Fashion Men's Fashion

6 Menswear Trends Best Left In The 2010s, And What To Wear Instead

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Looking back, from the outside in, the 2010s were a bold and often brilliant decade for menswear. It was a time of experimentation, when no one look ruled. Men swaggered in tailoring, sportswear and everything in between at various points. Smart dress got casual, casual dress got fashionable.

Not everything worked though, did it? Waking up the morning after the decade before, we can already cringe at some of the clothes we wore and some 2010s trends, especially from the first half of the decade, have already died a quiet death. Scoop-collar T-shirts, top knots and peacocking tailoring have all gone away without anyone needing to start a petition.

Whisper it, but even a few of the classics got a little overexposed during the decade of Instagram. They’re too evergreen to retire completely but we must be getting a little bit tired of biker jackets, bomber jackets, Chelsea boots, roll necks and minimalist sneakers.

But that’s not what we’re focusing on today. Below are a list of trends whose time is most definitely up, along with what to replace them with.

Shrink-Wrap Jeans

Skinny jeans have only every really worked on men with a very specific leg shape. They look great on tall, lean men who only wear all-black, have a tendency to chain-smoke and are handy with a guitar. Basically, rock stars.

If you’re not a rock star, don’t have skinny-but-not-too-skinny legs and aren’t at least six feet tall, then skinny jeans probably made you look like a tightly-wrapped sausage.

Because the window for success rate with skinny jeans is so small, and the concept of the rock star doesn’t really exist any more, let’s just leave them behind shall we? It’s a small wonder what attracted millions of men to them in the first place anyway.

Let’s face it, they’re hard to put on and take off; restrict your movement; the pockets are impossible to put anything in; they’re anti-comfort; make your top half look bigger (not in a good way), and make you look child-like. Yeah, let’s definitely leave them.


What To Wear Instead

Wouldn’t you rather be able to move freely and sit down at will without fear of being cut in half? If you want a streamlined silhouette, go for slim jeans, but for the rest of us the most flattering cut is straight with a taper.

Jeans with a slightly higher rise elongate the legs, making you look taller and, ironically, slimmer, which is probably what most skinny-jean wearing men were hoping for in the first place.

Charlie Thomas, senior editor

Overpowering Logos

Curiously, the ’90s were big in news the ’10s. And of all the ’90s trends in fashion, none were in your face quite like big logos. From skatewear brands to luxury fashion houses, streetwear seized the day and took the resurrected trend to its breast, quite literally. And we’re not just talking logo tees and hoodies, but tracksuits, bags and knitwear all wallpapered in brand logos.

Now, at the turn of the decade, logos have tired somewhat. The sustainability agenda, among other things has called on customers to ask for more creativity from designers beyond “how big can I make this font?”.

The trend has evolved as such. Industry leaders like Off-White and Gucci have flipped the script creating off-kilter versions of their own logos, interspersed with creative graphics and printed them in unexpected places over its tees. Logos haven’t gone out of fashion, but being a walking billboard of your favourite brands shouldn’t be a priority in the ’20s.


What To Wear Instead

Make a statement in other ways, besides the fact you can afford certain designers. A bold shade is one. The other route is an all-over pattern. At once statement but also uniform in its nature, camo is the de-facto pattern of choice in streetwear. A camo in bright orange? Streetwear gold.

Richard Jones, staff writer

The Menswear Blogger Uniform

The 2010s was the decade that saw street style go stratospheric, with fashion week runways increasingly playing second fiddle to the well-dressed men outside the shows. While this meant plenty of outfit inspiration ripe for the plundering, it also ushered in a strange homogeneity of menswear which congealed to form the dreaded menswear blogger uniform.

What constitutes said blogger uniform? Well, a five-minute scroll on Instagram should tell you. It’s a strange alchemy of otherwise innocuous menswear pieces (slim black jeans and a leather jacket, perhaps, or check trousers, tassel loafers and a camel coat) which come together to form a wardrobe that isn’t just safe, it’s peak passe.

Ironic really, given that said uniform purportedly serves up a hefty dose of #outfitinspo. Who knew intentionally standing out could be so alarmingly conformist?


What To Wear Instead

Rather than abiding by the tried, tested and tired formula of selecting clothes purely for their ability to ‘pop’ for street style photographers, instead consider the virtue of simplicity. That means no attention seeking clashing pattern, no purposefully contrasting outerwear to catch the eye and no acres of ankle flesh.

Keep things pared back, but if you’ve worn your favourite combos 500 times already, mix them up. Quickly.

Luke Sampson, head of creative

Muscle-Fit Anything

There’s another name for muscle fit: too small. I mean, we get it. You boarded the train to Gainsville, ended up in Costa del Swole and now you want to show off your new hard-won pecs/biceps/quads (delete as appropriate).

However, shirts and suits are not supposed to be compression gear. If there’s even the slightest risk someone’s losing an eye to a button-turned-missile, or you have to avoid taking the stairs because your trousers might not survive the journey, then, dear reader, we have a problem.


What To Wear Instead

Fit is relative to the wearer. Not every guy is trying to stuff ten pounds of sausage in a five-pound bag, and equally, not every guy wants to be seen in trousers so wide they could double up as bell tents. In truth, there is no holy grail cut that will look good on every guy.

To give yourself the best chance, aim to find the middle ground; where seams rest on your appendages rather than strain over them, where T-shirts fit like second skin and no one can see, quite literally, how it’s hanging.

Luke Todd, deputy editor

Bushy Beards

Around the beginning of the 2010s, it seemed like every nan and her cat was clambering aboard the trend best termed, the lumbersexual. One part man who cuts wood but really just sits around doing latte art, the other a relic of the previous decade, the metrosexual, the admittedly-quite-boring uniform rested on a pair of skinny black jeans, a heavy flannel shirt, and of course, the bushy beard.

Said facial hair was usually placed alongside a sharp fade on the sides, maybe a man bun up top and some neck tattoos for good measure. It worked on about five per cent of guys who tried it. For all the beard oil and trips to the barbershop, you really do have to be follicularly blessed for it to look smart and planned, and not like Tom Hanks in Castaway.

Bushy Beards

What To Wear Instead

One of the biggest problems with a big, sculpted beard is that it needs more maintenance than a 17th-century chateau. For something much more flexible and manageable, keep a trim, short beard that can quickly be shaved clean or trimmed down to stubble.

Functionality That Doesn’t Function

In the last two or three years, menswear has gone big on utility wear, with designers and consumers alike getting unfashionably excited about clothes that are built for a purpose: hiking gear, performance fabrics, trail-running shoes and the combat-inspired warcore trend. If somebody came out with a Gore-Tex pocket square tomorrow, it wouldn’t surprise us.

We’re all for functional fashion, but it gets a bit ridiculous when office workers don coats fit for the Antarctic during increasingly mild winters and when runways are awash with Call of Duty cosplay masquerading as high fashion.

Tough fabrics? Great. Useful design points? Gimme. But after a certain point, this isn’t functional fashion at all. Empty, unused pockets are every bit as decorative as sequins or florals.


What To Wear Instead

Unless you’re an actual reservist, leave the combat vests well alone and stick with functional fashion that actually makes your life easier. Breathable fabrics, sealed zips, concealed extra pockets, well-cushioned shoes and hoods that actually stay up are all worthy of the modern man’s wishlist.

Outdoor brands like Patagonia and The North Face are worthy investments because their wares work as well in the city as the great outdoors. They’re also built to last and come with more sustainable brownie points than 90 per cent of other labels.

Ian Taylor, editor-in-chief

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