My hopes for S/S 17

I wouldn’t say that I’m predicting trends, or even trying to.  But I’ve started thinking about what my summer wardrobe could look like.  I find the older I get, the more I dress like a child.  I replaced the velvet sneakers I had when I was 6.  I wear hats all the time, as far out at my big hat.  I don’t know what the style is.  This year I caught myself looking at Tevas and Hawaiian shirts.  I think this summer is going to be retro-nostalgic.

I've never really worn animal prints, but this shirt looks comfortable, and makes me think of Mic Jagger.

These shirts are made in New England!  I never wear a tie, so this striped placket is a nice touch.

I saw this in person at the Elderstatesman store, but they failed to tell me it glowed in the dark!

Nothing is as comfortable as a cashmere silk blend t-shirt.  I used to wear mine all the time, until it made it through the wash.

I've always liked gladiator sandals.  Even as a kid.  There was a pair of Birkenstocks with straps that went up your ankle, but they were skinny.  I wanted something more like this.  And finally, Givenchy has brought it to us!

These aren't actually Teva, but Prada.  I probably wouldn't buy these, but I think they're very cool.

Topo Designs makes all kinds of cool stuff, in America.  I had a pair of Chubbie's that were similar in color, but fell apart after 1 season.  These I'm assuming are more durable, and aren't outrageously expensive at $85!

I think I'm ready to pull off white jeans.  Or pull on, should I say.  I think they'd look good with that leopard print shirt and those Givenchy sandals.

Jeans

The clothes that I design and everything I’ve done is about life and how people live and how they want to live and how they dream they’ll live. That’s what I do.

— Ralph Lauren
My go-to pair these days.  Saint Laurent D02 M/SK-LW

My go-to pair these days.  Saint Laurent D02 M/SK-LW

    I like noticing how people adorn themselves, because I think it’s a really interesting form of expression.  Fashion doesn’t rely on language, is used by everyone and can often tell more about a person than they realize.  There’s an interesting play between what people need from their clothing, and what people want to show by their clothing.

    Jeans are one of the most versatile pieces of clothing, in my opinion.  I wear jeans changing the oil in my car (when I do), to the opera and everywhere in between.  Denim is not necessarily a soft fabric, but almost everyone feels comfortable in jeans.  But that’s good, because if it were soft like cashmere, jeans wouldn’t serve the purpose they do.

   A lot of people think jeans originated with Levi’s.  This is not totally true, however Levi’s was one of the first jean producers and was one of the first to bring denim to the US.  The fabric denim was first manufactured in Nimes, France.  It was meant to replicate an Italian twill called serge.  The resulting product was called Serge de Nimes.  It’s been shortened today to denim.

    Jeans gained such popularity because they are so durable.  Levi’s set up shop in 1853 in San Francisco, the prime location to outfit miners with sturdy pants.  The rest is history!  Now jeans come in all different colors, cuts and intentions.  Farmers wear jeans, polo players wear jeans, I wear jeans, so that just about covers it.  Everyone wears jeans.

  These jean pictured are 6 years old.  Ralph Lauren RRL slim fit straight leg.  They were my first experience buying quality jeans.  I love them!  Top Left:  Manufactured in the US of Japanese Fabric.   Top Right:  I like to add my own flare, so I embroidered my initials.  Upside down.  Oops, had to correct it on the other leg.  Bottom Left:  People often cuff selvedge denim to show the uniqueness of the fabric.  Often times there is a stripe of red thread.  Bottom Right:  Wear and tear is great.  These jeans started out solid navy, stiff as a board.  That's what they look like now. 

    There are several things to look for when buying the perfect pair of jeans.  It’s important to keep in mind that jeans are like diets, everyone needs something different.  We all have different needs, wants and bodies.  A polo players slim fitting white jeans will not work for a miner crawling down a narrow coal mineshaft.  I’m going to share what I look for in jeans.

    Ideally indigo dyed (or another unadulterated pigment) organic cotton, but I have yet to find the perfect cut in my size made from organic cotton.  I like to go for selvedge raw Japanese denim American made jeans.  Japan is known for their high quality denim, partly because Toyota (then Toyoda) produced high quality, versatile automatic shuttle looms.  What I mean is jeans manufactured in the United States of denim produced in Japan.  I like to keep it local, but sometimes you have to outsource for the best.  The word "selvedge" comes from self-edge, indicating that the edge is clean, and will not fray.  It's the outseam of the fabric.  I usually assume if a brand is going to go through the extra trouble of using selvedge denim, they're also going to use quality materials and methods, however that is not always the case.  Selvedge denim is often distinguishable by a string of red yarn.

I love the multicolor threads used in this denim.  I think they're dressy but still cool.  Jill Sander straight leg cotton blend S/S 15.

I love the multicolor threads used in this denim.  I think they're dressy but still cool.  Jill Sander straight leg cotton blend S/S 15.

