Denim suits are dumb.
So is this one, in the practical sense.
Taylor Stitch has a denim suit for something like 350 of only slightly inflating dollars.
You could, and should, wait this one out.
The blue is the blue of pleated denim.
See there, I didn't even have to give you a value judgement for the pleated denim and you got the value associated.
Yet, as I sneer, if you wore this, my third party would slow clap. Maybe.
Dress like a dork. Dress like a professional bocce ball player. Dress like you drive a '93 LeSabre and smoke grape cigarillos -- but not in the house for either of those activities.
Dress like those things here.
Don't worry, we definitely won't be wearing the same thing if we see each other in public.
Monday, May 6, 2013
I am most often reminded of it when I’m riding in a bus – a charter bus with big windows. When you ride in a bus you are have this odd removal from space and time. The non-linear continuum hums loudly and has A/C, which is not what most physicists would suppose since, y’know, noise operates within time. I see it through the tinted windows that I rest my forehead on. I see it in unimportant people scraping happiness out of their free time. It’s when I see a middle aged man in a camo hat awkwardly step down an embankment with his fishing rod by the river to get to a better fishing spot. He’s enjoying his free time, trying to find a little bit of sweetness in his passage of time. Maybe he has a bunch of annoying kids, trying themselves to continue the joys of youth by pissing away the afternoon, but now I’m just positing a reality on such a man. I see it in young women walking down a street in the middle of the day to enjoy the bodily things of an ice cream parlor or a quick stop at the salon. I just see it for a second, removed from the world by a bus trucking through the small town that we happen to pass through. This is straight forward, name-it-as-you-see-it, DFW, Sartre, Camus, and bunch of other bullshit writers that tumblrs like to pretend they are, despair (Did you know that there are thought catalog girls who sign their articles Johanna de Silentio? What the fuck is that? You think you’re the female Kierkegaards? Wait, you just write about the philosophy of relationships non-ironically? Get the fuck off the internet.) This is despair is "weightlessness," or "smallness" -- y'know -- an existential crisis impending over their heads just waiting them to come up for air out of their small pleasures. It makes me a little sick because I know I’m taking my own notion of reality and pushing it upon these characters that I just glimpse. The sort of sick where your lungs feel deep and heavy and like they’re falling out of your chest.
Menswear bloggers take pride in how they look. WIWT pictures are a great way to consult with others about what should be worn together and how garments should work. Bloggers learn from one another and spend time enjoying garments. It’s great. Enjoying a hobby that is no longer considered “fruity” or “emasculating” is something that, with our free time, we find a lot of joy and fulfillment from. Some men are even able to make a job out of it and pursue this pursuit of menswear aestheticism for a major portion of their lives. Sometimes I see a WIWT picture and I see someone who takes a lot of pride in their hobby. Sometimes I see a street style shot and I see someone who is meticulous about their presentation to others. It seems to be a subjective happiness a lot of those guys have. That’s good and that’s great because subjective happiness is a sort of apex about how you should approach your free time.
Sometimes I just see a self-conscious guy taking a photo of himself, dying in the despair of his small hobby that he toys with just to save himself from the real world. Sometimes I see a street style shot of someone who pursues the small things, tries to make a jump into the real world of taking about small things for a job, and can’t fill those lungs that are falling out of his chest. Sometimes I just see a bunch of small, petty, sad men.
I’m probably just creating this idea for us. Hell, I’m writing it. But, heh, I know you guys.
It could very well be true.
The problem with street style and WIWT shots isn’t that they’re full of peacocks or people who want to distribute sartorial ontologies to get themselves into a position of blogging volume, even though many people would have you believe this. The problem is that we just are hiding from the fact that we are so small.
Can I be happy with being small?
Can you be happy with being small?
Monday, April 22, 2013
Every time I see a reproduction retro pair of Reeboks for sale I get the grins.
