Friday, 27 July 2012

Reclaiming Red-neck Apparel - The Denim Jacket Post

Denim jackets have been shoved in the corner (not even deserved of a hanger) of people’s wardrobes since the 1800’s.  Like that jar of your Nan’s plum jam, the denim jacket will loiter in the sordid recesses of your storage space for years.  You don’t know at what point you should use it, but you sense you shouldn’t throw it out in case one day every mother fucker you know is eating home-made jam and you’ve got jack.  Let me tell you, (for once) you were right to hold on to the jam, I mean the denim jacket, because for the last 200 years it has been rearing its head on the fashion scene. Although in those huge chasms of time in-between denim jackets being ‘cool’ it has been a clothing fundamental of bogans and freaks who are way too into horses, at this very moment its time to resurrect the denim jacket , because denim jackets are *A-Ok*.

Since 1873, when Levi Strauss had the revelation that jeans made his ass look pert, so maybe denim could do something for his less than fucking average torso, denim jackets have been injecting some masculinity  into men’s ‘looks’.   Denim jackets were originally created for the workplace; they were a part of the overall denim outfit that was rugged and durable, and nothing much has really changed; a denim jacket still suggests a tough, unassumingness.

Yes, denim jackets have always been laced with connotations of old school cool and even ‘badass’ with only denim providing the strength to restrain dangerously high level of testosterone. However, tapping into that ‘manliness’ without crossing the fine line into looking like your name is ‘Billy Ray’ and you snuggle down at night wrapped in a confederate flag, can be a hazardous endeavour.  The trick is to try and counter the ‘red-neck’ with some ‘dandy’. I realise that the mere mention of the word ‘dandy’ makes your bollocks do a speedy retreat into your pelvis, but I’m not suggesting you whip out a fucking cravat or anything.  You just need to introduce a sense of the fashion-cognizant, and [even] irony when you don the denim. 

So to avoid looking like you’re the type of guy who is in a relationship with his sister, DO NOT wear your jacket too big. Keep it boxy-looking i.e. very square shoulders but don’t let the shoulder seam travel much (if at all) past your shoulders.  Also the jean-jacket should sit just on the hip; don’t stress if you can even see a little shirt between the bottom of the jacket and your belt (little: we’re talking millimetres i.e. you’re not the third lost member of Wham in a crop-top), it just makes it seem relaxed and casual.
I think generally a faded, distressed look is the way to go, but not too holey/ripped.  If your jacket looks like it was taken off the body of someone who was machine-gunned down, then it’s time for a new jacket. 

I’ve included some images of thick denim shirts too, because I’m actually a fan of ‘homo-denimming’ ie ‘denim on denim’.  The rule with layering denim on denim is to aim for different shades of blue.  Denim shirts can also look great by wearing them a bit like a jacket with another collar-shirt underneath, or wait for it; even a tie! I know; I’m losing you about now aren’t I...

If you’re feeling a little bold or drunk (either/both), you could even go for a denim jacket with a moderate amount of bling.  Maybe a contrast fabric on the collar or pocket etc. However, AVOID labels, buckles...and ummm rhinestones (for any readers in southern states of the US).  Speaking of too much ‘flair’: I’ve included a couple of denim jackets from G-Star in the images below, but I must warn that this brand presents some fucking landmines when it comes to denim so tread carefully and avoid any of their jackets with too much detailing.  G-Star seem to have little understanding of ‘simple’/’classic’, and I often get the impression their target market is the massive consumer population of gay, Korean karaoke-singers.
Lee 101 Short Loco Washed Denim Jacket

FILM by Samuel Membery for ASOS Dip Dye Denim Jacket
Visvim Blackfire Denim Jacket
G Star Denim Jacket Izu Tailor
Denim jacket with Aztec print
Paul Smith denim jacket
JC Penney Denim Work Shirt
ASOS Cardigan In Worker Jacket Style With Indigo Wash
G Star new comic contrast jacket
Levi's Vintage Clothing Boxer Shirt Jacket
Edwin Panhead Cord Collar Jacket

Monday, 2 July 2012

Hat’s the way I like it -The Hat Post

Delivering this post has been like giving birth to a particularly ugly 40pound baby.  Fucking hard work and just not sure if what I produce will just make me cringe. 

