Nice clothes are often treated as a part of an entire lifestyle – one of wealth, success, fitness, luxury.
What – I don’t know if that’s the right word, but let’s stick with it – bothers me somewhat, is that this appears to be a default way of looking at things more and more often. People who see you in those clothes expect you to hold those other values in high regard. And some will go as far as to tell you what is it that you’re doing wrong by not conforming to certain standards of this lifestyle.
I’m certain it happens more to me than an average sartorial enthusiast, as I write a blog and bombard social media with pictures of myself – people feel entitled to let me know what they think, and that’s only natural. But that lets me peek into what they’re thinking. So no, I’m not lashing out because of some criticism; I’m going to try to dispel some notions about things being somehow inherently connected to menswear – they’re not.
There is, for example, a recurring comment that I see authored by various individuals (though invariably men!), who tell me that my clothes look good, but I should hit the gym to work on my scrawny physique. That seeing as I care about my looks, I must also care about having bigger arms and more prominent chest, and surely a six-pack under that shirt is a logical next step.
And so there is a lot of stress put on appearance beyond clothes; you can’t just like your shirts and jackets, you must also work hard to not be too skinny or too fat, otherwise you like them wrong. You must act certain way – clothes are tools to boost your confidence or create an image that will help you make money and become successful, because liking them for their own sake is simply not manly enough.
Media don’t help with that, creating more and more unreal expectations of what men should be, how they should look, what their aspirations should be for them to be considered successful and worth something, anything. And we buy into it, let this artificial image rule our life and tell us what we want of it. And the worst of all, we chastise people who don’t follow the same road. Especially if they pick and choose elements they like out of this package, and simply enjoy them without giving a shit about all the rest.
So let’s not do that. Let’s allow people dress nice and not instantly advise them that they would look even better if they lost some of that belly. Let’s not assume everyone must look like this guy in his fancy car at the photo above; let’s not assume everyone wants that.
Let’s simply enjoy nice things and not be assholes about it.