When it comes to men’s fashion, a man must balance two competing priorities: looking good and being comfortable. As a result, men are often left wondering where they should draw the line between the two. Here’s our take on this never-ending debate
It can be difficult for a man to find a balance between keeping up with the latest fashion trends and wearing clothes that are easier for everyday life. Would you play it safe for the sake of convenience or venture outside your comfort zone in the name of flair? The world expects guys to effortlessly strike a pose between practicality and creativity in their wardrobe choices. In light of this difficulty, we ask: Where do we draw the line?
For decades, men’s fashion has been trapped in a limited range of options with little room for experimentation. The go-to pieces, like plain shirts, jeans, and sneakers, have become a staple in men’s wardrobes. Though these pieces are useful and adaptable, they’re often labeled as dull and uninteresting.
At the most recent Met Gala, for example, a number of dapper men donned classic suits to express their personal flair and channel the legacy of Karl Lagerfeld. However, not all the looks garnered praise, as some were criticized for being too plain for the occasion. Critics argued that, in this day and age, men should take more risks instead of going for the traditional suit. Meanwhile, the rise of the quiet luxury trend has been a hot topic in the fashion world. Many people appreciate the subtle elegance that brands like Fear of God’s newest collection represent. However, others see this fad as nothing more than an easy way out and an excuse for not trying anything new.
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Crossing the line
On the other hand, there are still a countless number of people who are dissatisfied when men deviate from society’s traditional expectations. Take Lil Nas X, Harry Styles, and Jaden Smith, for instance, whose daring and colorful ensembles, exaggerated silhouettes, and bold accessories consistently spark discussions. While some applaud their fashion risk-taking, others feel that they stray too far from traditional notions of “menswear” and lack the expected “masculine appeal.”
What everyone should know
We’ll never tire of cheering for men who aren’t afraid to try new things and encouraging them to always go outside of their comfort zones. But in the fashion world, it is also important to recognize and embrace two essential truths: one, that it is limitless; and two, that it is a personal experience. There’s no “perfect balance” that works for everyone, as every man has the freedom to dress however he wants, whether that’s donning a classic suit or instead, something daring. As fashion continues to evolve, we need to keep an open mind and welcome the endless possibilities for self-expression. After all, fashion isn’t just about the clothes we wear—it’s also about how we feel and present ourselves to the world.
Photo: JERRY LORENZO, DUNHILL, and MTV (via Instagram)