For the previous 13 years, I’ve advised EG readers to attempt for a timeless, basic type.
…to decorate in outfits that gained’t make you cringe whenever you see photographs of your self immediately in 10 or 20 years.
Right here’s the issue with that recommendation: There is no such thing as a such factor as a timeless males’s style.
So, how ought to guys gown, then?
Let’s get into it.
Why Timeless Males’s Vogue Isn’t Actually a Factor
You’ve been advised many occasions, even by me, right here, on Easy Gent, to deal with constructing your wardrobe with timeless fundamentals… clothes that gained’t exit of fashion, ever.
However in the event you look again on males’s style and clothes all through latest historical past (e.g. the Twenties on), there isn’t one merchandise that has stayed the very same. Even your primary pair of denims or a regular T-shirt has modified, albeit barely, with match, minimize, and proportion.
Right here’s the factor: This idea of “timeless fundamentals” is a rip-off, a advertising gimmick that’s principally made up as a way to promote you one thing costlier.
Each model that sells you clothes on the premise that it’s a timeless primary that can by no means exit of style is aware of you’d justify paying extra due to that cause. And that’s as a result of, once more, theoretically, you gained’t have to switch it quickly, if in any respect, as a result of it’s “timeless”.
Purchase It As a result of You Like It
There’s nothing incorrect with shopping for a $100 T-shirt, or a $350 pair of denims, as long as you might be shopping for it since you simply need to.
- Maybe you want a selected high quality or attribute about it—the best way it was constructed, the sturdiness of the fabric.
- Perhaps you want the actual shade, or the best way the
shirtappears to be like and feels whenever you put it on.
- It might be you merely get pleasure from and relate to the founder’s or model’s backstory.
- Or perhaps it’s a extremely, very nice jacket you assume is cool, others assume is cool, and you are feeling cool sporting it.
Any of the above causes are completely tremendous to wish to purchase and put on one thing.
However in the event you’re shopping for one thing solely since you had been satisfied it’s a timeless primary and due to this fact it’s value spending extra, solely as a result of will probably be related and in type “endlessly”… be ready to be disenchanted.
And right here’s why:
The clothes itself could also be timeless, the clothes combos are timeless, however the particulars and proportions of each change over time.
Timeless males’s style (that isn’t so timeless in any case)
So for instance, a pair of denim denims as we all know them immediately has been round for the reason that late 1800s (and the precise jean cloth, at the least 100 years longer).
Denim type isn’t timeless…
However the denims miners wore within the late 1800s are very totally different in type, minimize, proportion, cloth make-up, even common objective and cultural context, in comparison with the denims immediately.
And what’s crazier: Even the best way we wore our denims 10-15 years in the past is totally different than how we put on them immediately.
These scans (above) are from considered one of J.Crew’s Fall 2011 catalogs. Be aware of the slim / skinny matches and low rise on the pants. Even the
Distinction that with the autumn 2022 lookbook from J.Crew. Discover the upper rise and general relaxed, barely boxier matches. The style pendulum swings. It’s refined, however there’s a distinction.
Similar goes for T-shirts, mid-layers, even some footwear that we had been advised had been “timeless” 10 years in the past are actually trying a bit passé.
Even the basic go well with has gone via (many) adjustments
The way in which
Take the Mad Males period, the late 50s into the early 70s.
Whereas these slim silhouettes look comparatively trendy to us immediately, that’s solely as a result of we had been re-introduced to them comparatively lately, again in 2007 or 2008 when the present first aired.
The slim go well with additionally took maintain within the mid to late 2000s as a part of the style pendulum swing, a response to the late 80s / late 90s structured, padded, voluminous
Listed here are extra J.Crew Fall 2011 catalog photographs (above). Discover the very slim
Whereas there’s nothing objectively incorrect with these appears to be like, in the event you had been to type an outfit like this immediately, in 2022, it could look dated.
However in the event you take a look at
The go well with itself, or the game coat / chino combo hasn’t modified… however the proportions, matches, and the best way we put on them immediately has.
Tendencies change, So nothing is actually timeless
So, what have we discovered?
- Whereas basic items do exist (assume
fits, denim, T-shirts, and so on.), the best way they’re designed and the best way we put on them have modified over the many years.
