American Minimal

Describing something American as minimal may seem sarcastic at a first glance. We are used to big things coming out of the U.S. be it in clothing, cars, food portions, ideas, movie productions, you name it. Though there is a distinct minimal element to the casual traditional American way of dressing.  Few pieces purelly practical, used either for their warmth or efficiency and durability, the dress-code of the cowboy and lumberjack, of the wilderness explorer.   5D4A1274_ok

In the days we living there is not a whole lot of wilderness left. Our cities though have become much like jungles, thus calling for a new breed of adventurer to emerge. One that can carry on the torch our forebearers both in spirit and practice. Thus the clothes of old become relevant to the present day. through their simplicity and familiar lines they bridge the gap between the old and the new in a perfect and elegant way.  5D4A1192_ok

A flannel shirt paired with heavy cotton chino pants and a denim jacket with sherpa linning over your shoulders can make you feel at home, regardless of your suroundings. Simple and practical meet, classic and sharp in an outfit that combines the best of both worlds. Instead of the time-worn sturdy leather boots of the usual cowboy, I prefer to wear my skate-hi’s. I don’t get as many opportunities to ride a horse as I get to ride my board, nowdays. 5D4A1212_ok

Riding might have changed in the urban landscape to boards and  bikes, but the rider has essentially remained the same. The look, the feel and the clothes all follow the same path of cool essential simplicity. Minimalism handed down from one generation to the next, serving the same purpose of freedom and expression.  5D4A1167_ok

Shredded

The homeless/punk aesthetic of distressed clothing has grown into a cult the last couple of years. Normally you wouldn’t even consider of going out with a sweatshirt filled with holes but today it is considered normal. Distressed fashion is on a rise and not only because of it’s musical or socio-political references. _MG_1845OK_MG_1850OKTattered and torn clothes contibute an element of authenticity and a down to earth feeling in an outfit. They help tonning down formal-ware lending an aura of casuallity and playfullness. A prime example of this kind of styling is pairing a blazer and shirt with torn jeans. Easy to wear, smart yet casual at the same time._MG_1871OK_MG_1839OKCombining pieces fomr different sides of fashion in order to take advantage, of their individual streanghts  is nice and all, but what happens if you wanna wear all your distressed clothing together? Well inmy honest opinion DON”T DO IT. Unless you are a rockstar so it’s fine. Seriously though don’t. Try wearing a single big piece that is torn to shreds. Everyones loves black skinny torn jeans but, it is quite different visual effect  if you pair them with a shirt or T-shirt, than with an also distressed crewneck for example.

You wouldn’t an old lady lending you a couple of quorters thinking your homeless now, would you?

 

Hoodie: Sneak Aces

Jeans: Represent Clothing

Cut Short

Shorst may be considered a standard garment of everybody’s  summer closet but that wasen’t always the case. Shorts have their origin in late 19th and early 20th century school uniforms. Aside from seperating men form boys they served a practical purpsose since youngsters tend to dirty their clothes more often , so shorts saved some time at the cleaners. That all changed with World War 2. A lot of soldiers got assigned to fronts with a tropical climate thus leading to them wearing shorts. That got shorts to get “accepted” as part of an adults wardrobe and changed forever the perception of childness and immaturity they used to have. _MG_1748OK_MG_1764OKGrown men beeing seen in shorts is one thing, wearing them properly is quite another. Most people tend not to pay attention to how or when to wear shorts. Basically you wear shorts when the weather allows you too, meaning it is suffieciently hot to do so and when you are not attending an overly formal event or occasion.

As long as wearing them is concerned first you go to choose how long you want you shorts to be. There are some prety short ones as I previously described and some pretty long ones that reach all the way dow to your ankle. In my opinion knee-high and a couple of inches above the knee is the best lenght but your personal refferance may differ. Then you got to choose the style.

There are simple shorts like the ones I am wearing in this shoot and more extravagant and flashy with more pockets, patterns or overly more complex. Be weary that the style and also the color you choose also affects the formality of you total outfit so choose according to your plans.

