Menswear will outperform the women\u2019s clothing sector across the world by 2020, according to research by Euromonitor International. \r\n\r\nWith a contribution of approximately \u00a3380bn to the worldwide clothing and shoes market by the end of the next two years, menswear is growing quicker than womenswear \u2014 predicted to develop 2.3% globally by 2020 compared to the 2.2% growth rate for female clothing.\r\n\r\nWhen we reach the year 2020, menswear is expected to hit a value of \u00a316.3bn in the UK, while the womenswear market is predicted to drop nationwide by 0.2% within the next 24 months. But what\u2019s brought on this trend for menswear and what could this mean for male fashion of the future?\r\nWhy is the menswear sector expected to grow?\r\nThere are several reasons behind the progression in the menswear market. Firstly, could it be that men are simply becoming more style-orientated? In reference to a particularly popular piece of male fashion denim clothing and footwear analyst at Euromonitor International, Bernadette Kissane, said: \u201cWhen it comes to jeans, men in the UK traditionally bought into long-lasting quality rather than value fast fashion, but the strong growth of economy jeans sees men also being influenced by fast changing trends and the desire for a variety of style-led value jeans.\u201d\r\n\r\nStatistics appear to back up this idea. Apparently, almost 60% of men agreed that they felt \u2018more attractive\u2019 when they were well-groomed, while approximately 21% said that they think a good role model should \u2018look after his appearance\u2019, according to a menswear UK 2017 report by Mintel, a market intelligence agency.\r\n\r\nSimilarly, the growth in the menswear market has been encouraged by the industry\u2019s quick response to changing trends. Senior fashion analyst at Mintel, Tamara Sender, said: \u201cMore retailers and brands have been tapping into the growing menswear market by expanding their men\u2019s clothing offer, as well as launching stores and separate websites dedicated to men\u2019s fashion. As more retailers are entering the menswear market, men are faced with greater choice of products, styles and sizing.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe rise in online shopping could also have contributed to more men purchasing clothes, as around a quarter of men said that they would like to get their clothing directly from a social media site. Showing a similar outcome, a study by Business Insider Intelligence found that 40% of male participants said they would \u201cbuy everything online\u201d. This shows an inclination towards quick-buy\/minimal-browsing options that is now being indulged thanks to the advances in ecommerce, technology and consumer-brand interfaces.\r\n\r\nOr is this simply a generational thing? According to a UK Menswear 2017 whitepaper by Pragma, \u2018millennial\u2019 males \u2014 generally agreed to be those born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s \u2014 spend more on clothing each year than other men.\r\n\r\nPerhaps a combination of age, technology and fashion-consciousness is the cause of the rapid growth in the menswear market. But what does this mean for the clothing of tomorrow and beyond?\r\nFashion of the future: what you can expect\r\nAny decent entrepreneur will jump on a rising trend \u2014 so anticipate more competition and creativity in the menswear market by people and brands wishing to capitalise on the expanding sector.\r\nMore customised fits\r\nGet ready for an even great range of specialised fittings. Research clearly shows that men care about how they look in 2018, so it\u2019s natural that they\u2019ll receive more opportunity to get that \u2018perfect fit\u2019. Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at research firm, NPD, predicts growth in bespoke fits and said about customised men\u2019s suits: \u201cIt used to be an underground market \u2014 now it\u2019s street level.\u201d From tapering the torso to getting the perfect half-inch of shirt cuff under the suit jacket, be prepared for more choice to complement the male physique.\r\nNew subscription services\r\nClearly, there\u2019s an opportunity for clothing brands with the influence of digital platforms, and soon, you should expect to see a greater rise of \u2018subscription services\u2019. As former CEO of Ben Sherman, Simon Smith, said: \u201cwomen go shopping, a man needs a shirt.\u201d Taking into account the findings from the Business Insider Intelligence report, it\u2019s fair to say that, typically, men don\u2019t want to browse \u2014 which is where subscription services come in.\r\n\r\nEssentially, this digital process for menswear items will get rid of the need for a man to go online and re-buy purchases \u2014 whether these are grooming products or casual shirts. Anything that a man habitually buys can be sent automatically to him periodically \u2014 ideal for men who want to cut out the shopping part of buying.\r\nGender-neutral clothing\r\nAcross the world, we\u2019re already seeing a surge in genderless fashion - such as the gender-unspecified outfits walked down the Gucci and Givenchy runways during recent fashion weeks.\r\n\r\nSlowly rising since the 1980s, many in the industry predict the gender-fluid trend will become mainstream very soon. Olivia Nordstrom, vice president of creative projects at Nordstrom, said: \u201cI think it\u2019s a more generally accepted thing for a woman to wear a man\u2019s shirt or trousers. Why can\u2019t it be the other way around?\u201d\r\n\r\nBasically, expect to see more liberated clothing in the men\u2019s fashion of the future \u2014 the focus will be on how clothing fits, feels and looks, not on whether it has feminine embellishments or a masculine colour.\r\nTech fabrics\r\nFashion is getting tech-savvy, so expect a knock-on effect when it comes to men\u2019s wardrobes. Digital textile printing \u2014 a high-performing process that applies intricate colours and patterns to clothes \u2014 is expected to reach $3,943m (\u00a32,880m) by 2022 across the world.\r\n\r\nEfficient and cost-effective, many fashion brands are capitalising on this technology, which means you can anticipate a growth in patterned garments, logo tees and graphic jackets. For example; at the latest New York Fashion Week, a collaboration between luxe sportswear brands, Trinovation and Engineered for Motion, showcased welded seams, four-way stretch fabrics and laser-cut neoprene on the runway.\r\nAthleisure boom\r\nExpect even greater things from the athleisure trend. According to the Mintel report mentioned earlier, males are showing a growing interest in casual dress, and 58% say that sports-ready clothes are practical for everyday. Is there a growing mentality among men that formal attire should be subbed for more relaxed, sports-centric garments that focus on both comfort and fashion? From hi-top trainers and jogger jeans, to tailored \u2018muscle-fit\u2019 hoodies and graphic sweatshirts; the move towards \u2018dressing-up\u2019 athletic clothing is already on its way.\r\n\r\nCould athleisure replace casual dress? Bringing the comfort and durability of sportswear to social occasions is only going to increase in acceptance, as more men get on board with the trend and the clothing styles available for it grow and diversify. Anticipate a more focused, trend-led and stronger athleisure category that fuses elements of high fashion with basic sportswear staples.\r\n\r\nMen\u2019s clothing is not only growing, but transforming. What more innovative trends can we expect in the future that will revolutionise how men dress?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nArticle contributed by River Island. The group has over 60 years of fashion retailing experience and aims to bring new and original fashion to its customers.