As we collectively take our first cautious steps into 2021, very little is certain. If the past 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that we can never be sure of what’s lurking around the corner, and there’s nothing any of us can do about that.
But there is one thing we can control: our wardrobes. Granted, it’s pretty trivial in the greater scheme of things, but if we can all take this opportunity, early in the year, to bin all of the trends that aren’t serving us, then we can be sure that 2021 will be a better year from a style standpoint at the very least.
We’ve had a whole year now to reflect on the trends from the 2010s to ditch and there’s certainly plenty to digest. So, as we begin to really sink our teeth into the ‘20s, here are the fads and fashions we’d like to see left well behind.
We don’t have a slogan, but if we did it would probably be something about buying less and buying better. The cheaply produced, trend-driven clothing that floods high-street stores is made to be thrown away as opposed to being made to last, and the impact this has on the planet is colossal. Not to mention the exploitation of workers.
So, what can we do about it as we move into 2021? Simple. Minimise consumption, and when you do buy a garment, make sure it’s something that’s built for the long haul rather than landfill. That means shopping for quality, doing your research on manufacture and, as always, opting for timelessness over trends.
When people look back at the 2010s in years to come, this will probably be seen as one of the key prevailing trends. We’ve all been there and perhaps there’s still a time and a place for no-show socks when the warmer months come around. However, the sockless look should be deployed sparingly and only when the weather calls for it. Until then, keep those ankles covered.
Going sockless has been such an overarching and widespread trend that it really became the norm when dressing either casual or smart-casual for the best part of 10 years. Yet as we move further into a new decade, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the look’s days are numbered. We think now is probably a good time to start moving on.
We’re almost a full year into fluctuating lockdown restrictions and working from home now, which means there’s no excuse for not having your WFH wardrobe dialled in. The dressing gown and bear-claw slippers might have been understandable back in March 2020 when we were all still figuring the whole thing out, but this is 2021. Heavens, man, the least you could do is put some clothes on!
If you’re not quite up to speed yet, we’d suggest shopping for casual staples with a comfortable edge. Seek out clothing that looks halfway presentable but still feels like loungewear. Think smart sweatpants, premium knitwear and relaxed shirting in soft, tactile fabrics like flannel and corduroy. Crucially, though, just make sure there’s a clear distinction between what you wear to work in and what you sleep in.
1990s Throwback Trims
The 20-year trend cycle is truly unrelenting. As ridiculous as something may seem in hindsight, this universal fashion law dictates that it will always re-emerge a couple of decades down the line. We’ve witnessed it with oversized tailoring, chunky sneakers, and the puzzling resurgence of the bucket hat, but more recently, it’s the ill-advised haircuts of the 1990s that have been making a comeback.
Curtains were never, are not, and will never be a good look. Nor are bowl cuts, frosted tips or mullets. Make sure you’re on the right side of history by continuing to give these styles a wide berth, no matter what David Beckham does.
Oversized Sneakers, Once And For All
It’s time. Ever since the launch of Balenciaga’s Triple S in 2017, the menswear landscape has been dominated by inescapably large, earthquake-triggering sneakers. We’d really like it if 2021 could be the year that they finally stomp off into the sunset. Or the bin. Or a fire.
Don’t get us wrong, it hasn’t all been bad. The general bulking out of sneaker silhouettes has led to the resurgence of some great styles. The whole ‘dad shoe’ thing that saw shoes like the New Balance 990 come back into focus has been great, and may not have taken off with such force had the way not been paved by something bigger. Still, as far as platform-sole, multicolour monstrosities go, we’ll be glad to see the back of them.
For anyone yet to consign the skinny jeans to the dressing-up box, 2021 is your last chance. If not for yourself, then do it for your potential future children. After all, they may not get a chance at life if you keep treating your testicles with such flagrant contempt.
The 2010s were rife with form-hugging denim, but for quite a few years now the pendulum has been swinging in the opposite direction. Slim and relaxed styles are where it’s at now, which is good news for your boys. We were never particularly fond of skinny jeans anyway, but now they just look downright dated. Instead, opt for a timeless straight-leg, or slim-fit if you have the proportions to carry it off.
It’s a strange term, ‘muscle fit’. On the surface, you’d expect it to mean clothes that are designed to fit a muscular physique. In reality, it means the exact opposite. These clothes aren’t designed to fit as much as they’re designed to cling and squeeze. If your end goal is to look good, they should be avoided at all costs.
It’s easy enough to avoid. Muscle-fit clothes are pretty much exclusive to fast-fashion high-street stores, so avoid them altogether and you can kill two badly-dressed birds with one stone.