What is the definition of Fashion – a popular trend, especially in styles of dress and ornament or manners of behavior.
I thought it would be appropriate to define what fashion is. I love clothes, dress well but do not follow fashion.I may buy fashionable pieces every now and then, but the majority of my clothes are timeless and have lasted me a long time.
The fashion I see for men today is simply atrocious. There is a push to feminize men and this is obvious in the clothes that you see for sale in the mall for young men. Sadly, this brainwashing seems to be more directed at young black men – who seem to copy what the rappers are wearing. Lil Wayne seems to be the biggest culprit, wearing leggings and pants that show his ass. I should not have to type this, but hopefully you do not dress like this. You will never be taken seriously if you do dress this way.
Personally, I find it frustrating shopping in the local mall. The pants/trousers never fit, the new style of jeans borders on being tight like leggings. I am not a fan of this new trend of t-shirts either called long line, they fall below your ass and resemble a women’s top.
Let me be perfectly clear, a man should never wear anything that could be mistaken for something his sister or girlfriend could wear.
So let us start from the beginning. Most of us don’t have the scratch to buy the latest from Gucci, even if you did it doesn’t mean you would look good. You have to know where, when and how to shop.
For us in North America, the best place to start is the outlet malls. America of course has tons of them and there are real deals to be had. Some of my favourite outlet malls in America are Woodbury Common in NY state and Sawgrass Mall in Florida close to Fort Lauderdale. I still have visions of the full length black shearling coat I passed on, it was regularly priced $6000 and marked down to $599. It was made by some fancy Italian designer and was very pimp to say the least.
In the New York area, there is a good retail outlet chain called Century 21. Not to be confused with the real estate company. Another great place to shop, is from the comfort of your bedroom. The internet is golden for deals and great sites, a lot of small companies can be found online, even on social media sites like Instagram.
I recently stumbled across a site called Trashness, they do a more preppy style of clothing at reasonable prices.
My go to site is www.asos.com, a British company with very reasonable priced clothing. They ship globally and most times I don’t have to pay any extra shipping or duty on the goods. I will say there clothes are more for a younger and fashionable man, I tend to buy accessories from them and a casual tops. As I stated before, the pants/trousers do not fit me.
Mr Porter is a popular site as well, they are more upscale and carry high end designer goods.
Of course we cannot forget that most major retailers and department stores have their own sites. They will usually have a clearance section and some deals can be had there.
As of late, I have found good deals at consignment stores, the one I visit the owner seems to have a source where he gets new designer clothing for cheap. I grabbed a black pair of Hugo Boss Jeans for $80, this is from the higher range of Boss as well. These stores tend to be in the nicer part of town, so it can be worth your while to check them out.
There is also second hand stores, I am not a fan of wearing or buying other peoples clothes. I would source these places for things like vintage clothing, maybe an old leather jacket, coat or some denim.
The golden rule on when to shop is at the start or end of any season. Summer clothes will tend to go on sale in August and Winter clothes go on sale in January, usually as the month progresses further markdowns will apply.
To get great deals you may have to venture out on Black Friday (Thanksgiving) and Boxing Day (Dec 26) also.
As a retailer, these stores have to make X amount of money on these days. I would say at least 20% of their revenue for the year may come during this time. So it may be worth it to fight the crowds for a bargain.
This may also be the only time certain brands go on sale, for example Cole-Haan shoes usually has a 50% of sale during Black Friday. You can pick up a nicely made dress shoes for $75. I will discuss footwear later.
If you find a store or site you like, it is always a good idea to build a relationship with them. For example, a friend of mine loves J-Crew, he recently spent a lot of money there and was able to get additional discounts. He has built up a friendship with one of the sales guys in the store. The guy has basically hooked him up.
It is always a good idea to register online to the stores you like, they will often send you coupons or enticements to get you back in the store. I have scooped a lot of deals from Saks Fifth Ave outlet because of these emails. I know most retailers have these rewards program or cards that give you a special discount.
In the next part, I will discuss what to buy and how to build your wardrobe (by Rudebwoy).