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We're all here because we love talking about clothes.

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

We chat here, accumulating dozens, hundreds, even thousands of posts, with one common thread: the clothes. The clothes we wear, the clothes we aspire to or would never wear, the concepts and inspiration behind the clothes, the rules, the rule-breakers, the styling, the lack of style. Over ten years after this site launched there is more dialogue than ever, and for good reason. There is more to talk about now in the world of menswear than ever before, and that keeps us coming back. It gets one thinking though: is the conversation here even more successful for the one of the same reasons the internet has brought other hobbyists together - the steady (but imminent) decline of a proper "brick and mortar" outlet to engage one another in?

 

We all have nostalgic feelings - some earned, some learned - about the independent record shop, bookstore, video rental store, or cafe just around the corner. A place where you could go not just to consume it's primary wares, but socialize with other like-minded hobbyists.

 

As a child of the internet I never grew up with this, having the collective knowledge contained within all those pretentious record shops at my fingertips, but now instantly searchable, catalogueable, and rateable against my own tastes. Of course the same goes for films or books. I was able to learn about it all in these films or books, but it was never a part of my life.

 

Moving to New York as a teenager I was finally able to start realizing these realities, as some corners of the city still held onto their past and catered to the passionate, or if you were lucky, the esoteric. But one thing always eluded me, and that was clothing. I always had a good idea of what I liked, and a passion for clothes, but seeing the conversation about menswear explode online and in print I never saw it manifested in my day to day. Sure, certain shops promised this, merchandising in a way that harkened back to days passed, but ultimately they seemed to just hire some pretty faces and peddle whatever was hyped on the hottest blog or latest tradeshow. If there are so many people talking about clothes on the internet, where are they in real life? And most surprisingly, why aren't they working in the shops?

 

 

Where in your city or town do you go to talk about the things you love? Do you have any stand-out memories or a certain shop, past or present? Maybe it was being introduced to a new style, brand, or something not clothing related, but rather lifestyle?

post #2 of 31

I have a handful of friends who like clothes as much as I do -- and they all live in different cities -- so a lot of my "clothes talk" happens whenever we happen to see each other or sometimes over email/text.

 

I happen to be of the indie record and book shop generation.. and a fashion hub (at least for the kind of fashion I like anyway) never seemed to exist in the same way as for music and books, where people gathered to hang out or have events, not just to shop. Maybe the closest thing in my world was the surf/skate shop or a couple hybrid art gallery/ thrift stores. Most of my fashion ideas came from record sleeves (yes, vinyl :), old movies or magazines. I think there are more brick-and-mortars today that are trying to be that kind of place though. I think of Freeman's Sporting Club or some of the boutiques here in the Mission where the shopkeeper will make you an espresso while you browse for some japanese selvedge or waxed canvas totes.

post #3 of 31
I'm actually very reclusive, preferring to spend most of my time at home, in large part because I don't know what to do with myself. I have few friends, and the friends I do have definitely don't care about clothing the way I do. I don't like to socialize with strangers or in large groups, I don't drink, I don't like clubs and I get tired easily. I'm sad I couldn't make it to New York this week like I usually do this time of year, because while NYC is way too busy for me to find habitable, I enjoy being a part of an aesthetic world I can make a little home in, even if just for a few days.

Most of my friends are a few years younger than me and/or significantly worse-off than me, financially. I'm a high school graduate who miraculously landed a marketing position by chance and have had the chance to develop my skills and become employable, which is nice. But I feel bad talking about expensive clothes with them, even the girls I know who like fashion, because it feels like I am bragging.

One of the reasons I created Harajuju is because I wanted a place for myself, and for people who might be like me. It's been reasonably successful.

