Dressing well is a means to an end. Not the end.
Or is it?
For some, it’s the latter. They’re so into style that it’s one of the main focuses of their life. With that obsession comes the increased likelihood that they’ll burn out on standard, tried and true looks. They’re always looking for something new and different. Every outfit always has to have something that pops. Something that’ll help them stand out and grab some eyeballs as soon as they step in a room.
After awhile they end up looking awesome… only to those who are just as obsessed. And they won’t be taken seriously by the vast swath in the middle. They walk down the street and instead of wearing clothes that run but not walk, they’re a visual X-Games. Nothing but flying motorcycles and street luge. And it projects something about their priorities. Often unfairly.
The world is not made up of guys leaving 100 comments a day on style message boards while instagraming their daily outfit combinations.
There is power in mastering what many in the extreme ends of the male style community would see as boring or uncreative.
There is danger in allowing yourself to get bored with well fitting staples, only to become obsessed with standing out and/or being seen as stylistically different and cutting edge all the time.
“Been done. Need something fresh” … “Martinis have been done. You’d like an appletini perhaps?”
It’s an easy trap to fall into. We all get bored. And after all those stylish discoveries we make along the path from beginner to well-versed, it feels strange to take your foot off the gas and… well… stop discovering quite as much. Discovering is fun. It feels good to look a little bit better than you thought you could. But there reaches a point where you risk regression through hyper active pursuit. Like the guy who decides he wants to get healthy, starts hitting the gym, and a few years later he’s lifting weights 3 times a day and doing steroids.
The means to the end, has become the end.
Are you dressing a little better than you have to because you like the way it makes you feel as you walk out the door on the way to get something done? Or are you dressing a certain way in the hopes that someone takes notice and compliments you on your creativity and projection of individuality? Trying new things is good. Trying new things all the time because you don’t want to be seen as the guy who’s not trying new things all the time… is not.
Find your rhythm. If it works, it works. Repetition does not necessarily lead to failure. See the value in standing out quietly. Maintain perspective. Is it really boring? Or is it just boring in the eyes of a website or forum you might frequent?
Hail to the innovators, but has too much of a premium been placed on being different and immediately standing out? Leave it all in the comments below. (Top Photo: David Riggs)