I like to read my fellow MensFlair columnists articles when I get the chance. Managing my own blog as well as drafting regular columns for arguably one of the best menswear sites on of the Web can be a bit challenging at times.
As we all search for new, thoughtful, educational or just plain interesting columns in which to espouse our views on any given subject, we sometimes find ourselves in the role of oracle.
This is a tricky thing. While it is, in my service-oriented opinion, a social obligation for someone with an expertise in a given discipline to render assistance when needed, it is easy for those on the receiving end to accept that advice as sartorial law. Luckily, most of you are not shy about telling us when our arguments are flawed. And that’s the way it should be.
I say all this without any disrespect to my fellow authors, of course. I think they are some of the best style bloggers out there. We all have our particular angles when it comes to menswear. Yet we also know that our particular proclivities are just those – a personal inclination unique to each of us when it comes to dressing. We write about that we know and what we like.
If you don’t already, take some time and think about your own stylistic likes and dislikes before you start looking to us for any guidance. Do you like pleated pants even though we almost uniformly tell you not to? Are you an ardent fan of white patent leather shoes? Do you prefer baggy deconstructed suits with padded shoulders over tailored, elegant models?
While I may disagree with almost all those choices, if they’re what you happen to like, who I am I to dictate otherwise? I will tell you this however; make your clothing choices relevant to today. Too often I see men stuck in a particular time period or fashion cycle where they happen feel most comfortable. While this in and of itself is not a crime, not adapting those styles to the modern world is, to me, a serious crime because you typically look silly where you could have looked distinctive.
I once worked with a political consultant who had some remarkable suits that were without a doubt made in the early 1980s. They were custom jobs that he had handmade in London and he clearly still fond of each and every one. The problem was that every day he wore entire outfits that belonged in 1981. From shoes to ties, shirts to belts, he looked laughable but just couldn’t see it. It was his comfort zone and that was that.
The suits, with their pronounced patterns, broad lapels, wide bottomed trousers and overall exaggerated cut could easily have been tweaked into a stylish, slightly retro look. By updating his shirt and tie, investing in new oxfords and trying out new belts or braces, this very intelligent guy could pull together a hip and unique style all his own that still belongs in the modern world. He didn’t, or wouldn’t, and so created an image for himself that was nothing less than self sabotage.
Be your own man and establish a personal style that is right for you. Take the advice and expertise that sites like Off The Cuff DC and MensFlair have to offer but filter it though your own likes and dislikes. And if you totally disagree with one of our pronouncements, that’s great news because it tells me that you still have your own style goals.