In Defense of #Menswear (Or At Least My Corner of It)
More than a few posts have come across my dash in the last few weeks that have painted the current #menswear scene in an unkind light. I’ve blogged/read about menswear for about three years now and still find it fun and interesting. I’ve been thinking heavily about what has kept me around these past few years. It is not the clothes. It’s not the free stuff (because I can count on one hand the free stuff I’ve gotten from blogging). It is certainly not the Anons. God, help the Anons. It’s the personal style of those I follow that keeps me coming back.
There are numerous tumblogs filled with striking pictures from advertisements and fanciful street style shots outside of fashion shows or in trendy metropolitan areas. I’ve always found these shots to be contrived and unrealistic. I live and operate in the real world and am inspired by the pragmatic. I find inspiration in real people wearing real clothes to do real things.
This has colored the people I follow in the #menswear scene. The majority of the blogs I follow have a what I wore today component to them (or used to). They do post the occasional street style and advert pics, but for me those are not the main draw. I follow to see what other real people are wearing. Their other posts give me a frame of reference for their own inspiration, and through their WIWT shots I can see how they choose to bring their own inspiration to life.
It is these individuals and their personal style that brings me back to Tumblr on a regular basis. I’m consistently impressed and challenged by what they are wearing. More than that, I’ve bared witness to the evolution of their style over the past few years. I’ve watched them grow and take more risks and then too many risks and then too few and then finally strike a good balance. Over this time, my own style has evolved as well. How could it not in such an environment?
People in the blogosphere can present themselves in anyway they like. Who really knows what they’re like in real life? Despite that, I can’t help getting the sense that I “know” the people I follow. Beyond watching the evolution of their style, I’ve seen them get married, have kids, go on vacation, lose loved ones, lose weight, move cross country, enter graduate programs, graduate, get new jobs, start new businesses, etc. I’ve shaken hands with many of them, seen a few of them from afar, and others I couldn’t tell you what their face looks like. These people share more than their style through their blogs. They share their lives. Sometimes this is more inspiring than their clothes.
Where there is a culture, there will be subcultures. I consider myself and the majority of the people I follow WIWT bloggers. We are real people who wear real clothes to do real things. Who you follow in the menswear scene makes all the difference in how much you enjoy it. If you find mainstream menswear boring, with a little searching you can find a group that is a better fit for your interest. And if not, start your own group. “Be the change you wish to see in [#menswear].” ~Ghandi (approximately)
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- pardonmyreach said: Very well said, good sir.
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- funkypresident said: Real. Talk.
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- eclecticstyles said: This is perfect. You described my use of Tumblr perfectly. I love blogs like yours that focus on WIWT pictures. I’ve learned so much from just looking at pictures that people post. It has much more of a community feel. Thanks for writing this!