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Men’s Fashion Shows Its Softer Side for Fall/Winter 20-21

The redefinition of masculinity in men’s fashion is the driving force behind the quirky and whimsical aesthetics poised to take over the category next fall.

Fashion Snoops’ Fall/Winter 20-21 men’s wear story “Outre,” embraces feminine silhouettes, soft colors and comforting fabrications. In a recent webinar with Informa, Fashion Snoops’ vice president and creative director of men’s wear Michael Fisher, described how this trend is transforming youth culture and fashion.

“Perceptions of gender don’t exist here,” he said.

Colors and prints are essential to the theme’s optimistic mood. Gold and sorbet hues of yellow, pink and orange add a glowing element next to soft gray. Retro greens live here, too, Fisher said. The colors come together in prints like delicate checks and plaids with “whisper soft” lines, low-key gingham patterns, deconstructed marble and romantic florals. Quotes about fragility and strength are perfect for tees, sweatshirts and as scribbles on jean jackets.

Men's wear shows its softer side.
F/W 20-21 Pronounce Pixelformula/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

“The trend is a great opportunity for denim,” Fisher said, particularly as light washes are on the upswing for Fall/Winter 20-21.

Printed Trucker jackets with painterly graphics and smock jackets with dual patch pockets are key pieces. Details like unfinished hems give the garments a personal and artsy vibe. The Grandad shirt, a lightweight, plain-weave chambray shirt with a band collar, offers a quiet and minimal moment, while jeans decorated with a collage of mismatched patches add personality.

Other key items include woven shirts made with crisp cotton poplin, which Fisher noted is a perfect canvas for prints and novelty piping, and suits with side closure. The trend emerged on the catwalk and can veer into two territories: traditional with classic suiting materials, or surreal with fabric surfaces.

Men's wear takes a softer approach to fall fashion.
F/W 20-21 Acne Studios Pixelformula/SIPA/Shutterstock

That sense of comfort comes into play with the new sweat pant, a “cozy pant” made with lustrous cable knits in chunky proportions. Sherpa and corduroy options of the pull-on silhouette are also on the upswing. Sweatshirts, however, remain a key piece of the youthful look, especially with an explosion of prints, according to Fisher.

And in a trend story that celebrates individuality, look for unconventional accessories. Printed penny loafers with animal-hair applications and pastel leather sneaker boots are must-have footwear items. The Fedora makes a surprising return, this time with a tall crown. Lapel pins decorated with pressed flowers add a touch of romance. And men’s mini bags are finally trending, Fisher said, as they have been for some time in the women’s sector.