The Pollution Problem In Fashion

Sometimes humans are as a species arrogant. Well maybe more than sometimes. In that arrogance we do things. Some of these things seem menial or simple. Like it’s not a big deal. Little do we know this simple thing has a great impact. It’s not so much the act itself, as mush as the scale that we do it. Remember the story of the person that died from Hydro Intoxication. Apparently too much of anything can be a bad thing. A friend told me once, “All things in moderation, even moderation.” Sometimes it’s hard to moderate how we over do things like clothing.

Everyone wears clothes, garments, & fabrics right? Everyone loves the feel of new clothes. The look of that never washed piece of freshness. That crispy piece of denim really puts the outfit together after all. Therein lies the problem. That denim doesn’t stay crispy forever, and that outfit goes out of season eventually. Our need to stay up to date is the reason the clothing industry is what it is today. It’s like the industrial revolution has morphed into a completely different animal. Long gone are the days of gray skies and layers of soot on buildings. Instead we have endless piles of fabric in warehouses and storage units. Landfills and sweatshops all accumulating piles. 

No one is innocent. Especially in the west. It’s just too easy to buy new shit. The fact is (the collective) we have a consumption problem. While new clothes are nice, making an effort to buy resell is a great option. Buying new is nice but some norms need to change. Actually, it is changing. The need for retro pieces and bespoked thrift store finds are becoming a norm. We’ve said it before, and we still believe bespoke is the future. There is a value in the idea of something sized just for you. It’s import that we have options to breath new life into the old. I mean we can’t just keep on this path of over production. Something’s gotta give. We see it so many other places in our society. We see the pitfalls.. Those same pitfalls lie in fashion. So we have to be responsible in our consumption. I read alot of articles speaking on those other areas of consumption but not ALL the areas. The big picture is important. 

How we adjust to this world of pandemics, social injustice, and environmental changes should be in the conversation right now. How we consume is just as important as how we interact. The focus on what we buy has been in the conversation a very long time. While where we spend our money should be a focus, how we spend it should be one as well. We have to be intelligent consumers. Because we control cool. We should do it responsibly. 

Thrift Stores & The Brand Dilemma

Status and style have a tendency to go hand in hand. There is this fine line between being fresh vs frugal. Often what is associated with fresh or trendy has a tendency to be expensive, even unattainable for some. This unfair idea of status attached to garments is of course a construct. In the west, and well all over the world items are highly sought after. Not for what they are but for what they represent. What do they represent though? Prosperity and the unattainable? Perhaps…

Everyone wants to create a look, an image. A representation of themselves. The common misconception is that you have to break the bank to do it. That somehow the more you spend means that your look holds more merit. The truth is if you look and are willing to be patient you can find the same brands you want now for better prices. Sales, and discount stores have hidden gems. The most obvious yet hidden option however is the thrift store. I just recently copped a pair of $200 A.P.C. jeans for $6 at Goodwill today. Tag still on them. In layman’s terms… They were new.

The deals are out there. You just have to look. You can wear what you want to wear without having to be essentially hustled by companies who want you to be an uneducated consumer. The options are out there. Like most things in life it just takes a little patience and alot of drive and it can happen. You can have your unique look with the brands you love, and still have some money in the bank.

Happy hunting…

Fashion:  Is taking a risk with what you wear worth it?

Courtesy of NY Magazine

     In the light of the current climate both literally and fashionably the air of things is ripe for change.  Whether music, politics, or life there are points when things get stagnant.  When people get restless and the world gets shook up.  It’s usually about every 3 to 5 years that a trend get overdone, ie. the bucket hat.  As technology improves and trends spread faster, the timeline is sped up.  That’s when things get tricky.  Regional preferences  (like Washinton D.C.s love for New Balance)  play a part in regular wear options. 

     Taking chances in what you wear is a tricky venture.  A double edged sword if you will.  Do too little and you miss the mark.  Go too far and the looks won’t be flattering.  I’m of the mindset that if you like it go for it, but be mindful that the way you look attracts a certain type of attention.   I won’t elaborate though, we’ll save that convo for another time.  Still the way you dress does carry a certain perception.  I think the phrase is that “your reputation precedes you.”  

