Publish Brand jacket at Boy Next Door

2018 fashion must-haves include softer feminine look, casual menswear

Shortly before Christmas, fashion magazine Vogue unveiled its predictions for 2018. Among them was coed runway shows.

“Over a dozen fashion brands have announced that they will be blending their men’s and women’s shows,” writer Steff Yotka reported. “With tired notions of gendered fashion going by the wayside, this is a phenomenon we expect to stick around for a while.”

Though some runway shows may eschew the idea of gender separation, there are still distinct fashion influences geared toward both the feminine and the masculine in the new year.

Bringing femininity back

“[2017] was more industrial; a lot of jeans that were like, deconstructed, and a lot of boots,” said Robin Bolden, stylist at Squash Blossom Boutique in Atlanta. “Now it’s bringing back femininity. … It’s really softening the woman up for 2018.”

This means lines are moving toward lighter fabrics and softer colors for 2018. Bolden predicts pastels will be the main color trend, and mix-and-max prints are close behind. Some of the more unisex clothing styles are fading away — but cargo pants are the new hot commodity. So are more conservatively-cut fitted pieces.

If you bought high-waisted jeans last year, don’t worry. Bolden told Georgia Voice those are not going away. Neither are denim jackets and the flowy, Bohemian look. That fashion trend may have something to do with California-casual Meghan Markle taking an international spotlight in preparation for her impending nuptials to Prince Harry.

The fanny pack will be replaced by micro-mini purses, which Vogue calls “carry-nothings,” and hair accessories are a must, Bolden said. Yes, children of the ‘90s: this means the scrunchie is back.

Trending casual

Masculine fashion is headed in the direction of streetwear, said Rocky Carroll, store manager and buyer for Boy Next Door in Atlanta. It’s casual, but not overly deconstructed — for example, ripped jeans are more whole than holes in 2018.

“There’s another trend starting up which is called ‘elevated basics,’” Carroll said. “You’re wearing solid colors, there’s going to be some prints, but the prints are a higher-end type design.”

These prints aren’t pre-printed on the fabric, but are usually embroidered, appliquéd or jacquard. Tone-on-tone prints, such as Boy Next Door’s gloss and matte black-on-black camouflage apparel, are another example.

2018’s color palette is earth tones: olive, camel, mauve, orange and rose, Carroll said. Masculine fashion will also start playing more with proportion, taking cues from layered kimono looks.

“Everybody in the community has been doing skinny and slim everything. What we’re getting into is kind of oversized shirts for men and slim or slim-skinny pants,” Carroll said. “The top is doing the drop shoulder. We’ve been doing slim shirts for so long that it’s nice to have a little bit baggier shirts so you’re not so squeezed into a T-shirt.”

And pants won’t have to be full-length. Carroll said crop pants with coordinating socks and sneakers create a continuous legline for a slightly updated silhouette.

What’s out

Though the elevated basic prints will be everywhere in 2018, most other prints won’t be anywhere near masculine fashion lines, Carroll said. He added that camouflage seemed to be the only all-over print to stay in 2018, something that could be attributed to the political climate and a desire for military-inspired looks.

Joggers, a style of athletic pant with elastic waistband and ankle cuffs, are out for the year. Carroll predicted that similar styles will stay, but the elastic cuffs are now dated.

As pastels and lighter fabrics hit clothing racks, those who shop for more feminine fashions will notice rich, dark colors went the way of the dodo for 2018. Wide-brimmed hats also disappeared, Bolden said.