Sometimes, I feel that my day-to-day personas and the outfits they dress themselves in stems from the strict laws governing menswear. As both a man and a blood-sucking retail employee, I find myself drawn to not only pass judgement on the various styles I see gracing my sales floor on a daily basis, but to pick the person apart within seconds solely based on their outward presentation to determine exactly what I'm walking into by spewing sales jargon at them. Men, however, can be a bit tricky to read. There's the man who feels uncomfortable in anything but a crisp woven and tie, the man who needs to use every pocket on his khaki shorts, the man who keeps a battered pack of Marlboro reds in the front pocket of his denim jacket and rocks a bushy handlebar (this third man generally doesn't like me), etc. All of these men have one thing in common. They are governed by the code of menswear that permits them freedom of style, provided that said style lacks memorability, day-to-day variance, or kilts. Meanwhile, I stand aside in my bowtie and silver suspenders, questioning if ever there will be a beacon of avant gardist light for we bearers of the Y chromosome that crave deviation. Enter: Thom Browne.
Right off the bat, I want to establish that Thom Browne's work is not a perfect representation of my style, I do not dress like this every day, and I wasn't a fan of the entire collection. But I do need to point out that Browne is part of the rare breed of designer that can truly take menswear to an avant-garde level with substantially more meaning behind his construction than "I wanted to put studs on everything". Quoted saying his collection was, in a nutshell, "jocks vs. punks", the concept allows him to fluctuate between conveying maximalism both through slim-fitting, tailored looks and, well, obscenely bulky maximalism.
Over-sized looks often appear on the male runway, but those looks are exactly that on the slim models: over-sized. As any Jersey Shore aficionado could tell you, the best way to showcase your muscular overkill is to wear clothes far too tight, allowing the cotton-polyester blend to be absorbed under the skin via osmosis and become another level of muscle (or something, idk, I don't do the gym) and though I'd call it a safe bet to say that the above model's muscles are considerably padded, the illusion remains here. Also, kind-of-kudos to the use of the "horizontal stripe to look wider" technique, I haven't worn horizontal stripes since my mother clued me in on that in the 3rd grade and I'm still a bit bitter about it but, I mean, I guess it works, kind of, whatever, still bitter.
One thing that has me absolutely terrified is the collection's persisting exposed midriff. Fellow males, can we not trend this, please? I came to terms with the fact that I liked not doing crunches and eating guacamole far more than I liked the idea of having a six-pack a long time ago, and if you all screw that up for me, I'll probably have to resort to baggy sweaters and probably turn this into a food blog and probably die. On the other hand, in the event that lengthy paragraph #2 of this post snags me a lover, I'll be forced to tone myself and then you're all permitted to get cut-off nautical sweaters trending. If, and only if.
The final look I want to talk about features three things that please me, the first being argyle. Now, on the occasion that I rock a pair of argyle socks, I'm generally wearing something otherwise "boring" and "grandfather-y" to fit with the feeling I get from skin contact with argyle, though it's not a feeling that I'm necessarily knocking. There's a certain special quality derived from transitioning from hyper, hormonal youth to a burning desire to take that 2pm nap. Next, the bowtie. I mean, really, DUH the bowtie. If you haven't gotten by now that I'm a fan of the bowtie, your observational skills are clearly lacking. Granted, I don't wear one daily, but I do take pride in getting to feel like a walking Christmas present and I wish more people would indulge themselves in the same just so they could GET ME. Third, swans. Never before have I seen anything in "swan print", but having seen it now, I want it to blow up the way cheetah and zebra did for scene kids. Spread the word to your hipster brethren. Swan print: if you're not wearing it, you're still an ugly duckling.
To close, NOTICE THE NEW HEADER!!! And THE NEW URL!!!!! I'm a website now, bbys!!! Let's not talk about how long it took me to make the header in Photoshop, I'm so much more of an MS Paint kind-of guy with zero patience for tutorial videos. Now get out there and etch my name into the walls in your school bathrooms!!! (You may e-mail me pictures of your "art" at spencerniemetz(at)gmail.com)
Leave me a comment below and tell me if you'd wear swan print on our Valentine's day date (Also, tell me which of my personas turn you on the most) (also i'm not a psycho) xoxo