The prevailing trend of 2020 may well be basics—practical, comfortable staples that stand up to long days of doing mostly nothing.
Given the shopper’s growing affinity for casual, ultra-wearable duds, men’s premium activewear label Rhone may have hit the nail on the head with its latest collection. On Thursday, the direct-to-consumer brand known for its technical apparel debuted a line of Everyday Essentials made to transform a man’s top drawer.
The idea for Everyday Essentials started as Rhone brainstormed more about what is essential to a man’s wardrobe, and what constituted ‘basics’ for them. Rhone says customers love the brand’s boxer briefs, but demonstrated an appetite for a version more geared toward daily life than working out.
Rhone set out to workshop the perfect fit and fabric, and rounded out the collection with T-shirts and socks to match.
The collection features a boxer brief and trunk, both made from a custom-developed blend of pima cotton and modal yarn spun from self-sustaining beech trees. The boxer brief features a no-roll waistband and interior comfort pouch. Everyday Essentials undershirts in crewneck and V-neck styles were designed without irritating side seams or tags, and feature tapered sleeves that don’t ride up. Meanwhile, the collection’s sock styles are engineered with a mesh knit for breathability, a rib band around the instep for added support during physical activity, comfort padding around the toe and an interior no-slip heel grip. The products range from $14-$38 and are available on Rhone.com.
While the pandemic has changed many shoppers’ routines quite drastically, Rhone’s Everyday Essentials collection has been in the works for a while. The company says it wanted to round out its offerings with “premium products to outfit every man from where he lives, sweats, and works.”
In a world where shoppers are becoming more dependent on a specific subset of wardrobe staples, Rhone wanted to “raise the bar on premium basics,” offering thoughtful advancements in fit, comfort and quality. The collection, it says, will be a new core product line for the men’s wear label.
Brands can safely bet that these products will continue to resonate with shoppers in a post-Covid world, according to Sharon Graubard, founder and creative director of trend forecasting firm MintModa. Fall’s men’s wear fabrics reflect a movement toward casual and activewear, she confirmed in July. “Even when, and if, life returns to some semblance to what we knew as normal, I imagine men will not be giving up the comfort factor so readily,” she added.
What’s more, casual garb might be the only bright spot in men’s apparel this fall. In September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) report that men’s apparel prices were down 0.7 percent, while women’s apparel showed a slight price increase of 0.3 percent.
The only men’s categories that showed a glimmer of promise were underwear, nightwear, swimwear and accessories, the CPI report revealed, with a 3.1 percent increase in pricing across the board. Meanwhile, men’s suiting, sport coats and outerwear saw prices fall 3.1 percent, while shirts and sweaters, along with pants and shorts, fell by 1.9 percent and 1.7 percent respectively.