Now what to pair them with. Most people would pair shorts with a T-shirt, a pair of sneakers and get out the door, but I think we can be smarter than that. I like antithesis, so my favorite way of wearing shorts is with a long-sleeve shirt or T-shirt. Playing with revealing and hiding your body is a really nice way to “smarten-up” a rather caual and common piece of clothing. Especially wearing an Oxford shirt really enchances the whole “feel” of your outfit.

_MG_1757OK_MG_1735OKGetting lower, not any shoe will do. Low-top shoes with short socks work the best here. You can use high-top sneakers and boots if you like but, be mindfull that the rest of your stylistic choices must be according to your footwear. I have used low-sneakers with min-length socks because I like the whole schoolboy/boyscout look.

As a final piece of advice i would like to stress one important visual trap of wearing shorts. The “chicken-leg” effect. That happens because shorts add volume only to the top part of your legs, so choosing an overly loose pair magnifies that effect even further. In order to avoid it opt for more fitted shorts that shape and tone your figure.

Longsleeve T-shirt: Vans 

Shorts: DC 

Socks: HUF Wordlwide X Thrasher 

Shoes: Vans Era

Never Ending

Street Style, the most uncoventional and hard to describe style category off all. In most other cases like bohemian, romantic, bussiness, outdoors and so on, we can give a clear definition of what they or how they are represented. But what is Street? Is it another word to say casual? Is Street anything that we see someone wearing while walking around in a city? Is it a mesh of punk and rock with a couple of sportswear items thrown into the mix? _MG_1818OK_MG_1780OKHonestly I believe that Street Style is a playground. It is the place were all the old-school styles go to play, mingle and maybe have a couple of drinks. What comes as a result is a fresh look in concepts that we thought of as old or obsolete. Wearing suit trousers with oversized T-shirst and jean jackets, a lbd with sneakers or simply your sweats with a flannel over a hoodie. Casual  sportswear and even more prepy clothes mix in a plethora of new ways and the result is interresting new looks that surprise in their simplicity.

_MG_1811OK_MG_1822OKHere lies the trap though. Not everything that fits the previous discription is a street style look. In other words wearing whatever and putting on a pair of sneakers doesn’t make you a street style aficionado, it just makes you lazy. Go outside your comfort zone and explore some more unconventional stylistic approaches towoards your wardrobe.

Street Style is about always finding ways to wear what you got in a new and exiting way. It never ends and once you get a grasp of it, it becomes pretty fun.

Re-imagine. Re-invent. Create.

 

T-Shirt: XbyO for Adidas Originals

Sweatpants: Adidas

Shoes: Steve Maden

Parkway

A street style staple the parka coat is another piece of garment that has come a long way through history to reach the streets. Originally the first ever people to wear it were the Caribou Innuit which made theirs out of caribou or seal skin. Layer it was adopted by the U.S. Army and the snorkel parka was born. It was used for personel stationed in extremely cold weather conditions. It gained the common name of “snorkel parka” because the hood can be zipped right up leaving only a small tunnel (or snorkel) for the wearer to look out of.

Another type of the parka coat is the fishtail Parka. It was inveneted and first put to use by the U.S. Army during the Korean War. The name fishtail comes from the fish tail extension at the back that could be folded up between the legs, much like a Knochensack, and fixed using snap connectors to add wind-proofing. The fishtail was fixed at the front for warmth or folded away at the back to improve freedom of movement when needed.

Both styles are popular in the street with slimmer more elongated form of the fishtail being more common that the snorkel. That’s also due to the heavy use of the fishtail in the 1960’s by the mod subculture. Traditionally colored sage green, the parka coat can also be found in a plethora of colors.

Since a coat isn’t always a direct stylistic element of your outfit I would suggest that you make it so! A great outfit is composed of everything you wear, so choose the color of you parka with care. Green works for most people, but why be the same as everyone ealse? The way we dress expresses our personality and emotional state. So don’t be afraid to break from the norm and choose a color that really is you!

