Posts tagged ‘Shirts’

Get shirty

If you have ever wondered whether it’s really worth splashing the cash on designer clothes then this may give you food for thought.

The Observer recruited Paul Smith to give its readers tips on how to create their own ‘designer’ pieces, and here he provides a step-by-step guide to customising inexpensive vintage shirts in order to create something with a more stylish modern cut.

shirts

Photo: Emily MacInnes

This kind of advice is great for those of us who want to put our own skills to the test and create a wearable piece out of cheap, recycled clothing. But it seems to me that the article is also suggesting that the only extras you get from a designer shirt is superior fabric and a superior cut – both of which appear not to require the usual costs associated with such items.

Paul Smith himself accepts that the vintage shirts you can pick up cheaply are so well-made that even he “spends hours each season looking into the construction details”. And if the patterns he has given away are as good as they purport to be, then improving the shape of an otherwise baggy shirt should also be within the average person’s reach.

Of course I accept that designers like Smith need to invest in the type of technology he describes to come up with original designs for shirts, and it is this whole process you are paying for when you buy his clothes. But if, with a bit of effort, anyone can have a crack at producing something of similar quality without all this expense, you do have to wonder what the point of going designer really is.

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February 9, 2009 at 6:43 pm 2 comments

Constrasting views

I have to admit, I’m usually pretty certain about what I like and what I don’t like when it comes to clothes. But every now and then, I come across something I really can’t make my mind up about.

An article in the Guardian today addresses the issue of Sky News correspondents having taken to wearing shirts with contrast collars (i.e. where the collar is a different colour – usually white – to the rest of the shirt), and alludes to the possible influence that the recent film Frost/Nixon may have had on this.

My immediate response was one of horror. Those shirts were supposed to have gone out with the 1980s (if not before – Frost/Nixon is set in the 1970s, after all), and I’d always had contrasts down as being too flashy and garish to warrant a place in my collection.

shirt

Photo: Mark Puplava

But a quick trawl of the net has made me wonder whether it’s me that’s being old-fashioned. Both Men.Style.com and AskMen.com have commented favourably on the use of contrasts in a modern man’s wardrobe, going as far as saying they even have a place outside the office.

Ultimately, I think I’m going to have to decline the invitation. To me, there just doesn’t seem to be any point in having a multitude of colours knocking around other than in an attempt to show off. The affected style of dressing common to the 70s and 80s needs to be left where it belongs – after all, when it comes to dressing, I’m not looking for sass. I’m looking for a bit of class.

January 29, 2009 at 12:26 pm 2 comments


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