Mantalk #3

The boys are back. Fresh from a dapper (and indeed, victorious) outing working his T.I. impression as one third of the “Blurred Lines” trio in DCU Drama’s “Stars in their Eyes”, Seán on why what we wear is our identity. Craig isn’t too sure about buying a winter coat from a shop with a topless lad out the front, and sure…could you blame him?

Seán

“I would love to be arsed to dress up everyday.” Would you go into battle without your go-to gat? Do you enjoy your name being associated with an unkempt mess? When I smell, I wash myself… What we wear is our identity, our artistic identity. We have full control over what we wear and there are many other things that define our identities which we can’t control so I really don’t understand why we wouldn’t cease the opportunity to project our identities optimally.

Identify yourselves – you can be who you want to be through the wonderful medium of fashion. Stop following fashion blogs, magazines, TV programmes and celebrities – they don’t promote fashion, they promote trends which change constantly. Has anyone ever questioned why trends exist? Clothes serve a practical purpose, if we have enough clothes why do we need more – basically, we don’t. Trends make you see past the practicality of clothes. It’s simply a stigma for us to give fashion brands our dollars. Each season, fashion brands create stories, within these stories there are matching colours, fabrics, styles and looks. Stories bring structure to the buying and merchandising processes. Next time you are in your favourite Brit retailer’s gaff, spot the different fashion stories from matching colours etc.. Every trend starts as part of a story, only is it defined a trend after its commercial success. Stories entice you to buy not only the top but the trousers that match it perfectly with the perfect shoes too – this is a trap which many people fall into. Retailers spoon feed us with these stories, they make shopping too easy, defect our wallets and skew our identities. Brands seek to empty us and fill with themselves. Retailers have intricate marketing methods to force trends upon us – I feel sorry for anyone who falls into this trap. Your local congregation of trapped fools can be seen outside any nightclub at 3am on a winter’s night standing bare legged, arms crossed desperately trying to keep the warmth in their gaunt, lifeless bodies. There’s an oligarchy on every high street in Europe, which provide the same crap from shop to shop. Historically, fashion defined culture and the individual but this seems to have faded in Europe.

Create your own stories, the story of you, pick your favourite colours, shapes, styles etc. and most importantly, look at yourself in the mirror. Plan your next retail splurge not by trawling fashion blogs, magazines or watching TV, focus on what looks good on you and the image which you want to project. Look for inspiration within instead of some ‘self-indulgent, I’ve never paid for a thing in my life’ wench who reckons Michael Kors’ rose gold watches are “like soooewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww in”. You need to expand your retail horizons, step away from the high street, try shop in stores that don’t create fictional fashion stories, vintage shops, TK Maxx and even charity shops. Buy unique pieces and build around them.

Craig

How is everyone this week? Anyone else notice the Zombies vs Humans game goin’ on and think “the boys, huh?!”

Fashion accessory of the week: orange headbands.

Firstly, congrats to all those who graduated last week. I know you won’t be reading but to all the die hard onliners that still read, well done! Nice to see the navy suit and brown shoe combo has overtaken the grey. Looks well.

Feeling that nip in the air these days, the weekend was time to buy a winter jacket. I was working on Sunday and saw an awfully nice A&F (Abercrombie & Fitch) jacket so I said to myself, “I’m gonna go down and buy one of them.” Walked into the shop and saw the €160 price tag, so I said to myself, “I’m not buying one of them” and left. A new rule of thumb – if you enter a shop that has some ‘lad’ at the door topless, just turn away. This week we (well, I) celebrate the birth of my father so if anyone has any suggestions for presents, please do tell. Might get him some clothes…

Shite Style of the week, if not of the year, or even decade: walking home from Drumcondra last week and saw this fella wearing a pair of white and grey camouflage combats partnered with a white and maroon check shirt. My god, it was some sight! Couldn’t get a sneaky pic though. You know those gloves I mentioned last week – useless. Couldn’t swipe the phone screen to snap this ‘creature’ that walked by me!

Just a pointless observation for people to dwell on but did you ever wear ankle socks around normally? I had to as my others were in the wash, but there’s some difference! A breeze that’s refreshing, yet a bit uncomfortable. Anyone agree?

This week, I’ve scouted out a nice pair of suede Fred Perry’s to keep your little toes warm. My ‘Schuh of the Week’ (yes, from Schuh) are a pair of dark grey suede shoes that can be seen here. But if you’re not into suede and prefer practical footwear, a nice pair of Asics will suffice.

PS. Eadaoin Carthy is mad for fellas in Asics!

G’luck.

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