Monday, November 9, 2009

man-shopping

 
my dear readers,
i promised you man-blogging, and i slacked on that one. well not really me, but my guest man-blogger (it's ok i still love you baby). fortunately for all of us, a dear friend jumped at the opportunity to help out and wrote a charming essay about his experiences with shopping. i think it is quite helpful for all those daunted by the shopping process, men and women alike. and i think even seasoned stylistas could learn a thing or two from this insightful editorial. enjoy!
love, signature_styles 


Square One

image from jcrew.com 
Previous to a few months ago, I never felt it was cool to buy clothes. While looking good was vaguely appealing, it didn’t seem worth the imagined shame I would suffer browsing racks and magazines. I can only recall four distinct episodes in my life where I spent any time shopping. For a year in high school I knew the t-shirt racks on Haight Street fairly well.  I also collected a couple vintage jackets (one of which I still regularly wear). Senior year in college I went to B Brothers with my dad and got a gold-button blazer, two pairs of wool gab trousers and a couple ties for interviews. Post college I added to my work wardrobe with some more trousers, shirts, ties, a suit and a pair of shoes. Around the same time I used a gift certificate to get a pair of jeans and a herringbone coat with a sewn-in hoodie on Maiden Lane.
 
Until two months ago, those were the only jeans I owned. Around that time I decided it was time to start caring. The creator of this blog agreed to go shopping with me (I asked because I felt drastically unqualified to pick out any clothes on my own), and we picked out a second pair of jeans and the first t-shit I’ve bought in about 10 years (not counting the two I made for myself and friends). And I felt great about it. But I also realized how little I own.
 
So I’ve set aside some money in my budget and put together a bit of a plan, however misguided, to build myself a functional wardrobe. I’ve decided to start with my work clothes. An inventory revealed my blazer, four pairs of trousers (tan, olive, grey and charcoal), about 12 shirts (mostly blues), a black v-neck sweater and a blue cashmere v-neck. Shoes included cordovan tassel loafers and black lace-ups, and gold-buckle belts to match.
 
The results of my fist shopping trip were mixed. I picked up two sport coats at Macy’s (two-for-one sale), two pairs of brown trousers (light and dark), four shirts (RL and CK; stronger colors and patterns than my current, pale-ish collection), a pair of tobacco lace-ups and a matching silver-buckle belt. I also changed out my gold buttons for blue buttons and resoled by tassel loafers. All this was good. But there were some frustrations. One of the sport coats shed a button after three wears. The shoes are still breaking in. One of the pairs of trousers had to go back to the tailor to fix an unfinished hem.
 
But now that the issues are behind me, I am faced with a bounty of options in the morning. In some ways, I’m a bit lost as to how to put it all together. I also have some ideas for what’s next. Augment my sweaters. V- or zip-neck? Another pair of brown shoes. Chocolate lace-ups or brown Chelsea boots?
 
A significant change resulting from my increase in shopping (and browsing in preparation for shopping) is, as I walk around downtown, noticing what looks good and what doesn’t. I’ve never paid attention before, but it really is a lot of fun.


 happy monday! have a great week everyone!!
(and wish me luck on my root canal, yikes!)

1 comment:

  1. Great post, very well written and interesting.

    ReplyDelete