     I on the other hand tends to be modest in my fashion risks.  I’d rather keep it simple but crispy.  Add accent pieces to pull it all together but still stand out, but ask anyone and they’ll tell you that’s how I do.  At the end of the day it’s all on you.  Let your style be an outward reflection of you.  The best part of you.  Vibrant, stylish,  but most importantly unique.  Emphasis on unique…

Courtesy of The Fashion Spot

Fashion: Summer’s Here

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     As of late our focus here at ¡Fresh Aesthetic!™ has been heavy on art, and rightfully so.  Creative energy is a driving force in expression and influence of the urban aesthetic.  That being said so does fashion, and one of the most fashionable times of year is upon us.  Summertime, when you can step out fresh with the sun helping you shine.  Fully visible in your hottest duds in the hottest months of the year.
     The theme that I keep seeing, and I’m loving is the simplistic base with a splash of color.  Sometimes this splash of color is replaced by a pop of floral or paisley.  Is you’re familiar with us you know we love those two patterns.  Stores like Zara & Cotton On are really in our opinion giving you a more affordable glimpse of whats going on in high fashion these days.  Simple stylish but most importantly comfort.  You got some comfortable slim fit chinos you love…  put a cuff in them toware they flood slightly, add a fitted short sleeve floral button up, and you’re in like flynn (I don’t know anyone named flynn by the way). 
     Joggers are also still a very viable option.  Some people are surprised to see them thriving, but not us.  After all comfort is the order of the day in street fashion, and why not be comfortable in that summer heat.  Maybe thats why the days of past the knee shorts is fading (finally).  Simple low top shoes with low cut socks is the perfect addition to that simple crisp look. 
     Breathable simple and timeless.  Buying items you can mix and match also help diversify your wardrobe.  Your summer look and a splash of confidence with defenitely turn heads.  From the gallery to the outdoor music festival.  ¡Fresh!™ in every setting…

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The Power of the Colab

     The colaboration between brands is becoming more common place in fashion…  To some it would seem like these brands are reaching by piggy backing another brand to promote their own.  Now I’m not saying that each brand doesn’t benefit, but maybe its a more symbiotic relationship than first thought. 
     I mean think about it.  Not only does it break the manotony of the typical aesthetic of a brand, but it often diversifies the the type of product these brands present.  Aprime example is the colaboration between Huf & Obey.  This is extremely rare as both brands are both in the clothing industry.  Usually you see colabs between two different markets.  Like a clothing brand and a shoe brand for example, but these guys linked up to release a pretty dope blends of styles.  This brings up the previous argument.  Is one brand piggy backing?  We think the answer is no.  Both Huf & Obey are very much relevant brands that for whatever reason decided to link up.  It in our opinion breathed new life into both brands.
     Look at the colab between Bape & Dragon Ball Z.  Truely in our opinion a dope colab that will do very well.  Partly because Bape is crazy popular right now, but also because the colab is unique.  Mixing two different artistic mediums to produce a familiar yet unique look.  The brands that use symbolism from pop culture in their designs are taking a smart route as familiarity sells.  It also kind of reinvigarates the love kids have for Dragon Ball Z.  Which is an excelent case of the symbiosis between brands.  The point is that some brands need a move that keeps their buzz up, and a colab helps keep that momentum.  We love it.  The idea that the rules of fashion are changing are becoming more and more prevalent.  It adds that air of freedom to an area of urban culture that can stagnate at times.  That and it gives fans more individualizef option of their favorite brands. 
     The bottom line is fashion is a form of art, and like art there are times that a new approach can reach a broader audience.  Why not.  The fans love it and the fashion world is catching on.  Rules are changing and its about time.  Its nice to see new life breathed into classic silouhettes.  I mean after all isn’t the goal timeless appeal and longevity of your brand…

