Happy New Year and all that! Hopefully 2018 will be a good year for us all. 2017 provided quite a few ups and downs shall we say, so quite happy with 2018 to be a year of consolidation, health and happiness. Now, onto the business of style.
I am generally a little too active in the January sales for my own good. That shirt that I may have lusted after is now 60% off marked price. Yes! That is the kind of purchase that is fine by me as I have at least given it some thought. However, it’s the casual flicking through Mr Porter, Reiss, Matches Fashion and their ilk that gets me every time. It is not long before I see something I like. Into the virtual basket go several spur of the moment items. There goes the budget then on that gear I “really liked” at that particular moment in time without a lot of consideration.
This does not make for a wise strategy when the same gaps in the wardrobe present themselves mid-January and the money is needed to cover kids swimming lessons. Sometimes the pent-up demand can get the better of me. I need some clarity of thought. I need a strategy.
Those months spent clothing the kids, putting food on the table and paying the mortgage to the dark lords in the bank take their toll. Buying beautiful clothes is a far more enjoyable way to spend one’s wages, but other things rightly have to take precedence. So, once the outrageously great offers on some fine threads hit the in-box after Christmas, it is almost as if those fiscal outlays are almost trivial and the clothes that are now essential.
Not this year. Not me. This year I have a plan. I will as usual manage to find some funds for the January sales, but these funds would only be availed of if the item was right. The criteria I set myself were roughly as follows-
Create an impression and self-confidence
Would this item under consideration provoke comment (positive of course!) and give me a pep in my step? I feed off compliments on my clothes. It is part of the human condition of course, positive reinforcement and the approval of our peers is of high value to us.
Great menswear should give the wearer confidence. We should follow the women’s example of dressing to impress others, but of more importance is dressing for oneself. So many guys out there look like they dressed like they don’t care. Have a look around on a Saturday night out or at any other time for that matter and see if women are doing the same. Contrary to Donald Trump’s views, most women are dressing well for themselves, not for others. Men should take the same tack.
Taking pride in one’s appearance is key to a stylish and confident man. Clothes or shoes that give a boost to the self-esteem are the business and feeling good in my own skin is what it’s all about? Although, a well-dressed man does tend to get more female attention. Win-win then?
Built to last
I hope to be around in 10 years time. I also hope this year’s sale purchases will be too. Buying quality is vital here. No matter the price, there has to be a starting point of great quality and craftmanship. Anything else won’t cut the mustard this year.
Style is also important. Nobody will be wearing sweatpants, ripped denim or other faddish items in 10 years time (or I hope they won’t), but a well cut blazer or a cashmere scarf? Hell yeah! The best savings are often on the best of stuff too. Outwith some obvious branding on the usual suspects that hike the price, the medium-high-end priced menswear is generally priced at that level for a reason. Top quality raw materials and skilled labour doesn’t come cheap, nor should it.
Aim for the best and see how I get on.
Fit for purpose
Blowing money on stuff you won’t wear or use is sinful. That’s where the impulse buys can destroy your style search. I have a stack of t-shirts. Yes, I regularly see new ones that I really like. However, I just have to hold the thought of the rammed to the brim t-shirt drawer in my house and my “need” for that particular piece suddenly slips away and is forgotten.
I have several blazers. Some for work, some for fun. Do I need more? Well, how many times have I worn each blazer in the last couple of months? As suspected…I do not need another blazer.
The price per wear is so important in my reckoning. I am obviously not getting appropriate wear out of some clothing. I need to rotate some of these guys into the squad. So, obviously at the moment my needs are not in the blazer or t-shirt sections of Mr Porter. If you have some great threads in your collection it is almost a heinous sin to hide them away. So where are the gaps in my style game?
Next time- What did I pick up…
Thanks for reading.