Why Fashion Matters: A (first) Letter From The Editor
It’s been nearly a month, but I was speaking to a coworker of mine when he said, “I hate fashion, I don’t get it and it’s superficial.” I kept my reaction to myself, smiled, asked way and nodded my way through the rest of the conversation. That conversation has played over and over in my head and has completely conquered my thoughts while on my runs around Central Park.
I certainly don’t expect every person, and certainly not every man, to drool over an editorial shot by Karl Lagerfeld, to be stopped dead in their tracks at a decadently designed window for Gucci or even wet themselves when they hear there’s an Alexander McQueen exhibition at the Met. I do, however, wish more
people men understood the importance of fashion and why they should (and deep down probably do) care.
For every person that tells me they don’t care about fashion, I really wish I could invite myself to their homes and watch them get ready in the morning. My assumption is, if they really don’t care, they leave their lights off after getting out of bed, feel around in their closet and put on whatever they grabbed. I doubt this is the case. Just like me, I bet they consider their schedule and try to pick clothes that will help them fit into whatever setting they’ll find themselves in, are weather appropriate and maybe even fit their mood-even just slightly. They consider the colors, what they say or how they coordinate-or don’t-and the way the clothes fit, will they fit snug and show off the previous week’s effort in the gym, or remain loose because of the entire pint of ice cream consumed last night?
It’s easy to call fashion superficial, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I do believe there is a bit of vanity in it. However, I think I deserve to be a little vain and you should too. I’ve worked hard to educate myself, obtain good jobs and surround myself with a great social circle, dressing well and intelligently allows me to show you a piece of who I am with only a glance. You can’t deny that we all make judgments, big or small, based on the clothes someone is wearing. I like the assurance of knowing that the stories people are concocting of me are positive; I’m proud of the compliments I receive throughout the day by strangers on the street and they help me keep a positive outlook when things get rough later on.
Not only does fashion depict who we are on the inside, it changes who we are a bit even just temporarily. Putting on a pair of sturdy boots gives me power as the noise I make when I enter a room commands attention. Putting on a blazer makes me stand a bit straighter and a bowtie makes me feel dapper and sightly whimsical. The old adage, “Dress for success,” holds truth; in college, whenever I had a lengthy paper due I would always show up to my class dressed to the nines to turn it in. It was my way of sticking to the professor. I thought, “I stayed up all night writing and yet look at me now, you lose.” For others, dressing up for an interview or a date isn’t just to impress the person on the other side of the table, it increases confidence and projects an image of ourselves that’s perhaps a bit improved upon our day to day look and persona.
It’s my guess that a lot of “not caring” comes more from not knowing or having the courage, similar to how I “don’t care” about politics. La Mode Masculine seeks to educate, share and show the options at your disposal. We don’t expect you to bedazzle your blazer (hey, power to you if you want to) but we hope to show men that there are more options out there than most realize. We celebrate creativity and strive to boost the presence and representation of men in the fashion industry. We have contributors from all over the globe from various age groups and professions so there’s no excuse for writing fashion off for not having anything to do with you.
If you don’t feel represented, let us know. We’ll be happy to accommodate.
Adam Thomas Eisenhut