Staying Power: The Men’s Fashion Trends To Keep From 2023

Image Credit: Octobre

We’ll always encourage cultivating a unique personal style over blindly following fashion, but trends aren’t all bad. Mixing the odd ‘hot’ piece into your wardrobe here and there can help keep things fresh, letting others know you have your finger on the pulse without coming across as a fashion victim. Just be selective – choose trends that speak to you and mesh with your look, and you can be relevant without sacrificing authenticity.

The trouble with men’s fashion trends is that they chop and change at an alarming rate. What is considered ‘in’ right now may feel played out by this time next year. The trick lies in being able to spot those trends with staying power. After all, even the most ‘timeless’ of classic pieces started as a trend at one point or another.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite trends from last year that are still relevant in 2024. While not brand-spanking new, these trends should definitely still be on your sartorial radar as we march further into the year.

From high-rise denim to big, foamy running shoes, here’s what you need to know.

Rise And Shine

As the default setting for denim has shifted away from slim, cropped/cuffed legs and towards relaxed, full-length styles instead, waistbands have slowly been creeping northwards, elongating legs further still. It’s good news for short kings, who will benefit from the perceived extra length, but you don’t have to be built like Danny Devito to embrace the look.

High-waisted jeans are flattering for all body types, meaning they rarely look bad. You can also dive right in with complete confidence that your new denim isn’t going to date badly – because while they may be trending right now, waist-hugging styles like the Levi’s 501 have always been cool and will continue to be for many years to come.

Wear them with a good quality plain white tee tucked into the waistband and a pair of Chucks to seal the deal.

Foam Party

Big foamy midsoles have been everywhere lately – a trend that has spread from the running world to everyday wardrobes. This is thanks mainly to the comfort they provide and the unique chunkiness they bring to the table, making them an excellent match for the loose-fitting, baggy legwear that’s in vogue right now.

Brands like New Balance, Hoka One One and On Running have been leading the charge, creating max-cushioned shoes primarily for performance and comfort, which the fashion crowd has then co-opted.

For example, the Clifton 9 from Hoka features a huge stack of foam underfoot that makes it supremely comfortable but also pretty fun to style if you opt for one of the less garish colourways. Or, for a more lifestyle-focused option, check out the Teddy Santis-designed New Balance 990v6 – the first 990 to feature the Bostonian brand’s FuelCell foam cushioning.

Functional Fashion

That clichéd image of someone forcing on a pair of uncomfortable shoes or ill-fitting jeans in the name of fashion has never felt more antiquated. Today, it’s all about flowiness, comfort, practicality and function. We saw this epitomised and taken to its extremes in gorpcore. Still, you don’t have to dress like a Canadian ice-climbing instructor to add functionality to your everyday wardrobe.

Whether it’s a pair of relaxed-fit cargos, a technical jacket or a pair of uber-comfortable running sneakers like those mentioned above, mixing functional elements into your day-to-day looks is a great way to embrace the trend without going full gorp.

For top-notch practical clothing with style, check out brands like Patagonia, Gramicci, Carhartt, And Wander and Manastash.

Give It To Me Straight

Skinny and slim jeans are out. Chances are you knew that already. But what has replaced them, and why should you be wearing them? The answer is straight-leg jeans, and because will likely never go out of fashion – at least not in our lifetimes.

They’re the happy medium between the ultra-baggy styles favoured by Gen Z and the testicle-crushing stretchy denim beloved by millennials. And because they hover slap-bang between these two extremes, they go with anything.

As far as specific models, you can’t go wrong with a classic Levi’s 501. If you want extra style points, opt for a vintage pair in selvedge denim with some decent wear and tear. Or, for a premium option, check out the 105 from the fantastic Japanese denim brand orSlow.

Tailoring Revival

When mankind stooped to new sartorial lows during the COVID-19 pandemic, loungewear became the new default attire. As the world began to open up again, the pendulum naturally started to swing in the opposite direction, and tailored garments began to creep back into casual use for the first time since the #menswear era of yesteryear.

Those in the know have been revisiting throwback tailored classics like pleated pants, double-breasted jackets and collegiate neckties for some time, but it’s not too late to weave these pieces into your look.

To get it right, avoid anything overly slim, sleek or Tom Ford-esque, opting instead for loose cuts, textured fabrics and rakish mid-century cool.

Low-Profile Kicks

Shoes had been getting bigger and bigger for several years, so there was always going to come a point when they could go no further and things would begin to move in the opposite direction.

That time came when the Adidas Samba took over the world in 2022, and while the hype around that specific shoe peaked some time ago, the trend towards slim, low-profile sneakers is still very much in action.

Now that we’ve hit #sambapocalypse, a few other models are worth your consideration. Less played-out Adidas styles like the Gazelle and the Handball Spezial are the obvious choices, and there are plenty of great colourways.

Alternatively, the Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 is having a moment, potentially edging towards the Samba’s throne. Or just keep it classic with some Converse or Vans – the key here is a slim silhouette.

Getting Thrifty

Secondhand is fast becoming the new brand spanking new as more and more people discover the aesthetic, financial and environmental benefits of getting stuck into the rails at the local thrift store.

It’s a shift that’s been taking place for a while, but we think it’s well worth continuing throughout 2024 and beyond. Not only does it mean winding up with more unique pieces, but it’s cheaper and creates a closed loop, meaning old clothes continue to be worn, reducing the demand for new ones.

Buying pre-loved clothes doesn’t have to mean sifting through piles of musty-smelling Barbour jackets and moth-bitten souvenir T-shirts. You can find seriously high-end stuff at ridiculous discounts if you know where to look.

One of our favourite places to shop is the online store Marrkt. It’s a buying/selling platform geared towards high-end menswear, with major bargains on brands like Engineered Garments, Visvim, Nigel Cabourn, RRL, Stone Island and many more.

Quiet Luxury

Real luxury isn’t a £400 Gucci logo tee or a pair of beetle-crushing Balenciaga sneakers. A garment shouldn’t shout about itself if the quality and craftsmanship are there. So-called ‘quiet luxury’ is all about letting the materials, fit and overall quality of a piece speak for themselves. No obnoxious branding, no garish logos – just high-end fabrics and meticulous attention to detail.

Don’t think this means you have to dress head to toe in Loro Piana. Plenty of great brands make elegant garments that mimic the aesthetic for a fraction of the price. We’re particularly fond of Italian brands that work with local makers. It’s a great way to bring a touch of that famous Italian sartorial elegance to your wardrobe without making the trip.

Check out Luca Faloni, Pal Zileri, ArtKnit, Velasca and Pini Parma for some top-notch made-in-Italy pieces and reasonable (although still not cheap) prices.

Paddy Maddison

Paddy Maddison is Ape's Style Editor. His work has been published in Esquire, Men’s Health, ShortList, The Independent and more. An outerwear and sneaker fanatic, his finger is firmly on the pulse for the latest trends, while always maintaining an interest in classic style.