As I have grown older, I have learned a simple fact – fashion is transient, but style is forever. Unfortunately if you read the men’s fashion magazines or even some of the newer blogs, they are skewed mostly towards giving you advice about the new, hip and cool. If you go through some of the cutting edge men’s blogs, they all talk about same heritage brands. I feel very few folks talk about the classical style. More importantly, very few publications/blogs write from the perspective of men who are not “fashionistas.” I don’t know — there is a certain something that is missing from all the talk about clothes for men.
The thing is classical style doesn’t fit the modern world and its pace. We are all convinced that we need to buy and buy more often. However, that also means things that just hang in your wardrobe. The classic style, however is all about getting maximum returns from your investment in clothes. When I was cleaning out my wardrobe this morning, I realized that some of my favorite things are getting long in the tooth but they still look good, are comfortable and feel stylish without trying.
Take for example, this Brooks Brothers (camel) car coat that I bought in 1998 when I was working for Forbes.com. It is very basic and simple. I could wear it with a fraying t-shirt (and a scarf,) a plain white shirt or layer it on top of a sweater – it looks good anytime. It is particularly good for San Francisco, where winters are not as chilly as say the North East United States. It also works well during the really cold summer we have in San Francisco. It is simply perfect. It has survived many jobs, events and weight changes. It even has original buttons. I get it dry-cleaned at the end of the cold weather and then again at the the end of summer. I don’t wear it on days it could possibly rain. On rainy days it is my Barbour jacket fills in the gap. It is 14 years since I bought this jacket and it has a certain timeless quality that is enduring.
I have been wanting to regularly blog about men’s clothing for a long time and have been a little reticent. I am not even sure why, for I do give tips to a lot of my friends about what to buy and what not to buy. Now I don’t really have any special qualifications to talk about clothes – except for my own shopping experiences to meet the imperfections of my body. It has been a lifetime of trial-and-error and learning from those mistakes. Of course there was a little tiny time when I wrote about fashion in India and that some of my friends work in the fashion industry. Also, I did attend a couple of courses at FIT before coming to my senses and making a move to the world of technology (writing.)
So here I am — giving you advise on classic style. Proceed with caution, for listening to me could be injurious to your wallet.