I have an old pair of Workout Mids so I have a personal connection to old white Reeboks. There’s a hole in the toe and they’re just about retired after 5 years of wear. I guess I am overly sympathetic given my connection but I will pretend I am unaware of my tangentiality.
But you usually see middle aged men in cheap Hustler denim -- with a rise that never lowered for the Millenium -- wearing an old pair of beaten Reeboks. They work in autobody shops or maybe at hardware stores. Reeboks are their weekend wear and the grass that the lawnmower pitches up stains the sole a green that is green like America during the summer: baseball and watermelon and brauts and Miller Lite and screaming children and grouchy wives and community swimming pools. These are the guys that wear old Reeboks. The funniest part is that the Reeboks that these men wear are not reproductions. It’s been their weekend wear for two decades. This is brilliant. This is Michael J. Fox. This is allegedly authentic caricaturism.
You can buy reproductions of old Reeboks. They’re cool. I like them (which makes them cool?). But know this:
Clothing doesn’t make you another character, as Patrick Swayze is never laced into a pair of jeans. It doesn’t connect you with the past, you’re not suddenly imbued with proletarian sentiments when you wear old selvedge. It doesn’t make you cool (duh, duh, and duh). Clothing makes you fictional. You are still you. But you’re projecting a fiction to others.
That’s why clothing is so cool.
And why I get the grins when I see that I can purchase something like this.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
In about a month, Silverstein’s When Broken is Easily Fixed will have been out for about a decade. My brother bought it for my birthday a few months after it came out. I was twelve years old and, being a whiny piece of crap (little has changed), I was all about every track on the album. It was Silverstein’s debut full-length and it did not disappoint. The production is certainly poor. The guitars seem to slide into a tone that fluctuated between notes and are amplified with amps that have no low end. The bass sounds like it’s cheap. The tone is dead and sometimes appears to be there just to supplement the drums, which could very well be the case. The drums sound like they were recorded quickly, maybe in only a few tracks. The vocals are scrapey and have little depth. Some of the songs are pretty weak -- err, maybe half. But despite all this, the twelve year old me did not have a developed enough taste to discern that this album is off. This album was my angst.
I have no doubt that When Broken is Easily Fixed had a major impact, along with albums like Sing the Sorrow and Deja Entendu, on my life but it is uncertain on how much impact that When Broken is Easily Fixed had on culture at the time. Actually, we’ll say that When Broken is Easily Fixed is a reflection of culture at that time rather than an influencer, y’know, Hegel ‘n shit. Plus, it's not like every kid ever sat down and listened to this album. The Beatles Silverstein is not.The singles and the videos accompanying them are crap. We’ll take a walk-through.
Silverstein is wearing what Express has been trying to sell us for the past decade in the “Smashed Into Pieces” music video. There is something to be said about this and I think that it’s that culture as a whole has been trying to wear ties and jackets for about a decade now, probably more. Trying to, at some extent, work a image of formality into a youth culture of rebellion. We’re not particularly good at it, as Told’s white tie and red shirt tells us. We’re buying our rebellion within capitalism which doesn’t work. The oil, a reference to the album cover, continues to show that extraditing yourself from culture is a self-sacrificial action -- or something along the lines of that. The ties in the video are cheap and in bad taste. The shirts, as mentioned previously appearing to be the sort of thing Express has been selling for years, look... so... unhealthy -- like Banker’s Vodka, Cheez-its, and a new found appreciation of other people’s prescription medications.
When Broken is Easily Fixed helped Victory Records begin their upswing into relevancy. Over the next two years they would release albums from Spitalfield, Streetlight Manifesto, Bayside, Atreyu, Hawthorne Heights, Straylight Run, Taking Back Sunday, and Aiden. Victory made money off of Warped Tour and an increasing disposable allowance of 13 year olds. Victory was an early tween and teen exploiter and they did fairly well for themselves. Though now they’re stuck releasing Terror albums which is the equivalent of releasing new Iron Maiden albums.
