How I got into menswear

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Written By Suzan

When I was younger my style was mostly inspired by music I listened to and love – hip-hop. That meant wearing loose jeans and oversized hoodie most of the time. I was interested in what was cool and what my idols were wearing then.

During high school and university I paid attention to trends but I was also aware enough to see what works and what doesn’t for my body type. So in my early twenties I went through a phase of slim jeans and bomber jackets. I will admit, back then I did buy a few things (trying) to impress others. I think most people do it at least once, but it’s sad that some keep doing it their whole lives.

Going through my twenties my personality was evolving together with my style. And big part of my life was my training routine. At the same time, I began focusing more on mental health. While I was working on improving my personal and professional life, I also learned more about myself and what I truly value. As social media grew, fashion trends spread to every part of the world faster than ever. Trends began changing every 3-6 months. Since I didn’t like most of the newer trends and the direction the fashion industry was going, I felt like I didn’t fit in anymore. That’s when I stopped worrying about what I “should” wear and what other “cool” people wore. This is when I slowly started transitioning into real menswear.

First steps were really only the start. I sold most of my clothes and went back to “basics”.  For me, that meant wearing what’s now called the “tech bro” look. Plain white t-shirt, washed blue jeans and white leather sneakers. And I felt comfortable with that at the time. But as time went by, I kept changing and I often wondered who I really was.I started to notice that I could easily spot trends, fits and clothing that I really don’t like. So with that I started asking myself – what it is that I do like and appreciate in style and clothing? Slowly, I began actively searching for styles that would inspire me. That is when my journey into menswear really started. I was exploring more of this world on Instagram and online, mostly on forums and reddit. And I slowly fell into that rabbit hole.

I prefer a more masculine look so military style caught my attention. Vintage army shirts and jackets worn with a t-shirt and jeans, paired with boots or loafers. As I learned more about it, a whole new world opened up to me. I found out that there are may variations of the same vintage styles and also reproduction brands. These brands are committed to recreating vintage pieces, mostly from WW2 or Vietnam war era, paying attention to every detail down to each stitch. It is like buying a new version of something from 50 or 80 years ago. It’s impressive how much effort is put into building an archive of original pieces, studying each detail and then attempting to reproduce them using the same materials and techniques. Sometimes they even try to improve certain details to make them even more durable or functional.

Most repro and denim brands are from Japan, that’s how I discovered ivy style. This meant even more denim and loafers along with knitwear and coats.I’m naturally analytical, so I did a lot of research and took notes on what I liked. I created lists of brands and styles, writing down what I believed would suit me and what might not. I kept going to stores to try on the available styles and see how they looked and how I felt in them. I also ordered a lot of items online because they weren’t available in my city. I created my own notes and lists of brands and models that I liked and where to buy them. Figuring it all out through trial and error was not only time consuming but also an expensive process that led me to where I am now. 

Since I started this journey I still learn and discover something new every week and I’ve made many new friends who share this passion for style and clothes. Trying to find clothes and a style that I’d feel truly comfortable in has become a hobby and a passion that I now spend a lot of my free time on. But at the end of the day what matters most to me is meeting like minded people who love clothes and style like I do. I cannot say where this journey will take me, but I’m excited to see which doors it will open up along the way.

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