I had a cry-out for a post on hats from a bunch of blokes, but the problem is, I fear their interest was born out of a desire to have their heads remain warm. Bahhh! If I learn you guys anything it must be that practicality and comfort should not be a driving force in your clothing choice!  Comfort is like a G-rated porno; you could put it on when you’re hanging out with your wife or mum, but it’s not going to get anyone excited.  

That said, despite comfort being your motivation for wanting to know more about manly-millenary products; fortunately hats are not just practical i.e. for covering up a chilly or bald scalp, they can also make you look like a bit of a spunk-muffin. 

This gets me back to why this post was harder than a nipple in the Antarctic to write.   It seems that so few can pull off a hat without looking like you have the fashion-cred of a Mormon.  I didn’t want to give the go ahead to wearing hats, and have you; my minion, looking like shit.  I was actually really hard pushed to find examples of hats that I could recommend with a clear conscious.  
However,  with wine dulling the visual assault that a wee bit of world wide webbing produced; I managed to wade through a sea of shit that are the hat-equivalents of writing ‘cunt’ with a permanent marker across your forehead and have found you some noggin-hugging specimens that could make you look down-right sexy.   

Although these days men are often pretty scared of wearing a hat (and not just because I suggested the chance of you looking like a dick in one is at least 20:1); in the 1930s, 40s, and parts of the 50s, a man without a hat was as [fully] dressed as a dude leaving the house in only Y-fronts.    However, by the 1960s, hat wearing fell off, partly as a result of longer hairstyles, cars and J.F.K being such a hotty with a full head of hair who shunned the hat.

A bit of a shame really because there is something definitely masculine about wearing a hat.  Another bonus is by wearing a hat you can drag out having to fork out a neat $80 to get a hair-dresser to fuck up your hair for at least an extra 3 weeks. Cool.  Wear a hat and spend that money on beer! 

You’re hair looks like shit? No prob, put on a hat!

You have a case of dandruff that looks like you used bread-crumbs as your styling product du jour?  No prob, put on a hat!

So, which hats?
Well unless you’re 1980’s Tom Selleck (who can do no fashion-wrong) I would avoid the straw fedora or trilby.  In fact steer clear of either these hats when made out of woven material lest you look like a 50 year old prick, who wears sandals and drinks beverages with fucking umbrellas in them, in some developing nation tourist dive.   You know; bad.  Vintage woollen (etc) trilbys and fedoras are ok, but don’t combine them with a complete retro-styled outfit  (you know you’re not a secretary-rogering  misogynist from Mad Men, don’t you?).  Combine this quite formal hat with a casual relaxed, long-sleeved t’shirt...and a beard.  Yes, a beard. Because I like them.  Why does it all have to be about you? 

Pork-pie hats in wool can look ok too, but wear them with a sense of play/irony.  Once again combine them with a really casual outfit: a t’shirt and even a cardi...and a beard.

Beanies, flat caps and snap backs all are all much less problematic and can be pulled off by most (particularly those with a beard). With caps/snap backs; just make sure they’re a good fit i.e. not too big or you’ll look like carni whose vocation is driving a miniature train.

Below. Pics. Check them.

Flat cap -  Lizzie Lock Millinery (ASOS Marketplace)

Paisley Baseball Snap Back Cap URBAN OUTFITTERS

Krew Beanie-Kemmel (ASOS Marketplace)

I Love Ugly 5-Panel Cap Navy Park Print (COMEBACK KID)

Grey Flecked Baker Boy Hat (URBAN OUTFITTERS)

Grey & White Cable Knit Hand Knitted Bobble Beanie (Vintage) (ASOS Marketplace)
Wesc Flat Cap-Kemmel (ASOS Marketplace)

Grand Scheme - Duck Canvas Snap Back (BLACK ANCHOR COLLECTIVE)

Zaini 'Colonsay' Beanie hat-Zaini (ASOS Marketplace)

Discrete Clothing Co. - Brown Corduroy 5 Panel (BLACK ANCHOR COLLECTIVE)


Converse Beanie Hat - Kemmel (Vintage) (ASOS Marketplace)