- Timeless males’s style isn’t actually a factor, and it’s unattainable to attain a very trend-proof and timeless wardrobe. I’m slowly coming to this realization myself, 13 years after beginning this web site with this very perception in thoughts, and thru a number of of my very own private type shifts and changes.
- Shopping for one thing costlier as a result of it’s offered as a “timeless primary” that “will final you endlessly” is almost certainly simply advertising.
So how does one keep away from this? How will we keep away from falling sufferer to tendencies, or spending cash on garments that can look dated in 6 months?
How To Obtain Timeless Males’s Type If There Is No Such Factor
Males’s style (like style, basically) is an ever-evolving, shape-shifting sorta factor. Whereas it could not disappear fully, it’ll at all times be altering.
So long as you keep in “the center” with at the least a part of your wardrobe, there are methods to seem “timeless”. This can even show you how to keep away from being too fashionable, or too boring or dated.
Listed here are three choices.
Possibility 1: Purchase garments which can be very “center of the street”
Mid-rise, straight leg denim. White T-suits and sport coats.
Take a look at the denim photographs above. On the left is the Levi 514 mannequin. The opposite photographs are from the 50s, probably earlier.
Commonplace straight leg, mid-rise denim hasn’t modified that a lot. A mid-rise, straight leg model is fairly basic and doubtless gained’t ever look outdated.
These basic items, with their decidedly “commonplace” styling, will roughly serve you effectively for 10-20 years, if no more.
There’s an opportunity you’ll seem like you haven’t any idea of present tendencies and silhouettes. Not that that’s “unhealthy” or “incorrect”. Only a resolution you make, and relying on the story you wish to inform together with your clothes, is perhaps the correct transfer for you.
Possibility 2: Costume for the second!
Costume for immediately, proper now, and never fear about how related your wardrobe will likely be in 20 years, or 10 years, and even 1 yr from now.
There’s an excellent probability that many of the stuff you personal now, you gained’t be sporting in a decade anyway, as a result of as you dive deeper and deeper into creating your private type, your tastes and preferences will change.
The way in which you like your jackets to drape, the slimness of your trousers, the looseness of your sport
And in the event you’re actively experimenting together with your type, determining what you want and what works / doesn’t be just right for you, there’s an excellent probability you’ll purchase some duds that you simply gained’t wish to put on subsequent yr. And that’s completely tremendous, too. It’s all a part of the method.
Possibility 3: Put on what you want! Combine and match previous and new kinds with abandon.
There’s a center floor, one other option to be eternally fashionable… a option to keep away from being a sufferer of ever-changing style tendencies, whereas additionally not succumbing to a 100% dated or boring, vanilla outfit.
Combine present, of-the-moment, fashionable stuff you want, with fundamentals you already personal, or garments you personal which may be thought of dated or passé.
For instance, I would put on a tapered pair of denims (which I want, though denim kinds are a lot wider proper now) with an outsized crew neck sweatshirt (extra aligned with the present type).
I’ve a comparatively slim sport coat with slim lapels I purchased again in 2010, and I nonetheless love this jacket. I may put on it with a pair of straight leg chinos and a tucked-in T-shirt to deliver it as much as a extra trendy type general.
There are a lot of methods to combine your older, once-trendy stuff (what Gen Z might contemplate classic) with present on-trend kinds and matches.
Males’s Vogue Isn’t Timeless, however Your Private Type Can Be
How clothes is styled and designed, and the way we as a tradition select to put on our clothes, all adjustments over time. Nothing is actually timeless. However the ethical of the story is: That’s completely tremendous.
Embrace a private type that has parts of fundamentals in conventional matches, blended in with some present, on-trend objects, and some classic, old-school objects… and you’ll actually give you some nice appears to be like that exhibit a singular private type that’s all your personal.
Does that assist?
You probably have any questions or feedback, DM me on Instagram! I’m additionally on Twitter and Easy Gent’s Fb web page.
|12/17/2022||Up to date textual content for readability and gave extra examples|
|04/20/2017||Added extra detailed examples, photographs to make clear|
|04/12/2017||Authentic publish date|