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UK Menswear Forecast: The Challenge for Men’s Fashion


The pandemic is influencing men’s fashion more than anyone could’ve predicted, especially as more men are forced to work from home.

Currently 45.7% of the male UK workforce are working from home, according to data by the Office for National Statistics. Across regions, London cited 57.2% of people homeworking, West Midlands cited 35.3% of people homeworking and Yorkshire and the Humber cited 37.6% of people homeworking. As more UK males are forced to make ends meet via their couch and laptop, this sparks a drastically comfy change of pace for men’s wardrobes. Will men’s fashion shirts still be relevant as more men choose to work from home in lounge tees instead of button-down shirts?

Despite the recent uptick in men’s loungewear sales, men’s fashion companies were already seeing a growing demand for lounge-focused items long before the pandemic hit. Back in 2017, the athleisure trend was leading the UK’s sportswear market with £2.5 billion in sales, according to GlobalData reports. With fitness trends and body inclusivity dominating social media, men’s loungewear has been squeezing its way into every UK man’s wardrobe for years, except now it’s preferred – and almost imperative – to stock up on men’s fashion shirts that don’t look ridiculous with athleisure.

More job interviews and work meetings are taking place virtually, forcing trendy menswear brands to tackle this new challenge of transforming the old business casual into a new business casual. Online menswear stores like Differio are developing a new workwear style with a much heavier emphasis on casual. Men still need to look presentable via Zoom and Skype, which means the demand for mens casual dress shirts may increase. However, the ultimate challenge lies in how to craft, market and style Facetime-appealing designer shirts for men that can also pair seamlessly with comfortable sweat pants.

As the future of men’s fashion shirts evolves with the demands of the pandemic, here are some foreseeable changes you can expect from this timeless, office workhorse staple.

Stretch-Knit Fabrics

Comfortable fabric is so essential for men’s fashion shirts, especially during a time when people are seeking comfort in all aspects of their daily routine. As manufacturers lean towards more sustainable forms of man-made materials, you should expect to see mens dress shirts manufactured in eco-friendly spandex blends because they’re much more forgiving and breathable. Moreover, fabric content is usually hard to detect from a virtual perspective making it even easier for brands to create cool shirts for men in elastane blends without sacrificing the style or tampering with trends.

Looser Silhouettes

Again, comfort is key, which means an inevitable change in fit styles amongst designer shirts for men. Slim-fit shirts and muscle-fit shirts have been popular silhouettes designed to accentuate your body’s natural definition. Albeit cool and trendy, these mens button-up shirts aren’t the easiest to pair seamlessly with athleisure-heavy apparel. Instead, the forecast for cool shirts for men might lean more towards looser-fit styles while still offering neat, clean lines.

Button-free Designs

Is the button-down closure really necessary for fashion shirts for men to live up to their office-approved reputation? Although the button-up fastening is a timeless feature of mens designer dress shirts, it’s just not practical – or even necessary – for work-from-home outfits. As an alternative for button-up designer shirts for men, manufacturers may swap the button for a quicker fastening, like zip-front closures, or simply do away with buttons altogether for a collared pullover design.

Streetstyle image by Sherion Mullings

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