    I prefer tighter, darker, high waisted jeans.  Loose jeans are automatically casual.  I think skinny jeans have more versatility.  The darker the denim, the dressier they can be worn.  I like buying dark jeans because they don't show spots.  Just because they're dark doesn't mean they can't be worn casually as well.  The high waist is just a comfort thing for me.  It usually means the pockets will be deeper too, which I like.

    A balanced outfit is a comfortable outfit.  A great outfit isn't about the clothes, it's about the confidence.  And you'll only be confident in something you feel comfortable wearing.  Just like how it's not about what you eat, but how you feel about what you eat, it's about how you feel about what your'e wearing.  By balance I mean that if I'm wearing tight jeans, I'll wear a loose shirt.  I think it would be really restrictive and uncomfortable to wear all tight clothes.  I think most people would agree, however I'm sure there are people who feel good wearing a spandex suit.

Saint Laurent D02

Saint Laurent D02

    I think I should mention, not everyone can pull off skinny jeans.  They almost require a twig-figure.  Other than skinny, I think classic straight leg is the way to go.  Now go!  Find yourself a favorite pair of jeans!  Wear them out, embrace every spot and tear.  That's how your jeans will tell their story.

Luxury as Time

Most of us have no sympathy with the rich idler who spends his life in pleasure without ever doing any work. But even he fulfills a function in the life of the social organism. He sets an example of luxury that awakens in the multitude a consciousness of new needs and gives industry the incentive to fulfill them.
— Ludwig von Miss
Rolex Air King, looks good for having logged over 2500 days of wear!

Rolex Air King, looks good for having logged over 2500 days of wear!

 

   Time is the only real luxury. When I buy an item or an experience, I'm essentially paying for time. Whether it be time spent learning or perfecting a craft, or the time it took to manufacture the item or the time to grow or make the components. Green bell peppers are cheaper than red, because they aren't ripe and there's a faster turnover. I don't eat green bell peppers, they aren't ripe!  I could make an amazing hand crafted watch. But I would have to learn how to mine, mold metal, and take several lessons in horology. I don't want to do that, but I still want a quality watch. So I outsource.  I trade my time to someone else for, in most cases, money.  Then I trade the money I received to someone else for their time. That can be applied to nearly every purchase I make. As I grow and learn, I invest time in my life and perfect better the things I put my attention to, making my time more valuable. And as I grow I have less time, also increasing its value. Baby cashmere has a greater value because it can only be collected once in a goat's lifetime, and is only a limited supply. With no time, there is no luxury.  I think there's an unlimited amount of money (according to the Federal Reserve there is), so it's in my favor to look to others who have put in the time to understand the things I have yet to understand.  

    Unless you're Eckhart Tolle, which would mean, according to the transitive property, that luxury is an illusion.  I have to agree with him, luxury is just as illusory as time.  Being present in the moment is the ultimate luxury, supersedes time, and can't be bought.  Luxury is not about having stuff, it's about having time.  When you're totally in the moment, there is no time.  When I'm doing something I love, and am totally in the flow, I can accomplish so much in so little time, or totally get lost in the day and feel like it passed in the blink of an eye.  But if you're having fun it doesn't matter, there's no better way to spend time than doing things you enjoy.

   Back to materialism for a second, because I want to connect my watch to luxury and to time.  It was a gift for my 18th birthday.  And you know what they say about gifts, turning down a gift is denying yourself love.  I've worn it every day since I got it, except that one time the pin fell out of the band.  That means it's spent 2,529 days on my wrist.  I swim with it, I shower with it, I change my oil with it, rock climb.  And it's still going strong!  I have only spent one day without it.  To me, that's a form of luxury.  It's able to withstand the test of time, and 20w50.  It also serves as a representation of my parents, the gift givers.  I look at it, and am reminded about all that they've done for me.

    Every once in a while I'm questioned why I would want metal strapped around my wrist.  Believe it or not, it's not because I want to know what time it is.  If I wanted to know the time, I would not look at a Rolex (that picture was actually taken at 6:12).  I think generally those that ask, think that it harnesses energy on my wrist that I might not want.  One woman said how she can't wear her watch because it makes her feel terrible.  I'm thinking, why do you have such a negative association with your watch?  I have more say than my watch, and I say it only harnesses the things I want!  While it may look like a piece of 904L stainless steel strapped to my wrist, it's much more than that.  It's filled with gold nuts (maybe even sprouted?), and gemstones like rubies, sapphires and diamonds.  They are not there to make the watch expensive, they're there because they serve a purpose.  They are more durable than metal, and significantly reduce friction, increasing the lifespan.  So sitting on my wrist is hundreds of years of watch development, using traditional and modern technologies, made with the best ingredients.   I know people that carry crystals in their pocket.  I carry them on my wrist.

 

 

Thank you for reading!