The F/W 2018 menswear shows are underway in New York City. It’s an interesting time in fashion because everyone is still trying to figure out how to show and sell clothes in a market where things are ripped off nearly as soon as they are shown on the catwalk. Tom Ford was one of the first designers to experiment with a different schedule and different selling strategies, but this season he is back in NYC with a traditional menswear-only show. I was excited to see his presentation. I’m a snake in Chinese astrology. It’s like the coat in the photo was made just for me!
But the show got me wondering if Saturn in Capricorn is ushering in a “new normal” to the runways? Is this just a return to the old system?
The cosmic jury is still out. Saturn will be in Capricorn through 2020, so it is likely that the system will continue to undergo an evolution, settling into something more practical before the ringed planet moves into Aquarius.
In the meantime, I’m happy to see a couple of my favorite labels showing clothes that I can fit into. I don’t want to sound like a jerk when I say this, but it can be tough for fit men to find designer clothes that fit. Many high-end lines are marketed toward people half my age. For instance, I saw a beautiful jacket in Dior in Las Vegas last February. I picked up a size that seemed right for me (probably an Italian 50 because Italian sizing is the convention for most posh menswear brands). I couldn’t get my arms into the jacket.
Now I’ve probably gained ten pounds since last February in my arms and shoulders alone. I’ve been working out a lot and I have bulked up without much conscious effort. I was in a yoga class this past Sunday, and I couldn’t believe how big my arms looked in the mirror. Even though I’ve been exercising steadily for three decades, I’ve always been careful to develop a balanced physique. Possessing big arms has never been a goal of mine. Nevertheless, even the several Levis T-shirts I own are becoming tight in the arms and shoulders. I’ve been wearing a large from that line for as long as I can remember.
What would happen if I walked into Dior today? Well, I wouldn’t walk into Dior again. I learn to avoid retailers who make me feel like a big, fat pig when I’m trying on clothes. I just accept that particular brands are not marketing their wares to me. For that reason, I was also excited to watch today’s Todd Snyder runway show. I’ve got a few pieces from his collaboration with Champion, and they fit me perfectly.
So, where am I going with all of this? Sure, designers are trying to figure out the best way to show their lines in this new age of retailing. Some are switching up the cities they show in. Others are combining men’s shows and women’s shows. A few are even going off-schedule. All of that is to be expected while Saturn transits Capricorn. But there is one other thing that it going to make a big difference in this new era: consistency of fit.
People like me — Capricorns — want to know what to expect when they walk into a store or make a purchase online. I’m sure that we’re not alone. In both of my fashion/astrology books, I have mentioned that every extra pound on a Capricorn feels like ten; it’s in our nature to feel heavy even when we’re not. That feeling is going to be pervasive over the next couple of years, and it’s going to be something that everyone feels — not just the Capricorns.
A lot of it will be self-delusion, but as Saturn begins to form a supportive sextile with Neptune in Pisces in 2019 on its way to meeting Pluto in 2020, this is going to be a prevailing theme in fashion. People are going to demand clothing that makes them feel good in whatever body they are in. Retailers who provide consistency in sizes and diverse fit options are going to get out on the other side of this astrological event with the sort of devoted customer base that can keep a company in the black for generations.
And the most interesting part of this upcoming episode will be the part that menswear will play in the rise and fall of labels that fail to consider consistent fit as a cornerstone of their brands. Regardless of whatever else is going on in the world, those guys with dad-bods still have a lot of money that they aren’t spending on fashion . . . yet.