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?