Contemporary men’s fashion seems to be going through a period of stagnancy and almost everything you see on today’s man is an amalgamation of clothing and accessories worn over the last decade. As a rule of thumb, anything underground is cool and anything overground is lame, and anything worn for almost ten years is automatically out of style. If someone wore flares in the early eighties they were out of style, if someone wore New Romantic makeup in the early nineties they were out of style, and if somebody wore a velour jumpsuit after the early noughties they were definitely out of style. But for some unknown reason this now worn-out look of canvas shoes, no socks, skinny trousers, a polo shirt, sleeve tattoos, a groomed, waxed beard, and a side-parted world-war-esque, post-modernist haircut (with or without a man-bun) has now become so clichéd and unfashionable that it is the modern equivalent of arriving at a Punk gig wearing a Disco outfit.
All these items from our current post-hipster malaise may have been new and unique in the late noughties, but in the mid-teenies they’re now hackneyed and commonplace, and despite a beard or tattoos or tight trousers being fine on their own, when this whole ensemble is combined it looks so affected and artificial that these people may as well be wearing sandwich boards reading “phony” or “mundane”. Plus it’s a weird situation to see the same overdone style on everybody; these days you’ll see this exact same costume on a mainstream 20 year old and on a mainstream 40 year old, and worst of all you’ll see all this gear on men with slim or bulky figures regardless whether a beer gut or scrawny legs makes them look like a walking embarrassment.
Have we not seen this blasé style once too often? Isn’t having Paul Bunyan’s beard, arms from a Hell’s Angel, a Polo shirt lifted from some upper-class twat, Audrey Hepburn’s leggings, and some slip-on shoes now a stale, uninspired look? Looking around at the varying physiques all kitted out in this same outfit reminds me of playing “Exquisite Corpse” the game where you draw a body part and then fold over the paper and pass it to the next person to continue. This now passée style needs to be put away along with quiffs, clinging jeans, men’s clam diggers, and rolled-up short-sleeved shirts. This look has been done to death.