December 18, 2013

Trends That Need to Die in 2014

Every new year brings with it a slew of trends that slowly permeate the menswear scene. Some are a force of nature, like double monks or unstructured jackets. Others are more subtle, like high button stances or untipped ties. Either way, they are an unavoidable phenomenon and definitely affect the landscape of the menswear market. Many of these trends can be fun to experiment with, but in the end-of-the year spirit I’ll highlight some that I believe have overstayed their welcome.

Part I: The Skinny Tie/Collar/Lapel Combo

Perhaps it was an unavoidable swing in proportions, but this trend really took hold a few years back and has been pushed hard by GQ and the like ever since. Skinny ties, skinny lapels, and weak collars became the norm several years ago and are still holding strong at many high-end retailers and mall brands alike; what was once being pushed by high fashion houses is now peddled by J. Crew and Banana Republic, a sure sign that the trend is waning.

The biggest problem with the skinny aesthetic is that it tends to make a garment look a bit lifeless; there are no handsome collar and lapel rolls, and skinny ties have no drape in their blades or depth to their knot; instead, these items are static and flat. There is simply not enough fabric to go around.

Moreover, these items work against each other rather than joining forces to create a professional look. Even the nicest dress shirts with small collars can’t lie over a tie well, and when the collar points stop short of the jacket lapel it creates a visual incongruity that wouldn’t exist if the collar was of a decent size (I discuss the importance of having an appropriately wide collar here). All told, it’s a trendy look that is post-peak at best, and I’m looking forward to it disappearing completely.

For the time being, I suppose I’ll have to continue avoiding products that include these ‘slim’ details, even if the quality and price are good. My hope is that the coming year will see an outward blossoming of lapels, ties, and collars in the few brands left on the “slim-is-in” bandwagon (looking at you, J. Crew). A few small changes would go a long way, and I’d say we’re well overdue.

Photos via Bonobos, J. Crew, Indochino, and GQ.


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  1. deusperseus reblogged this from fromsqualortoballer
  2. blakdess reblogged this from fromsqualortoballer
  3. sashu reblogged this from fromsqualortoballer and added:
    I agree. Small, flimsy collars on dress shirts make me sad.
  4. kindness330 reblogged this from fromsqualortoballer
  5. thesilentist said: So much agreement.
  6. tyronicus reblogged this from fromsqualortoballer and added:
    FSTB manages to make this point without being snarky. Should I learn something from this?
  7. mirzans reblogged this from fromsqualortoballer
  8. chairmanzian reblogged this from fromsqualortoballer and added:
    Yes!
  9. shoesandbonsai reblogged this from fromsqualortoballer and added:
    This. This annoys me more than I would like to admit. All I can think of when I see skimpy lapels or collars is H&M. And...
  10. girls-like-guys-with-style reblogged this from drivingincarswithpocketsquares
  11. notjustties reblogged this from drivingincarswithpocketsquares and added:
    +2
  12. barbourofseville reblogged this from drivingincarswithpocketsquares
  13. drivingincarswithpocketsquares reblogged this from fromsqualortoballer and added:
    +1
  14. prodigal-punk said: +100 likes
  15. negroniontherocks reblogged this from fromsqualortoballer and added:
    Amen! An even worse offense is the fat tie knot stuffed under an anemic collar, sometimes a button-down—stretched over...
  16. details-abundant reblogged this from fromsqualortoballer