When you think about trends, brands or haute-couture, does it make you cringe? Are you adverse to the incessant hype or demand of being “fashionable”? If so, stick around, cause we’re here to debunk and eliminate that overwhelming need to be rebellious, still keep your edge, maintain style but be open to what brands can provide for your image, self-confidence and overall conception of what it all really means.
With the advent of entrepreneurs and small brand designers, there is no better time to demystify the many misconceptions surrounding the idea of high fashion “brands.” And why is that? For starters, if the designers are small or local, you not only support one man’s or woman’s creative output, but you sport something unique––a one of a kind piece made with love.
I’ve heard men buy into all sorts of myths about what it means to wear brand-name clothing, accessories, or shoes. I’m a true believer in the idea that brands and the quality they possess can not only upgrade your social capital but work wonders for the development in defining a man’s personal style.
When you come to understand how to incorporate them into your wardrobe, you’ll see why it just might be a game-changer.
Change Your Thinking and Your Style Will Follow
“Anyone can sew a logo on a t-shirt, and call it designer!”
I won’t lie –– these were my younger thoughts. But over time, as I learned that ignorance isn’t a good look, the more knowledge I acquired about the fashion industry.
According to Wikipedia, “Fashion design is the art of application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. Fashion design is influenced by cultural and social attitudes, and has varied over time and place.”
Just like any artist, designers are devoted to making sure the clothing they produce represents them on an artistic level and is created with authenticity. Pieces are carefully made with more integrity and is usually backed by a good reputation.
Just like a painter’s signature in the corner of a canvas, logo’s are a designer’s trademark or footprint. The brand is their avenue for expression, and expression is what fashion is all about.
“Brands are too expensive!”
Not always the case. While some brands might be out of your price range, there are plenty that are affordable (we’ll list some later in this post). And while some pieces might put a slight dent in your pocket, it’s important to remember that not every ensemble needs to be high-fashion. In fact, your best bet would be pairing one extremely nice brand item with an array of simpler pieces. It’s about balance. The important thing to keep in mind is that when you buy brand name, you’re paying for more than just a shirt or a pair of shoes. You’re paying for an experience. You’re investing in quality, the mark of exclusivity and luxury.
“Brands are pretentious and only for superficial people”
While brands can certainly add to an already inflated ego, they don’t make the man. The only thing that can have you come across as pretentious is your attitude. Your best outfit will always be a kind smile and a humble perspective.
Placing importance on your appearance is by no means superficial and neither is supporting brands and designers you love. Buy what makes you feel good and be unapologetic about it.
“Brands are gaudy.”
Many things have the potential of coming across as showy or ostentatious. This relates mostly to the items you pick and how you rock it regardless of the brand. Be choosy, be particular about what you adorn yourself with as it can speak volumes.
If anything, research the brand before you make the investment. Be selective.
“Brands are only for metrosexuals.”
While metrosexuals do have a refined sense of taste and understanding of high fashion, it can come across as “overdone” at times. This is where the concept of balance really makes a difference.
How Do I Get Started?
The desire to own clothing that is made from high-grade fabric, sewn together with precision, care, and planning all denotes that you care about your appearance. Brands offer an avenue to do just that.
If you need any more convincing, have a look at these Men with Swag on Instagram for an impressively stylish feed right at your fingertips. You’ll get a better visual if you follow them (and you totally should).
You might wonder where to begin. Well, it’s really easy! And to make it even easier, we’ve got some simple steps to get you started.
Understand the different types of brands that exist.
Every brand you incorporate into your style comes with its own set of implications and associations. Some brands are high-fashion and others aren’t. Some are expensive, others cost less. A great trick is to say the brand name out loud and write down the first three words that come to mind. For example, when I hear “J. Crew” I think preppy, professional, and striking. Go for brands with associations that appeal to you and your unique style. Keep in mind, you can always find one great piece in multiple stores.
Not everything needs to be high-fashion.
Being selective is indicative of uniqueness. For example, by purchasing one brand name accessory and pairing it with something more neutral and simplistic you can maintain an edge without overdoing it.
Follow this rule:
The simpler the outfit, the better. This will allow the brand you’re wearing to shine.
If you’re going all out and splurging on one item of clothing, make sure it speaks to you, colors and all.
Don’t rock a pink Versace shirt just because it’s hip and the OVO gang is sporting it, or because you think it’s what everyone else is doing. Select pieces that feel good to you and shout “This is me!”
Start with the list of brands we’ve compiled below.
Strutin’ these brand names with style will earn you major league swag without breaking the bank. Since Bespoke & Bourbon is all about being unique, we selected a variety of brands — mid-range cost, cutting edge, high-fashion, artisanal and local — but most importantly all of them are timeless and of supreme quality.
About Vintage (top brand)
No matter which brand you choose, enjoy the opportunity to utilize its symbolism and expressiveness. It is sure to enhance and bring out the handsome in you!
If you’re still stuck, ease your confusion and head over to our Image Consulting Service page where you can get for personalized styling and shopping to choose the brands best suited for your individual style.
Photo Credit: About-Vintage