“Giving Up” has to be included for entertainment purposes. There is little to be learned from it, other than that you’re a mean person and will laugh at other people’s work when given the opportunity. Why are they using that camera-lens? Why is that guy in the video so ugly? Why did they shoot this video? Were cassette tapes still used in 2003?
Notice the baseball t-shirt on Boshart (lead guitar). Every couple years a clothing brand tries to sell these sorts of things as essential or useful for a summer wardrobe or American because BASEBALL. They’re not really warm and they don’t keep you cool. They’re like mid-weight suits. GENERALLY USELESS is the phrase that I am familiar with. They’re OK if you like having lots of things in your closet.
Silverstein is a “growing pains” band. They’re pretty bad right now. Sometimes they try to bring back a more hardcore sound to their albums but they tend to fall short. That’s OK. I still enjoy the old stuff because it reminds me of 7th grade. There’s nothing wrong with taking a look at the past every now and then. I mean, you do it every day when you check in on ACL.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
#menswear likes to pick up its oddities. Y’know, shawls and antiquated hats are very of-the-moment #menswear. Something recent that I’ve noticed, are the inclusion of Chacos in S/S lookbooks. What’s a Chaco? Like a Chaco-Taco? Or wait, Choco Taco? Those things are alright but kinda’ dumb (it’s an ice-cream taco, so... there) and don’t count as anybody’s culinary essential -- unless you’re 16 and you learned recently that, you too, can spend money at the grocery store. Chacos, like Choco Tacos, do not fall into anybody’s essentials -- unless you’re in college and going through that phase where you like things just because they cause people to rethink society’s definitions of normal or acceptable. Far out man; like far out and above other people.
Wait, what’s a Chaco?
You don’t know?
Where do you shop? JCPenny? Woost’s new pantheon?
Aight, aight, I’ll back up.
And from there we’ll go.
So, you know Tevas, right? Their sandals that have the three strap system that is held together with velcro. They’re definitively dorky. They were developed by a geophysicist so claiming their dorkiness would make sense if we extend the inventor’s profession to his rafting footwear creation. Tevas have a fairly thin sole and wear our rather quickly if you spend loads time trapesing around in stream-beds and grassy dales (I know you #menswear dudes do a lot of this). However, they’re more useful for outdoor activities than the regular thong sandal and more useful than hiking boots as boots can really suck in the summer and when participating in any activity where water is involved. Athletic sneakers would be a decent substitute for summer trapesing activities but, hey, Nike is the modern day Ba’al Zabul. Their run-ins with the media during the 90s for their sweatshops in Asia would have been occurring as water sandals, and the cultures that were accepting them, were gaining popularity. So is there an alternative that lasts longer than a pair of Tevas? You fucking bet there is.
Chacos, man. Chacos have a sole the size of Tristan Thompson’s ass, which, for those who don’t know, is so big you couldn’t park it in downtown Cleveland and nobody -- absolutely nobody -- parks in downtown Cleveland. There’s something about Chacos -- the JNCO appeal perhaps.
They’ve also started to appear in #menswear lookbooks. Do you remember how Wolverine stormed into the scene to compete with Alden Indy boots? Wolverine appeared (and was) very ready to compete in the menswear world as they offered a pair of boots for a bit less than a pair of new Indy boots. There was a large marketing push of the 1000 Mile Boot and I am under the impression that it was reasonably successful given the amount of men I see instagramming their feet with Wolverine boots on -- though my sample size is not ideal. Wolverine is owned by Wolverine World Wide (WWW). WWW purchased Chacos in 2009. Most Chacos featured in the lookbooks I’ve seen probably aren’t brand-name Chacos but it’s funny to think that WWW has been pushing their product the same way they were pushing 1000 Mile Boots. Check out The River’s (Japan) lookbook from S/S ’13 where they appear to be using some derivative of Chacos extensively.
