At a time when fashion is a worldwide billion dollar business, branched throughout the globe and virtually accessible to anyone, the amount of offerings available and the competitive nature of the game may ignite the clothes’ loss of character and individuality. If you go window shopping at different major retailers, you’ll most likely find the same pieces with the slightest alterations to reflect what the brands call “their take” on the item. Lets face it, fashion is made of trends and tendencies but they need not come at the expense of creativity and originality.
An interesting reflection on the subject at hand: try paying close attention to the people around you when you go out on occasion (I find myself unconsciously doing this on a daily basis). Counting out specific demographics from hyped fashion cities such as Milan, Paris, NY, Tokyo, etc., you’ll be amazed by the amount of people who wear similar or even the same clothes. Mind you, I’m not criticizing it in any way, I’m simply stating a fact. From a style point of view you end up with a blurry crowd, whose sharpness comes in the form of individuals with their own sense of style.
One of the things that can easily set you apart from the rest of the pack is attention to detail, especially the small ones. I’m not telling you to go overboard eccentric, that would just make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. More often than not subtleness and sobriety are key and go a long way. You can either look for labels and pieces with a greater focus on the small things, or let your creativity flow and have your items customized at your tailor (this will be covered on a future post). Buttons, linings, stitching, collars, pockets, all can include elusive details to take it up a notch. On this matter, I have to mention Sir Paul Smith as he’s a master at taking classic items and imbuing them with his characteristic twist.
Here are a few pictures of interesting details to get you going, so be on the lookout for them next time you’re out on a shopping spree.
The holes in the leather and the different colored shoe lace eyelets take it up a notch (photo from Paul Smith).
A patterned collar is a welcome addition: wear it down and it’s your usual jacket or pull it up and add that extra flare.
Reversible items are versatile and make the most out of your money (photo from Pierrepont Hicks).
Another distinctive trait of Pierrepont Hicks: different blades on ties.
Contrasting button holes are one of the small details that go a long way (photo from Paul Smith).