Menswear is experiencing an evolution, which was evident at the Society for International Menswear trade show taking place in New York last week on July 17 and 18. As we emerge from a post-COVID-19 lockdown world, brands are moving beyond sweatpants and hoodies. Vendors at the Society for International Menswear trade show were of the consensus that formality was back but in a different way.
Candice Shuster, a representative for tailored menswear brand Cardinal Canada 1938, told FashionUnited, “Tailoring is back in a big way, but it’s shifted more toward casual tailored clothing. Suiting pants now have drawstrings, and joggers are made to give the impression of tailored suiting pants. Trouser pants are made with elastic waistbands. There’s a big resurgence in tailoring because men want to dress up again.”
Shuster also said men are becoming less afraid of color. Men are more open to light colors and brighter colors versus just wearing neutrals, and the brand has seen an increase in those buys. In terms of silhouettes, men are going for wide-cut blazers and trousers to give them more freedom to move. Pants aren’t cut as narrow as before, as consumers are looking for tailored pieces with comfort.
Barbara Kiersch, president of luxury brand Schneiders Salzburg, shared Shuster’s sentiments. Kiersch told FashionUnited, “Menswear is dressier than it used to be both before and during COVID-19 lockdown. My customers are looking for quality pieces without being overly dressed. I am selling dressier shirt jackets. Schneiders has new products from Loro Piana linen that has a new layering process, and now we’ve got these great new coats. Our Loro Piana linen pieces are doing very well for us. All our fabrics are from Italy, and we are going for a simple, classic look, but with a luxury tone.”
Kiersh said their leather products, particularly their washable leathers and suedes, are proving very popular as well. Technical fabrications are more in demand in menswear, so customers are looking for lightweight suede pieces they can just throw in the washing machine versus having to rack up a higher dry cleaning bill.
On the sportswear front, men are also thinking about technicality and fabrications differently from before, too. Layne Dempsey, vice president of sales and operations at golf brand Chervo USA, told FashionUnited, “It’s always been about technology in our fabrics for us. Men are looking for more multifunctional use garments. They want something that can take them from the golf course to a casual outing. More men are asking for stretch, which has always been a foundation of our fabrications. Chervo is primarily known as a golf brand, so it was always important the clothes had stretch properties.”
Chervo’s spring line has 31 percent spandex in it on trend with more men asking for stretch options. Chervo also agreed with Shuster that more men are opening up to bright colors, and not just restricting themselves to neutral options.
The menswear market is quickly adapting to meet a new era of consumer demands. Retail stores can expect tailored pieces with a twist and more bright colors come 2023.