When you take the style stories Robb Report’s readers clicked on most this year as a whole, you get a very clear picture of our collective aesthetic. Trends as the fashion industry usually approaches them (i.e.: the mania that erupted this year around streetwear), don’t hold much water here. Instead, you’re interested in styles that are timeless without sacrificing an ounce of modernity—think fresh ways to wear suits, the names to know that are making a lasting impact on the way men dress around the world, and how technology can make our favorite clothes do more for us.
So read on to discover the top 10 fashion stories that caught your eye this year. Cheers to a well dressed 2019.
10. Brick-and-Mortar is Not Dead
There’s is no denying online shopping is easy, but there is also something about going into a top-of-the-line boutique that their digital counterparts just can’t touch. This year, Philadelphia’s historic department store Bodys proved this point perfectly: the 80-year-old department store has managed to keep up with changing consumer tastes and expectations without losing that magic customer-service touch. And with brands ranging from Kiton to Maison Margiela stocking the shelves, it’s more than worth the trip down from New York.
Though you were still hesitant to hop on the streetwear bandwagon so many menswear brands pivoted towards this year, you couldn’t get enough of athletics-inspired gear like Polo Ralph Lauren’s Yankees collection. Lauren’s take on the team’s iconic logo—which was splashed across bomber jackets and and baseball caps—was just sporty enough to slot easily into your weekend wardrobe, and, as Lauren himself is Bronx-born, is sure to become a collector’s item.
8. Technology-Driven Outerwear
This year, innovative materials were introduced across nearly every clothing category—from quick-drying to suits to sneakers made without an ounce of glue—but no where did we benefit more from this tech than in our outerwear, as these three spring-weight coats attest. Though each is lightweight, all feature an impressive ability to stand up to wicked weather, meaning you stay looking sharp no matter what.
7. Fashion’s New Names
Out of all of the new brands that rose to the top of the pack in 2018, you were most interested in Brett Johnson. At his Soho outpost, the 28-year-old offers the kind of pieces that expertly walk the line between sporty and tailored (an aesthetic that comes from his 700-pair deep shoe collection and love for classic codes of tailoring) that we couldn’t get enough of this year. Expect to see more of his cashmere bombers and sharp wool joggers as the lines between business and casual become more blurred.
6. The New Power Suit
We can’t deny that suits will always have a place in men’s wardrobes, but it is also increasingly clear that the uniform will continue to get a much needed shake up as we move further into the 21st century. This year, we broke down what you needed to know about the suits new look–from the best places to go should you still want a power-player piece of tailoring, to bespoke brands testing the ready-to-wear waters and exactly what makes alpaca wool suits so covetable.
5. Unconventional Bespoke
In addition to bespoke purveyors making their fine fashion more accessible, this year you were also interested in testing the limits of those expert artisans. Case in point? Cromford Leather. The London–based atelier has been a go to for custom leather jackets, alterations, and repairs to fragile vintage pieces for those-in-the-know since the 70s. Today, they can make just about anything you can dream up, sourcing the finest skins from top European tanneries to make that shearling-lined coat of your dreams.
In 2018 we prioritized expanding our horizons beyond the typical fashion hubs, an exercise, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, landed us squarely back at home. These four made-in-America leather brands caught our (and your) eye thanks to their sharp and hard-wearing leather goods. Their dedication to preserving wild-west traditions of leather working and uniquely American craftsmanship is just an added bonus.
3. Japanese Tailoring
In addition to sticking closer to home, 2018 also took us further afield to explore Japan’s take on classic (often British) codes of menswear. Fashion writer David Coggins introduced us to these three need-to-know Tokyo tailors, all of whom turn out sharp blazers, trousers, and even shoes with a dedication to craftsmanship that you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
2. Perennial Style Makers
This year marked the 30th anniversary of Robb Report’s annual Best of the Best issue, and when we took a look back at the fashion of the last three decades, two names clearly stood out: Brunello Cucinelli and Ralph Lauren. And, apparently you agreed. Though their aesthetics are decidedly different—the former an unbuttoned take on Italian tailoring and the later solidly Americana—both men, and their eponymous brands have made an indelible mark on the way modern men dress, shaping everything from what you want to wear to what your boss considers C-suite appropriate.
1. Elevated Accessories
We all know that more often than not, accessories make the outfit. In this story, we broke down the 10 brands making the best accessories right now. Some, like John Lobb’s boots, have been a go-to for years, while others, like Passavant and Lee’s ultra-functional weekend bags, burst onto our radar in serious style.