Friday, March 12, 2010

Top 5 Most Ambivalent Fashion Trends of the 2000's

I've already given my 2 cents on the best and worst trends of the decade. I'm now going to muddy the water  a bit by writing about the the top 5 trends from the past decade that left me undecided.

1. Shorts

It's a bit sad that on a blistering hot day, I still can't get around to wearing shorts simply due to the fact that I haven't figured out how to pull them off-- I mean, put them on.

Towards the end of the decade, there was a runway trend to incorporate shorts.

While it was nice to see dress shorts presented as an option for men, they always looked  a bit silly to me. Maybe I just never get over the assocation of shorts with the gym or the beach or Angus from ACDC.

I don't think I'd ever wear dress shorts. I know, sucks to be me. If I would ever wear a pair of shorts outside the gym, it would likely be  a more casual pair of cargo shorts.

2. Thongs

Fooled ya! I don't mean the thongs you were thinking of, but rather thongs for the feet.

In the middle part of the decade, designer thongs, slides, sandals etc., started to spring up in style for men. This was one fad that I actually embraced at the time, with only some mild regrets now. I don't mind a nice pair of leather flip-flops for a more casual occassion,

and I like the more current trend for gladiator-type sandals

but I really don't care for beach flip flops. Outside of the beach, they just look...dirty.

Another problem I have with the concept is that a lot of men have really gross toe nails that look like Fritos.

3. The Skinny

While at the helm of Dior Homme, Hedi Slimane became one of the most influential designers of the decade by designing uber slim slim clothes for men. Which man wouldn't want to look like an anemic 17 year old girl??

This look also dovetailed with the re-introduction of 60's style slim suits during the decade (see "Mad Men").
I'm a pretty trim guy myself, and I like my clothing fitted, but I was always divided over  the aesthetics of this trend.

4.  Scarves and vests

Ah! I could never make up my mind over this one. I definitely never really got into the vest for it's own sake, especially if worn with a t-shirt.

Seems like something a Top 16 American Idol contestant would wear.

As for scarves, I used to destest these things because I thought they look so damn contrived, affected and effete. I think seeing some really neat pictures on The Sartorialist's blog brought me to the other side. I liked the way the way the men pulled the scarves into a simple knot:

Copyright TheSartorialist

Do I like scarves? All I can say, is depends on the dude, the scarf and how it's tied. Not very helpful, I know. As a general rule, I'm definitely cool with bold, colourful cashmere "winter scarves" especially when worn with an overcoat and maybe a sportsjacket.

Copyright TheSartorialist

Lightweight linen,  very slim, or bohemian scarves don't work for me.

 (As for kaffiyehs, see my previous comments here)
5. Ankle high pants (Thom Brown)

Ok, this trend was a bit more obscure, and really is restricted to Thom Browne (which not many people own). Still, TB has been one of the most influential mens designers of the past 5 years, so he cannot be ignored.
I have to admit, there is something puzzling and curious about the whole look. There are elements of geekishness, childishness and trendiness in the look.

But bottom line, it's not a look I could ever relate to, nor  a look that will ever go mainstream. 

-The Scandal