Friday, September 19, 2008

The tale of how I try not to be naked (and attempt to look good doing it)

This blog has been my forum to cover a wide scope of interests, mainly music, art, politics and random ranting. But one aspect that I’ve inadvertently avoided is fashion.

I know there are countless sites, blogs, and telephone book sized magazines on the subject, though I’ve noticed that there are not so many for men. And even less for men with my tastes.

Over the past few years, my interest and awareness towards what I wear has grown considerably. Today is a far cry from my who-the-fuck-cares-about-fashion t-shirt and jeans days in high school. Okay, I still wear t-shirts and jeans, but I pay more attention to the quality and fit of those items, which makes a significant difference. Deciding what to wear used to be such an inconvenience for me so I stayed with the basics. Nowadays I’m feeling more adventurous and confident in a personal style.

The downside for me is that men’s fashion just doesn’t seem to have the variety and resources of women’s wear. In my opinion, there’s virtually no middle ground between the cheap crap at Old Navy and the unobtainable awesomeness of designer wear.

I’ll flip through a men’s magazine and review their fashion sections. Yeah, these guys all look great in their suits but A. I don’t really want to be wearing suits everyday no matter how pimping and B. even the pocket squares shown are in the $100s and I can barely afford rent.

So this is an attempt to use the awesome power of my blog to help me pool my knowledge and findings into some focused strategy, not unlike how I use it to formulate coherent opinions on music and art.

Since I’m still a fledgling trying to develop a fashion sense, it’ll be baby steps along the way. I’ll try to avoid the really obvious stuff that all men should know right off the bat, such as:

  • Always wear a watch
  • Earrings – terrible, terrible idea unless you're a pirate
  • Never, ever, EVER pop your collar up (it’s a fad that you’ll someday regret even considering, like painted fingernails)
  • Learn to tie a tie properly
  • Shaving can be an enjoyable ritual (too bad what I have can barely be classified as facial hair)

My most pressing goal for now is to find some decent shoes. I have very particular tastes and have been looking for at least a year now. I need something versatile, semi-formal but mainly casual. I hate tips that are too pointy or too boxy. I know, I’m picky. Probably why I fall back on my Chuck Taylors so often. They go with just about everything, short of a tuxedo.

I’ve learned not to settle for anything less than what you love. I’m not opposed to paying higher prices because I want quality pieces that won’t disintegrate after a wash (looking in your direction, Old Navy). And I’ve also learned that the accoutrements make the outfit. Cheap belts, watches or (especially) shoes can render an otherwise badass outfit into a total failure.

But for now, I’ll just start off my compilation of basic knowledge with an article from GQ on how to properly roll up sleeves. I hate seeing guys who literally roll their sleeves until they look like they have giant bagels around their elbows. “Rolling” is a bad term since you’re really folding up the sleeves. Look at clothing store displays to see how it’s done.

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