It has not been a very promising start to the decade. 2020 is a year that will likely become a part of pop culture in the decades to come, synonymous with doom, despair, and fear. The last recorded pandemic was the Spanish flu of 1920, and even that did not compare to the size and magnitude of the COVID-19 crisis we are currently living through. With millions of infections and deaths, economic devastation, and industrial collapse, widespread panic, and even rabid denial, our way of life was turned upside down. For a long moment, it was almost as if the world teetered on the edge of collapse.
But with several promising vaccines now in circulation, 2021 may finally be the year the pendulum starts swinging the other way. But what will be the world we return to? It is obvious that even if the vaccine completely disappears, the trauma and fear it inflicted will last much longer. We may never really go back to how things used to be. That means we may see a brave new world emerge, different in many ways, including men’s fashion. Will there still be space for khaki cargo pants? Here’s our take on what men’s fashion might look like this summer:
Outfits With More Utility Space
A new world means new challenges, and you need to be prepared to handle them. The same philosophy should also translate into your clothing this summer. We may have several working vaccines now. But it will still be a while before it is completely gone (if ever). So you’ll likely still be taking precautionary measures. That usually includes at least a mask, a sanitizer, and maybe a pocket-sized pulse oximeter. You could have other stuff too, such as a spare mask, an alcohol spray, etc. All of these, in addition to the keys, wallet, smartphone, and earphones you carry around, need more space.
Men’s clothes this summer should focus as much on utility as they do on form. Cargo pants with plenty of pockets to carry everything you need are a good example of utility clothing. You need clothes that can also withstand disinfectants since you’ll be washing more frequently. Tougher material is again a utility that could prove very useful. The new rugged urban male is the one that is prepared and looks good while he is.
COVID-19 has given many a lot to think about when it comes to touching surfaces with our hands. Most of us religiously use hand sanitizer, avoid physical contact, and stay away from people as far as possible. However, it is much harder to get rid of possible surface contamination if your clothes come in contact with them. You can’t just rub alcohol on them as you would on your hands, so the only alternative is to step up your laundry game and toss outdoor outfits in for cleaning as soon as you get in. Of course, the added washing may not always be kind to your new summer wardrobe, so you may want to get fabrics that are easier to clean. Fabrics that resist abrasion from harsh detergents are your best bet at preserving both your outfit and your health.
Using Masks as an Accent
If you’re not wearing a mask in 2021, you’re putting both yourself and everyone around you at risk. You may also need to read up more on COVID-19 and how it spreads. However, for the rest of us, it is fairly obvious that masks are going to be a part of streetwear for the foreseeable future. So why not make the best of it? Instead of those dull surgical masks or ugly bandanas, men in 2021 should be looking for masks that can accent various outfits. In many cases, a sleek ninja-style mask can be the perfect accent, making you look mysterious and strangely aesthetic if you’re keeping care of your hair and skin right. With brands always looking to stay relevant, there is no small number of firms making funky, vibrant, and expressive masks without compromising on the original safety intent. All you have to do is find some that you feel can be the next best thing to displaying your own confident features.
Masks may be a great accent considering the times, but they still hide a significant part of your face. That means you can’t use many of the expressions you would normally use that make you the real you. Sadly, there is no perfect way around this. However, your face is not the only way to express yourself, just the easiest to understand. If you miss commanding attention when you engage with colleagues or friends, you may want to consider upping your accessory game. Accessories are one of the most underrated ways to draw attention, provided they aren’t gaudy or downright tasteless. A nice watch, an elegant ring, or a refined tie-clip are all more valuable as accessories than they ever were.