As I’ve previously mentioned, this menswear/fashion movement is in its early stage of modern existence. It’s growing and moving forward at a rapid rate. Didn’t you hear that one of the biggest names in men’s fashion, Nick Wooster, is now working with JC Penney? Odins new collection with Target? GQ’s Best New Designers collaborating with GAP? ESPN announcers at the NBA draft using the term “spread collar?” Dad’s from across the States will soon be wearing chambray button downs, slim-fitted camo shorts and loafers (and no socks!) Shocking? Well, not really; it was bound to happen. Men are starting to dress better. It’s a fact; now it’s time to get used to it.
I’ll be the first to admit, although small, the “menswear community” is becoming over-saturated. For those of you unfamiliar with it, let me put this on a level that you can understand. Start out by thinking of your favorite reality television show. Next, think about how many spin-offs have been created from that show. There’s a lot of antique collecting teen mom’s out there fishing with their bare hands while somehow managing to be a real (not fake) housewives. Does that make sense? Great, because the same thing is happening on our end. Everyone is telling you how to wear that new navy blazer you just bought. Oh, and don’t even think about letting your pants sit on your loafers. It’s summer, roll those up and show some ankle (which subsequently is my other article this week)! Alright, alright, you get it. But in all honesty, why are we telling people how to dress? Shouldn’t we be inspiring people rather than telling? Yes, when you take a woman on a date, you should wear a jacket. I don’t care if you’ve been dating for two weeks or two years; put on a jacket and loose the gym shoes! That’s pretty much the only “real” advice I want to give you on “what to wear.” I’m afraid you’ll have to do the rest on your own, gents.
Where to start? Educate yourself. Trust me, clothes can be expensive. You could drop $800 on a t-shirt if you really wanted too (I’ll stick with my James Perse tees—seriously, they’re the best). You will not be any more fashionable if you buy an expensive jacket or pants. I live by the saying, “It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it.” Build a collection that suits you (literally and metaphorically). Don’t buy to buy and most certainly don’t buy a matching outfit out of your favorite menswear magazine. Being a manikin is no fun and will get you no farther in life. Figure out what works for you and go with it. Style is eternal (someone famous said that, I think) and should be ever-changing. One thing I love about my visits to NYC, Chicago, or LA is the style I see from the people on the streets. The body and it’s clothes are a pallet for creativity and individuality. You get lost in a sea of people very quickly in such large cities, like NYC. Therefore, they desire to fit outside the norm. People in most other cities do not want to stand out and/or be different, which is unfortunate. There’s a fear of being “unique” that scares people. It’s much easier to be inside the heard instead of on your own.
Fear not, my friends! Now men from all over the world have their opportunity to shop high quality goods online. Yes, even if you live in a tiny town of 200 in a remote part of the country. Odds are, you have an internet connection or the means to access it. Now, you have the opportunity to wear, see, and experience designers that once were only available if you went to a major city.
There’s a handful of menswear online retailers that have become instrumental in this menswear movement. They are doing something that has not been done before: bringing fashion/style to the masses on a global scale. Take a smaller company, like Save Khaki. They’ve been my favorite khaki designers since their beginning. The only time I could ever buy from them is when I visited their store in SoHo. Now, since the online retailing explosion, they’re just a click away.
I’ve broken down A&H’s top five online retailers for your viewing pleasure.
Happy browsing my friends!
Mr. Porter is the equivalent of your stylish grandfather who still out-dresses the young cats in town. Elegant, simple, but yet modern, Mr. Porter provides their readers with a one-of-a-kind experience. They do a terrific job finding new designers for the site (Beams Plus, Falke, E Tautz and others). In my mind, they have defined what it means to create an online retail magazine; highlighting designers, art, and culture. They also produce the “Journal”, a weekly web series featuring sartorial suggestions, artists from around the world, and new product on the site. It’s minimalistic layout gives it that sophisticated twist. Oh, and did I mention they produce a quarterly newspaper, “The Mr. Porter Post” that is delivered right to your front door?
Park and Bond is the new kid on the block. Yes, he’s got a serious style that has a sartorial yet rebellious side. It’s witty humor (that editorial when lawn machinery) only adds to its overall character. Like Mr. Porter, Park and Bond carries a wide selection of designers and goods. From Rick Owens to Ian Velardi; the team of buyers is always on top of their game. They also deliver a top-notch menswear online publication called, “The Intersection”. Here, they offer advice, sartorial predicaments, and in-side information on your favorite designer. With cameos from model Tom Bull, Hindin Miller, and advice from the dapper Tyler Thoreson, you will most likely be browsing throughout the day.
You name it, they’ve got it. Oh, and if they don’t, they’re probably getting it. Yoox is the mega-store of fashion (both for men and women) a both full and discounted prices. Looking for hard to find Italian labels? Yes, Yoox has that too. Be careful, though. You most likely will need to block off at least an hour plus on the site. As soon as I feel like I am down browsing, my eye catches another product. I actually learned about a few designers from Yoox. There are an abundant amount of clothes to browse through. I’d love to spend a day at their factory warehouse. I hope my invite will be in the mail sometime soon.
Based out of Sweden, Très Bien Shop brings smaller European labels to a new audience. No, they don’t have a “how to wear it guide” and/or fancy advertisements. What they lack in major corporate backing they make up for in selection. Kudos to their buyers; they do a tremendous job curating a fantastic collection. Some of my favorite designers, including Our Legacy, Engineered Garments, Dries Van Noten, and Jil Sander, are all available on the site. Their writers also provide an in-depth look into each brand and designer. Oh, and their sale starts this week. I recommend checking it out.
Yes, I went ahead and grouped these all together. They’ve all done a wonderful job re-creating their online retail layout. Saks has a 3-D viewer for each outfit you search (IT engineering at its finest). I am very curious to see what each store does with their online retail layout. Personally, I’ve always loved visited the stores in person. Unfortunately, they aren’t in every city. They equally have the same selection (to a certain degree) and with menswear names like Josh Peskowitz, Eric Jennings, and Mathew Singer running the show, I am pretty excited to see where things go.