Also notice the larger brand Beams using Chacos in their S/S ’13 lookbook. Still, Chacos are not permeating menswear, as I’ve only pointed out 2 lookbooks where they have been featured.
A Patrik Ervell version of the Chaco is featured in the Manu and Pascal photoshoot from Four-Pins. One could argue that this could be a Teva derivative but given the thickness of the sole I’m leaning towards Chacos. Either way, the Patrik Ervell version is a “reinterpretation” of a stupid-strapped-sandal.
They’re probably not good. But they’re there.
So, who wants to do a product round-up?
Photos from Selectism.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
#menswear has come to terms with it’s purchasing epilepsy where one can hemorrage money through the Visa. No longer are pants timeless or will last us a lifetime. When someone proposes their clothing as such, the response is a self-contained laugh or a mental run-through of one’s own sartorial future which usually formulates a reply of, “I don’t know, maybe.” Some things last a while. Some things don’t. Whatever. I have funds (sometimes).
“Starving children can screw off, I don’t feel bad.”
#menswear currently struggling with constantly apophatically describing their own style. “Is” as a descriptor doesn’t separate them from the crowd so, “hey, go fuck yourself, my style is beyond community. It’s me. You can’t define it with any verbal terms. It’s completely unique (at this point the irony tastes like taco vomit or coffee burps)”.
Seems fair, I’ll let it slide because calling people out is a lot of work.
I’m just trying to find my everyday uniform.
You know, the thing I can put on every morning.
Except the days I wear skirts.
And the days I’m an Italian patriarch.
And the days I ride those old non-symmetrical skateboards and 5-panels.
Recently, I was working on a piece about John Mayer and Visvim. I don’t care about segues. You’ll be fine without one. You’re intelligent because you care about how you dress.
It got shelved because all the man talks about are watches. Which, as you may already know, aren’t tepees (which, as Visvim lookbooks would lead me to believe, are the only things Visvim makes). This is a thought dump of what I collected.
Mayer is a collector. He likes stuff. He’s sort of like an American male uber-consumer. You see a lot of those type of men these days but Mayer has a lot more resources to throw around. Some men collect Abercrombie t-shirts -- seems inane and something they might not tell you specifically but probably provable for an astonishing large amount of men who spend money at A&F -- and some men collect 5-figure watches and 4-figure shoes.
Mayer knows he gets made fun of for what he wears. He seems to be alright with it.
For John Mayer, watches are an end in themselves and he enjoys writing about them. This is interesting because some people in this menswear movement view clothing as ends in themselves -- you buy something because it is made well and an ideal article of clothing. Y’know, “this is THE t-shirt.” Others view clothing as a medium to put together “fits” or uniforms. Mayer is the former when it comes to watches. To him they are beautiful and don’t serve any real particular purpose other than to be great objects -- his intro on Hodinkee appears to back this up. If he sees clothes in the same light, I cannot really tell. He hasn’t elaborated enough yet. Someone should ask him. Hell, someone needs to sit down and listen to old Grateful Dead tapes with him and have him explain one or two. That would be brilliant journalism. Would someone like to fund that?
Or you could just pay someone to ask him about his newest CD and his celebrity love life. What does he think of the papparazzi? How does he ever deal with fame? Katy Perry? T-Swift? Life philosophy? ‘Cause that will affect how I view the world. We should all view the world like celebrities. We should read more interviews that espouse the the distribution of their ontologies.
So is Mayer a Visvim fanatic like everyone claimed after he released the video for ‘Shadow Days’? It would seem to be the case; a substantial portion of what he wears in the video is Visvim (most notable being the Wabanaki Boots-Folk). If any person of sub-$300,000 income wore the amount of Visvim that Mayer does, you would say that they were a fanatic. But Mayer makes considerably more than $300,000. For someone of Mayer’s stature, buying all Visvim is not absurd. It doesn’t take multiple trips to the store or waiting to make sure you can meet the credit card charge. Celebrities can go into a shop, say “Visvim is cool, I guess,” and walk out completely outfitted in Visvim. The amount of thought and pursuit required for a celebrity to acquire these things is minimal. Collecting for Mayer is easier than for you or me.
