You couldn’t call it a boring year for menswear, could you? Looking back, 2018 has been the most diverse, colourful and expressive spell we’ve had in a long time. Clothes became fun again.And in a year when all bets were off, these five men were there to show us how it’s done – leading trends, breaking rules or keeping it classic, their message was the same: wear whatever the hell you want, and do it with a smile on your face.
5. David Gandy
When trends go crazy, as they undoubtedly have this year, you can always navigate your way to good style by following the north star of menswear himself, David Gandy. Brilliant and unchanging, he’s a fixed point – a guiding light through choppiest of fashion trends. Gandy’s formula of excellent suits and tailored casual wear is and always has been masculine, rakish and proudly British. This year, he debuted his first ever tailoring range, with a capsule collection designed for Marks & Spencer. Somewhat predictably, it’s really good.
4. David Beckham
It’s usually bad form to out-dress the groom on his big day, especially when the lucky man is also sixth in line to the throne. But then Prince Harry should have known better than to invite David Beckham to this summer’s royal wedding. Beckham in morning dress is the same as Beckham in motorcycle gear, or Beckham in tweed, or Beckham at Fashion Week – better than everyone else, basically.
3. A$AP Rocky
Praise the lord, it’s the undisputed king of high-fashion hip-hop. A$AP Rocky is one of the originators of the couture streetwear look that has become the new fashion paradigm over the past few years. He sang “Raf Simons, Rick Owens: usually what I’m dressed in” while draped in a Supreme gym towel in the video for ‘Peso’ back in 2011 for crying out loud. If that isn’t predicting the future of fashion, then we don’t know what is. Anyway, he’s still at it here in 2018, mixing sportswear, high-end fashion and grills to glorious effect.
2. Henry Golding
At the beginning of the year, Henry Golding was a presenter on the BBC’s The Travel Show. At the end of it, he’s a Hollywood leading man and one of the most stylish men on the planet. It’s a modern day Cinderella story, only less of the glass slippers and more of Golding’s impeccable three-piece suits. The British-Malaysian actor flits effortlessly between classic and contemporary tailoring, keeping it all buttoned-up for the former, loose and relaxed with a pair of chunky trainers on the latter. Every inch the leading man.
1. Michael B. Jordan
A series of hits from Black Panther through Fahrenheit 451 to Creed II means 2018 has been a blockbuster year for Michael B. Jordan. The same is true of the man’s style. He doesn’t show it off like some do, but he’s made every menswear move that matters this year and topped it off by becoming the face of Coach for 2019.
We’ve seen chunky, multi-coloured knits, statement streetwear, subtle nods to the leaders of the black rights movement and exemplary tailoring, usually with an individual twist that makes it his. The fact that he does all this on the bulky frame of Adonis Creed makes it even more impressive.
The kaleidoscope of colours and silhouettes that surfaced in menswear this year could be off-putting for the average guy. Michael B. Jordan is the man who proves that it doesn’t have to be. He takes what he wants from trends, makes them his own and seems to understand the single best thing about the way menswear has gone this year: you can have it all and still look great.