When it comes to personal style, I often find myself caught between the cleanliness of somewhat conservative silhouettes and the simple-yet-intricate mélange that composes urban and “street” wear. The meshing of the two schools of thought perfectly fits my personality and way of life. As an American male who has confidently embraced all things “30-something,” I can honestly say that my fashion palate tends to skew “younger…” My only hope is that it doesn’t skew too young that I end up looking like “that guy” who my niece and nephews will one day be super embarrassed about.
While I tend to dial-it-down for the office, it is outside of work where I am a lot more loose with my style. A tee under a jacket with my jeans draping over a pair of kicks—sure! Or tucking my pants into a pair of military-esque combat boots – I can dig it. Just as long as my pants don’t sag, my shirts aren’t over-sized, and my shoes are “smarter” than a 3rd grader’s, then I’m in a good place style-wise.
I find my inspiration from a lot of the European high-street brands, which may not be super different compared to the likes of Banana Republic or J. Crew. But what I love about European style is the edge. There is always an edge in those brands that I often find American fashion lacking. And a lot of that “edge” comes in the tiny details: the tapering of the pant leg, or the shape of the shirt collar… the cut of the sweater or the rawness of the denim. Also, give me a narrow-cut shoe any day, and I am golden. From the clean looks of A.P.C. to the understated chic of All Saints, and even the “fun” looks of Devred –there is much more inspiration to be gleaned from the looks produced by these RTW brands that I rarely find in classic American stores.
One of my favorite high street brands is G-Star Raw –the Dutch clothing company specializes in making raw denim, which is generally not treated nor washed. A lot of the looks are inspired by vintage military gear, and are accented by interesting trims and constructions.
G-Star follows a strict DNA structured around denim: building products that are pure, natural and functional work wear that is sexy. What the company does is remind the consumer that you just can’t put on ANY pair of jeans. But jeans should fit according to how you move; jeans should be 3-dimensional.
Check out this interview with G-Star’s Brand Manager, Remco de Nijs. It is from last September, and was conducted by Gracie Opulanza for menstylefashion.com. de Nijs shares the G-Star philosophy with Gracie, and discusses the brand’s design process and marketing.