Pollyanna came to NYC last winter and we shot a few looks for her agency portfolio. I ended up filming for a few minutes but never got around to the footage until now, nearly a year later.(Richard Guaty)
Buying clothes can be a drag.
Sometimes you wake up and take a look at whatever piece of clothing you’re about to throw on in the morning and just think “what the hell is this?” We’ve all been there, trapped with our own limited wardrobes, budgets, or lack of style into wearing something that just doesn’t send us out into the world being the best man we could be.
Some days you feel like changing everything.
And there are days when a certain urge takes over, a certain need to start ramping up one’s clothing-related effort and finally vault one’s self into the world of formal, classic menswear. It usually doesn’t last, what due to monetary or time constraints, but it’s there, that need, when you glance at someone who wears a suit or pair of fine Italian shoes without the slightest hint of work-related obligation in their comportment, and you think “ah, damn, I could pull that off if I just had the tools to put it all together.”
Dressing properly is harder than it looks. Damn.
Like a lot of complicated things one needs to do every day (cooking, working, driving, conversing), the skill of dressing properly isn’t simple. What appears straightforward is actually a series of small decisions, each one requiring step-by-step contemplation, depending on a pre-existing structure. If you don’t have such a structure (a solid, interlinked wardrobe, say), the process becomes disjointed and difficult.
So, for those of us already with jobs that require a certain amount of formal dress, who want to branch out and pull that elegance into our outside-of-work lives, or for those of us still languishing in our dress-like-a-teenager mode but looking for a fount of inspiration to knock us out of our bewildered post-college hangover, let us present the site for you: The Sartorialist.
A remarkably easy solution for understanding how to wear things well.
A suggestion: subscribe to the Sartorialist, look at its updates every day, and occasionally read the comments. Bookmark whatever post you particularly like the look of. When it’s time to go clothes shopping, no matter where you’re heading off to, take these images with you. Print them out, put them on your iPhone, whatever; you need a visual reminder of what you’re going for.
Now, a lot of the Sartorialist’s posts feature men in Milan, a city in which it’s remarkably easy to find an extremely elegeant dude on a bicycle any day of the week. But that doesn’t mean you’ll look out of place in any attempt to follow their lead. The best thing about this site is the lack of strong commentary: Scott Schuman is a remarkably positive guy and the general tone and lightness of the site is, I think, one of the reasons it’s got such a following.
A positive and non-insider view of men’s fashion.
Just try and find this kind of happy touch anywhere else in the fashion industry. You won’t, and this is part of the reason why a lot of guys simply ignore anything to do with men’s fashion: the tone is entirely alien. I can’t sit down and read long articles about this year’s trends because they assume I’m already in the loop, already attuned to last year’s trends and their larger dissipation into the world, when fashion is actually somewhat down the list on artistic subjects I like to keep an eye on.
Timeless men’s fashion isn’t so inaccessible, after all.
Since Schumann and his blog, besides occasionally pointing to examples of fine, modern fashion, also like to highlight what is, for lack of a better phrase, a ‘timeless elegance’ in mens-and-womens’ wear, the site, unlike almost any other fashion publication around, never feels too new or conversely too dated, and most importantly, too inside to bother reading. Every post on the Sartorialist gives something back in its information, its fine, unassuming photography, and its gentle admonition towards a better world of elegant dress out there. It’s easily attainable, especially with clear, good sources like this one.
All photos copyright The Sartorialist.