The Evolution of Street Style in Men’s Fashion

The Evolution of Street Style in Men’s Fashion Nope, it’s not just you. Bros from many years ago don’t look like bros today.

In fact, every decade since the 50s has seen some unique trends in street style fashion – each with its own set of standouts and dire debacles.

Men in the 50s wore their pants on their hips, which is about two latitudes north of where they are today. Complementing that was the customary hat and tie, which barely ever gets mentioned today, except in ironical tip-references on social media. In winter, out came the trench-coats and in(to them) went the men.

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The 60s, also known as the Age of the Hippies, was when alternative fashion suddenly became mainstream. Nehru jackets (a.k.a. Abacost), mandarin collars and tie and dye prints were a common sight, and flamboyant is fi-i-i-ne was what every man whispered to himself before he swayed out the door, intoxicated.

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Then came the decade long trip to Funky Town. Tight on the top and loose on the bottom was the mantra of the 70s, so while tops went from bold prints to pastel colours, crazy bottoms like flared pants, bell bottoms, corduroy pants and chequered print pants peppered the streets, which by the way, was where the men of the 70s could be seen doing the disco.

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The 80s were a sporty time, with a minimal colour palette. Athletic clothing became a part of everyday attire at this time, with street style featuring track suits, polo-neck shirts and sports jerseys. Stylish bros in TV shows such as Miami Vice and Magnum PI on the other hand made silk shirts and jackets quite famous.

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And before you knew it, the 90s arrived, with grunge fashion coming straight out of the streets to land up on MTV. Epic rappers like Tupac and Hammer brought with them wallet chains, baggy, acid-washed jeans and a variety of bold headgear. Contrastingly, there were flannel shirts and full-on fluorescence. Yep, things were pretty shiny and in your face, but what could the bros back then do? The Backstreet Boys said they want it that way and everybody followed.

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The 2000s had its set of fashion fiascos- like the square-toed dress shoes and trucker hats which many designers will deny they ever designed. This was also the time when tattoo-inspired shirts popped up, with graphics taking the center stage. Perhaps the only real alternative to them were the shirts with upturned collars.

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Post 2010, fashion has been greatly inspired by Silicon Valley, with entrepreneurial geniuses like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs opting for the same outfit every day, to leave time enough to change the world. As a result, plainer, more minimalist clothing – fancily called norm core- has become very popular, with ‘the pop of colour’ often coming from white sneakers.

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But perhaps the most fascinating turn of events in the world of men’s fashion has been the pro-androgynous movement, with famous male celebrities doing full-fledged campaigns sporting ‘women’s’ attire, to drive home the point that fashion for men and women aren’t mutually exclusive.

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So, take it from me, bros, the next time you’re trying to impress a woman, flaunt this knowledge and enjoy the results. And trust me, gone are the days when “I don’t know anything about fashion!” makes you look anything but ignorant.

Posted in Casual, Grooming, Lifestyle on Aug 18, 2016

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