For some people, the lockdown was a revelation on how much they loved sweats. For them, spring is just a matter of cutting off the sleeves, Bill Belichick style. But for everybody else, it’s time to restock the ol’ wardrobe. As guys put their shopping pants on – or just any pants, really – here’s a look at some trends to keep on the radar.
Everybody and their brother bought outdoor equipment in 2020. They got just enough to use from that expensive bike and that cavernous tent to realize that their regular wardrobe was not the stuff that excursions are made of. The outdoors is just so much wetter than you realize, and a world outside of climate control apparently fluctuates about 60 degrees, especially when you rest from an arduous hike in a blustery wind.
Time to drop that money on hiking boots. You might have snickered at gorpcore or chuckled at war core, but it’s just so nice to have that many pockets. Bike shorts might not be the fashion statement that they were in 2020, but riders who have logged enough hours are returning to the well to find something that treats their rear ends right.
You might not be headed for the Himalayas just because some travel restrictions have been lifted, but that doesn’t mean that the outdoors can’t come to you. Think of a floral pattern, a coral palette, or just a cheerful pair of Bermuda shorts.
You’ve had seascape as an aspirational zoom background for something like six months, so why not really set sail with some nautical garb? Heck, grab a bomber jacket if you still are cheesed that you missed a chance to see how you looked in one when that Halloween party got canceled last fall.
If you’ve decided to shed that pandemic beard, make sure you slather on some razor bump cream or that smooth-shaven face won’t be that smooth. Honestly, given the relationship between razor bumps and ingrown hairs, it might not even be that shaven.
But if you have taken the care required to unveil that fresh face, you’ve got to get the rest of yourself up to that level. Throw in a haircut. Grab that kimono. It’s still casual, but it feels fancy. And it’s just so silky smooth.
All those targeted Instagram ads have been trying to guilt you into buying their sustainable clothing line. You feel a little less guilty when you realize that they were just slapping that “sustainable” label on because they liked the way it sounded, but it got you thinking and you’ve done a little research into ethical clothing choices.
It can be exhausting to come out of a year when every choice seems like a polarizing political statement, but that doesn’t mean that a little extra digging in the decision process is such a bad thing.
Clothes that are tailored to fit are always going to be a fashionable choice, but if that sweatpants life has taught us anything, it’s that it’s nice not to have the pressure of an exact fit of our most fashionable choices. So even customized suits might be a bit baggier.
That doesn’t mean showing up to a fancy event swimming in a suit that looks like you had to steal another man’s clothes after a prison break. But maybe the kind of leeway offered by a 1980s double-breasted suit or carved out by TikTok homages to turtlenecks and blazers. And if you can cut your slacks some slack, why not give raincoats and trench coats a bit more space as well?
Turn on the brights. Pandemic grey might still be the official color of the year, but save somber tones for your charcoal face wash. Pastels are popping. It’s not just time to soak up the sunshine, but to pay it forward, so don’t be surprised if you see more than one fellow dressed in yellow. We’re not talking Mellow Yellow, either.
The light bulbs of fashion inspiration are decidedly neon. Bonus side effect: If you are worried about driving through an uptick of pedestrian traffic, it’s nice to know that there are going to be a lot of dudes dressed like highlighters milling about.
Extra Layers, Sort of
Maybe you are investing in the kinds of clothes for that long-awaited trip or just getting out and about, but what does that even feel like? You’ve kind of forgotten. You don’t want to bog yourself down in an unnecessary layer, but maybe you can kind of split the difference? Here’s the secret: Play it close to the vest. Or the kind of lightweight jacket that makes all the difference between sun and shade.
Have a good time out there. If you want to pump some money back into the local economy by mixing and matching a bomber jacket, a sweater vest, and a blindingly busy pair of baggy Bermuda shorts, nobody’s going to gainsay you.