McQueen, working out - note his boxing gloves (or rather taped hands).Unfortunately, today’s fashionable man has become a caricature of what it once meant to have style. More dandy than distinguished, trends have become much more widely accessible. What people wear is no longer as tied to their status, profession or culture.
It isn’t difficult to see the advantages of such evolutions. Social hierarchies and stigmas associated with certain types of dress have been subdued, and there is no question that the integration of cultures has left a lasting mark on fashion – we have seen the influence of Asian structuralism on the runways, vibrant African colours and dying techniques, materials from Italian leather to Egyptian cotton and Chinese silk.
The working man has also left his mark on fashion; the F/W 09 trip to the turn of the century evoked images of workmen at the height of the industrial revolution, while Don Draper’s television success contrasted these tough looks with sharp, clean and polished 1960s suiting. What resulted was a merging of the fashions from our grandparents’ era with that of their grandparents: two hard-working generations that laid the groundwork for society today. Yet there is something else that has faded from these bygone eras, beyond the quality of craftsmanship. I believe the walking mannequins who parade the latest sartorial creations have lost that swagger of old. Is it really enough to mimic the past in look, but not in attitude? Allow me to elaborate.
Well worn Levi’s (like the ones pictured here), cowboy boots, and a button down shirt.
LIFE magazine almost made me laugh out loud. This was ridiculous; both this guy and I were wearing costumes. I’m not sure what my reaction should be at this point. Rick Owens, the champion of monochromatic clothing once said ‘No outfit is going to make you look or feel as good as having a fit body. Buy less clothing and go to the gym instead.’ Perhaps I will take his advice; afterall, style is more about the person than it is about the clothing. I will try being more, while pretending less. Here’s to swagger.