- Oct 27, 2004
- Reaction score
STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.
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I feel my best when I am dressing my best, and while it may sound cliche, life's too short to be wearing anything besides what you really want to be wearing. I've been into clothes since middle school and it's almost been 10 years since I graduated HS so obviously I have had time to tweak my wardrobe (more than the majority of the members here I'd presume). When I am wearing the wrong things I am always overly self conscious. On the other hand when I am confident in what I am wearing, I am confident, period. More than other objects in life, I find that the right clothes can speak for me. Because I believe in this, I also find myself learning a lot about others by what they wear and how they style.
Obviously, I'm a victim of caprice - and I gravitate between trying to look the way I think an adult should look, and wanting to look like anything but an adult. Clothing, to me, is more about mood than anything else; more about romance, and in a way, about literary archetypes - the Kennedy, the Highwayman, the Socialite - what I'm learning, slowly, is how to do these things well, to share a vision I might have and make others understand it - not to appear highbrow, nor to incite criticism/discussion, but to look like I know what I'm doing, which I guess would be, for me, the most important part of all of it.
I'm not sure if I really count the obligatory AE/faded jeans phase as anything but that - a phase that most people go through (obviously, myself included), whether they're responding to advertisements, hype, or the fact that middle-school girls tell middle-school boys that they want them to look like the shirtless abercrombie models. I do, however, remember that at some point in seventh or eighth grade I became obsessed with button-down shirts. To me, they made me seem "grown up" (and they still seem that way). Both my grandfathers wore them - one, an economist from New Jersey who grew up incredibly poor, and subsequently spent every adult day in a suit (and from whom I recently inherited several blazers); the other, a New England prep-school headmaster who spends all of his free time boiling maple syrup, repairing roofs, fishing, and clearing brush with chainsaws. Despite growing up in Colorado, the preppy/ New England aesthetic is fairly firmly ingrained in my mind as a the way that adults dress - I'm not talking about owning fourteen pairs of pastel shorts and twelve pairs of "dress" boat shoes, but looking sharp, tailored, fitted, professional, like you work in New York and know about stocks. But I also remember going out on the lake with my headmaster granddad, wearing LL Bean galoshes and bright yellow raincoats, my great-aunt's performance-fleece and hunting gear company, and the age-old Sorel and Bean boots that we all used to to tromp through the snow every winter. I guess that Americana, in an East-Coast sense of the word, is going to be with me for a long time. I think that's why I understand the new-prep hipsterism; why wearing sperrys and apcs every day seems normal to me; why the "SF uniform" in general seems normal: it's an easy way to look like a grown-up. That said, I also look at people like Kunk and Fuuma and am always blown away. Designers that I'm going to refer to, despite my good sense, as "goth-ninja" designers; high-fashion labels whose collections I admire every season - all of that is impossibly attractive to me. It has a different sort of romance than the Eastern Seaboard classicism that I'm familiar with - I can look at Fuuma and see Baudelaire's ineffable dandy, or SoCal and see the LastNight'sParty decadence that strikes yet another chord for me. All in all, it makes it difficult to set myself to a single aesthetic - in my closet, I have APC, NDG, and Helmut Lang denim, alongisde vintage Burberry blazers, Acne hi-tops, sperrys, Shmack hoodies, gigantic LL Bean button-downs, and ridiculous, sheer All-Saints knits that I can't for the life of me figure out how to work into my wardrobe. Obviously, I'm a victim of caprice - and I gravitate between trying to look the way I think an adult should look, and wanting to look like anything but an adult. Clothing, to me, is more about mood than anything else; more about romance, and in a way, about literary archetypes - the Kennedy, the Highwayman, the Socialite - what I'm learning, slowly, is how to do these things well, to share a vision I might have and make others understand it - not to appear highbrow, nor to incite criticism/discussion, but to look like I know what I'm doing, which I guess would be, for me, the most important part of all of it.
My only rule is this. I try to buy items based on uniqueness, aesthetic merit, and quality. I don't care about a theme, only whether or not the item I'm looking at matches up with my perception of self. Who cares about grander themes, though I shy from things like work wear, ninja outfits, and faddishness.