Back in Early April in Refashioning Dad, I reported on a campaign to reshape my wardrobe. This was followed by End of the fashion big brands? and then That crumpled look. This somewhat unusual Belshaw excursion into fashion came to a halt over a simple issue, money. Not a permanent halt, mind you, just a deferral.
Then yesterday my fellow blogger Ramana pointed to this story from the New York Times, For Men, a New Look for the Summer Suit. Now this photo heading the story caught my eye, for the bloke on the left is wearing one of the outfits I actually wear to work minus the tie. This was one result of stage one of the refashioning Dad campaign. Mind you, not the brands, but the colours and cut.
The story said in part:
It’s no secret that men’s tailored clothing has been on a roll. According to NPD Group, which tracks the clothing market, for the 12 months ending March 30, 2012, sales of tailored clothing (suits, jackets and trousers) were up 11 percent over the same period in 2011. In an economy in which double-digit growth in any category is remarkable, the fact that 2011’s nearly $4.5 billion market in tailored clothing rose to almost $5 billion this year is extraordinary.
Now I happen to like tailored clothing, while greatly disliking the crumpled fashion now in somewhat in vogue, at least in Sydney. So I liked the thought that some of my clothes style might be coming back into fashion. Then I read another paragraph:
Not only does a less expensive suit cost less, it is also a far less precious thing. You might not bicycle to work in a $1,700 suit, but one that cost $450? When the cost of a suit is on par with a fancy dress shirt and a pair of premium jeans, the possibilities for wearing it open up considerably. Brunching! Gallery-going! Walking the dog! Even Mike Rowe, the hunky, muddy star of “Dirty Jobs,” might wear one to work.
This pulled me up a little. $US450 for a cheap suit suitable for biking?! Mmm. Then I looked at the detail of the costs attached to the outfits in all the photos. Mmm indeed! I am not going to spend half my annual clothes budget on one combination. But then, I don't need too. It's not necessary.
So long as the cut is good, so long as the clothes are well made, I don't need a brand. I just need my main fashion adviser. And she's free!