In every season, there are fashion “trends” that inexplicably crop up despite their apparent awfulness. And as such they should NOT be followed – no matter how many designers jump onto the group-think bandwagon and push them. Remember, Zubaz, tie-dye, and bleached denim were all “fashionable” at one point in time.
This year two of those trends to avoid are cargo pants and over-the-top prints. I would hope that it’s already self-explanatory just from the names why you should avoid both of those, but in case it’s not, let’s go to the tape.
Embargo the Cargo
What we have here is a shocking variety of cargo pants. Some are in bright, bold shades. Some are in slim cuts, and some are in loose cuts. Some are in traditional chino material while others are in fleecy material. But they all have one thing in common: they look stupid. If you need eight pockets to carry your cellphone, keys and wallet than you have a problem. If you’re carrying much more than that, maybe you should just invest in a nice purse.
I mean honestly if you’re not in the Army or a branch of the emergency services and you’re not Bear Grylls, then you probably don’t have any reason to be hauling around handwarmers, a power bar, a pocket knife, a mini flashlight and a pocket atlas. And no, going rock climbing on an indoor climbing wall six months ago, doesn’t make you an outdoor sports enthusiast.
Aside from functionality, cargo pants have little to offer. There is no reason for a bunch of lumpy extra pockets. Leave the cargo pants to the soldiers and the ass hats at Pitti Uomo who are trying too hard to get snapped for some “street style” blog.
Ever since plaids and checks emerged on the scene, fashion designers have been looking for the next big trend in patterns. Unfortunately, this has led to more misses than hits. I’d like to say that these particular shirts were the handiwork of some young bucks at J.C. Penney. Unfortunately, they’re not. In fact, the shirt on the bottom left was dreamed up by Junya Watanabe and will run you more than a grand. In other news, you can pay for school, but you can’t buy class.
The simple lesson here is that if you don’t want to look like Patches O’Houlihan or an aging Grateful Dead groupie, don’t wear these stupid, excessively patterned shirts. The bigger lesson is that, as Apple mastermind Steve Jobs always advocated, simple and clean design tends to be far better than excessively flashy, ornamental design and that’s a design principle that remains true from network architecture to clothing. That’s why Gant will always be better than Ed Hardy and J Crew will always be better than Hot Topic. Some things should just be avoided.