Personal style and changing standards

Greetings, readers. I know it's been a while and I apologize for that. A combination of work and other things have kept me away or not that inspired. (Which is ironic considering my work involves menswear yet it leaves little time in the evening for blog writing. On my days off I still couldn't find inspiration.)

But I've finally come to a subject I'm fascinated by: Personal style. Or rather, how it evolves. Those who have read for a long time or looked in the archives will notice a bit of a shift in my preferences. I used to be all about the vintage, 1930s style clothing and found little to no inspiration in modern clothing. I was also into the '60s proportions almost exclusively for a while, coinciding with my "Trad" obsession. Now, as I've gotten older and experienced more, I've actually become more tolerant. I still think those 10" rise trousers are pretty bad, make no mistake, but I'm not quite as into the high rise stuff I used to be. Actually, if anything, a mid-rise seems to suit me better and feel more comfortable. I also think there's something to be said for a lot of the clothing being made by designers like Tom Ford that use classic proportions in some areas (like the lapels and shoulder width) yet update slightly in others (like the trouser fit).

When I started this blog, my ideal would have been a heavyweight suit with three buttons and a ventless back, spearpoint collar shirt, and lightly lined vintage tie in some obscure repp stripe. My ideal outfit now is more like a lightweight darted suit with three roll two closure and side vents, spread collar shirt, and robustly lined tie in a small repeated pattern. To say nothing of the difference in fits, accoutrement choice, and other details. I still have a fondness for all those other styles I adopted,

Why the change of heart? I don't know, besides that for some time I was feeling a little frumpy in what I wore. Those baggy, reverse pleat, WWII-style Polo chinos I used to treasure about eight years ago are far from what I'd wear now. There's still value in secondhand clothing, but I've limited my impulse purchases to things that fit well and suit my personal taste to begin with. Working in a menswear store for a while has also exposed me to a variety of personal styles and more modern fits. I've also learned more about clothing alterations and how to fit a variety of body types.

Again, there are some limits. For example, I still more or less adhere to The Black Tie Guide's definition of what is proper for tuxedos, even though I will rent or sell whatever my customer prefers. I can steer them a bit if they don't have a clue what they want. Oftentimes they think they want classic black tie only to go back and choose a bright red waistcoat and long tie with a two button slim fit tuxedo. But that's their call, not mine. I'm only there to guide them.

What is different now from when you started getting into menswear? Please share in the comments.


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