Style Vs Trend: Lookin’ Good In Hard Times!
“There’s a war going on outside, no man is safe from…”
Aight, so maybe Prodigy wasn’t rapping about fashion and having a sense of style when he spit that line, but walking the streets of NYC kinda puts me in that frame of mind.
I know this recession we’re in is f*cked up and all but history has shown us that a lot of great inspiration comes from tough financial times. Just ’cause we’re all broke, doesn’t mean we all can’t be fly! If anything I think one can argue it’s easier to dress understated and dope when the purse strings are a lot tighter.
The hypothesis is simple: the less money you have, the more classic and basic the closet will be. Hence you won’t be tricked into buying full patent leather jean suits or skittles colored loafers, perhaps. But still, some of y’all don’t learn. And what you swear might be “style” is actually an evil trend that you’re gonna hate when you see a pic of yourself a couple summer’s from now.
First off, we need to clarify that style isn’t buying whatever your favorite rapper is wearing at the moment. Style is almost a mythical state of being. It’s hard to describe, but you can definitely know style when you see it. Diddy is as stylish as they come, without being too trendy. T-Pain and Soulja Boy? They’re the Kings of Trendy. So without even trying to define Style and Trend, we can easily see which is which, theoretically speaking.
But for some reason, soon as we get that paycheck or the income tax money (you know who you are, hahaha) you run to that local shop that sells both cool, classic ish and some over the top “pimp in Detroit during the Playa’s Ball” type outfit. Not that there’s anything wrong with dressing like you’re in the Playa’s Ball. If you’re a true to life pimp, a crushed velvet suit is a must-have. But if you take the #6 train five days a week, that shit should not be in your closet.
The easiest way to not become a trend-victim is to follow one really important rule during this financial climate (I’m gonna get some hate for this one, but…):
Ignore The Brands – Just Go for the Look!
In other words, don’t be a brand-whore and wear every big name, expensive ish that you can find. It means absolutely nothing if you’re wearing all Ralph Lauren or Alife or whatever from head to toe. It just means that you’re a clothes-Stan. So if that Gucci belt looks fine with Gap jeans and that Hanes t-shirt, then so be it. An Old Navy hat and H&M sweater may compliment those Supra kicks better than most of their expensive counterparts can. Again, go for the look and ignore the brands (Just make sure you buy a lot of FLuD – we got kids to feed over here, haha!).
Now, some folks and brands are able to transform Trend into Style. One brand that comes to mind is CAVI. CAVI started up a few years back with some really dope military inspired shirts that everyone from Fabolous to DJ Jazzy Joyce was rockin’. Fast forward to 2010 and we can see that CAVI is still bringing the military ethos to the line without succumbing to the trend of the moment: tight ass skinny jeans (not that there’s anything wrong with tight jeans; your boy just can’t do ‘em though). CAVI has been able to take a Trend and turn it into Style. Military themed gear is absolutely timeless. Peacoats have been poppin’ every single decade since the 1940′s. That’s not by accident.
The perfect example of Trend vs Style was the death of the throwback jersey. Ever since young Hov (you know, back when he really was young, no shots!) put the nail on Mitchell and Ness‘ coffin, those things have been scarce to come by. For good reason, too. Who wants to see their girl rockin’ a dress that says Iverson on the back? (don’t get me wrong, I copped a bunch of em ’cause I wanted to live it up in the hood in the summertime, but my shorty rocking it? Uhm, no bueno).
So what’s really the point to all of this?
It’s simple: during these trying times, your bucks are working overtime in order to keep you looking right, playboy. Think twice before you cop the rabbit fur trench coat that costs a couple paychecks and do it up with something a bit more classic-inspired that’s readily available from one of these two spots: HERE and HERE.
Main Image: WhatsPoppin.net