Head down to your local men’s department or trendy clothing store and you’re likely to see a plethora of shirts in different shapes, fits, sizes and patterns. Each year, new cuts and fabrics are picked up by haute couture designers, then followed later in the season by high end designers and then finally copied once more by the big box retailers and men’s chain stores. You can think of it as ‘trickle down stylonimics’. In a way we’re wearing the hand-me-downs of Armani and Escada, and that’s not such a bad thing!
In this light, style can be viewed as a series of evolutions. Trends flow ‘down’ from the Fashion Capitals of the World such as Milan and Paris and eventually reach the masses. Each step in men’s fashion tends to be a minor change; a military influence this season, a rustic tinge the next. Men’s fashion has more inertia than women’s, so standing out in a good way requires a certain je ne sais quoi or just some killer gear.
Just in case your swagger isn’t quite at that ‘je ne sais quoi’ level, your killer gear has arrived.
We’re not talking about a shirt with a slightly new stripe width, or a pair of jeans with one more faux hole in it than the guy in the cube next to you. The hooded shirt (yes, a hooded button down) isn’t just an evolution in men’s fashion – it’s a revolution. What makes the hooded shirt the fashion equivalent of Che Guavara and Paul Revere?
Firstly, its a versatile item that can pinch hit as a street cred booster, ironic prep or effortless euro style. Because it’s so unique, it fits in dressed up or down as the occasion dictates. Throw a slacks and blazer on with it and get the grown up rendition of ‘sneakers at a prom’. Pair it with madras shorts and rolled up sleeves and put those sun-shorn yacht dwellers on fashion ads to shame. No matter where you’re heading, the hooded shirt is a conversation piece and an asset to your wardrobe.
Secondly, it didn’t come from the top. Evolutionary change comes from the ‘powers that be’. By definition it is change within the system. Revolutionary change is changing the system itself. The hooded shirt was conceived by a cutting edge design house right here in NYC. The hooded shirt isn’t about following trends, it’s about standing out from the crowd just enough to express your individuality, and looking sharp while you’re doing it.