The Low Down on Male Fashion in Cape Town

What the locals really think of sneekers, shorts, hippies, skinny jeans and speedos

Cape Town is a vibrant splash on the map of South Africa. It's the stylish beaches at Clifton and Camps Bay, it's the Mediterranean climate, it's the colourful, cosmopolitan city and vibey, musical Long Street. Sure, there's a definitive culture bound to the Mother City, but women are more interested in how this influences what the boys are wearing. So, we at thought we'd go forth and find out exactly what Cape Town's men are pulling over their heads and slipping onto their dainty feet.

How would you describe male fashion in Cape Town?

Shale Tinkler:
“It depends on your cultural background: people dress according to what type of music they listen to. For example, people who are into Indie music tend to wear skinny jeans and sneekers.”

Zscko: “Male fashion in Cape Town is very cosmopolitan, trends are often mixed and matched, it's ever changing and the colours are vibrant.”

Tony Heugh: “I think fashion for men is moving forwards. There are much better quality garments out there that can now compete on the international stage.”

Elroy Vanherrden: “There's a lot of stuff that you can buy these days that's unisex, which is an interesting concept.”

We know you men love to talk about yourselves. Go on. What are you wearing?

“I don't know if it's a look, but it's comfortable. I don't like big brands with graphics unless they are designs that I personally appreciate. Clothes have to fit well and be comfortable to wear. I wear shorts all the time, but no shoes unless it's raining.”

Ryan Prince: “I'm a hippy, I don't worry about what other people are wearing.”

Zscko: “I would say that I am a typical metro sexual, that tries to keep it real, but there are certain labels that I have a penchant for wearing all the time. I like Calvin Klein and Levi's, but also a lot of local designers: YD especially.”

Tony: “It's very muted, I wear a lot of greys and blacks and tend to avoid bright colours. I don't follow a certain style. When I am comfortable, I am happy. My favourite brands are Mooks and Carhartt.”

Are skinny jeans acceptable, guys?

“I used to wear them when I skated, but I don't dig them any more. They're not exactly roomy.”

Zscko: “Skinny jeans are just so wrong for guys. I don't see how anyone can find them fashionable.”

A resounding no, then. How about Speedos at the beach?

Cobus Nel:
“No, I don't think that's okay. It shows all your genitals and shit. That's gross!”

Shale: “Tight swim wear for women is cool, because their bodies are curvaceous and attractive, but I wouldn't like to see those same curves flaunted by men.”

How about you, Elroy? Care for Speedos?

“I love it! We've got some gorgeous beaches to parade around on. I do it all the time.”

So, there you have it women – there's a whole bunch of cosmopolitan, metro sexual, hippy and shoeless men in Cape Town, who, except for one, wouldn't be caught dead in a pair of Speedos. We'd like to think that men dress to please us women, whereas men would like to think that their opinion actually matters. Over to the women...

How would you describe male fashion in Cape Town?

Hanine Fourie: “I think it's very eclectic – there is such a large variety of styles here that you can't really categorise it. There's a lot of African influence, especially from local designers.”

Aqueela Abrahams: “Most men in Cape Town are more chilled, they're more about comfort. They'd much rather throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt than wear pants with a tie and shirt. They're more into the beach than fashion – we are a coastal city after all.”

Rashidda Mali: “Everyone has his own style. Unfortunately, there isn't much fashion available for men, compared with women.”

If you had a man in front of you right now, what would you dress him in?

“Jeans, sneakers, a vest or a t-shirt, or even shorts with a vest and flip flops. That would be all.”

Hanine: “It would be more casual – definitely a Beenie! A cool t-shirt with a bright logo and a pair of jeans. Sounds a bit boring, but that would do it for me.”

Are speedos and skinny jeans acceptable?

“Speedos will never be fine. David Beckham might be able to pull it off, but he's the only man that can. I blame Camden, UK, for skinny jeans – Britain should be ashamed!”

Aqueela: “Leave tight swimwear to the women, guys.”

It appears that the men of Cape Town are getting it right. Fashion is cool, casual and loose fitting with understated colours and simple designs - a perfect fit with relaxing beach days or looking slick in the city. Most importantly, guys, the women of Cape Town dig what you're wearing.

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