Wearing the Same Clothes but Dressing Differently

Hipsters and SWPL’s have developed an affinity for tradition when it comes to clothing and other “safe” areas. For a man in the alt right, this can be the same conundrum with dressing well.

With shows like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire gaining in popularity, along with the economy leading consumers to focus on quality and pine for the nostalgia of better times, menswear is becoming more and more popular. Five years ago you had to hunt long and hard to find a shirt that fit well off the rack or shell out the bucks to have a tailor bring it in for you. Now even low-end brands like Old Navy are offering their “slim collections.” That same trim shirt would have made you stand out from the crowd before and now it’ll barely get you a second glance. Don’t believe me? Head to the mall this holiday season.  I’m constantly surprised by how many well-dressed men there are at stores like Nordstrom’s and even H&M; and I live in Salt Lake – not exactly a fashion mecca.

It’s only inevitable that as you start to dress better you’re going to be making choices that can be seen on hipsters, SWPL’s or actual WASP’s and Yuppies. I grew up as a punk/ska/bmx kid and the idea of wearing anything preppy was heresy.

But there’s a difference between us and the other guys who dress well. For them, the clothes are their substance. They use their clothing as a way to fit in. The hipsters will wear traditionally masculine clothing in an ironic way because they believe they’re well above the need to think in terms of gender and they think their women love them because they’re sensitive. We wear them because we respect ourselves enough to dress like men instead of teenagers. Metrosexuals will wear fitted clothes as a way accentuate their perfectly sculpted figures without a single hair or thread out of place in an attempt to show the world their attention to grooming and sartorial detail rivals that of their women. We wear fitted clothes because we know they are more functional and because they flatter a man and convey his concern for his appearance. Brand-whores will wear logos and be walking billboards for their favorite companies in an attempt to curry favor or impress their peers by their brand loyalty alone. We buy specific brands because the clothes they make are quality and are a good investment, even if no one besides us ever knows which company made our suits or shoes.

They are worn and defined by their clothes. We use our clothes as a way to communicate what we already internally are. I can show up at a party wearing the same jacket or pants as one of the hipster kids, but I’ll still look different, because I carry myself differently. This blog is not about how you can use clothes to define you; it’s about how you can use them to communicate what your actions have already defined you to be.

OneSTDV had a post about Tim Tebow making people uncomfortable because he is serious in a silly and ironic world. Most men, even those who dress well do so as a costume. It may be intentional – which falls in the realm of ironic; or it may be unintentional and earnest – which falls in the realm of silly. When a man, who knows his worth as a man and doesn’t apologize for being one, dresses well, it won’t be a costume, but a tool to help him accomplish his other goals.