If you buy quality clothes they’ll last you longer and you’ll just end up buying less. Yeah, right.
In the comments under my last blogpost (in Polish version of the blog) someone suggested that I should do more reviews. They’re certain I’m buying enough new stuff to review something every month or two.
And that perhaps used to be the case. With every purchase I had ideas what else should I get to bring out the full potential of the new item, to make more interesting combinations and outfits. Another navy jacket or brown brogues were different enough from the ones I owned to justify buying them – and it is true. A structured navy jacket in Super 120s wool is a wholly different piece than a hopsack navy jacket, or a soft flannel one.
The thing is, there’s no end to this.
The variety is nice, and the clothes are a great pleasure. My form of escapism, really, and each new thing and the aesthetic possibilities it brought about was a bit of a celebration. Only for a very short time did I believe the statement that clothes of high quality can be an investment and save you money in the long run. They don’t, because once you get used to them, you’ll want more. Another pair of shoes that, sure, will last you years – but don’t kid yourself, you’re not gonna stop at just the one.
But escapism has its limits too, and it became more and more difficult to not see what’s behind this simple pleasure. And there are many unseemly things: from undeserved feeling of superiority and snobbery in the menswear community, to the terrible global fashion market. I don’t want to go into too much detail about those things that bother me, because it’d just transform this short post into a 5000-word rant of a seemingly crazy person, and that’s just not a good look.
But recently I’ve noticed my desire for new things dwindle, and in fact I started thinking that what I already have might be too much. There are clothes I do wear, but rarely enough that not having them wouldn’t bother me at all. There are ones I do wear more often, but I could easy do without them and it would not cause me any discomfort.
I’ve got six full suits. That doesn’t sound like all that much, now does it – but if I had four, that would not impact me in any way. Sure, my everyday look would be slightly less varied. That’s probably not all that good for a blog, where I should post some photoshoots once in a while and it’s best if it’s not the same outfit over and over. But other than that? Not a thing would change. And do I really want to accumulate more stuff in my tiny flat just to shoot it and brag about how nice I look on the internet? That’d be silly.
I haven’t bought any new clothes for a few months. Yeah, ok, there’s a pair of running shoes; my loafers and brogues don’t really mesh well with physical activity. But I have almost nothing new to review, except the stuff that’s waiting for the colder weather, but has been made months before. And I’m fine with that, I don’t feel like I’m missing out.
And as much as I’m doubtful of this blog’s impact on anybody’s life but mine, it would also be wise to acknowledge that places like this are also to blame for incentivizing people to buy more. Any individual blogger or influencer should not shoulder the entire weight of this responsibility perhaps, but we’re a part of the system that tells you, the reader, to consume, buy and have more. All we create is unquenched thirst.
Now, I’m not telling you to eschew the fancy jackets and royal oxford shirts; I’m not telling you to only buy second-hand or have two pairs of trousers and four t-shirts, adopt the minimalist aesthetic, be zen and do transcendent meditation, because this is, like, the path to true enlightenment, dude. Just… have the things you have. Like them. Sure, buy yourself something new if you feel like it, you’re not gonna change the world by your personal consumer decisions. Just chill about it. It’s just clothes. And you don’t really need that many of them.