The $50 Outfit #2

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     Its hard out here these days.  The oil industry’s laying people off left and right, walmart is closing stores.  Let’s just be honest, shits not looking up right now.  That being said life don’t stop, and the need/want to stay fresh and crispy doesn’t go away.  If you shop around or know people who do Im sure you’ve seen that guys don’t have as many frugal options as our female couterparts.  I spoke on that a little bit in $50 outfit #1.  I addressed it again because its a real struggle men have, especially huskier men like myself.  You really don’t find deals on quality gear.  Generic stuff yea, but there’s a defenite shortage of quality merch for a great deal. 
     Now don’t get me wrong there are places that sell gear at reasonable prices…  Places like Ross & Burlington Coat Factory have been holding down the hood for years.  Don’t sleep on Marshalls either.  They’re known for their great prices on Ralph Lauren Polo gear.  I’ve also had legendary wins off the Macy’s sale rack.  Still doesn’t mean its not hard to find deals.  Men just have to do a bit more digging.  The only problem with digging is it takes time.  Time you’d rather spend in other ways right?  Well my friend its really a trade off.  A little time for the savings and style you really want without having to settle. 
     Now depending on your taste in clothing it can be easier or harder to make the $50 outfit a reality.  Typically the dressier the harder to make it happen, but its defenitwly doable.  I may try to get a more dressy unit next time.  For now however I tried to keep it more of a casual look.  It was just more feasable with my store choices.  Especially since the first deal I got out the gate was my $17 navy blue suede Stinson Clarks Wallabee I scored at Jimmy Jazz for the find of the year.  The remainder of the outfit I got from SlamxHype.  In case your wondering wtf is that like I was…  Its a street fashion shop I found at one of the outlet malls around my city.  They carry brands like Alife & Rocksmith at regular and sale prices.  I lucked out because not only did I catch a sale but this particular location is closing.  So the prices were reduced even further…  It was defenitely a good venture.
     Below is the breakdown & pictures of the items purchased.  I would consider this a solid stand alone outfit, but accessories wouldn’t hurt either.  So if you like add some shades or a hat to the unit.  For my purposes those items would have brought us over budget so I left them off of the shopping list.  However in the pic you see me wearing a pair of Tortoise Ray Bans with the rounded frame I purchased a year or so ago.  Not only did we get a great outfit together for a date with the Mrs or any other outting, but aquired 3 pieces that can be mixed and matched with existing items in the wardrobe.  A great purchase at a great value for a great price…  ¡Fresh!™

Stinson Wallabee by Clarks – $17

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Zip Moto Jean by Rsrch & Dvlpmnt – $18

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Blue Floral Explosion Button Up by Holton – $8

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Timeless floral can be a great accent piece...

Total = $43

Bespoke & Custom Clothing.

     The idea of clothing being tailored to fit the individual is not a new phenomenon in the least.  It was something of a treat to the man of more modest means, but a common occurance amongst the more distinguished.  As of late its becoming more common to see options in regard to individualising your wardrobe.  It started with color options and limited run clothing pieces, but then expanded into various designers using cut & sew techniques to personalize garments.  Style wise there is a format un fashion that can be rather cookie cutter, but customization enables a touch of personalization to their clothing.
     I think in the next year or so we’ll see a growth in people utilizing cut & sew techniques, as well as others to at that touch of uniqueness.  There are already a couple options in hat customizations per folks at Bespoke Cut & Sew.  They actually give you alot of options to consider in regard to the look of your favorite hat.  Then you have guys like Heron Preston & The Shoe Surgeon reinventing the look of classic siloiettes.  Aside from Bespoke Cut & Sew, the others are a little pricey, but they are breaking ground on something not seen tried in street fashion.  There really hasn’t been much work in regard to custom clothing in street fashion.  50 different color palets is not true customization.  Although it does help the diversification of ones outfit.
     The idea when applied to street fashion is still growinh and expanding on whaymy is being tried but the potential is limitless.  It truely allows for ones individuality to shine through using relatively simply styles.  My only complaint is cost.  If it truely is to gain the momentum it deserves the cut & sew options are going to have to become more affordable.  If not it will remain a option reserved for those with deep pockets.  I hope this is not the direction it goes in.  I think think the future of fashion could very well be decided by this trend.  We’ll just have to see how it all plays out.  We can’t wait…

– $oCity

Is there a such thing as age appropriate fashion anymore?

