Men’s Style Changed Forever in the 2010s
In the beginning of 2010, we remember men with bushy beards, lumberjack flannel shirts and spray-on jeans. The lumbersexuals went out of history to later be replaced by Don Draper-obsessed tailoring enthusiasts. Then came the minimalist, before streetwear once again became a firm part of the fashion establishment. Streetwear which nobody was wearing in the early 2010s suddenly became fashionable. Much thanks to upcoming designers and brands which dedicated hard work to eventually make the genre popular, and nowadays kids get into streetwear because everybody is wearing it.
“What’s streetwear anyway? Balenciaga or Louis Vuitton? No, that’s high fashion not streetwear.” The term is thin but has in the next decade the ability to move beyond anything else.
Internet became an influencer itself for men like no way seen before. Faster internet, smartphones, blogging, the rise of Instagram and more sophisticated e-commerce sites both complimented but eventually overtook the high street market since the early part of the decade.
Social media give men comfort in fashion by not having their manhood questioned. Men started to feel good about the way they dressed, and their options exploded due to social media, which allowed brands and shops to reach out to new customers. Men pushed their style and mixed things up, while not so long ago we were sitting in a far more traditional space.
“Who was dictating the trends? No longer the high fashion designer brands.” The focus moved over to the style on the street, influencers, and celebrities. “And how did they do it?” By showcasing products and providing a direct link to their followers.
People born between 1981 and 1996 kept fashion brands on their toes; millennials which are known to want everything now, now, now. The industry did keep up, but perhaps as a reaction to this, sustainability in fashion has become important for brands and consumers alike, upping the quality of materials and design significantly, as we work to make a smaller impact on the planet.
In hindsight, the sneaker wedge—a polarizing concept that brands like Isabel Marant and Giuseppe Zanotti peddled in the early 2010s—may have been the precursor to athleisure takeover. The heeled sneakers, which were usually done up with tonal suede uppers or high-shine metal hardware, became a favourite off-duty style of cool girls (of the time) like Giselle Bundchen and Paris Hilton. Pure player sneaker brands like Nike and Puma soon followed with their own iterations of the contradictory style before the trend fizzled out, giving way to the rise of normcore basics and heritage designs.
2010s was the decade in which men grappled—publicly, painfully—with how to be a man in the modern world, it was also the decade in which we—generally more privately, except for celebrities—began to ask ourselves how to get dressed in this new landscape.
For all the talk of athleisure and streetwear and everything else, when it comes to fashion, the 2010s will be remembered as the decade in which we stopped obsessing over how a man “should” dress and finally started having a little fun.