Going to have this engraved in all my hangers…
We have it so much better
When it comes to fashion, men have it easier than women in a variety of ways. Although trends and collections are a reflection of the surrounding environment, usually influenced by prominent stylish personalities, when it comes to menswear the cyclic changes are much more subtle than those of our female counterparts…While there are also seasonal trends such as particular prints, garments or even wearabilities, the pages in which menswear is written have a century-old patina cemented over years of gentlemanly tradition.
In a way, this allows us to seamlessly update timeless attires by mixing trendy, up to date details instead of purchasing a whole new wardrobe…Ok, maybe not an entirely new wardrobe, but it’s a fact that women tend to buy more at cheaper prices, and (most) womenswear strongly sails with this flow. For men, you just know that some garments will always be classics and survive the test of time and passing tendencies: say a 2 button navy blazer or a perfect fitting suit - buttons, lapels and cut may vary or reminisce but if you stay within a certain spectrum, chances are they’ll stay with you for a long time.
So for us gentlemen, it all comes down to the old mantra of buying less but better: invest in quality pieces, splurge on essentials and save on ethereal garments. Not only will you feel more confident and look flawless, but at the end of the day you’ll end up with pieces you love, ultimately saving money and making your life much easier when it comes to getting dressed in the morning…
Photos by Park & Bond
Finding that perfect piece you’ve been longing for is becoming an ever increasing task and might pose more of a challenge than it seems. Be it fit, cut, fabric or color, there are a number of variables which may be off putting and dictate whether or not you’ll end up purchasing a garment. Sometimes the thrill of the chase makes it all the more special once you find it, whereas other times it might prove to be exasperating.
As such, one of the things I tend to do besides carefully selecting my purchases, is to stock up once I come across special pieces I really love. Instead of settling for “so so” items, I’d rather save and invest in two or three versions of an item I know I’ll be sporting often. Found a perfect fitting shirt or sweater? Get it in two colorways or even the same if it’s an everyday essential, or play around with sizing, going for a fitted version and a looser one for layering purposes.
Although this may not apply to every type of garment, be it due to monetary reasons or simply because it doesn’t make sense to have more than one of certain items, you’ll be surprised by how well it works in comprising a suitable wardrobe. I, for one, have done this for sweaters, jeans, shirts and even shoes that match my styling philosophy. As I see it, it’s better to ease up on variety and stock up on heavy rotation items. Plus, the feeling of wearing something you love added to different shades or sizes, fools not only other people’s perception but your own as well, so you won’t feel as if wearing the same outfit over and over…
Top to bottom (clockwise):
- Levi’s 511 slim, Rugby wadham club collar shirt (blue and pink), Buttero for Por Vocação derby shoes (taupe and waxed brown), Buttero crepe soled boat shoes (black and brown), Paul Smith Ibsen trainer (off white leather and brown suede), Our Legacy Great Sweat (garden green, washed red and indigo blue), Lyle and Scott deep v-neck sweater (blue and black), H&M cotton cardigan (ecru and orange) and Our Legacy oxford candystripe button down shirt (blue and pink).
Know your wardrobe
We’ve all experienced the (not as much of a) cliché of waiting around ages for our girl friends to get ready to go out. From choosing the look, to hair and makeup, we’re facing anything from 30 min to an hour of precious wasted time. However, as menswear becomes more and more intricate and men in general become more self conscious about their image, this old cliché is bound to work both ways. If you consider the amount of combinations for mixing and matching your garments and accessories, the possibilities are endless, which along with a thorough grooming routine may place your better half for quite the wait.
Remember those pics of dapper Italians cruising the streets in complex attires, making it look utterly effortless? The much praised sprezzatura? Don’t be fooled…I remember Scott Schuman addressing this subject and reminding us common mortals that “those men spend countless hours indoors making sure everything’s perfect before leaving the house, so once they do, they don’t have to worry about a thing for the rest of the day”. No impeccable look comes from randomly throwing some pieces on, hoping they’ll magically work perfect together (it may, if you have THE perfect wardrobe). Some thought has to be put into it. So, how about when you’re on a tight schedule and only have a few minutes at your disposal to look your best? How to pull it off then?
Simple: know your wardrobe. Surely you remind certain looks you loved or pieces that go well together; when pressed for time, these are your best allies. By knowing what you have in stock by heart, you’ll be able to make it work in a matter of minutes. No doubt this task is made much easier if you keep a few basic/essential garments in your closet: a navy blazer, oxford shirt, dark slim denim and brown wingtips will look good every single time. So, do yourself a favour and spend some time getting acquainted with your garments…it’s the only way you’ll end up looking as good as this:
As we’re currently entering a new season, it seems the perfect time to address the taboo subject of the wardrobe purge. An exhilarating experience for some and one much dreaded by others, it still remains one of the most crucial and effective means of running a successful wardrobe. Think of it as getting your garments serviced just as you would your car, bike, whatever…
Undoubtedly, many factors come into play when reevaluating your clothing stock, one of the most important being your shopping habits and profile. Most of the times careful, pondered shoppers who buy less, more timeless pieces are less prone to require major purges. But even they don’t get it right all the time…Lets face it, sooner or later we’re all left facing a variety of outdated/unwanted garments in our closets.
In average, I revise my garment status twice a year, coincidentally with season changes. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll toss a few items; for me it’s the perfect way to filter future purchases, establish a wishlist and make a roundup of my items. While doing so, I usually start 3 piles:
- Giveaways: starting with what most consider the worst part, here’s a rule of thumb to make things easier - if you haven’t worn it for the last couple of seasons, throw it in here. You can either give these items to charity/friends or even make a profit at your local flea market;
- Potential keepers: Personally, I find this to be the hardest task. Here you should include pieces you are not quite sure about, be it because you find them special, they are designer pieces or simply you feel it in your gut they’ll become trendy once again. Word of advice…don’t let the price tag be your only criterion. To sort this pile out you have to rely on your instincts and trend spotting abilities, which makes it all the more difficult;
- Keepers: Ok, this pile is the easiest…throw in your most loved items and essentials. These will comprise the core of your wardrobe.
Go into it with an open mind and remember that items you no longer treasure, may be the perfect match for someone else’s wardrobe or those in need. Also, consider this a chance to replace dead stock with newer alternatives you’ll love, but don’t use it as an excuse to clutter your closet once again.