I came to liking fashion not long ago, probably only about the end of February. Prior to that I wasn’t dressed unfashionably- black t-shirts with a patterned contrasting collar combined with jeans or black cotton trousers, but now I have fully embraced it. Suit style trousers combined with a leather Jeff banks belt, black leather shoes (although I should really get a dark brown pair too), a shirt and blazer/jacket or shirt and waistcoat combo are the normal day wear. At times I can appear to be slightly overdressed and in some situations I will just go in an shirt and trousers but there is something gratifying about being well dressed.
Before getting into clothes (not in a literal sense) I thought those who went all out with fashion were purely doing so to show off to others and that clothes were a waste of time in general (not to say I was a nudist). How wrong I was. Clothes are certainly not a waste of times they can make us and others smile, they can set a tone and are just generally great. I was also wrong about the showing off, at least partially. Those who really love clothes and fashion don’t do it to show off, they do it becuase they like how the clothes makes them feel. To me my blazers and suits are my armour and they are also an expression of myself.
I used to hate clothes shopping and would go as infrequently as possible; however, now I have to to keep myself away from the shops. This is because the downside of a love for fashion is that even when finding cheaper alternatives it still adds up. You simply find you need more clothes and you need better clothes, more in season clothes, more cutting edge clothes etc. I have about 8 pairs of suit trousers (normal so far) and they will probably be ok all year round although i may need another light grey pair at some point. Next I have 4 waistcoats that may again last me all year round; I have them in grey, black, navy and light blue. I have about 20 or so shirts but most of them are quite cheap to buy. On the jacket/blazer front though I have 9 and I’m still not entirely sure I have enough as a few are clearly winter season jackets, some are black and you cant really wear those in summer. When it is all narrowed down I probably have 2 or 3 jackets that I can wear in summer and they are the most expensive part of the outfit to buy. Even of you get a cheaper blazer out of H&M it is still about £40-50 or so. H&M by the way actually have quite a brilliant Summer range on, it doesn’t quite match that of Debenhams but at about 1/4 the price I don’t think anyone would expect it too.
For those who want to throw in a bit of smart fashion into their wardrobe without the excessive cost Primark has a nice navy waistcoat and trouser combo- there is a jacket too but I don’t think they are of the most flattering cut. On the waistcoat the cut and stitching looks largely OK because it isn’t too complex, you can of course notice the difference between it and a more expensive piece but they still appear wearable. If you want a cheaper blazer then go to H&M. As I mentioned previously it has some nice summer pieces and some nice shirts too. On the suit jacket front I don’t know if there is a cheap new alternative, if you are willing to go second hand some charity shops have some surprisingly high quality suit jackets. If you demand brand new then I would recommend looking in the sales or splashing out on a jacket by a decent designer- one of my favourites is Jeff Banks. If money isn’t an object then definitely have a jacket tailored as that will ensure that it works with you perfectly.
I would touch on shoes here but I am still getting around my profound hatred for men’s shoes. I have got a pointed black leather pair that I wear from Primark, they only last around a month or two but they do the job. If money was not an issue Prada do a brilliant pair of black dress shoes, alas they are currently beyond my means.
In conclusion embrace fashion, it’s fun. Some people don’t because they think it will be a hassle but once you are in the state of mind it really isn’t.