Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Like so many things in life, dressing well requires an understanding of the big picture, the reasons for wearing the things we wear. If you lose sight of the sartorial message you're trying to send, you will ultimately look foolish. This, for example, is why wearing socks and sandals looks ridiculous. The entire point of wearing sandals is to enjoy socklessness, so why the hell would you wear socks with them? All you end up doing is demonstrating that you've completely missed the point. It's a sartorial oxymoron.
I witnessed a similar situation a few days ago when I saw a man wearing a black peacoat, oversized charcoal grey pleated dress pants, and a pair of black Adidas Sambas. Sadly, this guy had no idea what the hell he was doing and looked like a retarded man-child as a result. Forget about the fact that his clothes fit him like hell; he was wearing dress pants and sneakers, which completely dilutes the meaning of both.
I believe it was back in 2009 when GQ openly endorsed wearing suits with sneakers. In their defense, they only gave the green light to sneakers with minimal detailing and slim proportions, but I still think the advice was misguided and overly trendy. This was one of the first times I'd ever read the magazine and disagreed with the sartorial advice it's offered, and seeing it in action (though the execution was particularly poor) made me assess why I think it looks so foolish. Suits are a modern Western man's way of dressing up, and sneakers are a modern Western man's way of dressing down. While this blending of the high and the low can sometimes work (dress shoes with certain jeans, button-down collar shirts with some suits), pairing sneakers with a suit just looks silly, no matter how cute your girlfriend thinks the guy from Entourage (pictured above) is. If you want your feet to be comfortable, finding comfortable dress shoes is totally doable if you, you know, try on more than one pair. If you want to take some of the stuffiness out of the suit, I suggest that you either:
a) ditch the tie, or
b) consider wearing something besides a fucking suit.
Remember, this suits-with-sneakers trend is just that: a trend. It'll be gone sooner than we know it, and you don't want to be the guy reworking his whole wardrobe just because GQ told you to.