They are supposedly the catnip of luxury brands and fashion designers, feted for their digital nous and their online reach. They’re (or technically “we're”, as I teeter on the brink of the 35 cut-off age) the demographic defined as reaching adulthood over the millennium, the ones who will take over in terms of spending power when older generations die out, which is why brands are keen to entice them early and ensure lifelong loyalty.
Millennials are the reason that slogan prints, emoji prints and cartoon emblems are decorating clothes, and that fashion houses communicate on Instagram before they do in magazines. And the men amongst them are the subject of a new Forbes survey about their spending habits and thoughts on style.
According to the report, the millennial chap strives to seem relaxed and laid back in all arenas of his life, including fashion, although admits that style should be about self expression. He’s more likely to rate Ryan Gosling as a style leader than George Clooney, who wins the vote for older men. He’d sooner have a haircut than buy a shirt, if he wanted to make an impact. So what does this say about how men’s style is evolving amongst the people that will define it in decades to come?
That our guy likes his clothes to hang a tad looser than his forefathers is no surprise, since clothes have become more casual than ever before and today’s industries no longer require the full kit and caboodle of a formal suit - far chicer to pair a suit with a sweater or polo shirt and a smart pair of trainers.
It’s also telling that what was once thought the pinnacle of style for our grandfathers - a handsomely tailored suit - no longer cuts it with the modern man (a shame, as a beautifully cut suit is a thing of joy), who favours a more casual stance. In this vein, it’s worth investing in relaxed pieces that come in top notch materials; a low-key sweater in cashmere, for example, or bomber in butter-soft suede.
It’s fitting that millennials cite the dashing Mr Gosling as a style influence; he embodies an effortless style of dressing - white T-shirts with a sharp pair of jeans, great suede jackets - while at the same time looking polished when the need requires, but in his own way. He’s donned a pyjama-style shirt on the red carpet and at this year’s Oscars he opted for a ruffled, retro style shirt with his tuxedo - there’s your self expression quotient right there.
Likewise, men’s grooming will continue to boom as an industry and the more outre realms will likely become au fait; about time you re-stocked that bathroom cabinet with some more experimental fragrances, from the likes of Tom Ford and Byredo. Add the latest iPhone in your right hand and dust up on your memes and you’re good to go. LMFAO.