From elegance to nonchalance: the new men's fashion
Thoughts on men and fashions by Jeroen van Rooijen.
ACTUALLY I AM COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, I JUST FIND TOO RARELY. YOU WILL SOON MEET SOMEONE I KNOW AS LITTLE AS YOU. – Udo Lindenberg & Jan Delay
Zack, and everything was different. Thirty months were enough to completely turn men's clothing conventions upside down. Since the beginning of 2020, when most people retreated into their shells (mostly not entirely voluntarily) and only came out months later, nothing in menswear has been the same as before. The upheavals of the pandemic have switched developments that were already emerging into turbo mode. The "casualization", i.e. the development of everyday wardrobe in the direction of leisure looks, got a massive boost.
As fashion people we are used to sudden changes and surprises, in this field this happens all the time. But what has now happened is already a quantum leap, a paradigm shift, a turning point in time. It's still about shirts, trousers and jackets, but in a completely different way. The familiar has a new twist.
This leads to completely new concepts that are important: Nonchalance has taken the place of elegance. Instead of the fetish fit, it's now about comfort and nonchalance. Softness and suppleness are no longer unmanly characteristics, on the contrary: classically masculine is old hat, stereotypes are becoming more and more out of fashion, men are reinventing themselves, as a kaleidoscopic appearance between clichés.
Pop idol Harry Styles has set a tone that has swelled to a polyphonic chorus. The man is varied and negotiable. This can frighten you – or stimulate your appetite for something new. Let's assume that the man knows how to use his new freedoms. Most of the time he won't need a skirt and ruffles, but he will need new trousers and a new shirt. Comfortable, easy, casual.
The feeling of well-being in clothing, a central motif of the fashion industry in the last two and a half years of working from home, will not be missed in the future either. The feeling remains important, even if the look is of course no longer so strongly influenced by the tracksuit.
What counts today: Relaxation, effortlessness – fashion has come up with the elegant term “Effortless” for this, i.e. without exertion. The effort (the «effort») for the outfit must not be recognizable. The appearance must always appear as if you have not given it much thought or made any special investments.
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