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How Rave Culture Is Influencing Menswear

June 2018Words by Mr Ashley Clarke

Streetstyle at London Fashion Week, June 2018. Photograph by Mr Adam Katz Sinding

Fashion designers are a contrarian lot. When the masses claim that certain sneakers are for dads or that cargo shorts are cringingly uncool, you can bet your bright yellow DHL socks that a fashion designer somewhere will see it as a challenge. If you’re not yet on board with socks and sandals, for example, you’re being left behind. This is a hard pill to swallow because, until recently, what men could and couldn’t get away with was relatively straightforward. We wore ties to work and kept jeans and sneakers for the weekend – nice and controlled, with no stressful surprises and lots of good old-fashioned rules. But if fashion has one rule, it’s that the rules are always shifting and the dress codes that once dictated what men wore and where are falling out of favour, in favour of something less constrained.

Just under a year ago, Mr John Bercow, the speaker of the British House of Commons, announced that male MPs would no longer be required to wear ties in the house, a landmark move towards less conservative attire. And while we’re unlikely to see the foreign secretary donning wavy garms any time soon, this casualisation of the establishment indicates that menswear is getting more relaxed. Which is good news, really, because it means there have never been more opportunities for men to look stylish and we’re sort of free to wear whatever we like. But where does that leave anti-establishment fashion?