This is something I’ve alluded to before but never expounded on. This seems like the right time.
Menswear bloggers live in abject fear of being branded as blogging about “fashion” instead of “style.” Blogging about “Style” has tremendous currency in the menswear blogosphere while blogging about “fashion” is one step above being beaten with a sack of doorknobs (though if they were doorknobs that had hand painted details and classic wrought iron work, the beating might be more acceptable than Fashion blogging).
The argument goes that fashion is based in consumerism, style is based in lasting construction and traditional aesthetics. Fashion comes and goes, style is permanent. Fashion is built in cheap factories in the Third World, style is handcrafted in the good ol’ US of A (or the UK or Italy, etc…).
But all these arguments are misleading and this proves it. If 10 brands can define your style, how is that not consumerism? Those brands release new collections every season or two, how is that not temporal? My LEC shirts are made in Malaysia, my PRL madras shirt in India, my Levi’s in Mexico. What makes my PRL shirt (this one made in China) a conveyor of “style”, while my H&M jacket made in China a heinous amalgamation of “fashion” that never should have existed?
I’m being hyperbolic, but you see my point.
The line between these things is real (sort of), but closer than most bloggers would like to admit. And every time you talk about how “steez-y” your new Isaia jacket is, or how the new Alden line is a “must cop”, you’re buying into the new consumerism. Were you thinking about extreme cutaway collars 2 years ago? Camo? Floral Ties? Turtlenecks? DB Jackets? Don’t tell me these are permanent fixtures in style because it’s just not true. They ebb and flow just like anything else in the world of clothing aesthetics. ”Fashion” by a different name.
I’ll admit the new consumerism is better than the old consumerism (Dockers for one has mostly stopped being a triple-pleated-middle-management-mall-brand in favor of a #menswear-approved-alpha-fit-winner), but it’s still consumerism. It still bears all the hallmarks of “fashion” (except the blind apoplectic rage that bloggers throw at anyone who accuses them of doing anything with Fash-un). They’re 2 sides of the same coin.
Then again, I might just be bitter that most #menswear bloggers wouldn’t have the slightest clue what most the brands I’m wearing are (seriously, Benoits? Jordan Marsh? Dexter? LL Bean regular line?? Who the fuck am I?) Not to mention I think defining your style by brands is limiting, though an interesting thought experiment.
Now everybody flies into a blind rage and tells me I’m wrong in 5…4…3…2…1
OH! And my 10 brands (by how much I own) would probably be LL Bean, Liberty of London, Levi’s (new & vintage), Old Navy, Polo, Banana Republic, Jordan Marsh, Target, Rooster (defunct vintage tie makers), and… dunno… AJ Morgan? (makes cheap sunglasses).
Make of that what you will.
What 10 brands do you think could define your style?
If we want to have grown man style, we need to stop acting like Mean Girls
The other day before I went to work, this post (by a not-insignificant blogger about another not-insignificant blogger) hit my dash (tagged #Full Retarded). Then the esteemed Nice Try Bro chimed in with the thoughtful comment,
If I met someone and it came out that he was friends with Mr. Dan, I’d immediately know we ourselves could not be friends.
And the entire blogosphere wept. Or at least they should have. Because this is it guys, this is the level of discourse we’ve been reduced to.
And it’s just terrible, especially because “Grown Man Style” seems to be the buzzword of late. Leaving aside whether or not the outfit is good, which is immaterial here, this is not the kind of “critique” (which I use in the loosest possible terms) that should be coming from grown men.
“Grown man style” doesn’t start by getting rid of your boot cut jeans and buying OCBD’s and Desert Boots. And it doesn’t start when you start a blog to catalog and share your inspiration for dressing like a grown up. It starts with a desire to be a grown up. And you know what? Grown men are better than this.
Grown men don’t take catty shots at other grown men, even if they don’t like their style.
Grown men are fully capable of being friends with other grown men who have different style, or no style at all.
Most importantly grown men have more important things to say about style than “LOL” or “Full Retarded” or “He’s dressed so far out of my imagined appropriateness of male style that I can’t be friends with his friends.”
Grown men have more tact than that. Grown men don’t “LOLOLOLOL” at other grown men. You know who does?
High school girls.
This bullshit is straight out of Mean Girls. It’s asinine “burn-bookery” that has no business on any blog that professes to believe in “Grown Man Style.” You may like my style, you may not. You may think Dan T is an idiot who wears a 3-piece with a henley (which, in all honesty, would probably look better than what 95% of guys are wearing to expensive clubs) or you may not. But unless you have some actual critique beyond “LOL” and “I couldn’t be friends with his friends”, leave the style blogging to the grown men, and go back to your catty friends in high school.
*Drops mic, walks out this bitch*