April 24, 2024

Styles For Men

Boldness and Elegance, Timeless Men's Style

What the rise of babygirl men means for fashion

2 min read

Fashion commentator Romane Delvallee agrees: “Fashion often reflects what’s happening in society, and the exploration of gender and personal identity is on the rise,” she says. “Both men and women seem to want to explore this and find something empowering in it.”

Social media is a key driver. “TikTok, fan cams and edits really have shifted our perceptions, influences and ideas regarding men’s fashion and how it’s not just about suits anymore,” says stylist and fashion historian Kim Russell. “Stans are so good at their job and shifting the mainstream group mentality. You have regular hetero-cis men open to the idea of carrying a handbag. That’s really powerful. It’s constantly on our feeds being reposted and positively encouraged.” Now, she says, women are being influenced by menswear like never before — and vice versa.

Retailers are taking note — and buying accordingly. “The Row’s Margaux bag is a bestseller within menswear, yet officially belongs to the women’s collections,” says Mytheresa’s head of menswear buying Sophie Jordan. “We actively review the women’s bags collections on selected brands, such as Bottega Veneta, Loewe and The Row, to add relevant styles directly into our men’s buys.”

From the step-and-repeat to the street

Fashion may reflect what’s happening in society, but it is also a marketing vehicle. Leading men — and their stylists — are increasingly leveraging fashion to gain coverage and be discussed on and off the carpet, says fashion and pop culture commentator Megan Ford. Delvalee points to the Barbie promotional trail. (Think of the social media frenzy Margot Robbie generated with her Barbie-inspired looks.) “The more unique and original the styling, the more attention it gets from the numerous fashion accounts out there. Like me.”

Red carpets are where we see direct plays on womenswear pieces (courtesy of the likes of Chalamet and Pascal), but it’s on the streets that babygirl men are more likely to drive purchases. Shots of stars like Elordi at the airport and gas station lead consumers to believe these are personal style decisions (even if orchestrated by savvy stylists), Katz says. These moments teach consumers that someone like Elordi isn’t just engaging with fashion on a step-and-repeat but in everyday life. “That signal is huge,” Katz says. “It translates to a level of realness that I do think trickles down to and impacts consumers.”

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