I consider myself a “guy’s guy.” I watch sports almost exclusively, play poker once a week (when my wife lets me), eat as many chicken wings as I can in a sitting and wear shorts and a t-shirt whenever possible. But something in me changed these past few years and I’ve noticed it’s a trend amongst men; I’m caring more about how I look and what I wear. And I don’t just mean during the week. I’m talking about all the time.
Millennial guys are putting a lot of effort into looking good these days, says youth researcher YPulse. It’s not that guy style hasn’t existed in the past — there was the “Miami Vice” look of the ’80s, the grunge look of the ’90s, and the metrosexual craze of the ’00s — but now guys are pursuing fashion by curating unique looks, rather than just copying what they see on TV. And I fall right into that category.
Joe McNeill, a principle at Hunter Qualitative Research, recently wrote an article where he talked about his interview with Chris Yoon, director of design at Calvin Klein. Chris said style is all about authenticity for men today. “It’s got to feel genuine … there has to be a basis for where it’s coming from: either a classic (like Ray-Ban Wayfarers), or a new twist on a classic. People identify with that.”
For me, it’s about awareness of the latest trends, observing men’s fashion styles in my every day, and knowing where to shop for clothes and accents that suit me. I’m so much more aware of how I look, and what that says about me than I’ve ever been. I also notice I’m looking for a more custom experience as well. I don’t just go out and buy a pair of jeans, show up at the department store, and have a couple pairs to choose from. I now want to buy the perfect wash and cut of jeans and am given countless options to cater to my personal style. Sound familiar? It should; in a relatively short amount of time men have started to buy products more like women do.
I’m now using clothes and style to tell a more personal story about who I am. From the research and articles I’ve been reading, I’m not alone.