"Re: Fashion" — A Manifesto

"Fashions fade; style is eternal." — Yves Saint Laurent
A word about trends: Don't worry about them too much. Well, let me qualify that: If you can tweak your current closet to be trendy, go for it. Want to pin your collar à la "Boardwalk Empire"? Go for it. Want to roll your trousers so your socks and shoes are a little more visible? Go for it. But don't buy a brand new pair of pants with the cuffs pre-rolled and stitched into place just because it's thing to do this year. That's expensive.

Our style philosophy is this: Invest in a wardrobe that will last, not one that forces you to walk into your local boutique and buy one of everything each season.

Exhibit A: (Boom! Roasted!) The scientific graph above is the result of a thorough and legit studysurvey. Believe it.

The Spectrum of Style is a theme that keeps coming up in our conversations around the Midwestyle office. From Jeff to me to Israel (my brother/ideas man), there's a pretty wide gamut to our personal style sensibilities.

Israel, for instance, lives in a world of relaxed-fit trousers. He rejects rolling up his pants on principle. "It's trendy," he says, like that's a disqualifier. His world is not 'Nam; there are rules. (Like no black with brown under any circumstances.) But when Jeff flounces into the living room leather belt tied around his sportcoat, I draw the line. (Don't worry, fellas, I'm only ribbing you.)

On the "reserved" side of things, you run the risk of being governed by one era's rules and becoming outdated, which is fine if you're this guy, but we're not elderly yet. On the "bleeding edge" side, you can be trail-blazing, but you also have to perpetually splash out cash and update yourself to maintain your runway cred. If staying current with the latest fashion is your hobby, knock yourself out. For me, there are other demands on my wallet.

If you shoot for the middle, you'll be neither too wild nor too tame. Some would say that's boring. I say you'll look put-together, without making a spectacle out of yourself (unless that's your game.) A way to liven things up, a way to keep it interesting, is to embellish the exoskeleton of your ongoing wardrobe. That blazer you bought five years ago will serve you for a long time. Add flourishes: elbow patches, colored thread around button holes, a flower in the lapel. That's how guys like Gay Talese get by with suits they bought 40 years ago. The proof is in the details.

Now, don't get me wrong: Experimenting with your style is important. Try new things. Work with different combinations. The world needs people who will blaze new territory, but I'd prefer to see the most avant-garde of it on the runway—not in my closet.

YSL photo by Carolina Rodriguez.


  1. I've been waiting for this all morning. I honestly think this is your best post yet.

  2. well, expect for one thing.


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