The wardrobe says it all
Men’s fashion tends to go through its phases, but can what’s happening now signal a loss in masculinity? After all, the saying that the clothes make the man may hold some merit. Fads come and go, particularly in the ladies arena where every season seems to bring in a whole new look. However, like the real nature of what it means to be a man, mens fashion traditionally has a more enduring character. Men are rugged, yet can be sophisticated. Men are functional, and also have spirit of adventure. Thus their clothing must also reflect these qualities.
I’m not talking about going back to the days of frilly wool clothing or knee high stockings, nor am I suggesting to forego the comfort of occasionally sporting jeans and a t-shirt.
What brings out the really male qualities in mens fashion is the ability to project an air of confidence, the brawn of a hero, and the finesse of a strategist. Someone whose clothing says that he thinks in the long term, yet is ready to act at a moment’s notice. Mens fashion should boldly proclaim that chance favors the brave, and the bloke under these clothes is here to create his own luck.
There was a time when no self-respecting man would be caught dead in the moonlight without wearing a three piece suit, whether he was a banker or a janitor. The breadth of mens fashion catered to the budget and the rich and poor alike with dignity. Leather shoes were the standard and just about anyone could ensure a high gloss shine with just a little spit, an old cloth, and some elbow grease. Men would ensure they looked their best before going out of the house and everyone went armed with a fine timepiece.
A pocket or wristwatch is another indicator of a man who is about his business. Sure, a cheap watch tells the time just as well as a Rolex, but a high-quality precision instrument makes a statement in the world of mens fashion. In today’s era, most people can get the accurate time from their smartphone, so the function may be surpassed by the form in this case, yet so are many other manly things in today’s society. Most men don’t need to trap their own food, fell the wood for their own houses, are hunt their own meat. The complexity of global economies have made it easier for men to tone down their masculine qualities through heroic deeds. This only indicates that mens fashion needs to take up that slack and really accentuate a man’s identity. Having a sturdy watch, no matter what your budget, is a big part of presenting a manly image.
Showing pride in one’s appearance is key to signaling a man’s ambition, as well as his ability to handle his affairs. Add to this that good grooming is the look of success. There are some that throw all that wisdom out the window and deliberately try to feminize their look. Earings, make-up, nail polish, and hair coloring are used to create this pretty boy persona and the mens fashion industry is complementing this effect by producing girlish outfits for the beta male. Aside from their effeminate mode of dress, you can spot them easily by the way the shuffle along, barely lifting their feet off the ground with the posture of a prey animal. Women may look as though they appreciate these kinds of men, but don’t be fooled. Real mens fashion is ready to stand up against the feminization of society. To borrow a phrase from the movie Fight Club: We’re a nation of men, raised by women, I don’t think [emulating] another woman is the answer.
In a free market, producers of mens fashion respond to the incentives created by consumers that vote with their money. Entrepreneurs and companies have to satisfy customer demand in order to stay in business. This is as it should be. Every purchase made is a signal for what kind of mens fashion needs to be produced in the future. The growth of mens fashion brands catering to outdoor types is a positive sign, and this can only come about because men by their nature thrive in the wild. Camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, and rock climbing (or at least apparel catering to these activities) appear to be vibrant in the world of mens fashion. Practical and durable clothing that looks good for most occassions
Let women be feminine. Let men be who they are by nature. And let mens fashion reflect the glory of masculinity.