In short, in the realm of the physical, I don't have anyone other than my girlfriend to share my interest with.
post #4 of 31
All of my clothes discussion is online. I doubt any of my friends or family have an inkling of how much time I spend or how much enjoyment I derive from fashion, so I'm really thankful for these online communities otherwise I would have no one to talk to about it. I've not knowingly met someone with any interest in this sort of thing.
post #5 of 31
I had a big long thing writtenm but it was tl;dr

Synopsis: I wear expensive versions of what I've worn since about 1995, influenced subtly by what I read here, and more importantly what I see at tradeshows, showrooms, and stores. People don't talk about what they are wearing, and all of our talk is about what is on the racks, the color story for next FW, blah, blah, blah, but I am (and others are) influenced by what their peers are wearing.

e.g. at a place like Pitti, there are definite "tribes". I feel very much at home hanging out with the S.N.S Herning guys, or Yuketen crew, or the Barena people, but in the main pavilion, everyone who is not "press" is in tailored clothing, albeit mostly about 2 sizes smaller than worn by anyone in CM.
post #6 of 31
In the last five years or so in my city, Tulsa, there has a been an explosion of appreciation for design. It timed well with my budding interest in clothing which lead to a greater design interest. We have a higher end brick-and-mortar store run by a great guy that carries stuff that is more menswear-y, but I enjoy going in and talking with the owner and buying the occasional thing. Also in the same area is a store that sells various well-designed objects and general life-staples(nice silverware, water bottles, blankets, white t-shirts, etc.) with the philosophy of only buying exactly the perfect thing that you have and enjoy for years to come, kind of a cost-per-use/buy it right the first time and you won't have to buy it again kind of deal. And while both of these places have been great for design discussion and buying a cool thing here and there, still by far the main guiding force for discussion and introducing me to things has been the internet and styleforum. This might be different if I lived somewhere like NYC, but the accessibility of the internet and all the different perspectives and styles has refined my taste in clothing more than anything local could offer. The only local shop that has really been a design catalyst for me on a level above and beyond the internet has been an eyewear boutique. I had been getting an interest in clothing from the internet and kopping some "nicer" things for a while before stepping into the store looking to up my specs game, and after seeing everything the store had and how cool and interesting all the frames were, I felt like I was woefully unfresh in my old glasses, wire frame raybans. All the SALT, Garrett Leight, DITA, Oliver Peoples, Thom Browne, and Mykita changed my perspective in a way that looking at glasses on the internet just didn't. After going to the shop pretty frequently to talk to the owner and the one other employee about general fashion and design stuff and just to try on a lot of these dope frames(I must have the worst visit-to-purchase ratio of any of their customers), the thing that will bother me the most in some fits I see posted of a glasses wear-er without an obscured face is boring glasses. You could be swagged out in some of dankest shit I've ever seen but if you have boring, lenscrafter-looking glasses it just pulls it down so much for me.

I feel lucky to have the combination of varied, interesting looks in clothing from styleforum online and the well-curated selection of a truly world class optical store locally. I really get that corner record store feeling from this store than anywhere else I've been and certainly more than anywhere on the internet. It might be because eyewear isn't as easy to enjoy online or because there just isn't anything online that offers the same selection that curated stock from a person with great taste provides, but either way my local optics store has definitely been as much of sculptor for my eyewear taste as styleforum has for my taste in clothes.
post #7 of 31
OK so there's a distinction for me between "active" and "passive" hobbies/passions. Active ones are ones where I am doing something: writing, playing an instrument, sports, dancing. I'm the creator. Passive ones are where I'm more of an observer: listening to music, watching movies. Clothes and fashion fall into the passive category. (There's a bit of 'doing' in assembling a coherent and cool outfit so this is debatable I suppose.)

Anyways this is relevant because I can talk for hours on end about my active hobbies, but conversations about passive hobbies tend to consist of "I like that." "Yeah it's cool."

So I don't talk about fashion much.
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by brad-t View Post

I'm actually very reclusive, preferring to spend most of my time at home, in large part because I don't know what to do with myself. I have few friends, and the friends I do have definitely don't care about clothing the way I do. I don't like to socialize with strangers or in large groups, I don't drink, I don't like clubs and I get tired easily. I'm sad I couldn't make it to New York this week like I usually do this time of year, because while NYC is way too busy for me to find habitable, I enjoy being a part of an aesthetic world I can make a little home in, even if just for a few days.

Most of my friends are a few years younger than me and/or significantly worse-off than me, financially. I'm a high school graduate who miraculously landed a marketing position by chance and have had the chance to develop my skills and become employable, which is nice. But I feel bad talking about expensive clothes with them, even the girls I know who like fashion, because it feels like I am bragging.

One of the reasons I created Harajuju is because I wanted a place for myself, and for people who might be like me. It's been reasonably successful.

