MAJhacks on streetwear, trends and personal style
streetwear isn’t just the snap back culture seen in urban outfitters, and it’s not just $500 japanese made varsities, the best streetwear is where the wearer has his own style, uses influences around him to create something unique as cliche as it sounds.
hbaas runs down the difference between chromexcel and shell cordovan
- Made only by Horween
- A pullup/analine leather, i.e. the colour lightens with age and wear
- really oily, you can actually feel the oils in the leather when you touch it
- Comes in lots of colours
- Not that expensive
- stretches a lot
- consists of the whole hide
Shell cordovan is :
- Horse, specifically rump leather, the thickest and strongest part of the hide
- Takes 6 months to tan (varies, Horween does it in 6, some english tanneries take up to 10 months)
- Not exclusive to Horween, many other tanneries make shell cordovan
- A very waxy leather, instead of creasing it ripples.
- gets darker with age (but only slightly, acquiring a dark patina)
- comes in many colours, but traditionally burgundy, aka cordovan no. 8
- very strong, and still relatively thin. Only stretches a little
- Consists of a pair of “shells”, round disks of rump that are cut from the hide and treated, i.e. two ass cheeks.
- that’s why it’s so expensive, because it takes 6 months to make, and you only get a very small part per horse (6 ft, compared to around 50ft for a cowhide)
Shell is more more expensive, but really way tougher than chromexcel. When it comes to dress shoes, shell is slightly more formal, but both are still pretty casual leathers, i.e. you shouldn’t wear them with a suit. Shell cordovan has a very distinctive texture, it’s so smooth you can barely see the grain. If you’re looking at used shoes, shell is easy to identify by the way it ripples, and absoloutely doesn’t crease. The colour is very deep, and has an amazing lustre. Also, at the stress points, you can get a little white buildup. This is the wax, and it easily buffs off.
EDIT: a few more things I forgot to mention
Chromexcel comes in a variety of weights (thicknesses), since it’s just regular cow leather, and can be, iirc, thicker than shell cordovan (but not stronger), which only is made in one weight.
Syeknom knocks it out of the park with a string of comments on design, fit and dissonant chords
I think it’s a good idea to reflect on why you make this comment. What does “too” mean?
There is a very clear and well defined aesthetic on display here which uses cut and shape to create a sense of drama - rebellion, dynamism, sexuality, motion and youthful-but-masculine energy (although some are much more relaxed and almost lethargic).
Since the outfits do without colour the shapes of the pieces do the heavy lifting visually. Are you saying that adding wider/looser trousers to these would genuinely improve them? If so, why? What do you think that it would add to these outfits? Do you mean really wide, loose trousers as Ann or Yohji might style them or just less slim cuts? The former I feel takes everything into a completely different world and the latter would have a huge impact on the stacking shape, on the intensity of the cuts and bring everything back towards looking like a very plain, black outfit. I don’t personally see it as an improvement here.
If the looks presented here aren’t to your taste that’s one thing of course, but that’s not what your post implies. I’d be really interested in hearing your thoughts on why increasing the form of the trousers would improve these outfits.
teckneaks on the importance of wearing a stranger’s flip-flops
One of the most important things you can learn on mfa, and really your whole life, is that there is an immense diversity of peoples, worldviews, and lifestyles here, in the US, and the world. If people were to just stop for a second and think “wait, my worldview/experience ISN’T the one everyone else has” we would suddenly enter a beautiful new enlightenment. The guy from the south complaining about sweater guides in September. The guy from Maine complaining about flip flops. The guy from the midwest hating on Goth Ninja. The Goth Ninja being all high-and-mighty. All of these views are legitimate, and learning to see from another’s point of view is a powerful and enabling thing to be able to do.
tl;dr - putting yourself in another person’s shoes - or flip flops - is an important life lesson
rebent: “The better you get, the harder it gets to improve”
I call this Zeno’s improvement.
Think of where you were, blank slate, pleb, whatever. Before you started trying to improve yourself.
The goal is to find the single change that will improve your wardrobe the most. the 25% improvement. For me it was ditching my jumbo pants.
then then next 25% improvement, bringing you to 43.75% of looking good. For me it was ditching graphic Ts. 25% more, up to 57.8%: learning common fashion faux pas.
another 25%, to 68.4%; learning how to take care of my clothes, what to wash when, how to dry, how to keep neat.
the next improvement I’m working on right now is going to bring me up to 76%, and that’s learning how to tailor my shit so it fits right. That’s literally the biggest challenge I’m facing right now, but it’s a much smaller improvement, imo, than was just ditching my jumbo pants and graphic Ts.
The better you get, the harder it gets to improve. But, that doesn’t mean you’re getting worse, just that you’ve come a long ways.
cdntux explains his decision not to buy from sweatshops
I’ve often read an argument from those in support of these types of factories that says something to the effect of, “if we didn’t buy clothes from them they’d all be child prostitutes.”
