Fashion Trends

Fashion Tips for 2018, New Decade in Men’s Style: Sharp, Slim Fitting Suits. Dress Pants, Dress Pants in Vibrant Color

The new year, 2018, brings along with it some ineffable feeling of futurity, of a liberation of human expression and style that has been culminated over the past decade. Men have been released from the shackles of the traditional blue-or-black colour palette and seek to rival the opposite sex in their appeal to sartorial taste and personal expression through the medium of clothing.

A Taste for Tailoring, Custom and Handmade Dress Shirts, Suits, and Accessories

One of the major changes that will become apparent in the world of men’s fashion and style for 2017 and onward will be a noticable trend toward custom and handmade clothing and accessories.

ShirtsMyWay.com is just one example of how designer men’s fashion labels are facing great competition from new and intuitive companies. Custom made dress shirts and suits are becoming increasingly popular and affordable options (many services offering high quality dress shirts from ~$70 and suits from $350 – only marginally more expensive than brand name labels such as Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Stanley Lewis, and other established or upcoming menswear labels).

Custom made dress shirts and suits are also becoming much more affordable and popular due to the proliferation of online purchasing and marketing in menswear. No longer limited to brick and mortar locations for their wardrobe necessities, men from all walks of life and all vocations are choosing to shop online – customizing both their shopping experience as well as the product itself.

Handmade accessories are also becoming increasingly popular, particular on well-known sites such as Etsy.com. Cufflinks, neckties, and other excellent accessories such as stainless steel flasks and cigarette holders are readily available from the site, complete with affordable shipping and the extra gratification of having a handmade, personalized item as part of your wardrobe.

Designer Trends in Men’s Fashion, Hot New Looks for Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall

Designer trends for the upcoming year and decade will quite likely be extremely varied – as competition once again blooms from small independent designer labels online, traditional men’s fashion mainstays (even high-end designers such as Etro, Ermenegildo Zegna, and others) will need to compete both in pricing, quality, and aesthetics in a new and growing marketplace.

Modern (or perhaps, post-modern) fashion tastes show personality and expression beyond the typical norm – though a brief return to classic, conservative sensibility is evident during the current recession. Look for bright, bold colours in both abstract and complimentary prints to appear commonly as more and more men turn to increasingly liberalated colour palettes. Fresh greens, bright blues, and majestic pinks and purples look to make a great impact over the next decade – being complimented with stark black, tropical orange, and sunset reds.

Fit is the name of the game. No longer is there any reason to have ill-fitting dress shirts, suits, or even casual pants – custom and handmade tailoring can substitute for any traditional purchase with little additional expense. No longer constrained by budgets, men in 2017 and onward have full access to a variety of respectable online merchants that will provide perfectly customized and tailored clothing to your door for a fraction of the current market price.

All in all, the upcoming decade in fashion shows a great deal of promise for men who are looking to broaden their aesthetic horizons, expressing a personal and intimate image of themselves through increasingly affordable handmade and custom-made garments.

Dressing Like the Women of Mad Men Circa 1963: Vintage Fashions for the Career Girl of the Pre-Mod Era

According to the Mad Men narrative, the Madison Avenue advertising executives of 1960 saw women as one of two types — as either a “Marilyn Monroe” or a “Jackie Kennedy“. The structured, hour-glass silhouette of the era was exaggerated for the Marilyns and a slimmer, tailored, Chanel silhouette suited the Jackies.

Serious Undergarment Support for the Marilyns

To force a body into the exaggerated hourglass silhouette a woman usually had to endure an industrial-strength, corset-like girdle. The hourglass was further emphasized with wide, shoulder-bearing neck-line and the form-fitting “wiggle skirt”: form-fitting at the hips and narrow around the knees.

Joan, the newly married office manager on Mad Men, is the character to mimic to dress like a Marilyn. She wears dresses with the wiggle-skirt silhouette, and hour-glass-shaped ensembles to work; and pedal pushers with the wide neck tops at home.

Constructing the Wiggle Skirt Silhouette

A beginner seamstress can construct a wiggle skirt. Vintage patterns for these skirts are plentiful online, at sites like eBay and Etsy (they are also not hard to find at thrift stores). Another tactic is to buy a vintage skirt at a thrift store which is form-fitting through the hips, then take in the side seams of the skirt–tapering the silhouette narrower from the thigh to the hem, so the opening for the knees is just big enough to be able to walk.

Princess Waistlines and Chanel Suits for the Jackies

Slim hips and narrow shoulders lend themselves to the A-line Jackie-type silhouette. Jackies wear tailored dresses, with princess waists, in stiff fabrics, or any of the A-line, Chanel-type 3-piece suits (jacket, skirt, and shell top).

Constructing the Jackie Silhouette

Many vintage sewing patterns for the A-line, Chanel-type Suits can be found for sale online, but a beginning seamstress would find the task too overwhelming. Even a moderate-to-advanced sewer would find the lined Chanel Suit challenging. The beginning sewer may find a simple, princess-waist, A-line dress more manageable. (The tailored, powder-blue dress pictured below is one example)

The vintage Chanel Suit is a rare find at a thrift shop (often scooped up the second it appears on the rack by a vintage clothing dealer). To create the Jackie silhouette from vintage clothing, the easiest look is a straight, lined skirt, of substantial fabric (nubby wool or silk), and a cotton or wool shell top, with pearls and a high neck line, both in subdued colors: powder gray, powder blue, faded pink, dull sea-foam-green, etc.

Popular Psychology of the Era links Body-Type to Personality

A popular theory of psychology in the 1950s and 1960s, “Somatotype and Constitutional Psychology”, developed by William Herbert Sheldon in 1954, linked body-type to personality. The three Somatypes (body types) were Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph.

An overly simplified version of the theory, for the purposes of this article, goes like this:

  • Ectomorph (thin and bony, tending towards thinking and restraining oneself)
  • Mesomorph (muscular and thick, tending towards labor/working and asserting oneself)
  • Endomorph (voluptuous and plump, tending towards feeling and indulging oneself).

To define the Jackies and the Marilyns of this era, one could say Jackie (an Ectomorph) was a thinking woman, and Marilyn (an Endomorph) was a feeling woman.

Peggy Olsen’s Disagreement with the Jackie vs. Marilyn Theory of Women

The character of Copy Writer Peggy Olsen, (on the Mad Men series), disagrees with her male co-workers – “What if you aren’t a Marilyn or a Jackie?” What if you tend toward thinking and feeling? But the men at the office dismiss her theory. An omen, surely, of things to come.