Blacks Retail Analysis

Spring/Summer ’07 Fashion Preview: U.S. Menswear Market Bucks Designer Trends

Dressy shorts will leave retailers exposed; gray days will give way to earth tones.

San Francisco, CA, July 17, 2006 --( The latest designer trends in men’s apparel will be a hard sell in the U.S. market, according to retail information and consulting firm Blacks Retail Analysis (

Predominant trends coming out of the recent menswear shows in Milan and Paris, such as dressy shorts, shortened pants and suspenders are likely to fall by the wayside as men stick to variations on the traditional American casual look.

“I wouldn’t be banking on dressy shorts or shortened pants,” said Blacks Senior Consultant Steve Pruitt. “American men are likely to trend toward casual shorts, and only the daring few will opt for pants that end above the ankle.”

Although designers such as Raf Simons and Gucci signaled dressy shorts as the number-one trend for spring/summer 2007, this style will probably only work on the runway, Pruitt said. At best, the American market will begin a slow shift toward slightly dressy, mid-length shorts.

“You can forget about ‘short shorts,’ and I’d be surprised to see suspenders anywhere outside of Madonna’s current tour,” Pruitt said.

At best, American men will trend toward ‘60s- inspired “Bermuda” patterned shorts and cargo inspirations. Blacks also predicted an uptick in Sport Casual bottoms, following the spring 2006 trends.

In terms of color, Blacks sees a subtler palette for next spring, as well as some fresh color variations thanks to new techno fabrics. Brighter items from the last two seasons will most likely remain on the markdown racks.

Although designers are showing a spring/summer palette of gray and black, the darker garments will probably only be popular in the more fashion-forward urban areas, otherwise American men will return to the earth tones they’ve become accustomed to for warm weather wear.

Men may chose to round out their wardrobes with garments in navy and seasonal purple variations such as violet, however.

The spring/summer designer trends that are most likely to resonate with U.S. men include pinstripes, tunics, and leather sandals, according to Blacks.

Look for men’s wardrobes to continue trending toward casual wear as lifestyle merchandising and lifestyle marketing cross paths.

Blacks Retail Analysis
Scarlet Pruitt
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