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Fishtail Parka : Sneak Aces

Denim Jacket: Lee Jeans

BOXED-IN

Oversized. The cozy, easy to wear winter trend. But aside from wool sweaters and coats, blowing things out of proportion is a global trend. In the fashion industry the “making things bigger” movement translates into making clothes that are in some ways disproportionate to the wearer. Longer sleeves, more lenght on the waistline, huge hoods. In sort no need to buy one size bigger anymore in order to look more hood or street. The designers have your back!

From a stylistic point of view there are two ways of matching oversozed clothes. The first is big and small. Use only one oversized piece and fitting pieces for the rest of your outfit. For example match an oversized T-shir or hoodie with skinny pants. The opposite also aplies. The second option is going full oversized. But if you don’t want to end up looking like Morgan Spurlok in “Super Size Me” you should carefully choose your outfit. A monochormatic or tone to tone outfit would achieve the prefered look in a classy and more minimalistic way.5d4a8561ok_505d4a8560ok_50Always keep in mind that oversized clothing was,is and always will be a big part of streetculture and streetware. But, before N.W.A, Biggie, RUN D.M.C. and a lot of other hip-hop artists, wearing clothes that are bigger than normal has it’s roots in the 1920’s and the women emancipation movement. Slowly women started wearing men’s clothing as a sign of rebellion. As time moved on and came WW2, women had to work in factories in place of the male workers that were fighting as soldiers in the war. So the sight of women in what used to be striclty male clothing was even more common. Designers were fast to recognize the turn of events and how they shaped ,the way people  dressed. That is when oversized as a concept officialy entered the fashion world.5d4a8554ok_505d4a8567ok_50Ever since then, it has been used a lot and by a wide variety of the fashion spectrum. From Coco Chanel and Alexander McQueen to Stussy and Kanye West’s  Yeezy Collections. In all it’s iterations, oversizing has reamained true to it’s “street nature”, always used to make a statement, to stress a certain point, to make an impretion.

Hoodie by: N.D.G. Studio (from Dangerous Minds store)

Purity

White. A color with numerous symbolic meanings and cultural connotations. From purity and innocence to racial discrimination and “white-colar” status, it has a past and not a very “bright” one to be honest. It’s use in clothing dates as far back as the Middle Ages and was used to dress-up royalty. As times went on, white was adopted by a lot of people due to it’s assosiation with cleanliness and healt (think of the white robes of healthcare proffesionals). Then came the industrial revolution and white was used to distinguish an office employee from a manual labour worker who used to wear indigo blue uniforms.5d4a8468ok_50The list of the  myriads ways white has been used goes on and on. Though it has been widely worn in a lot of different occasions, from weddings to mourning ceremonies it remains a tough color to wear alone. Most of us feel more at home in darker, warmer clothes were you can use different tones to enhcnance your own physical attributes.The question though remains: “how can you wear an achromaric color, a color without hue all by itself?”  5d4a8498ok_505d4a8523ok_50A total white outfit is vastly different from a total black one. Feelings aside, the clothes that enchance our image in one end of the spectrum don’t necesserily do the same in the other end. White is bright and bold. It also adds a feel of coldness. You should choose form fitting clothes, that complement your body. White is also a color of choice for elongated clothes, like long T’s. Don’t go too far and start wearing huge oversized sweaters though. There is a very good chance you will end up looking like a snowman.5d4a8506ok_50The best way to tidy up your pristine total-white look, is by adding detail. Small elements that make a big impact. Adding a bit of contrast makes the main color  “pop-out” more. Also it adds some “warmth” making the whole outfit feel more familiar and easier on the eye.

Outfit

Top: Crewneck Sweater by Sneak Aces

Pants: Biker Denim by Represent

Socks: Stance

Shoes: Filling Pieces