All the new ideas, hyped-up sneakers, swerves and more we couldn’t stop talking about this year.
The menswear world is a genuinely exciting place right now, with rule-breaking at all time high—on the runways, in retail stores, and on the street (not just the street style streets either). Here are just ten of the game-changing, weird, and wonderful menswear trends that kept things interesting in 2017. We can only guess at what 2018 holds—and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Chilled Out Fits
A return to looser, more fluid shapes has been brewing in menswear for some years now but 2017 saw the trend pick up real momentum. Famous guys with accessible style like Frank Ocean and mall stores like J.Crew got on board with the movement and showed guys everywhere how to pull off the look.
Loud colors and patterns popped up everywhere this year, from shorts to knits to sneakers—and especially on button-down shirts. Worn under a slim, solid-color suit these shirts got young guns noticed on the red carpet. It’s an easy style move you can and should embrace in 2018.
Men fell in love with gold chains, raw denim, see-though aviators, and open shirts this year, among other ’70s-era spins on “macho” style. This return to a more gender fluid, sexually open interpretation of masculinity isn’t a coincidence, of course. Just ask Justin O’Shea, one of the proponents of the trend, who spoke with GQ Style recently on gender norms in fashion.
The Man Purse
In this politically charged year it’s no surprise that people on both sides of the party line embraced clothing that amplified their views. Graphic T-shirts that criticized the Trump administration popped up everywhere from the runway to the summer concert stages. Colin Kaepernick appeared on one of our Men of the Year covers wearing a look that nodded to the Black Panther movement. In Washington, meanwhile, right-wing politicians started lining their jackets with American flags as a sign of patriotism. As our own Cam Wolf explained, “It’s a suit that says “Merry Christmas” and absolutely never “Happy Holidays.”
Mall-walker style had a moment in 2017, in the form of all-white Reebok sneakers, bold-color windbreakers, and nylon jogger pants (aka wind pants). And let’s not forget about the fact that old school track suits and basic sweats from brands like Champion continue to dominate shelves at trendy stores like Urban Outfitters and PacSun.
Gucci was the most Googled fashion brand of the year for a reason; Alessandro Michele’s more-is-more clothes were everywhere this year—including in plenty of high-street stores, which knocked his designs off hard and fast. Gucci’s cast of brand ambassadors like Jared Leto and Harry Styles also certainly did their part to spread the gospel of Michele.
Socks and Sock Sneakers
This time last year we predicted that sweatpants tucked into socks and calf-high socks worn with shorts would be two of 2017’s biggest styling trends and we were right. Additionally, the sock sneaker trend really took off this year with Balenciaga’s Speed Trainer becoming one of the most loved sneakers on shelves. So basically, yeah, ankles are out.