Monday, February 4, 2013

You Can Still Wear that Jacket

In the midst of an economic downturn and talking heads spouting platitudes and continued warnings of  economic armageddon, we continue on.  Most of us must continue living our lives in spite of dire predictions.  Some of us have decided that the accumulation of "stuff" that existed in the '90s is not a sustainable habit and restraint is in order.  So how does fashion fit into this?

We are inundated by fashion in our society.  Magazines tout beautiful and powerful men and women wearing, and in turn creating, the latest fashion trend.  In looking at these trends over time, it becomes more and more obvious that men's fashion does not have the chameleon-like life cycle of women's fashion.   Men's fashion tends to change at a much slower pace and is accepted by the masses of men at a slower velocity than women's acceptance of fashion trends.  While this does bring up sociological and biological differences between men and women, that discussion can be had at another time and place.

The point is that men are able to select pieces of clothing that will stay in style for much longer periods of time than women are able to.   Take the tuxedo jacket as an example.  There are still mainly three lapel styles-peak, shawl and notch.  The tuxedo jacket was invented during the Victorian era, in the late 1800's, and at that time was considered informal.  The business jacket is today is the uniform of the white-collar worker and the tried and true for men in semi-formal and more formal situations today.   If you purchase one of these you'll probably be able to get a decade of wear out of it, if you stay with a basic color like black or blue.  Even if you haven't tried on that jacket in the last 5 years, chances are it's still in fashion.  Dressing it down, or up, comes to a matter of what you wear under the jacket, whether it's a t-shirt or a dress shirt and tie.  So guys if you're going to buy a suit, buy one that will take the wear and tear of a decade.  You'll probably still be able to wear it then.