Published on 1st September 2016
Being modern means knowing when to look to the past
What comes to mind when you think of a modern man? Someone on board with the latest trends and fashions, who always has one eye on the future, ready to pounce on the next big thing before everyone else?
Looking forward certainly is part of it, but to be a modern man in 2016, it’s just as important to have an eye on the past. A defining trend of recent men’s style – both this year and this decade – is the revival of classic looks from previous eras – particularly the 20s and the 60s.
Television has played a major role. The early part of this decade saw the smooth, suave, hairstyles of Mad Men taking men’s hair by storm, and their millimetre-perfect side partings created the perfect platform for Peaky Blinders inspired 1920s looks to take over. These styles have similar, pomade-fuelled, slickness on top but the sides use skin fades and undercuts, not tapers, to create striking, edgier looks.
Truly modern men embrace and refresh classic looks. These style revivals are not mere carbon copies – mimicking every component of a nine-decade old style will look like fancy dress. Vintage styles as solid foundations for building modern looks. Combine a tried and tested part of a classic with modern elements and you’ll unlock a look that feels both iconic and fresh.
A great example of this would be the 20s undercut, combined with current style stalwart, the beard. The striking effect of the disconnect between beard and undercut is one of 2016s core styles.
This leaves us with two questions. What does the future hold for fashion’s past? And what will future generations take from our decade of borrowing?
Our money is on a Stranger Things inspired 80s revival. Autumn is perfect timing for the natural tones, and the rustic feel of cords, jackets and tucked-in tees will find sure-footing amongst the rugged style that comes with facial hair.
Rather than leaving a defining look, perhaps the style legacy of this decade will be an ethos – one of experimentation, of picking-and-mixing styles, and embracing the past and the future.
So if in twenty years men are rocking Tudor ruffs with Victorian mutton chops and glamrock mullets, remember we’re to blame, not them.
Written by John Thornton, The Modern Man