I Just Don’t Get It
Is it just me? I can’t be the only one.
I consider myself fairly learned when it comes to clothes and style, but I simply cannot square the circle that is “fashion”.
Case in point: I recently read a handful of articles from mainstream sources discussing men whom they considered the best dressed or exemplified the “best fits”.
The issue I take with these articles is that it makes the whole clothing thing seem inaccessible to the average guy.
I know these articles are set up to maximize clicks, so they will highlight something unusual or shocking. But that doesn’t help someone who goes to the site hoping to get some advice or inspiration on how to dress well.
The articles also don’t make it clear that they aren’t necessarily highlighting the best dressed men, but men whose dress is somehow influential. Kind of like how being Time’s “Person Of The Year” isn’t necessarily a good thing.
The Mr. Porter article starts off saying this about Dominic Fike (admittedly, I have no idea who that is) pictured here:
“…the bold masculinity of that double-breasted leather trench, softened by the delicateness of that sheer pussybow blouse is a feat of juxtaposing genius.”
And that’s only the first person on the list!
Does anyone really look at an outfit like this and think that this individual is well-dressed? Can we really know that Mr. Fike intentionally paired his trench with his blouse in an attempt to juxtapose his masculinity with his femininity?
Of course not! His stylist probably just chucked some random crap onto him and then menswear writers who need to hit a deadline pick his picture out of a pile and realize they can draw some sort of line through his trench and blouse and bang out an article saying how awesome he looks.
The worst entry on the list, though, is Sebastian Croft (again, who?) in a dinner jacket and shorts with white socks. The entry gushes about how well he toes the line between adhering to a black-tie dress code and standing out from the pack.
Really? Wearing shorts with a dinner jacket is some sort of next-level style move? Why do we have to pretend that this looks good or is somehow brilliant, subversive, or knowingly tongue-in-cheek? It’s none of those things. All the adults in the room things he looks like a goofball.
Of all the entries in the article, the only individual I can see being anywhere near a universal definition of “well-dressed” is Seth Rogen.
I’m not partial to the shirt and tie in the exact same color, but the suit is well-tailored (if a little too slim for my personal taste) and the burnished, dark brown, chisel-toe Chelsea boots are actually a very good choice of footwear for a non-conservative suit like this.
Here, Rogen looks like a man who knows how to dress who just decided to make a bold choice that day. He doesn’t look like some schmuck who allowed his stylist to throw together whatever from the closet was in arm’s reach.
The GQ article is a little more explicit about highlighting the most memorable outfits of the past year, not necessarily the best.
The worst offender here is Justin Bieber in a hilariously oversized suit.
Everyone knows it looks like shit, but he is so earnest about it! His wife looks amazing and he steps out with her wearing that? He is even holding her hand with his jacket sleeve. Toddlers do that. You can’t convince me that she is in any way attracted to him in that moment. I mean, her face says it all…
She has that Melania-Trump-Dead-Inside-Thousand-Yard-Stare.
But, he knows that wearing that ridiculous thing will get him attention on the internet and he will stay famous and rich. I guess that trumps looking attractive in the eyes of his wife.
What these articles really drive home for me is that, like art, context really is everything. If a Banksy chucks some paint on a wall it’s worth a million dollars. If my five-year-old chucks some paint on a wall, it’s a mess.
Likewise, if you or I wear what the celebs do, we look like clowns. But add a few more zeros to our bank accounts and all of a sudden we are style savants. Go figure.
My point is: you’re not alone in not understanding the fashion world.
It makes no sense to me and I write about this stuff for fun!