The Worst Menswear Trends of 2012

The past year has been pretty good to menswear. Scientifically speaking, men seem at least 5% more likely than before to buy and wear a suit that fits and the gentlemen of The Jersey Shore may have finally given the Ed Hardy t-shirt its final push into a shallow pauper’s grave (TapOut t shirts sadly remain very much at large). However, terrible mistakes were still made and we would be remiss if we didn’t illuminate some of the worst of the worst.

Stacked Bracelets

Less is so much more when it comes to craft camp accessories

Stacked Bracelets

Anything that the Wall Street Journal might care to include in an article titled, “Ways to ‘Funktify’ a Suit,” should send douche chills through those of us without pink sweaters tied around our necks. I mean really, it looks like we’re watching this gentleman’s hand being slowly devoured by stuff you’d find in a raffia basket by the cash register at a Peet’s Coffee in Newport, Rhode Island.

Prada brogues

For orthopedic use only

Prada Brogues

I posit that Prada has almost never gotten men’s shoes right.  There’s always something a little too fanciest Lego spaceman about them for me and this past year someone over in Milan took our little cosmonaut to new heights of very expensive odiousness.  The orthopedic stacked soles, the leathers chosen for their reflective, oil spill quality, the whole stinking up of a shape once thought so unassailable as a wing tip… Signores, your complete disregard for all that is free and good and wholesome in foot cover has forced me to blow the whistle: you are the Guantanamo Bay of men’s shoes.


Your wallet needs to lay off the creatine bro


Every man that owns one of these and fills it with Muscle Milk bars and a tongue depressor for throwing up Muscle Milk bars thinks that when held at his side it imbues his stride with business like economy and purpose. I would argue that a briefcase actually accomplishes all of this without forcing you to look like Paris Hilton CLUTCHing a Chihuahua to her hip.

Camo in tailoring

When it comes to your blazers, suits, and ties give peace a chance

Camo in Tailoring

I appreciate camouflage. Owning a pair of camo pants I would even argue that being accommodating of lap stains and generally looked upon favorably in Arby’s parking lots anywhere in America, they’re the ideal road trip pants. However a double breasted camo blazer, or a camo bow tie, or a camo short suit…? Gentleman, when will the arms proliferation end? No matter who you are, camouflage deployed as any piece of tailoring will just make you look like the fancy lad who blows the bugle at boot camp.

Birkenstocks and raw hemmed denim

Business on top, Burning Man on bottom

This gentleman manages to rack up two failed trends before even getting north of his kneecaps.  Starting with the most egregious:

Birkenstock Clogs

Why would anyone need to experiment with the leather version of Crocs?  The fact that they came before Crocs just makes them that much worse for planting the seed that sprouted the eating-Cinnabon-at-an-airport tree. And then:

Denim With Raw Cut Hems

Righteous man… when Captain Jack Sparrow was just an entry level pirate he wore these too. Yes, these are deckhand, or cabin boy if you prefer, pants. So either see to my chamber pot or start bringing your jeans to a tailor.

Fur accents

No one wants you to go medieval on their ass

Fur Accents

There’s a reason that any fur on a man immediately makes them look like the most likely to be vanquished extra on Game of Thrones: fur is barbarically prissy.

Dress shoe/sneaker hybrids

The ugly devastation and heartbreak of frankenshoe

Dress Shoe/Sneaker Hybrids

When has a mixing of genres ever produced anything but malformed, bastard children? Always and forever, the “low” element just brings the “high” element down to an even darker, more Frankenstein monster place.  These shoes are the Kid Rock, Black Eyed Peas, and LimpBisket of menswear. Unsurprisingly Prada again led the charge on this one.

The post-apocalyptic bag piper look

Jay Z must avert his eyes from the leather jeggings and skirt

The Post-Apocalyptic Bag Piper Look

Leather skirts over leather skinny jeans mean no one should be worshiping at the dark church of Kanye’s style these days. We’ve bemoaned the loss of happy, sweater-wearing Ye before but who knew that the Watch the Throne tour outfit would spill over into a full year of dressing like a cyborg assassin?

Whatever this is

Another victim of Very High Double Ass Disease is led to seek professional help

Whatever This Is

Remember the scarecrow mask from the first Dark Knight movie that released nerve gas which made you lose your entire sense of orientation in space and sanity?  Yeah, this jacket also does that. Is that an actual denim ass or a picture of a denim ass? Does that pizzeria table cloth actually recede into his real ass? Is Archie’s 3 way levitating above his shoulders? From what I can make out this dude looks like he killed one of the girls in my 5th grade class and has been wearing her skin, still clad in light wash denim and a hip hop Loony Tunes t shirt, on his back ever since. At least tell me that it was Cynthia King, man…. She used to talk so much trash about me reading X-Men.

Evan Widhu is a Menswear Buyer in New York. His only personal nod to 2012’s worst trends in menswear was not helping a friend with his wooden bracelet hoarding.