I honestly don't know when my love for men's clothing started or even why. I know it was shortly after graduating college but why? Was it to get a good job, a girl, the respect from other or any other external factor? Whatever the reason was, I'm glad I got into it but it wasn't all suited and booted and dappered down at first. I fell victim to pretty much all the style mistakes I preached against but that's the thing with growth, you make your mistakes then learn from them. As I walked this journey, got older and started dressing my age there was things in the debonair way to dressing that I noticed from all other men's clothing so I've compiled list of 5 things that I've grown to love about menswear. So I compiled a long list of things I loved then I realized the video would have been too long so I figured I'll break it down to parts of 5 each so this is part 1
5. Have A little Fun
Relax! No one likes someone who is uptight anyway and your clothing shouldn't be either. The easiest way I have fun with my clothing is through my accessories, specifically my socks. There's a reason why they call them fun socks, and boy do I have a ton!!!! I've got them all, crazy colors, crazy patterns, socks with a hidden message, socks for a cause and there is a time and place to wear each one appropriately. A pretty cool brand I came across recently have some socks I would consider conservative but fun, there are from a company called Dead Soxy and worth checking out. The majority of my crazy socks I can't wear with something formal like a suit and I don't want to be boring with some argyle ones but still want to have an element of playfulness, that's where these socks come into play. They are fun, made of Polyester, Nylon, Spandex and Lycra, tend to hold up and not slide down like the others usual do. Dead Soxy was kind enough to give you guys 20% PLUS free shipping on any of their socks or sock combos (they have couple socks yall, for you and bae!), just enter "FMS" at checkout.
4. Appreciate Fine Craftsmanship
I LOVE SHOES! There, I said it! I may have a problem, the running joke among my friends that whoever I end up marrying needs to understand there's a good possibility I may love shoes more than her. I have 14 pairs and counting (one more on the way as I type this) and they are just beautiful masterpieces. I appreciate the time,effort and construction of the formal and casual dress shoes so much much that at times I don't want to wear them, just stare at them. Nothing says "I'm grown" better than a pair of wingtips or double monks. But this isn't restricted to just shoes, it's everything from ties to pocket squares to ascots to tuxedos.
3. Tend To Be The Style Guy In Your Circle
It's part of the reason why I started blogging. My friends would see me dressed up and would ask questions on what to wear, when to wear it, how to wear it, do certain colors match, what about patterns etc. They found my input insightful so I figured why not do it at scale. But it's not just the fellas, the ladies would ask questions too for the men in their lives. It's at a point now if I dress down in a t-shirt and sweatpants people look at me weird
2. I Represent More Than Myself
I'm young. I'm black. I'm African. I'm a man of God. I'm part of a Greek Fraternity. I carry the last name "Riley". I come from a culture where individualism doesn't exist, it's all about the group. The synergy of the group can make it elevate higher than any individual can do on their own. When one person does something wrong, the whole group looks bad, likewise when one does good the whole group looks good. I've just applied that same mindset to my clothing.
1. No Labels! (for the most part!)
In a world where a brand name/logo is considered a status symbol, I'm glad to be a part of a genre that pays little to no attention to that. Truly, if you see me wearing a suit/sport coat, you don't know what it is. Is it Micheal Kors? Calvin Klein? Is it custom made? Did I get it for $5 at a thrift store? What about the shoes? Is is $300 or $50? You can't tell and I won't either. It's no one's business, all they need to know is that it fit comfortable and I like it
This style journey has much to offer and much to learn along the way. I love to talk to other men style enthusiast on how they got into the game and stayed in for X amount of years and the reasons why we do what we do are quite similar. Perhaps, in a later parts (yea I decided in the middle of writing this that it will be a series) I can add their input. So part one is a wrap, stay tuned for part two.