I received an interesting question from reader La Corbusierie:
Could you please help me? I was an honest pursuer of menswear goals, was trying to look nice and classy, was ordering USA-made navy blazers from eBay and honing my collection of Goodyear-welted dress shoes. But now I realize that I feel myself the best in a simple grey sweatshirt, navy chinos and sneakers. I’ve recently felt the urge to buy a a green Penfield weatherproof jacket and vintage Nike’s. Am I lost forever? What should I do? How do I save myself from the perils?
Naturally, the answer here is, “You gotta do you, homie”, but I think this speaks to something a bit larger and I can relate.
My default workday uniform is a OCBD, jeans and desert boots (or linen shirt, linen-cotton trousers and loafers if it’s summer). I may put on a jacket if I’m headed out for lunch so I can carry my EDC (wallet, chapstick, pen, cellphones and inhaler).
I don’t wear most of my wardrobe (hence why I keep getting rid of a lot of it). I keep my suits and jackets zipped up in canvas suit bags, my trousers and ties on hangars and racks, and shoes polished on a shelving unit. I keep them there in the event I need them.
But the fact is I don’t need them very often — at least not at my current job. I’ve worn a suit maybe twice since getting this job (and never once in Mountain View, Calif.) and rarely wear a necktie for work-related reasons.
When I do “dress up”, it’s mostly because I want to do so — going out with friends for dinner, visiting family, attending a show of some sort in the evening — not because it’s required or expected. I simply wear nicer things because I want to and enjoy it. It’s become part of my personality in a way to wear something appropriate where there’s a sense of occasion.
No one will punish you if you’re not wearing lookbook-fresh, streetstyle-shot ready outfits every day. Nor should you feel obligated to do so. If wearing casual clothing suits your everyday life better and you’re happier and feel more like “you”, then do it.
But the important thing is to have a good suit around for when you need it or a decent business casual outfit for when you have to dress up a little for a nice dinner. Keep those around in the closet, sell or donate the rest.
If you’ve found a uniform that works for you, awesome. Don’t worry about what #menswear thinks, because at the end of the day your opinion and choices matter more to you than anyone else.
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- homolosine said: too much of any internet fashion scene is cosplay anyways.
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- ethandesu said: Menswear, in my humble opinion, is about what men wear. Some men wear suits, others denim and suede. I wear both. I feel most comfortable in denim, alden colour 8 loafers, a chambray shirt and grey sweat jumper. It’s as much menswear as blue hopsack.
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- enriquedlcm said: This explains way better what was on my mind the other day, complaining about the internet. Good job Kiyoshi, as usual.
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- louis-walton said: The best advice on #menswear I have read in a LONG time. Nice to see you are taking questions again.
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- sashu said: I was of the belief that the entirety of #menswear was about finding out what works for you and then giving people the tools/information to do it right, along with some interesting history and what have you.
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