It’s less than a week to the end of the first month of the new year. I know what you’re thinking, the first month is already almost up. Irrespective of who is paying attention, time just rolls on doesn’t it? Talking about attention, year on year, trends get ours because they are usually formed from what people give attention to.
Just like a little kid whose attention span is just as short as the amount of time MMM promises you a return on your investment (if we can call it that) they are gone before you are even aware they have started.
Just like I said in 2015, by pointing out my style misconceptions of the previous year, men have the opportunity to put it right if they wish to.
- Last year, branding elevated to a whole new level. The brand craze was highlighted with Linda Ikeji’s bag controversy. The bag looked good, authentic or not, I’m not sure what the fuss was about . We also witnessed the introduction of tonnes of new brands which is great. My only reservation is that all these brands seem to want to squeeze into the luxury space. Every brand cannot be high-end. The consumers end up paying exorbitant amounts for what’s on offer.
- Layering in the hot tropics has to be done with a bit of common sense to avoid ending up a sweaty mess. Wear cotton or other lighter fabrics like linen closer to your skin as they will allow it to breathe. Blends of cotton and other lighter materials like elastane can also be brought into play.
- The skinny jean and baggy top trend was big last year – 13 and 30 year-olds rocked the skinny jean and it was definitely not the teenagers in the wrong. Maybe no one is, but let’s see more slim or straight shall we?
- Last year should have been an eye opener to a lot of men on the importance of understanding how your skin tone can play a part in your wardrobe. Color blindness is more common in men than women, that’s why having a color analysis benefits men. The guess-work as to which colors to wear is taken away.
- Simplicity still remains the ultimate sophistication. Men got carried away with the use of accessories. Some men look like walking bill boards when they dapper up. In M.I.’s sarcastic voice “Na you be correct guy!” Collar pins, tie clips, cufflinks and the likes are all cool accessories right? The issue however is, you should not wear them all at once. Only you? Haba! In this case less is more.
- With the modern take on Agbada and Danshiki becoming a bigger part of men’s wardrobe in 2016, some have taken it to ridiculous heights with absurd colors and patterns. Come on, there are better ways to draw attention to yourself.
- What’s with the oversize man bags? They are not exactly practical neither do they have any visual appeal so what is the point? To be trendy?
- Slashed knees on your denim was a big trend last year. I have mixed feelings about this one. If you’re slim, it doesn’t look as bad as when you’re on the big side. If your denim genuinely wears out, it always looks good if kept clean. It gives you either the vintage or biker boy look but when intentionally slashed, I’m not so sure.
- Take it easy with the extra bling around your watch. The timepiece is already a jewelry on its own, especially if you opt for a precious metal. If you have to add some wrist wear to your watch, go for something that won’t clash or look over the top.
- Last year, the survey below shows that 83% of women think it’s a turn off to see men wearing suits without socks. It’s official, women have spoken and have disputed one of 2016’s biggest trends. Despite the magnitude of sock-less suited men, women prefer men with the good sense to wear socks. I didn’t say it, they did.
Does looking trendy mean the same thing as looking stylish? Not necessarily. Not all trends will work for your particular body type. Always wear things that suit you and don’t be lured by the latest must-have items.
Taking a look back at the fashion trends from 2016 is a great way of taking stock of what’s been hot and how you can make some of them work for you with this year’s trends. This year, know the trends but don’t follow them religiously. Most importantly, know the style rules so you can interpret them your own way.
As always, stay fresh!
Okeluem Felix Onatu trained as a men’s image consultant in London. He buys into the idea of minimalism or ‘less is more’. His style is simple and classy with a bit of originality. Felix runs a menswear line offering men’s casual and formal shirts on Qollars.com. He blogs at www.freshsqollar.com and can be reached via Instagram on @Qollars.