But it’s a slippery slope. Where’s the cutoff? Do we support child prostitution because if we didn’t they’d all starve to death? Is employing a 9-year old girl in 12 hour shifts for $30/month, as the ‘good alternative’, something that I want to be a part of? No. It’s not my responsibility to assist in the development of exploitative industry in the third world.
Might I be an unwitting participant in it? Certainly. It can’t be avoided. I pay taxes and the government negotiates a deal with Bangladesh to make importing knitwear easier. That’s fucked but I can’t do anything but vote and complain. I tip my waitress and she uses her extra income to buy garments made in that factory. Fine, I can’t tell her how to spend her money. But will *I* fork over the cash for the garment produced over there? No.
I wanted a pair of jeans and the tag said “made in Bangladesh” and I’m thinking ‘could I look these people in the eye and tell them I’m doing them a favour?’ No.
Even if the woman sewing at the American Apparel factory hates her job and the pay, even if she’s sending all her income back to her family in Mexico, even if she’s not allowed to unionize, at least she’s not some 9 year old girl sitting on the floor for 12 hours dodging rats. When we’re talking about moral relativism, that’s the lesser of two evils for me.
Syeknom responds to “what high-end brands are worth it?”
At a certain point you have to divorce price from quality. A $1000 jumper is probably not going to be that much nicer fabric or stitching than a $400 one. Objectively this price is not “worth” this level of money in terms of what you get physically.
When considering dropping this kind of money on designer pieces it should be more motivated by the specific design of the piece, by the way the designer has used the materials to realise this design and how the piece fits in with your wardrobe and the designer’s “world”. If you just like the breton stripes and want a high quality jumper this one is not “worth it”. If this *exact* jumper gives you lust, or if you saw it styled in a lookbook/shoot/runway and it gave you a dozen ideas for how to build outfits around it then, or if you are a huge fan of YSL (even these days) and have a strong relationship with the brand then it might be.
At the highest ends like this though you’re paying a lot more than one ought to at retail due to the demographics involved (e.g. the people who will tell their shopping assistant to bring them a few jumpers to try on and then they pick the couple they like ignoring the price or the desiger/fabrics/). Whether to pay full retail for a designer piece or not is your call - for most I fear it’s not a reasonable option but there are some where I’d happily pay full retail (Stephan Schneider, Dries Van Noten) but plenty more where I would only consider them on sale (e.g. Margiela).
The concept of “worth it” is a really bad angle to approach these things at in my opinion. Is paying £xx,xxxx for a painting “worth it”? No one can really tell you a firm yes or no unless they’re talking in terms of investment. Is paying £x,xxx for a designer chair “worth it”? etc etc.
Spend time with the designer’s work online, on the runway and in person and decide for yourself what you’d be happy to pay for their pieces. Don’t just buy pieces because of the designer or because of the price though. It’s a relationship between you, your money and the designer.
Kale_no on budgets, recommendations, and being realistic
Speaking as a user, and not as a moderator:
I find it very frustrating that people expect to find something in the exact style they want, at a low price point, and expect it to last forever. It’s kind of like that you’re-a-college-student-pick-two-out-of-sleep-social-life-and-good-grades triangle.
I also understand how frustrating it can be, as someone with a low budget, to be told that you can’t have it all or that you should “just save until you can afford what you want.” For some people, it’s simply not viable to save up for a $300 pair of boots. If you’re in the low budget camp, the sooner you can accept that you won’t have it all, the happier you’ll be in the long run. I think being on a budget, while exasperating, causes people to think more consciously about their purchases and can be spun into a positive - if you have to plan every purchase carefully, you can make sure that you’re super happy with every thing you buy.
The fact that it’s hard to get everything you want at a low budget doesn’t give other users an excuse to be, quite frankly, jerks about those with a low budget. There’s a way to tell someone they may need to adjust their expectations without saying, “look, just spend more” or “look, you’re not getting what you want, why are you being so unreasonable about this?” We also need to be better about being realistic about people’s budgets - if someone’s shopping at Forever 21 because they don’t know better, it’s one thing to recommend a company with, say, J. Crew prices. However, if someone’s shopping fast fashion out of monetary necessity, we need to be conscientious of that and try to provide cheaper fashion recommendations (even if they’re not BIFL-quality because, let’s be honest, most of the stuff we recommend here isn’t BIFL anyway) rather than just advice that’s better suited for /r/personalfinance. I try to point out politely how harsh and unnecessary this is when I see it, but the mods can’t be everywhere at once. I think the sooner we, as a community, realize that people have different fashion wants and budgets (as well as priorities - just because someone can afford to spend $300 on boots doesn’t mean that they want to - they may instead prioritize saving towards retirement, a vacation, another investment piece of clothing, etc.), the better we can get over this issue and provide everyone with the best help we can give.
Willravel answers “What CAN husky guys wear?”
