“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it is time to reform (or pause and reflect)” – Mark Twain
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Back once again for the very first time in 2018 and we’re kicking it off with another blog post. So here we are, the start of a new year. Another opportunity to plan out the coming calender months, set goals, take up new hobbies and every other cliché that comes with what is essentially the exact same day as any other (lol). But hey, don’t let this Scrooge-like realism disparage any New Years resolutions! After all, if it helps you progress your life and happiness then go get ‘um champ! But unfortunately all too often we find ourselves trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to our ambitions for the new year. Instead of opting to pick off some of the low-hanging fruit that is within our reach and that is more likely to have a greater overall impact on our day-to-day lives we shoot for what is simply too big a goal. Looking to run a marathon this year? Maybe start out with a few local 5K runs first. Oh wait, you thought this was meant to be a fashion and streetwear blog right?! Well here comes the Segway. As your friendly neighbourhood fashionista I’m hear to give you the simplest, yet most impactful New Years resolution there is; BE YOURSELF!
(Pictured above; ‘The tapered jogger’, pretty much the standard issue pants for every young male in country)
Your eyes do not deceive you. There is no intensive diet plan, no 30 day 6-pack shortcuts and no mandatory learning required. Literally just be whoever you would like to be and not what is currently the social norm amongst your circle of peers AKA ‘the lads/biys/gals/huns’. As always when I write I feel it’s important to get the disclaimer line in as early as possible to avoid any backlash, hate-mail or misinterpretation. I’m not here to lambast any one person or any brand. I’m not here to poke fun at what today’s youth is choosing to wear. Nor am I here to convince you that shopping in Primetime is your one and only hope of salvation and etenal happiness. But what I am here to say is that our individuality is what defines us and without it we’re on a sure-fire path to becoming the fashion equivalent of North Korea.
(Pictured above; I’m no devout republican but personally I have no idea how a brand that is centred around the ‘union jack’ is a must for Irish youth)
As mentioned in the title of this blog post, I am posing a question to you the readership (yes all 3 of you, tehe). Since when did looking the same become cool? I’m genuinely fascinated to see if anyone has a feasible hypothesis they are willing to share. It’s important to note I’m by no means innocent when it comes to following the crowd either, in fact if it wasn’t for the complete evaporation of ‘Bebo’ (RIP) I would link a picture of the repulsive mullet that I sported at the time, pink highlights and all, when trying to follow the crowd. Thankfully as this trend died, so did my interest in looking the same as all my cohorts. From then on I found contentment in wearing whatever it was I wanted to wear and doing hair how I wanted it done. Did I get stick from time to time? Sure. Was I happier doing my own thing? 100%. If your mates give you abuse because your black puffer jacket doesn’t have the correct brand logo stitched onto it then you need some new fucking mates and it’s as simple as that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with following mainstream fashion, just try have an idea of why your following and not just because ‘the biys’ are doing so too.
(Pictured above; I’ll buy any Helly Hansen sporting roadman a carton of chocolate milk if he can tell me the first thing about the brand or why he’s even wearing it)
I’m well aware that this shpeal may come across as a tirade against mainstream fashion and our country’s youth of today but it’s not. I promise you it’s not. It is simply the result of anecdotal eveidence that I overhear everyday I work in our beautiful store and everyday I walk through our beautiful city. If I had a Euro for every time I heard someone turn to their peer group, item in hand, and throw out an optimistic “Here, what do ye think of this?” Only to be crushed and shot down with a “No waaayyy, are you for real?”. The item is rapidly stuffed back where it came from, to be hidden as if it never existed in attempt to spare the mortifying embarrassment of potentially liking something that their friends do not. Every time this happens it genuinely makes me a bit sad and chips a chard off my achy-breaky fashion loving heart. It’s scary to think that having different taste to your friends is that daunting a notion, that conformity is the lesser evil. Retrospectively it’s actually quite alarming and baffling when you really think about it. Take a stand out performer from any facet of society, not even necessarily fashion, any at all! It is near on a scientific fact that anybody who has ever made it to the top of their respective profession has done so by going against the grain in some capacity, whether in terms of style, thoughts, behaviours or actions. From Socrates to Slim Shady, those who have opted out of the pre-determined norms that were set our for them have traditionally gone on to be the pioneers or the most successful in their chosen field. This doesn’t mean we should all undertake a mission to be different just for differences sake but equally we shouldn’t be so terrified to stand out from the crowd once in a while. Especially when history has shown us time and time again that those who do so often reap the rewards that individuality has to offer.
(Pictured above, All I want is a reason. A reason why these mundane jackets are inescapable throughout the nation?!)
So in closing, I sincerely hope any opions expressed here haven’t cause any offence. However if they have caused you offence perhaps that is because you are one the masses being referenced and it is time for you to consider some of the points raised above. I realise this has perhaps overstretched the superficial realm of streetwear and fashion but I think it’s a systemic problem that is clear for all to see and one that needs addressing. I also realise that what I have written is largely addressing a male perspective within this issue. This is not to say that this mass-conforming is a gender dependant phenomenon, however I can only speak form my point of view as a young man, hence my general omission of any female specific points. I think today as I started with a quote I will finish with a quote and that is one from the future president of the United States.
“There’s leaders and there’s followers, but I’d rather be a dick than a swallower” – Kanye West
Peace and Love,