Friday, 5 January 2018

The Search for Style: Coming Soon Here on the Blog

This blog started six years ago to describe my search for style as an older man. With this experience under my belt I want this year, as part of my new direction for the blog, to take a personal look into  the elements of style: what it is, how to recognise it and how we can acquire it - does style have any use or purpose? I hope that the discussion will inform all of us as we look for style, whether we are men in our twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties or beyond.

Searching for style: suit Dege & Skinner from cloth made in collaboration with Johnstons of Elgin

Many of you have been in touch to describe your own searches for style. Each of you has different reasons for your search. Some have always been interested in style; others, like me, started late. In my case it was a response to the failure of brands to market themselves properly to older men. Those of us over 50 are responsible for nearly half of consumer spending. We've worked all our lives and tend to be more affluent on average than younger people. Despite this, brands use young models and aim at the young in trying to sell their wares. This approach just doesn't connect with the older man. One of my aims on the blog is to show brands that older men are interested and will buy their products if they want to sell to them.

I'm interested in some of the puzzles around style. How do some older men look stylish wearing clothes that don't fit/are outrageous/very youthful while most of us look terrible in the same outfits? I can't promise answers but I'll give it a go. I'll be grateful for your thoughts, suggestions, questions, answers too. As ever, the blog is nothing without you, its readers here and on Instagram.

Is this style? Pitti Uomo January 2017 (image Grey Fox)

A search for style takes a positive decision to change, to some extent, your wardrobe, life and appearance. You have to feel some passion about this and this means being certain that style brings some benefits. I've found that it does. Not least are positive comments from friends, family and (best of all) women - but style goes beyond mere vanity and embraces confidence, self-respect and respect for others.

I'll also look at the issue of sustainability. A truly stylish man will always consider the environmental impact of his choices and the welfare of those making his clothes. I'm grateful to a reader for reminding me to include this.

Style is more than skin deep. A man needs inspiration in the form of images, blogs, social media and advertising to help him achieve style; he can't do it on his own as it's a deep and complex formula. Let's break down the elements of this formula over the next few weeks. But please... get in touch and let me have your thoughts. My email.

Follow The Search for Style on this link.


Anonymous said...

The number 1 consideration is and probably always has been, broadening one's definition as to which events in life are worthy of our best foot forward? Not referring to high fashion nor black tie, more our day to day lives. If someone has to get hitched or kick the bucket for you to elevate beyond jeans and tee-shirts, you're hopeless. Give.Up.NOW.

Yet with the slightest effort, it's amazing how you can impact the lives of those around you? My wife and I recently moved from one end of a gated community to the other. Since nearly all the other husbands here are retired, none of them bother dressing. Since I still have a few more years working, I tend to dress more appropriately. Without question it has been very well received!

In less than a year I've noticed I'm no longer the only husband wearing dress slacks and ditching the gym shoes. After raising a few eyebrows in the early going, our social and clubhouse events have thankfully migrated more upscale. Much to the wives' delight. No one 'wants' to be married to slob. Unfortunately altogether too many of us are... Just don't be one of them. It's a start.

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Looking very forward to your examination(s) of these related topics! A few thoughts off the top of my head: 1) Confidence is key when it comes to looking stylish at any age. Many "guys" here in the U.S. at least seem to lack it and attempt to cover that lack with false bravado. . . and backwards baseball caps (Ugh!); 2) One must make dressing well/nicely a habit to achieve that relaxed self-confidence whether suits, neckties, and decent leather dress shoes are part of the picture, or not; and 3) Styl" and self-confidence are things that can be learned if one realizes the very real need to work on this particular point, but I fear many lack that self-awareness, or attempt, yet again, to mask the shortcoming with the false bravado and a whole lot of (negative) attitude. At the very least, dressing with a bit more panache would help more people to feel a bit better about themselves in my view and influence our daily interactions in a more positive way than seems to be the case currently throughout much of society. If more of us looked a bit nicer, we would feel and BE a bit nicer to each other than has become the sad accepted norm. Just my tuppence worth of course, but I look forward to your own ideas and discussions around them.

Best Regards,

Heinz-Ulrich von. B.

StayAtHomeDad said...

Searching for style, have you seen Phantom Thread ? Great clothes, great car, great acting.

Anonymous said...

What an excellent resource and EXACTLY what I have been looking for!

Will definitely be checking in regularly, and spreading the word.

Kind regards

Snapper said...

Hi David,

I agree with your comment that style is more than skin deep and I have some idea of what it means to me personally.
You conclude by saying "get in touch with me and let me know your thoughts" but how are you going to use these? For the reasons of work load, which I fully understand, you no longer publish any responses here on your site although you maintain the facility, as now, for us to contact you.

Your instagram site, whilst very entertaining, does not appear to be the vehicle for any 'in depth' types of discussions or comments.

So I wonder where or how these style thoughts of your readers will see the light of day.

Please read my comments in the context of help and concern that they are intended for. As you know I am an avid fan of yours and have great respect for your knowledge, skill and dedication.

Best of wishes,

Anonymous said...

Great stuff. Not sure why there are so few comments on your blog but I hope there are enough page views to encourage you to keep up your worthwhile efforts to keep us all improving and investigating our personal style.
All the best for the new approach.

grey fox said...

Thank you all.

Yes, Snapper, as we've discussed I find it hard to keep on top of comments here but most readers get in touch by email or on Instagram.

All these comments are very useful indeed; thank you very much. I'll be covering these points in my future features.


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