Fit is paramount. It’s tempting for larger guys to wear stuff that’s baggy on them because 1) it feels like it’s hiding the specifics of your body shape that you’d rather leave to the imagination and 2) it’s hard to find clothes that fit. Work through those, because they’re an obstacle. You don’t have to accentuate moobs, but trying to cover them by wearing massive shirts makes the whole situation worse. Jorge Garcia of Lost fame can be quite good at acting as a model for how larger men can still dress well. Note that what he’s wearing is big enough for him, but it doesn’t drape off him like he’s wearing a king-sized bed sheet. The OCBD fits with maybe a little room to move around, but it’s no bigger, which can actually make you look fatter. The sweater and coat are basically the same, fitting his body well.
Darker colors hide size. Patterns hide bulges. Layering can hide shape and size, too.
And, frankly, he’s morbidly obese, much larger than your bigger MFAer. If he can pull that off, guys with 20 extra lbs. should have no difficulty.
Edit: forgot about something. I used to be overweight, and I very distinctly remember that I always felt hot. I would sweat at a moment’s notice, I always wanted the a/c on, even during the Spring and Fall. Because of that, layering can be tricky. Look for thinner materials for things like sweaters and sweatshirts, and OCBDs should be your basic standby for a top, as the sleeves can be rolled up and they can easily be found in fabrics that breathe. Shorts don’t tend to look as good on bigger guys, but because leaner pants are in for men now, you might be able to find shorts that can work, shorts that are only a little loose through the thigh and end at the knee, not below. Shorts also keep you cool. The word you’re looking for in pants and shorts is “tapered”, meaning they get leaner the farther they get from the waist.
Do not buy clothes that are too thin for you out of some weird denial phase. Wearing things that are too tight, especially pants, create something terrible called “muffin-top”, which isn’t anywhere near as delicious as it sounds. If you overdo it with jeans and pants that are too small, you can actually start running into the same issues some women used to with corsets, and you don’t want that.
Finally, speaking as someone who was once overweight, don’t get down on yourself. Yes, if you’re unhealthy you should take steps to become healthy, but feeling like shit does no one any favors. Don’t shame yourself. Don’t let your state depress you. Don’t get sucked into the cycle Fat Bastard talked about in Goldmember, eating because you’re unhappy and being unhappy because you eat. Being a little bigger does not make you less valuable or less worthy of dignity or self-respect. If you’d like judgment-free assistance, /r/fitness and /r/loseit are amazing communities full of supportive, knowledgeable people who would be interested in helping in whatever way you need.
I lost 85 lbs. It took me two years, but I ended up not only meeting my goal, but staying there for the past 15 years. If I can do it, anyone can.
Syeknom helps explain some of the reasons certain outfits gain popularity in WAYWT, and why doing some things differently is part of the appeal.
I think it’s great that you’ve approached this with such an open mind, humble about things that you feel you don’t get. It’s an excellent approach to any subject - be it music, art, reading, fashion, whatever. The value of something is not a function of our own understanding of it nor our preconceptions, associations or limitations.
You’re right to note the lack of common theme - these are just lads (and one girl) out there living their different lives in different parts of the world at different ages and in different social groups. If there was a common theme it’d reflect rather depressingly on a topic so varied as male fashion!
However I would disagree with your reaction that “slapping anything on” would achieve much the same effect. Take a look at some of the linked WAYWT threads or Outfit Feedback & Fit Check threads to see overwhelming evidence to the contrary. A basic outfit such as white t-shirt, jeans and trainers may seem hilariously simple and trivial but a large amount of people who wear it look *pretty bad*. The reasons vary but consider the effects of the cut of the jeans, the fit of the t-shirt to the body, the wash and fading of the jeans, the shape of the shoes, the material, the shades of everything. A lot of thought can go into such a simple outfit (initially anyway, once one has these items and is happy it’s no effort or planning to sling them on at the start of the day before running out of the house). Simplicity is not a fault nor is it laudable for itself necessarily - but the execution of the idea is the thing people here respond to.
Some of the non-simple ones (I can’t check the ones you’re linking right now, I’m at work) draw from different aesthetical styles, different cultural settings (even the difference between being a young guy in NYC compared to a non-coastal state is significant), different inspiration and the works of different designers. Clothing doesn’t have to be about looking neat, or looking like some fixed notion of “together” - fashion is a pursuit that involves significant levels of design that can challenge, electrify, appall, amuse or intrigue. As a consumer we sometimes hope to play in the worlds these designers create, or create our own space to explore through the clothes we wear. The more out of the “norm” one dresses, the more polarising and even alienating it’s likely to be - hence a reaction such as yours whereby it looks like random pieces. Discordant music (e.g. a Schnittke symphony or Coltrane free jazz session) sounds *amazing* if you have the taste for it but to the uninitiated will sound like random, atonal crap that offends the ears.
It may all sound a bit pretentious and it can be, but in practise it really is just dudes wearing clothes they like. Sometimes things work out well, other times they work but could use improvement, sometimes it’s terrible and doesn’t work. The process is part of the fun and a user’s progression over the course of some WAYWT threads can really help steer him into realising his goals much better than his initial attempts throwing together random clothing.
Perhaps somebody who can see the pictures you’re linking will be able to talk more about the specific outfits you’re asking after, but I hope this sheds some light on what’s going on here.