggest men’s grooming trends has inspired the return of a 90s stalwart. Beard culture, with its Rip Van Winkle-esque beards clogging your Instagram feeds, has given birth to the lumbersexual. The lumbersexual is a rustic man who values his beard length, outdoor skills, and practical style over a clean shave or a SoulCycle class. Perhaps the defining characteristic of the lumbersexual’s style is a traditional red and black buffalo plaid shirt, also known to many as flannel. In 2011, Complex hailed it as one of the 90 greatest trends from the 90s. In 2014, it resurfaced as one of the greatest trends of modern day.
The good news is you can pull off one of these shirts without looking like you’re paying tribute to Kurt Cobain. All respect to Nirvana, but you want to nail this style move in a modern way. Our Super Longline Button Down Shirt in Buffalo Plaid takes the flannel of yesteryear and updates it for 2016. Instead of rocking a flannel with filthy jeans and dirty Chucks, think about pairing it with skinny jeans and Chelsea boots for a more elevated look. And if the red and black buffalo plaid isn’t really your style, opt for blue or white instead. And for the hot days, our Short Sleeve Button Down Plaid Shirt communicates the same vibes.
If you had the pleasure of scrolling through thumbnails of street style pics from this year’s men’s fashion weeks, you noticed a big trend: patchwork. Embellishment has been a bigger trend in menswear this year when it comes to shoes and denim. But specifically, patchwork has quickly risen in popularity. On the surface, it serves a functional purpose. Patches help cover undesirable holes and hold your jeans together. They prolong the life of those great pairs of denim that you’ve worn into the ground. But they also serve as an opportunity to add some personality into your clothing.
Patchwork denim communicates a DIY aesthetic to the world even if you weren’t the one behind the cutting and sewing. It works because it doesn’t feel like a costume or a dated tribute to the past. In an era where extreme rips and distressing communicate a modern edge, patchwork serves as a retro way to stand out from the crowd.
You can rock patchwork on jeans or shirts as you see fit. Our Rip Patches Denim Shirt features multiple patches across the chest and torso interwoven with stars and bandana prints. The shirt feels simultaneously western and modern. It’s the perfect way to latch onto patchwork without being too obvious.
I know what you’re thinking. We’ve made our way through an action- and surprise-filled trend list. We’ve built up anticipation for the top item. And choosing a category like hoodies feels a bit anti-climactic. But trust us, it’s not. The hoodie has long been a menswear staple, probably more closely associated with hungover college kids struggling to get to 8 a.m. class than with the fashion elite. But as the menswear aesthetic has merged with the rougher, less polished mystique of streetwear, hoodies have become more than a thoughtless casual piece. Earlier this year, W magazine dedicated an entire piece to showcasing the versatility of hoodies. Picture after pictures featured highly stylish men from everyday guys to hip hop elite like A$AP Rocky showing off their skills in basic hoodies.
Hoodies are the sole piece of menswear that offers street cred. Whether they’re worn under a chinchilla coat or tossed on with a pair of joggers, they’re essential for every guy’s wardrobe. In this time of experimentation, they play a much bigger role in the fashion landscape than ever before. We offer an array of hoodies from embellished short-sleeve options to basic long-sleeve pullovers to hooded denim vests.
More than anything, this year’s streetwear trends are less about innovation and more about transforming the classics. It’s often said that history repeats itself and that all fashion comes back around for at least one more spin. This is definitely fact. When you view this year’s biggest trends, you find a mixture of the best of yesteryear mixed with hints of the future but rooted in the present. You don’t have to become a Pitti Uomo peacock to stand out in the crowded menswear playing field. You just need to add a little personality to your outfits, and you’re all set.