This week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey raised his eyebrows at his appearance. He testified remotely before the Senate judicial committee with a Gandalf-style beard growth and nose ring from a sabbatical. A few days earlier, rapper Tyler, The Creator had appeared at the People’s Choice Awards with a deer hunter on top of his head, sporting a cream-colored padded jacket and carrying a men’s bag. Both Tyler’s investment of an awards gala tuxedo and Dorsey’s chic Zoom-call are articulations of where men’s grooming and clothing meet in 2020.
During the pandemic, men’s self-image has been hit. Eleven percent of British men say they feel like they look at least five years older as a result of the stress and anxiety brought on by the pandemic, while 29% of them have reported visible signs of stress and premature aging as a result. according to research commissioned by Uvence, a cosmetic clinic.
In terms of priorities, men’s grooming in the UK has been in free fall since the first lockdown began in the spring. “I haven’t shaved in a week,” Jeremy Clarkson admitted to the Sun in April. “I wear a T-shirt that makes me look like Winnie the Pooh. I am living on a diet of what is growing in my garden, which at this time of year is nothing, and McVitie’s dark chocolate cookies. ” While Janan Ganesh from the Financial Times wrote: “The desert has invaded once-august hair … the hard-won loss of muscle tone around the obliques laments with infinite bitterness.”
Suddenly facial hair was everywhere, with retro mustaches (Harry Styles, The Situation of Jersey Shore, heartthrob Noah Centineo and Armie Hammer) and isolated beards (Jude Law, Justin Trudeau, Jim Carrey, Will Smith, KJ Apa and Pete Buttigieg) flooded social media timelines with his fury. According to the Danish company Copenhagen Grooming, a third of men grew beards under the hood.
“I realized that during the pandemic, many more men felt comfortable experimenting with their grooming routines,” says Garrett Munce, who writes about Esquire’s men’s grooming and style. “Their hair may have been buzzed or grown out – they may have used a sheet mask for the first time or taken the time to play with skin care, they may have dyed the hair themselves. “
For DJ Roger Goode, his little experimentation happened with his facial hair. “My grooming choices (became): well, what grooming?” he says, referring to his beard, which has expanded to Rasputin proportions. He says he wanted to say, “Seriously, someone get me a razor ASAP! I think (my family) was more relieved when the regulations were slightly lifted and the barber was allowed to reopen. “
However, in terms of fashion, rather than experimentation, there was a pushback. The sports pants became the great success of the bull run. Entireworld, which specializes in loungewear, saw a 662% increase in year-on-year sales. Founder Scott Sternberg believes that instead of indicating withdrawal and hibernation, wearing sweatpants indicates a kind of fight against the pandemic. “Sweats have definitely become the de facto uniform for this strange quarantine we’re all in,” he says. “The uniform has really been a monotonous tracksuit complete with bright and cheerful colors.” He thinks that while it’s about comfort, it’s also about “expressing a sense of freedom and freedom within our confinement.” Dressing in a set of sweatpants and a blouse in bold primary colors is, she believes, her own form of protest. “The complete look goes one step further and focuses on self-expression and the feeling of overcoming discomfort in this upbeat pure color uniform. There is almost something innocent and childish about it, in a good way. “
If the dominant ideologies behind menswear had been the advertising concepts of “dress for success” and “clothes make the man,” what did they mean now, with many of us working from home? The male archetypes that celebrities portray on social media have radically changed.
Calvin Harris was in the photo triumphantly carrying the fruits of his gardening work, a watermelon. Actor Adam Scott posted a photo on Instagram dressed as if he had just returned from bird watching. Dominic Cummings, dressed in a straw hat and carrying a stick, struck a pose similar to David Beckham’s, both apparently channeling Huckleberry Finn. Dolce and Gabbana’s fall / winter 2020 collection, meanwhile, was an alpha-ness fantasy. Dressed in flat caps, rubber boots, leather aprons, the models that showed the collection evoked macho archetypes: the electrician, the builder and the farmer.
“We have seen a huge increase in sales of our outdoor shoe collections, beyond what we would expect for this time of year,” says a spokesperson for Fairfax & Favor, a luxury fashion brand for the rural minded. . “We believe this is because more and more people are falling in love with the outdoors during the confinement, spending time walking, walking and exploring their local areas.”
In August, we were really embracing the outdoors (the most searched on google activities were hiking, paddling and kayaking). The Environment Agency estimated that 100,000 in the UK had started fishing (Celebrity fans included Becks and Zac Efron). Outdoor clothing brands like Schoffel Country saw a surprising increase in sales of fleeces and vests.
The style of men, always tied to city housing, has been broken by the pandemic and, if Dorsey and Tyler, The Creator are something to go through, it continues to veer towards the agrarian.
“I don’t see fashion the same way anymore,” admits designer Thierry Lasry. “I realized that I don’t need more than half of my closet,” he says, adding that he has barely touched his shirts, blazers or dress shoes since the lockdown began. “All of those options suddenly sound a little extra and unnecessary.”
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.