2017 Trends In Formal Menswear (The Good and The Not-So-Good)

Ed Ruiz

31 January 2017

I hate talking about trends.

The word just simply feels wrong to me and my stubborn “style over fashion” mentality.

But who am I kidding?

I do love to spend some time, every now and then, thinking about what could come up in the formal menswear industry at any given time.

That time, this time, is 2017.

Looking briefly back at 2016, I guess I would say nothing too exciting happened in the formal menswear industry.

To me, it seems it has been quite stagnant for a while now.

Or did I miss anything exciting going on? I know that can happen, being a very easily distracted man.

But anyway, enough looking back. Let’s look forward to this New Year that we recently began.

My Formal Menswear Trends Expectations For 2017

Side note: Do I even need to make clarify that this is mostly a formal menswear blog at this point? Weird, but something inside of me, while I type these posts, tells me I should do it just to avoid any confusion. It might be my SEO-inclined mind playing tricks on me.

But I, as usually, digress. On to what this post is about.

I guess I could split this post into two separate lists, one where I list the trends that I desperately wish they would go away and one including the trends I hope will dictate where formal menswear will go this year.

Sounds good.

So, let me start by listing the trends that would make us all a favor if they decided to go jump off a cliff.

Come on, 2017. Don’t let us down!

Menswear Trends That 2017 Doesn’t Need

Constricting tightness – For the love of all gods, please let this passion for constricting tightness in suits go away. Shirts, jackets, pants, everything is extremely tight these days. I wonder if those guys are wearing crotch-squeezing underwear under those suits, you know, so that compression is equal all over the place. Remember gents, fit does not equal tightness.

Goofy cropped pants – Ah, the good friend of tight suits, the cropped pants. You know those that break above the ankle, which I guess were particularly designed to give even a bigger presence to the no-sock-look that is so common these days with suits. And I swear they keep getting shorter, or maybe it’s just my eyes playing tricks on me, you know… like that small pimple nobody seems to notice but it looks huge to you? I hope it’s just that. Next stop? Forget the pants, wear shorts!

No socks? No thank you – You saw it coming, didn’t you? I wrote about this trend a few months (if not a year) ago. At the time I was quite on the fence on what to think about it, even though I always made it clear it wasn’t a trend I necessarily appreciated, but I kept an open mind…. for as long as I could. Now I really wish this trend would go away for good. There is a time, a place and a weather for it, but the combination of all these factors is so, so rare that the appearances of this particular look should be as few and far between as the sightings of Bigfoot.

Over-accessorizing – I would say this is one I specially dislike. It is true, a carefully chosen accessory can add some personality to your suit and tie ensemble, but going too far and adding accessory over accessory over accessory is a perfect recipe to ruin a classy look. I mean, what are you trying to convey? Why not save the Christmas Tree Halloween costume for uhmmm… Halloween? My recommendation: keep your style simple!

Ridiculously wide lapels – Listen, I get it. You want to be bold, you want your looks to be memorable and make a big impact on everyone who happens to look at you all suited up. I get it. But come on, there must be limits to all this boldness overwhelm. Keep it simple, ideally make sure your lapels match as close as possible the width of your tie. You’ll be classy and no one will assume you’re ready to take off at a simple pull of a string meticulously hidden inside your jacket.

Ok, now on to nicer things…

Menswear Trends That Would Make 2017 A Classy Year

Bow ties – Quite frankly, bow ties have been more accepted by many formal menswear enthusiasts these last few years. Which makes me very happy. But still, there is room for bow ties to still take the center stage of regular neckwear. Not saying ties should go away… at all, what I’m saying is that it would be nice to see the bow tie get more attention this year. I, for one, will do my part. Big shoutout to all regular bow tie wearers out there – stay rebel!

Suspenders/Braces – Some call them braces, some call them suspenders. Whatever your choice of words, can we all agree it would be nice to see 2017 be the year when they make a full come back. Sure, some rules dictate your suspenders/braces shouldn’t show when properly suited, but it’s the year 2017 and the sight of a nicely matched set of suspenders can make an interesting style statement. Will this be their year? Read also: belts vs suspenders.

Taller collars – I hope this year will be the year when finally tiny, small collars that have absolutely no personality go away for good. Not only do they lack on the personality department, they’re also only appropriate to wear with super skinny ties, which by the way, I am glad we are leaving behind now. So make it a goal to carefully choose your collars this year – a tall, crisp collar with character can never be beaten.

Strong and structured shoulder jackets – My last wish for 2017 is probably the one that makes the most visual impact on a suit. For the last few years I have seen some suit jackets lose their structured and strong constitution in favor of softer lines, mainly in the shoulders area. Those jackets have their right time and their right place, so I don’t feel they should go in the “please go away now” list, but it would be nice to see a resurgence in substantial jacket shoulders. And no, for the sagacious ones out there, I don’t mean big 80s shoulder pads. Just felt I should clarify that!

In Your Opinion, What Should 2017 Bring?

Time to share your thoughts.

Do you agree with these lists? Yes? No? Why?

Also, I would like to know, what has got you, as a menswear enthusiast, excited for 2017 in terms of trends or styles?

Any style in particular you like to see get its moment back in the spotlight?

Moreover, which recent trend would you like rather see gone, dead and forgotten? At least for all of 2017 (who knows what atrocities might the future bring our way!).

That’s it for now.

Stay classy!

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