Sometimes I dress like a schoolboy.
JPEG Wardrobe: Pre-Spring ‘14 #1
Cardigan: The Elder Statesman
Praises due to the most fly, Ralph.
Appreciation Through Experience
Whenever there was a basketball game on TV, I would enjoy it enough to watch, but my enjoyment never grew into anything very complex. I never really understood the hype when a certain player successfully executed some feat of athleticism. I couldn’t really see what was so special about a particular shot or how difficult it is to be able to do what professional NBA players do. But my perspective and understanding of the game were changed when I actually tried to play the game. I struggled with fundamental skills that looked easy enough when I was on the sideline or on the couch. And after spending only a handful of times playing basketball, I was able to appreciate the game more fully.
In the same way, your level of appreciation for a well-made garment can grow. It can be difficult to know exactly what makes a garment worth the money and what details make a garment special, especially if you’re new to the menswear world. Of course you can always do some research and learn about these distinguishing attributes. But at some point, this is just head-knowledge and not so much a first-hand experience. I would argue that learning how to perform even basic techniques of sewing and tailoring (let alone cutting and sewing an entire garment) can lead to a fuller sense of appreciation and reverence not only for the garment in question, but also for the person(s) who crafted it.
I’ve long admired the idea and beauty of a hand-rolled pocket square both from my computer screen and in person. It looked basic enough, so I decided to try making one on my own. The instructions I found came off as nonchalant and simple, but I found myself in numerous frustrating situations before I could even make a couple of stitches that resulted in something that might be considered a rolled hem. I still have yet to make a decent hand rolled hem and I have an even longer way to go before I make my first pocket square. But it wasn’t until my experience with those frustrations and through trial and error that I began to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into making a “simple” hand rolled pocket square.
Now I still believe that you can appreciate good clothes, even if you’ve never touched a needle and thread. It’s not like I’m saying, “Do you even menswear? You don’t know jack because you’ve never tried to hem your own pants.” What I’m trying to say is that there are different levels of appreciation and that learning to sew can bring you to one of those levels. So I encourage you to try it for yourself and see how that affects the way you see clothes.
Ran into some friends and Ian hooked it up with one of his thrifting finds.