Classic menswear shoppers are the most sustainable on the planet, and should be a model for the rest of the fashion industry.
This is not an article encouraging you to wear oxford shirts, tweed jackets or penny loafers. It's not about the style - it's about the philosophy.
In fact, when I was a younger man I found classic menswear and its subcultures like “trad”, “prep” and “Ivy” were old and boring. Why would I want to dress like a grandpa? I wanted to flash. To be current and cool.
As I got older and learned more about menswear (and adult life, frankly) I started to better understand not only the social value of a classic aesthetic, but also the underlying philosophy of lasting design and quality craftsmanship.
The thing about the classic menswear enthusiast - the guy who spends his free time discussing things like tie knots and chest canvasses on blogs and forums - is that he is incredibly sustainable.
He does all the things we encourage our clients to do.
He avoids trends at all costs.
He doesn’t buy anything that doesn’t fit properly.
He buys the best quality he can afford.
He carefully considers how often he will use an item and what he will wear it with.
He values transparency and understands the provenance of a garment; who made it, how the fabric was sourced, etc.
And, above all else, he makes a plan to build a long-term, sustainable wardrobe that he will wear for many years, if not decades.
If all goes to plan, he will even pass down some of his best investment pieces to his son, and these worn-in garments will carry on his style legacy in all of their creases, fades and patinas.
He is very much the opposite of the trend-driven buyer. He doesn’t want his items to look brand new or on-trend. On the contrary, he wants his clothing to look old, or to have no signs of age whatsoever. His clothing is not tied to a time, date, or movement. His clothing is a textbook, not a periodical.
No matter your personal style, or whether you feel comfortable blue blazers, fresco trousers and cordovan shoes, you can learn a lot from classic dressers when it comes to their philosophy of hyper-intentional consumption.
If we all planned our wardrobes the way classic menswear guys do we would dress better, waste less, support better brands...and I also believe we would enjoy our clothing more as well. It’s freeing to think less about a garment's place in the current “trend cycle” and instead appreciate it for its inherent quality and its long-term value to our daily life.
I believe the happiest dresser is the one wearing beautiful old clothes that he’s been wearing for a long time, feeling a personal and emotional connection to his clothes and not giving any thought to the fleeting feeling of staying “cool”.
Thanks for reading. Comment below.
Yours in style,