Men’s fashion is no longer about the overly groomed, physically gifted models of magazines. As we spend more time at home, we naturally wear more comfortable, easy outfits; and that relaxed sentiment trickles through to the rest of our style too. It’s so much effort to look like Chris Hemsworth in that mocking Hugo Boss advert. And whilst there is still pressure to achieve some level of fitness and physical physique it is much more relaxed; a bicep and mostly flat stomach will do. The same goes for fashion. You don’t need to look 100% put together, because we’re all taking it a bit easier right now.
So you’ve ditched GQ and men’s fitness, and now you’re wondering where to look for some fashion inspo. There’s a few blogs, mostly by fashion labels. But they’re stuck in the past, and still project the looks of a youthful teen, or a 30-year-old corporate cliché. You are 20 (+), no longer completely naïve, but not ready to fully accept adulthood and its responsibilities. You go to get a coffee on your way to the train station, and then you see it, the person you want to be. The barista is effortlessly cool, almost a hipster cliché but they have too much edge, they aren’t faking it. The woman behind you in the queue appears to be looking up the chocolate croissants, but then you notice her eyes following the movement of the barista. He was just putting the croissant in a paper bag; it’s not the pastry she looked at with admiration. So that’s what I have to look like?
You make a mental note of the baristas characteristics, and continue to do the same each time you go, easing in elements of their style into your own. But after a few weeks you release there are 3 different baristas, all cooler than you, but different. Throughout your studies you separate them into 3 different characters: the punk, the soft boy, the professional one.
The punk is confident. Their rolled up flannel shirt sleeves reveal a sleeve of tattoos, and all these layers connect into something slightly threatening. Their wardrobe is mostly dark, and their skinny jeans tighter than a crowded Oxford Circus tube at 5pm. They rock a band tee, you might not be familiar with the group, but it offers an opportunity to learn something new. Often seen rocking Converse Chuck Taylors, Doc Martens, or some other kind of combat boot. Piercings and tattoos optional. Hair length ranges from buzz cut to long.
The soft boy
Probably the closest to your current wardrobe. Wears slim/regular/oversized jeans, typically cuffed at the ankle. For shoes they wear a vintage trainer, comfy and practical. Occasionally they adopt the oversized band tee of the punk, but it’ll probably be a more recognisable HMV find, like Pink Floyd, The Beatles, or The Rolling Stones. Other graphic tees may include 80’s movies motifs, Asian supermarket signage, and trippy 70s illustrations. At least they look comfortable. Casual is key.
The professional one
The professional one dreams of escaping their coffee scented chamber, but for now they’ll just have to make a good impression on any possible future employers that stroll through. They always wear a shirt with the sleeves rolled up, never white (imagine the stains), and clean slim fit jeans. They’ll wear trainers so you know they don’t take their selves too seriously, but they’ll be mostly clean with no scuffs. A clean short haircut is essential, but maybe with a bit of sea salt spray for texture. Serious, but not completely lost to the corporate world.
On a final note I leave you with these words of wisdom:
“One pretends to do something, or copy someone or some teacher, until it can be done confidently and easily in what becomes one’s own style”.
– Cary Grant