Friday, January 15, 2010

Top 5 Best Trends in Men's Fashion from the 2000's

Trends and fads are by their nature ephemeral. They come and go-- some of them very quickly.

When it comes to clothing fads, some people wholeheartedly embrace them. To them, fashion  by its very nature is no more than  a series of constantly evolving trends. To be fashionable, is by definition, to be current with the latest fad.

There is also a school of thought that opposes the wholesale adoption of trends.  This group essentially believes that there are certain tried-and-true, “timeless” and classic looks that inherently look good. To them, the trendy fashionista is more concerned about appearing hip and current than he is about the actual appearance of the clothing itself.

My own sympathies lie with the latter approach. While I think clothing fads and trends offer an advantage of disrupting monotony,  they can often lead to absurd results when taken too far. If you slavishly follow fads, you will come across as no better than a style-lemming; and if clothing is supposed to express individual artistic style, then there can be no greater offence than this.

That’s why in retrospect, rock stars often look so ridiculous, as they are the most caught up in adopting the latest fads. When fads lose their currency, the tide comes in, and their absurdity is even more apparent.

Anyways, with that in mind, here are my selection for the best fads and trends of the ‘00 decade:

1. Three-piece suits

Prior to this decade, three-piece suits were considered to give off an old musty, stuffy, Victorian look. There  also appears to have been a tacky resurgence of three-piece in the 1970’s, but again, there was nothing youthful about them.

All of that changed this decade. With young professionals returning to old-school tailoring, there was an interest in these dapper outfits.

Tom Ford

Ralph Lauren
Justin Timberlake was one of the most reknown celebrity propagators of this look, often prancing around in a 3-piece suit (and canvas running shoes).

Ryan Seacrest is another example of a young celebrity comfortable in a 3-piece suit.

Another advantage of the 3-piece suit is that you can remove the jacket, and the vest will still give you a dressy look.

2. Double breasted suits

Considered awful boxy, relics from the 1980’s, up until a few years ago, it’s hard to over-estimate how un-cool these suits were regarded. In fact, when SNL used to parody Alex Trebek, they always dressed Will Ferrell in some god awful double breasted suit.

Aside from David Letterman (and those people who were wearing suits over 10 years old), nobody wore  double breated suits in the late 90's and early part of this decade.

I first noticed a comeback in double breasted suits in the Fall/Winter 2007 Valentino show. But this wasn’t your uncle’s double breasted suit. The Valentino version offered a slim, modern, two-button re-design and it looked very smart.

Suddenly by the end of the decade, just about every Paris and Milan and fashion house was designing double breasted suits, often with a modern twist.

Ralph Lauren
Botega Veneta

Z Zegna

3. Formal and casual wear cross-breeding

During the middle part of the decade, it became quite fashionable to mix up formal wear with casual attire. It was not uncommon to see guys wearing tuxedo jackets, pants and shirts (not to mention suspenders, bow ties and even velvet or patent leather shoes).

Costume National


Undoubtedly, some of the chief designers propelling this trend were Canadians Dean and Dan from DSquared.

4. Designer Jeans

Though commonplace now, going back 10 years, it’s hard to fathom guys willing to wear jeans made in Italy (or Japan), let alone shelling out well over $250 per pair.

Though there was a designer jeans craze in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the fad was limited to womenswear. It never seeped into men’s wardrobes.

Up until this past decade, denim was hardly a fashion statement for men. You couldn’t get into a swanky place with a pair of jeans anymore than you could wearing a baseball hat. But by early/mid decade this all changed. Jeans--notably, distressed jeans-- had clearly become an acceptable “dressy” item of clothing for either sex. “Has-been” nightclubs were readily identifiable precisely because they had a “no jeans” policy (as a relic from the 1990’s).

Copyright: The Sartorialist

I waffled on whether to include designer jeans in my Top 5 list, primarily for two reasons: Firstly, I think that designer jeans had quickly become the de facto uniform of the douchebag. Secondly,  the widespread acceptability of denim ultimately robbed men of a lot of their imagination. In the 2000's, a lot of guys put on jeans and simply never took them off. There is more to men's fashion than just jeans (yes, even on casual Fridays).

5. Tailoring

Following  the decline of the bulky three-buttoned suits from the 90's (still favoured by American football sportcasters)

a lot of designers returned to a more a tailored British look that emphasized a man's silouhette. This look is achieved, in part  by tapering the jacket at the waist, and higher armholes. In fact, the next time you go to a nice men's shop, you'll notice that the suits on the mannequins are usually pinned up in order to give a more tailored look. (Query why the suit isn't manufactured that way in the first place?)  A slimmer jacket usually (but not always) is paired with slim-fitting pants.  In my opinion, a fitted suit, especially on a reasonably in-shape guy is most flattering. 

Dolce & Gabbana


Michael Bastian

Dolce & Gabbana

The slim fit wasn't restricted to suits. It was extended to shirts, trousers and sweaters.
Ralph Lauren

Dolce & Gabbana

Note: If you're interested, here are links to my posts on the (1) worst trends of the 2000's; (2) most ambivalent trends of the 2000's and (3) most influential designers of the of the 2000's.

-The Scandal


  1. Stylemounties is on target but perhaps could have point without disparaging multitalented Platinum Blonde.

  2. stylemounties is a big fan of platinum blonde. they were canada's answer to duran duran.

  3. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were preparing to do some research about that.

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  4. I enjoyed the post very much you have a nice site.thanks for the information.This is a really good read for us.thanks for your post.

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  5. Thanks for the help of my homework becoz.I am doing the 2000s thanks.again you helped alot

  6. arent they now chinoes and high tops with a hoodie

  7. possibly, but remember that we have entered a new decade ;)