When COVID first hit back in early 2020, I remember several friends texting me their cozy sweatsuit fits in the weeks that followed. I, however, went a more impractical dressing route. Feeling unsexier than ever—an impending sense of doom will do that to you—I ordered a fancy (and entirely unnecessary) tank top, in the hopes of uplifting my spirits. When I tried on the shirred, body-hugging Dion Lee tank top, I remember thinking that it would be the perfect going-out piece—if the bars were open. I knew it was a frivolous buy, but I didn’t care, because I felt instantly hot in it. Sexy, even. It was totally worth it to boost my self-esteem again.
There’s been so few times that clothing has made me feel sexy like this. Menswear often falls into two categories: conservative and stuffy, or overtly playful and kitschy. Sexy, form-fitting men’s clothes are very hard to find! When shopping with my friends, for instance, I’ll see them navigate the women’s section filled with vampy, lace-y tops or flirty, slinky dresses. In the men’s section, I’m left with wacky printed button-up shirts, boring T-shirts, or business-casual attire. Not exactly come-hither.
Sue me, but when it comes to fashion in 2022, I personally want to feel hot. Not put-together, not elegant or professional—simply hot. We’ve all spent far too much time locked in our homes to not step out looking our absolute best. And lucky for me, menswear designers are starting to catch onto the idea: There’s a few labels who are pioneering a new movement in the menswear space, producing clothes that showcase the body via sensual silhouettes. (Bonus: Many of them happen also take a more genderless approach to design, which is a refreshing change in itself.) Of course, this type of look has been around for a while, especially on the stage (musicians David Bowie and Mick Jagger have been obvious pioneers of the sultry man aesthetic). But the look is gaining traction this year, perhaps as the follow-up to the past two years’s comfort dressing trend. The spring 2022 runways at Saint Laurent, GmbH, and Palomo Spain have all made the case for skin being in—and these tight, slinky, sexy men’s pieces are actually more easily shoppable than ever before, too.