I’ve spent the last cou­ple of years tak­ing a greater inter­est in dress­ing well — which has mor­phed into a greater inter­est in style — which has mor­phed into a greater inter­est in fash­ion — which is some­thing I’ve nev­er under­stood. Though, final­ly, I’m begin­ning to. I think.

There have been scat­tered moments in my life where I had a well-defined per­son­al style, my curat­ed EDM-hip­py vibe in high school (neon-print­ed ray­on shirts that glowed under black­light and vin­tage pants), pro­to-Zucker­ber­gian basic neu­tral norm­core for post-col­le­giate office work (khakis, grey t‑shirts, blue but­ton-downs), to my cur­rent urban yup­pie pro­fes­sor dad steez (ubiq­ui­tous cor­duroy jack­et, flat-brimmed hat, worn-in selvedge, high tops).

If I had to assign three major qual­i­ties to clothes they would be mate­r­i­al util­i­ty (what’s it used for?), qual­i­ty (how well is it made?), and com­mu­ni­ca­tion (what does it mean to wear it?). Tra­di­tion­al­ly, I bare­ly cared about any of these — although util­i­ty would be the clos­est, which is the sta­tus quo for most folks (men espe­cial­ly). I would buy the cheap­est clothes that would serve the great­est num­ber of pur­pos­es and cared noth­ing about fit, prove­nance, appear­ance or style. So the world of high fash­ion seemed com­plete­ly ludi­crous to me. I nev­er con­scious­ly con­sid­ered that cloth­ing could be art.

I am a per­son who appre­ci­ates the well-craft­ed. I even­tu­al­ly grew tired of buy­ing cheap clothes that don’t fit my pro­por­tions and dis­in­te­grat­ed after a wash or two. I’ve sought well-craft­ed, Amer­i­can-made cloth­ing for the last 2 years, and through the research in and appre­ci­a­tion of that craft, I’ve been able to look to the next step to see fash­ion as art. The util­i­ty might be non-exis­tent — but there’s no util­i­ty to visu­al art, music, or cre­ative writ­ing either. I’m talk­ing mate­r­i­al util­i­ty, not social utility.

So now I pay atten­tion to my own dress, to the dress of oth­ers’, and to some extent what’s abuzz in fash­ion because I took the time to learn the lan­guage & what I say by the way I dress. A lot of it still seems like non­sense to me, but I’m will­ing to attribute that to my igno­rance. Here’s to fur­ther learning.

3 thoughts on “Fashion”

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