A friend recently sent me a joke. It listed 54 things a man must do to keep a woman happy.
Then it detailed the two things a woman must do to please a man: turn up naked, bring food. Men are simple creatures. And so it goes with clothes. The default outfit for young British men at the moment is blue jeans, grey hoodie, black leather jacket. These clothes don’t need a fashion designer to create them.
The great thing about menswear today is that upper-mid-market manufacturers are doing such a good job as to make fashion designers slightly redundant. Why buy jeans from a designer when Nudie et al are producing great fits in great denim at a fraction of the cost?
Menswear has undergone a revolution. Men are dressing more stylishly than they have for years, but are wearing restyled versions of tried-and-tested looks, not spacesuits or dresses.
The ultimate men’s style icon is still Steve McQueen – the clothes haven’t really changed after 30 years. This is good for revived brands such as Baracuta and Belstaff, and also for anyone producing quality goods that defer to the rules without being fusty, such as Paul Smith and Oliver Spencer.
Catwalk fashion now seems like a throwback to the 1980s – and not just in terms of the styling. There are good, luxe clothes, but the marble macs at Jil Sander are more chavvy than chic, and as for the visible underpants at Prada, the less said the better.
Fashion should be about improving the way men dress, not adding to the confusion. That’s why the revolution was successful. Fashion won. Now men can get back to being men.
Oliver Horton is a fashion writer and trends commentator