In short, in the realm of the physical, I don't have anyone other than my girlfriend to share my interest with.
I feel like I wrote this myself, lol.
post #9 of 31

Interesting topic, and good posts. In real life, there is almost no one to talk about fashion or clothes. Well, at least if there is, they don't know and care as much as I do.

 

 

For some reason I've been really interested of clothes like last 10 years. Mostly Jil and Belgian designers. My personal style has changed a lot and these days I mostly wear just slouchy tees, black jeans, acne sweatpants and NB's. I have some nice boots etc I used to wear, but I feel more comfortable in ugly sneakers. :D

post #10 of 31
I remember as young as 8 years old that I was very particular with the way I dress. There was a funny story when one time I had to go to a friends birthday party and I chose and my mom bought this white t shirt with a graphic design of sailboats in neon colors painted with acrylic paint. It was very 80s and it kinda reminds me of Prada Spring 2005. Anyway, I wanted to wear this t shirt with this particular pair of light blue denim jeans but the jeans was still damp from laundry and I wouldn't want to wear any other pair because I thought the colors didn't look good with the t shirt. Even though my mom woudn't allow me, I still wore the jeans even though it was still damp to go to the birthday party. The next day my balls were itchy with rashes from wearing damp jeans.
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by wogbog View Post

OK so there's a distinction for me between "active" and "passive" hobbies/passions. Active ones are ones where I am doing something: writing, playing an instrument, sports, dancing. I'm the creator. Passive ones are where I'm more of an observer: listening to music, watching movies. Clothes and fashion fall into the passive category. (There's a bit of 'doing' in assembling a coherent and cool outfit so this is debatable I suppose.)

Anyways this is relevant because I can talk for hours on end about my active hobbies, but conversations about passive hobbies tend to consist of "I like that." "Yeah it's cool."

So I don't talk about fashion much.

Agreed on the passive part. I don't really have anyone to talk to about fashion, nor do I have a particularly good knowledge or sense of fashion so I generally can't and don't join in on discussions. Even on here I just tend to sit back and observe.
post #12 of 31
Glad to see you found a way to work your balls into even this thread, colabear
post #13 of 31
I like my balls. I almost lost one when I was around 5 years old, I was playing and jumping on an old mattress and one of the spring broke and hit my balls. Luckily it missed the testes and just punctured the skin and had 2 inch stitches. The mark is not visible now which is great because I like it nice and fluffy
post #14 of 31
For me, fashion and style has always been an active activity. I don't actually put that much thought into what I'm going to wear. It's variations on a pretty simple theme. But I've always been interested in the semiotics of dress, and beyond that, I keep the lights on here, which allows me interaction with all sorts of people interested in different facets of fashion and style, from people invested in the business of fashion to creative types of all stripes. It's actually pretty cool.
post #15 of 31
It's always easier to talk about bad fashion with my friends than to talk about good fashion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wogbog View Post

OK so there's a distinction for me between "active" and "passive" hobbies/passions. Active ones are ones where I am doing something: writing, playing an instrument, sports, dancing. I'm the creator. Passive ones are where I'm more of an observer: listening to music, watching movies. Clothes and fashion fall into the passive category. (There's a bit of 'doing' in assembling a coherent and cool outfit so this is debatable I suppose.)

Anyways this is relevant because I can talk for hours on end about my active hobbies, but conversations about passive hobbies tend to consist of "I like that." "Yeah it's cool."

So I don't talk about fashion much.


This is a really good point. Sometimes I try to explain why I think something is cool, but it's generally not a subject that people are interested in hearing.

Most of my good friends tend to tease me about some of my more crazy clothes, but that's only because they're more likely to see me when I come up with an incoherent fit - the high risk, high reward thing. I do occasionally get asked about clothing...a good friend of mine recently asked me whether there's a difference between a sportcoat and a jacket that's part of a suit.

Even when I do have conversations with my friends about fashion, it eventually leads me back to the internet to demonstrate my point i.e.:
"loose clothing can look cool if it's cut right"
*show Yohji collection, to slight bewilderment and, if I'm lucky, revelatory gasp from someone who gets it and has gone through the subsequent brainsplode*

There are a couple of shops that I would enjoy shopping with them, but there's only one of them who wouldn't gasp at the prices. So there's nowhere that I'd actually go with my friends.

My girlfriend likes my taste in clothes that I buy for her, but kinda disapproves of some of the weirder stuff that I buy (not that it stops me).
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