From this, I think it is difficult to say that John Mayer is a Visvim fanatic. He certainly enjoys the look and aesthetic but the amount of time that he thinks about the brand is probably limited. Proof for either argument is limited but I think the telling data is this: he writes about watches for Hodinkee. John Mayer likes watches a lot. He is a consumer. He likes acquiring musical equipment (inherent in anyone who can play a chord or keep a 4/4), clothing, women, probably cars (who doesn’t like cars), and, at the apex, watches. He writes about them. How much do you have to enjoy something in order to form your enjoyment into words? Words are fairly weak communicators, so wouldn’t that need to express your enjoyment have to be great?
Allegedly John Mayer got turned onto Visvim by Eric Clapton. Who cares? Men are great consumers, men like Clapton and Mayer are prime examples as their collections of things expand. As good as women if we allow ourselves to accept it. Is being a good consumer good for society? An economist would say so.
But economists can’t graph narcissism.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
EDITOR’S NOTE: THE FOLLOWING SERIES OF EMAILS OCCURRED BETWEEN TWO PARTIES OF THIS BLOG.
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 9:46 AM:
Wat did you think of nyfw
Subject: Re: NYFW
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 9:49 AM:
Wat did you think of nyfw pls email me soon possible
Subject: Re: NYFW
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:02 AM:
It was alright, I guess. Billy Reid was cool.
Subject: Re: NYFW
Sent Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:02 AM:
What did u think of street style
Do you have anything to complan about like all theother bloggers who are washed up
Subject: Re: NYFW
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:57 AM:
Of the collections? No, not really. Nothing was atrocious. Everything was nice and looked alright to me.
I don’t care about blogger drama. That seems kind of dumb. And a waste of time.
However, now that I have some time to reflect on it I do have an input, however inane.
As more menswear bloggers start paying more attention to fashion shows rather than buyer exhibitions, I think some things need to start to shift – and in certain areas – are already shifting.
At buyer exhibitions, photographers catch the details. They stop the passage of time to allow the reader/viewer to take some time with a garment that they may not even have when they are looking at the garment in a shop. Sure, you don’t get the feel and weight of the garment, but you know what to expect. There are a lot of menswear photographers who are very good at catching those little details that give you a great impression and feel of the garment.
But as you watch fashion shows, what does the photographer do? They capture little details and brief, quiet moments of time. Can they fully express what is going on at the show? They could do that when they took 10 pictures of a pair of jeans and posted it to a blog, but 10 pictures of a fashion show does little to convey what is actually going on there. When I sit down and view photographer’s work at fashion shows, the quiet expression is what is most praise-worthy – it is the photographer’s ability to capture a special moment rather than convey the entirety of the show. This is all good, I’m for photography as an art, but I think evaluating shows through pieces of art is difficult.
For the internet “consumer,” you can’t go to shows and looking at pictures isn’t ideal. There are the art photographers, as previously mentioned, and those awful, low-res, shots that national publications collect. There has got to be a way to see the show “better.”
Here is where video comes in. People have been taking videos of shows for a few years now, but I don’t think they’ve started to pick-up until recently.
Take in point, Billy Reid from his S/S 2013 show:
I can’t say I’m blown away. It still sort of feels like those inorganic shots that GQ collects after each show.
Now watch Billy Reid’s F/W 2013:
I think there’s a lot of improvement. I actually enjoyed F/W 2013. It captured details, mood, and the general feel of the clothing and show. It moves the viewer along and doesn’t allow the video to stagnate. People are figuring out that video can be effective. They’re using it. I, the internet consumer, am enjoying it.
Subject: Re: NYFW
Sent Tuesday, February 19, 2013 11:02 AM:
Wow ur dumb