I scroll through my Instagram feed and I see nothing but geometric prints, clashing colours, and 1990s-era box-cut clothes. I pick up a copy of GQ or Esquire and all I can find is bubblegum tracksuits and logo-emblazoned bomber jackets.
There's no monochrome tones, no navy, no elusive pop of colour amid an otherwise demure outfit. Men in 2018 are being told by the fashion world to throw subtlety to the wind and dress themselves like they inhabit some sort of Tellytubbyland.
And I'm not buying it.
I blame the H&M, Topman, and Zara effect; the fast fashion brands of the world. They are so keen to get us to spend, spend, spend. How can they convince us to do that? Keep us on trend with very obvious, garish gear. The kind your friends will notice if you wear it twice. The type marketers know you'll only ever put in one social media post.
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Here's how I think we, as fashion consumers, are being convinced these clothes are a good idea. Bold prints and clashing colours look excellent on our mobile phones. On a 5-inch screen, pineapple prints look stylish, graffiti-like words look slick, and large logos like "Supreme" and "Balenciaga" somehow don't appear like the wearer is a walking billboard.
Take these garments into the real world and what do you look like? Lady Gaga on a city street. Elton John on a bus. Jared Leto in a corner cubicle. You can't hide. You become the centre of attention – it's all eyes on you. It looks like you're walking clickbait.
Now, do I think it's a bad thing to draw attention to yourself for what you're wearing? Not necessarily, there are just better ways to do it. For example – ever see a man in a beautifully-cut suit? That's a reason to look. What about a guy who embodies a particular "look" (e.g. selvage jean lumberjack, structured military, Santa Monica surfer) perfectly? The attention to detail he's paid is worthy of noticing.
He has put in time and effort to cultivate a mood with his appearance; one that probably represents his personality, and that I applaud. It takes guts to walk out of the house knowing others will stare.
But in 2018 we're getting lost in this sea of technicolour, thus traditional styles make you look boring. Head-to-toe in black used to look chic, now it makes you disappear. A classic navy blazer makes you feel like your dad.
Agency is key in deciding on one's own personal style, but this current trend is taking all independence away from us. The 2018 era of loud fashion is forcing men into wearing things we'll be well-ashamed of in 10 years time. And now that everything is online, that's something that will come back to haunt us.
Kiwi men – help me resist the trend of over-the-top fashion. It's an eyesore. Style is best when it's subdued. When it's not yelling at you. My general rule? If an outfit looks like it could have been worn 20 years ago, 40 years ago, AND 60 years ago, you're good to go. No matter the style, it's timeless enough to make you not look like a slave to fashion. You can still have fun with your clothes. You'll just be far less likely to look back on them and cringe.