sportswear

Sportswear Meets Tailoring: Here to Stay! (And only evolving more and more)

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,

Tonight’s post will be written through the lens of my present experience in the menswear industry focusing on a trend that I am seeing season after season. One that I believe is not going away anytime soon (for better or for worse), and that is the trend of intersecting sportswear and tailoring. With each passing season more and more brands are showcasing their tailored garments alongside sportswear pieces. Just Spring/Summer 2018 alone brought us these:

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Hermes, Paul Smith, Berluti, Image from Esquire

Which brand can lay claim to being a true pioneer for this recent trend? For me you’d have to look no further than Ermenegildo Zegna. So what makes Zegna so special? Well for one, they are a truly rare company, one that controls the entire production process form raw material to finished goods (they actually started out as a wool mill that expanded to manufacturing clothing, the mill side of the business is still active today). So why do I consider to be Zegna a pioneer in this field? Because of their ability to control the entire process, they are able to create their own unique fabrics which have revolutionized tailored garments. I am talking about their special “Techmerino Wash and Go” fabric.

Through this innovative fabric, Zegna has created suits and blazers that are breathable, waterproof just like sportswear and perhaps even more shocking, can actually be washed in a household washing machine and hung to dry and be good as new! This makes it the perfect travel suit/jacket. I fully expect to see other fabric mills and menswear brands competing to get a similar product to market.

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Z-Zegna SS 18, Photo from Woolmark.com

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Z Zegna SS18, Woolmark.com

As you can see from the photo above, brands like Zegna are merchandising their sportswear combined with tailoring and this has created opportunities for retailers to pass on this trend to consumers specifically in the North American market as retailer Ed Boas from Lanes in Miami mentions:

“Selling tailored clothing in a sportswear world is a matter of creating desire.”1

That desire to me is simple, merchandising sportcoats with sportswear tells consumers a story and demonstrates the versatility of tailored pieces matching with sportswear. Scott Noris of Men’s Wearhouse explains:

 “If we show outfits fully rigged on mannequins, guys understand the versatility of sportcoats and buy them.”2

A little something should be mentioned about these popular, super soft unconstructed sportcoats thats have been popular in Italy for years, is that it is only now catching the eye of the North American market. What do I expect? I expect that once more and more men discover how comfortable tailoring can be, they will continue to buy these types of garments in bunches.

Expect to see the sportswear/tailoring trend to continue into the Fall 2018 season. The key words here are stretch, stretch, stretch! Garments that are made for travel that move with you. As the line blurs more and more between tailoring and sportswear, be a little daring. Wear a super soft sportcoat with a pair of neat, well fitting track pants (no oversized logos on them please!) or cords, or jeans! My personal favorite sportcoat? My Jack Victor soft shouldered, unconstructed, half lined blue hopsack with patch pockets.

Grazie, and as always, keep it dapper.

 

-The Don


1. Grossman, Karen Alberg. “Tailored Sportswear: The Modern Male Dress Code.” Accessed February 24, 2018. http://www.mr-mag.com/tailored-sportswear-modern-male-dress-code/.

2. Grossman, Karen Alberg. “Tailored Sportswear: The Modern Male Dress Code.” Accessed February 24, 2018. http://www.mr-mag.com/tailored-sportswear-modern-male-dress-code/.

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A look ahead…Your Spring/Summer 2018 Trends!

Good Evening my dapper friends,

One of the advantages I have of working in the menswear industry is access to future trends that will shape the year ahead. I’d like to share with you tonight some that you could look forward to for next summer so you can get on board and be a trendsetter!

Note: These are the trends that I personally feel will have an impact and not every trend that I have come across.

 

  •  Three Button suit 
    • Yeah, I was surprised to see this one too. But as it turns out there is not much neckwear being showcased from designers these days. So what’s the compromise? A higher button stance and super soft shoulders to be bold and stand out from the crowd.
  • Hawaiian Print Shirts
    • The cheesy vacation shirt is back! (I think I owned a few as a kid). But this time around the prints are funkier and more abstract, and the quality of fabric much better.

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  • Pleated Trousers
    • These have picked up steam over the last few seasons and don’t appear to be going anywhere! Whether single or double pleated, the fit is kept modern (tapered legs) so you won’t look like a  1990s middle manager in billowy double pleated khakis.
  • Techno Suit
    • I’ll admit, this is one that I can’t get on board with. With the rise of athleisure, the lines between classic tailoring and it have become blurred in S/S ’18. Suits made from technical fabrics such as nylon layered with activewear could be one way to make a splash. Just don’t expect me to be rocking the look!
  • I ❤ The 90s
    • In terms of sportswear, the menswear industry has fallen hard for the 1990s. This means big graphic prints, oversized logos, floral prints and oversized nylon jackets and tracksuits. Bust out the old gear or buy some new!

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  • Relaxed Trousers
    • So, pleats are back, we know that. But we will also begin to see a reversal of the skinny fit trend as cropped looser silhouettes will begin to spring up. And it’s not only limited to casual pants, expect to see dress pants loosen up as well. Let the “boys” breathe again!

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  • Who wears short shorts?!
    • This time back to the 1980s and the short shorts. Or if you ask me, just shorts. I mean seriously how were these ever considered “shorts”? The inseams have shrank back to 1980s NBA short levels when shorts were, you know, short! Get some color on those legs and make a bold style statement at the same time!

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  • The Espadrille, all grown up!
    • Ahh, the espadrille. Classic summer beach/lounge shoe. Not according to a few designers such as Ralph Lauren who has been featuring the summer shoe dressed up with suiting pieces. Also expect fabrics to be more upscale, from the traditional canvas up to suede and leather.

 

So there you have it, a few of the trends that I feel can make an impact for S/S 2018. You want to be ahead of the curve, you know what to do!

 

Stay dapper my friends,

-The Don

 

 


Sources

Garner, Stephen. “Tips from an Editor Abroad.” MR Magazine, Aug. 2017, pp. 42–43.
Fisher, Michael. “8 Must Have Trends for Spring 2018 .” MR Magazine, July 2017, pp. 38–40.
Macko, Michael. “Shoe Business.” MR Magazine, Aug. 2017, pp. 44–45.