If what's on the runway is supposedly a precursor to what we'll see on the streets, then brace yourself for the next wave in men's fashion—noragi-inspired outerwear and belted knitwear is about to blow the fuck up this year. Say what you will about our forecasting abilities (hopefully behind our back since we're a bunch of sensitive guys), but Rick Owens' Fall 2013 collection seems to have placed all bets in that direction, and if street style is any indication, well-dressed guys are already taking heed. Aside from last week's Owens presentation, the whole belted knitwear thing has been on the come-up for a while now. Stylish dudes like Eugene Tong, who rocked a Dries number last summer, are fully buying into all this and the trend has since culminated at both Milan/Paris Fashion Week and Pitti Uomo 83.
Whether you're going belted or buttonless, it stands to reason that the popularity of these garments stem from a break in traditional menswear into simpler and more streamlined silhouettes. But to overlook the elephant in the room—sartorial one-upmanship not unlike a penis-measuring contest for jocks—would be just plain wrong. We're all still trying to impress those photogs, aren't we? A watershed moment can be traced to Pitti when Bloomingdales Men's Fashion Director and menswear luminary Josh Peskowitz was snapped in a noragi expertly layered underneath his suit, and the subsequent implosion of the #menswear Internet that came with it. It was a shock to the senses. How could something so unorthodox have a place in menswear, yet oddly work so well? It was unexpected, sure, but not something totally unwearable by a majority of guys, like blankets and shawls, which I've personally decided is only passable on old industry cats in Europe who just so happen to be attending fashion events. In 2013 clothes and menswear are indeed getting "weirder." The only question remaining is: How weird are you gonna get?
The fact is experimentation is good (sometimes), and wearing a belted coat or cardigan is like telling the world, "Hey man, one day you're going to wake up and realize buttons are just overrated barriers to your temple. Live a little. Fuck 'em and tie that shit up." Just don't go full retard and rock a noragi under your robe unless you're Hiroki Nakamura—because there isn't a single thing weird about all this to him.