In the media's never-ending quest to make sure that men are always at their trendiest, some of the country's biggest newspapers have teamed up this week to reveal what every member of the human species with a Y chromosome needs to be doing and wearing and liposuctioning. If you see a clean shaven, dad jean-wearing man with a surgically enhanced butt, please give him a pat on the back: that guy has followed directions. Do you want to be like him? Well, here's your guide to male cool, according to various newspapers.
The Trendiest Man in America...
....Wears Dad Jeans
The Trend: Dad Jeans
The Publication: The New York Times
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According to Style section writer Alex Williams, whose last few stories include examinations of Brooklyn's hipster diaspora and the trend of law students renting beach houses to study for the bar exam, dad jeans are making a coming back. "Lighter-blue 'washed' denims, often with a looser fit and a higher waist — call them 'dad jeans' — may be in fashion again," Williams writes, explaining that this may be a backlash to uncomfortable skinny jeans.
So, who's wearing them? As you may know, New York Times trends are usually determined by super-famous celebrities sporting said trend (see: the Jon Hamm theorem). Williams cites street blogs, designers, a Kanye West fashion flop, and an imaginary Bushwick loft party:
But for those willing to push the envelope, dad jeans are one way to stand out at a Bushwick loft party. Besides, roomier washed jeans provide a flourish of ’90s retro, which is making a comeback for Generation Y in the form of Doc Martens, flannel shirts and wallet chains.
Believability: 3/10. Maybe Williams is right. I'll let you know after I hit that Bushwick loft party.
... Sports a Bucket Hat
The Trend: Men Wearing Bucket Hats
The Publication: T, The New York Times Style Magazine
"Make me look like Kid Cudi," said no one I have ever known. But looking like the bucket hat-wearing Kid Cudi, T's Alex Tudela explains, is the new hot trend. Tudela writes:
The bucket hat — that staple of ’80s hip-hop culture that was popularized by stars like Run-D.M.C. and LL Cool J, then trotted out again by Johnny Depp in 1998’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” — is making a comeback. First, the floppy-brimmed headpiece, a distant descendant of the hats worn by fishermen to ward off the elements, was spotted on the heads of performers like Usher, Kid Cudi ...
And here is Instagram evidence of Cudi sporting said bucket hat:
Tudela goes on the point out his $132 bucket hat of choice. And we'll just stop there.
Believability: 1/10. Nope. No way.
... Is Clean Shaven
The Trend: Hairless faces
The Publication: The Guardian
The Guardian's Emine Saner isn't exactly saying that every man who has a beard is shaving it off, but rather that we've reached "peak beard." Saner notes that beard trimmers have sold more than ever, and that you can't look at any red carpet without seeing a bearded man. She writes:
Beards, beards, beards. What riches. Except that even I have to admit I may be starting to tire a little of their ubiquity. I think this happened with The Apprentice, where half of the male candidates had beards – a sign that they have gone pretty much mainstream now. Are we, in fact, approaching Peak Beard?
And (beard fans, brace yourselves) we all know what happens after something or someone peaks. Saner consulted the fashion world's version of The Oracle and saw a beardless future. Saner writes:
Last Sunday at Lovebox, the day of the east London music festival that traditionally draws its biggest gay crowd – the group any trendwatcher will look to if they want to know what the mainstream will be doing in a few years' time – a colleague, Alex, observed: "There were a lot fewer beards than there would usually be. I think a more clean-cut look is gaining in popularity among younger gay men."
Believability: 9/10. Sadly, Saner might be right about our hitting "peak beard." Though, really, no one has to listen to her about shaving it off.
... Will Have a Surgically-Enhanced Butt
The Trend: Butt-Enhancing Surgery
The Publication: The New York Times
More men are going under the knife, The New York Times reports. Apparently, the share of men getting butt procedures rose from 2.2 percent in 1997 to 6.2 percent in 2012—a big jump. It's a sign that a bigger, rounder posterior is more desired than ever and that men are willing to throw down close to $10,000 for a better behind.
Believability: A reluctant 5/10. Numbers, sadly, don't lie.
... Buys All His Clothes (i.e., His Dad Jeans and His Bucket Hat) Online
The Trend: Online Shopping
The Publication: The Wall Street Journal
There's a trend of men shopping online. Crazy, right? Apparently, the newfangled trend of men shopping online has gotten so popular that companies like Shop Bop are trying to cash in, reports The Wall Street Journal's Christina Binkley. Considering the amount of financial muscle that online retailers like Warby Parker, Bonobos and Gilt have recently flexed, it's pretty unsurprising that the number of men shopping online are growing. Why companies decide to give their male-targeted sites names that sound as if they belonged to WASPy high school quarterbacks, is a bit beyond me, though. See: East Dane, Frank & Oak, and Park & Bond (which has now merged with Gilt).
Believability: 7/10. If there's a company looking to make lots of money, a trend is definitely there. Also, everyone really does like the Internet. Even men.
Note: Chris Evans's rear-end is, to our knowledge, not surgically enhanced. The GIF was used to illustrate an ideal men are striving for rather than an example of a surgery.