Monday, July 5, 2010

I Can't Believe I Roll My Jeans Up, or Why "Trendy" Doesn't Necessarily Mean "Bad"

I remember being eight years old and talking with my cousin, who's six years older than me (he was fourteen at the time, for those of you who didn't major in math). In addition to discussing our favorite Ninja Turtles and debating the merits of MC Hammer's discography, girls became a subject. If I'd had my current vocabulary and penchant for swearing at the time, my thoughts on girls would have been as follows:

"Girls fucking disgust me. Not only do I not understand their fascination with dolls or their aversion to playing sports, but they have serious, easily-transmittable cooties and should be avoided like the goddam plague."

My cousin told me that that'd change in a few years. He was right.

It seems the same has happened with my reaction to style trends. True, we're all products of our environment, but I always prided myself on knowing the traditional rules of men's style and adhering to them. Trends were inherently bullshit and would spell sartorial ruin if you succumbed to them.

As was the case with the ladies, I was wrong. I learned I was wrong about seven or eight weeks ago, when we had our first heat wave. It was hot as balls outside and I was wearing jeans slim enough to sustain being rolled, so I rolled the legs up a couple of times. I decided that it looked damned good and summery, but then it hit me: this is all over runways and every hipster asshole in this town is doing the same thing. What does that say about me?

I've come to the conclusion that trendiness isn't necessarily all bad, you just have to be selective about the trends you choose to adopt. In general, I find that you're better off flexing trendy pieces into your casual wardrobe as opposed to your formal one, only because dress clothes are generally more expensive, and since not many of us are wiping our asses with hundred dollar bills, we can't afford to go out and buy new suits every year. A suit is a suit and has certain pre-determined correct proportions that don't change with the ebb and flow of fashion. With that in mind, remember that this ultra-narrow lapel trend we're seeing (with skinny-ass ties, to boot) will be gone in a few years. In fact, I'm saying it right now: seven years from now, we'll be seeing super-wide lapels on suit jackets, and it'll be all the fucking rage. Mark my words.

On the other hand, plaid shirts are trendy right now. If you find one that fits well and has colors that look good on you, why the hell wouldn't you give it a shot? Fedoras and porkpie hats are both part of the classic men's sartorial canon AND freakin' ubiquitous right now, so what's the harm in trying one out? If your pants are slim enough to roll up when it's hot, roll 'em up. You do the same with your shirtsleeves, right?

Think of it as selective trendiness, guys. It's ok, trust me.

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