5 Men’s Style Tribes To Look Out For In The 2020s


It’s easy to feel a little hard done by as we march into 2020. After all, by this point in time we were promised flying cars, maisonettes on the moon and all the other appurtenances of a sci-fi world which was supposedly lapping at our feet. No matter, though – you can’t win them all.

One thing that has moved on with unstoppable force is men’s style. We live in an age of fashion innovation. So, in that spirit, FashionBeans has consulted the office crystal ball to bring you the six style tribes of the decade to come – plus a handy explainer on how to get the look of the future now.

The Neo Eco Warrior

Not so long ago, being an eco warrior meant hemp. Hemp shorts, hemp shirt, hemp everything. It was an iron rule – but quite frankly, the material – made from the off-cuts of the Cannabis sativa plant – was a bit scratchy, a little uncomfortable. But that was a small price to pay to avoid contributing to the 1.2 billion tons of CO2 the fashion industry pumps out each year, said the eco warriors of old. But that was the past. In the future, it’s all about sustainable bio compound.

And we don’t mean organic cottons or low-impact dyes. Instead, over the next decade, expect trousers made from pulped beech, T-shirts made of grass, and dye made with algae. It’s cheap, it’s environmentally friendly, and when you’re done with it, it will return to the earth. The neo eco warrior combines good conscience with high style – and we can’t get enough of them.

How To Wear It Now

Tencel is the material of choice for fashion-conscious environmentalists. Made from the pulp of quick-growing eucalyptus, it requires considerably less energy and water to process, than, say, cotton or silk. Plus, it is totally biodegradable.

The Augmented Reality Gang

The first thing you notice about the AR gang is their glasses. Is that a slight buzz they are emitting? They certainly look quite high-tech. The second thing you notice is that they are wearing the plainest slate grey clothes. The reason: their clothes are entirety digital. In the future, we will simply upload our preferred outfit to the cloud, which will then zap it down to everyone else’s glasses, overlaying the digital image onto our body. Sound far-fetched? In 2018, ILMxLAB Drinkwater – part of Lucasfilms – worked with Steven Tai at his London Fashion Week show to do just that.

How To Wear It Now

For about the cost of a round of drinks, the Norwegian retailer Carlings will sell you a very unusual pair of trousers. The reason they’re unusual – they don’t exist. Or at least not in the physical sense. They’re entirely digital. You pay, download the product and then e-fit it to a picture, then upload to social media, which is certainly one way to reduce carbon emissions.

The Ultra Utilitarians

The Ultra Utilitarians are a tough tribe to pin down. But then they would be – they are so often doing stuff. Trekking across mountain ranges or hiking through pre-historic forests, that sort of thing. It comes with the territory – or to be accurate, it comes with the outfit. These guys dress for every occasion because their outfits can be worn for literally any occasion – from hand gliding to nightclubbing. Technical fleeces and hiking boots have been with us for some time, but we are now experiencing the apotheosis of this: the return of cargo pants.

How To Wear It Now

The first stop for anyone wanting to make this look their own is Patagonia, the eco-friendly purveyor of modish technical wear. Add in some Officine Creative walking boots – or, you know, some from Salomon, if you prefer – and a pair of cargo trousers from Stella McCartney and Liam Hodges and you’ll soon be welcome at any bar in Greenpoint.

The 4-D Printers

3D printing will soon have gone the way of bowler hats and the Walkman. 4D printing is the new kid on the block. This method of clothing production takes place right down at the molecular level, meaning garments can be designed to react to environmental stimuli. So your newly printed T-shirt would become more breathable in humid climates and heat-trapping in cold climates. Our 4D printing crew just download the blueprints from and then set to work creating one-off, made-to-measure pieces

How To Wear It Now

Adidas teamed up with Silicon Valley startup, Carbon, in 2018, to produce a prototype printed sneaker called the Futurecraft 4D. By the end of 2019, however, the brand was printing trainers on a much greater scale with the Adidas x Carbon Alphaedge 4D. The first run of 5,500 sneakers went on sale for $300 (£230) apiece, which seems quite reasonable, considering many of that same release are now being resold online for closer to $10,000 (£7,600). If you don’t want to raid your savings, they are planning a new drop mid-2020.

The Dandy Mk2

There they go, loping down through London Fields or Bushwick, three-piece suit, perhaps in velvet, perhaps in wool, but never in black or blue. The modern dandy is a connoisseur of the well-cut suit. And not just that, but the handmade shoe and the just-so tie. They are the living breathing antithesis of our friends in the streetwear tribe or indeed just about anyone who has ever worn sweatpants, which bring them out in sweats of horror. They favour boldness most, cut second, and they never order the cheapest wine on the menu. You’ll be seeing a lot more of these guys this year, and who could complain about that – they look so good, after all.

How To Wear It Now

We have Mr Alessandro Michele, the presiding genius at Gucci, to thank for the resurgence of this trend. If your pockets are deep and your tolerance of bright colours high, you might go there to get the look. It is not, though, mandatory. Given that many of his designs are inspired by garments from the 1960s, ’70 and ’80s, vintage shops are a more wallet-friendly option.

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