Fashion Faux-Blahs

In ART & FASHION, Commentary, HOME by Hannah Beer

It’s not that I’m a complete wanker. It’s just that there are just some things that really grate on me when it comes to men’s fashion. Things that, up until this moment of sweet word processing release, have made me cringe to the point of wanting to pickaxe my corneas out (maybe not that far, but you get the idea). Now, I may not be the Alex Turner of my age or a men’s sartorial guru, but that doesn’t mean I can’t recognize bad styles and trends when I see them, and I’m fairly sure I won’t be alone in my observations.

Riding the tube, the finest mode of transport London has to offer (strong sarcasm), is what truly exposed me to the disasters of the male vogue, most prevalent in those rush hour moments when I’m physically forced to press my face up against the Abercrombie T-shirt of the generic gym monkey next to me and breathe in his musty Hollister aftershave that reeks of ‘I got heisted and I love it’.

At this point I should point out that I’m not instructing anyone not to do these things, because at some point I’ve done them myself – and often one learns best from their own fashion history. This is nothing but a release of my own irate opinions on the aesthetics (or lack thereof) in modern male style. And now onto the main event, what you’ve read through all my jargon to get to: all that shit that makes me go ‘blah’…

The Running Man

If I were on my death bed, giving my last breath of wisdom, it would be: ‘don’t be that guy who wears running trainers with jeans/chinos’. You know the type – the adolescent with 1000 unknown Facebook friends, sporting Roshe Runs and rolled up trousers, wearing a pastille hoodie bowed up like an unwanted Christmas present and forever looking at nearby shop windows to observe his pomade-sheen bouffant.

If you look 90 degrees to your left and right, the ‘#Zante2k14’ lad next to you will most likely be wearing the exact same thing. I love Nike, but for me this combo screams of an absence of any thought and embodies the 2014 version of the ever-so banterous ‘chino wanker’ (the hypocrisy here is that chinos are the only trousers I wear). As Nike famously never said, ‘Don’t Do It’.

The Brand

Ah yes, the ‘I’m a walking daddy-funded billboard’. We all know that person who will sport any variation of the Abercrombie/Hollister/Jack Wills T-shirt with Abercombie/Hollister/Jack Wills sweats combo. Lack of any individuality, vanity to the high heavens and originating from businesses that are morally questionable (Google ‘Mike Jeffries’).

This really is the classic Gucci belt wearing ‘I’m a baller’ look, which doesn’t so much make me (and I’m sure the rest of the population) see them as a baller as it does question their fiscal choices. Watch out, such groups can be found hanging out with their UGG-wearing friends on local park benches and discussing the First World Struggles of not being able to upload a filtered photo of their misspelt-name Starbucks beverage to Instagram owing to a lack of 4G.

I don’t mind the odd subtle brand or two, but when it’s shoved down your throat and leaves that overpriced Frappucino-culture taste in your mouth, it’s just a bit much… I must admit, there was a brief month in which I was a victim to this, but, alas, we all make mistakes.

The Hardman

You can’t miss the Ed Hardy douchebag. This is a brand which incorporates tigers, biker tattoos and roses just to signal to his fellow upside down triangle-shaped alpha males: ‘I’M HARDCORE’.

No my friend, you are a douchebag. Put that overpriced garment of clothing back in the bag in which it came, return it and perhaps use the money to invest in some clothes that won’t make you look like a member of Hull’s version of the Hell’s Angels.

The Elf from the 80s

This look mainly makes me wonder if shoe companies think they are designing for medieval peasants rather than the modern day male. The Pointy Shoe: often brown and seen on middle aged men ready to relive their youth on a dodgy students’ night.

It’s not that they’re totally horrendous – they can be made to look quite good (with the right suit) – but what gets me is when they’re in a flared jeans and half buttoned shirt combination, reminiscent of Miami Vice and dodgy bassline-heavy 80s porn.

Be warned, the soles of these will soon perish, and when you take them back to the shop to exchange them, even the shop assistant will judge you for purchasing their own product. As will the guy in the queue wearing the same shoes. Maybe the guys down at the local Wetherspoons won’t, but even then…

Sort it out Cowell.

At the end of the day, these are just my own annoyances. They’re not AQA style instructions that must be adhered to, but all I’ll say is I know I’m not the only one thinking them. One day someone might even thank me for writing this. Or maybe one day I’ll be that 40 year old, pointy brown shoe wearing dad, looking back on this article thinking that I was indeed a complete wanker.

Josh Lee

Josh is a History student at UCL. Although often caught dreaming about his return to Manchester, he can also frequently be found on a mission to find the perfect pair of brogues. Standing at a meagre 5 ft 7, he is still patiently awaiting his growth spurt at the age of 19.

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