    
     Street fashion covers a broad range of clothing styles that mix and mingle, from casual attire to a more upscale aesthetic.  Here I’ll be focusing on the urban side.
     I was having a discussion with a friend of mine.  It sumed up to the point that in this day and age there were blurred generational lines.  Now the conversation was about music, but kinda spilled into fashion.  Are there still clothes that fit a particular generation?  Like no white shoes after Labor Day type shit perhaps?  I can understand both sides to this arguement, thats not to say I lean one way or the other.  Why not both?
     “Your only as old as you feel…”  Could a mentality or a philosophy.  The styles worn these days I think allow room for generational translations of newer styles…  From joggers to chino pants, and button down shirts.  Its how you finese it, and make it your own.  We got youngsters in suits and older guys in airmax and forces.  The role in what you wear is decided more on the situation or event rather than age these days.  Work attire versus casual attire.  For some who dress down at work they might step it up on the weekend and likewise… 
     The dynamic has changed, and even the role has changed, as that is the new challenge for today it seems.  Its a good thing like it or not.  It creates an evolution in style, and shakes things up.  We all could use a bit of both in this formulaic environment.

– $oCity

Fresh Pressed… The decline of the crease…

     I don’t know how many people will remember until some years ago there was a different idea of what “presentable” was.  These days presentable has more to do with what your wearing than how you wear it.  There was a time when how you wore something mattered too.  Not saying it doesn’t matter now but at the same time not to the same degree.  People got dressed up to fly, eat out, and even hang in the street.  Not by dressed up I don’t mean just throw on your nicest clothes.  Before you put those fresh threads you had to press your shirt and crease your pants and/or skirt.
     Fast forward to modern day, and its almost the exact opposite today.  Designer ripped creasless jeans, shirts with holes…  I can only imagine what the older generation is saying about us.  I’m not saying we should go back to the old days, but I miss the Sta-Flo era.  When even street cats pressed up their jeans and shirts.  This isn’t to down play what’s going on today.  I’m just saying imagine some fresh, pressed, and crisp clothes to go with that wide brim hat.

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Gangsters used to press their jeans so stiff they'd stand by themselves.

– $oCity

Does the brand make the logo, or does the logo make the brand?

     When it comes to clothing I try to be as minimalistic as possible using patterns or logos.  In fact if you would ask anyone that knows me they know I prefer no logos.  That still doesn’t stop me from buying particular brands. To me style and quality of the brand are just as import as the reputation of said brands.  That doesn’t mean everything certain brands make is going to be quality either.  I guess the question at hand is if too much emphasis place on brands?
     Its becoming more common to recognize a certain designer by the style or cut of the clothes.  The logo is becoming secondary.  Well in regard to high fashion anyway.  As far as street fashion goes logos still reign supreme.  Being quite the advocate of street fashion I often get frustrated with lack of minimalist options with known brands like 10 Deep, Dope, RockSmith, Supreme New York.  Don’t get me wrong I fuck with these brands real heavy, and understand why they do it.  Its a cost effective way to stay relavent and advertise your brand.  That being said would these companies be as known if not for the persistent use of their signature logos?  Is the quality there or is it all about the logo?
     I think its yes and no.  The quality isn’t always there and but the reputation is.  You know what to expect when you buy your favorite brand with or without the logo.  At the same time would you eveb bother without the logo?  I can say I would because my favorite brands have a style all their own.  I can look at a piece by Bape and know its bape.  Thats partly due to their signature camouflage but more so by the style.  The logo is just as important as the brand, but the logo wouldn’t be recognizable without the reputation the brand commanded.  We learn to recognize brands by the logo, but the style and quality plays a very important part in establishing a company.

– $oCity