The Biggest Style Shifts of 2016


Style waits for no one. It moves onward and upward (and maybe in a circle) always. Here, the most stylish moves of the year shifts the way men dress.


Pants—they're loosening up!

If there’s one important thing that’s happening in the past seasons, it’s that the reign of narrow and tight is coming to a close. If you’ve been diligent in your visits to the gym (or your kitchen), this is great news for your legs—they can finally breathe. The updated shape sees trousers letting loose from below the waist and tapering as they reach the bottom half of your legs for a clean finish.

But remember when things started to become slimmer a few decades ago, and how the close fit looked silly at first? Maybe your friends gave you a side eye in your thinner jeans, but eventually they all wore them. As with all big changes, this will feel strange. Prepare.



Style with Personality Part 1: The Louche

A few years back, it was all about looking impeccable in a suit and tie with all the works: a pocket square, a tie bar on the tie, maybe a bow tie on Thursdays, a pair of cuff links, and all the other accouterments of the dandy dresser. And then, it reached a saturation point and slowly the pocket square and even the tie were left unused at home.

Dressing became less of a precious affair and more about feeling good. Which is to say, the ideas of comfort and personality made its way into the head space reserved for what is stylish. And here we are now, in a time when it’s totally okay (great even) to pair a DB suit with a street-ready sneaker. Tailoring became softer and lightweight, while casual pieces like drawstring pants were transformed into luxurious things when rendered with care and in high-quality fabrics. High and low. Dressed up but not quite. Relaxed but still sharp. All good things when done right.

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Style with Personality Part 2: The Daring

On the other side of the spectrum was a movement of daring. Designers dreamed up goods embellished with wild colors, even wilder prints and patterns, and rich materials like gold foil and lots of fur. It was unapologetically OTT, and we have to admit that the embroidered slippers or semi-fluorescent sweaters were drool-worthy. But unless you have the style cache of Jared Leto, maybe don’t rock a head-to-toe look of razzle-dazzle pieces. Instead, wear one DGAF piece and keep the rest of your rig strictly classic.


The Bomber and the Chelsea

The bomber jacket’s domination is a testament to the everlasting qualities of the practical. What was derived from the MA-1 jacket, a piece of clothing made for American pilots, has been keeping men in style for several seasons now. What to pair it with? Consider this year’s Chelsea boot. The downtown vibe of the classic shoe style adds instant cool to any look.


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Clifford Olanday
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