An interest in men’s fashion is increasing and while a glance around the Whitworth campus may not be clear evidence of that, men’s fashion icons are emerging in the public eye. Well-known athletes such as LeBron James, NBA player for the Miami Heat, and Brad Richards, hockey player for the Rangers, have recently been attending events like New York’s Fashion Week. There may also be an interest arising from some Whitworth men as well. Whitworth senior Rory Buck is one of these students who is decidedly in favor of a new movement toward men’s fashion.
“First impressions are important,” Buck said. “If you’re dressed well, your first impression usually comes out pretty good.”
Buck maintains a classy-casual style and views men’s fashion as being composed of three things: style, grooming and confidence.
“People see you before they hear you talk, and dressing well improves the image they’re going to have of you,” Buck said.
In his freshman year, Buck created a “no-sweats policy.” He noticed the large number of students who wear sweats and understands why athletes would, but he doesn’t approve of rolling out of bed and throwing on a pair sweats. Buck sees this as careless and counter-hygienic.
“Make yourself look presentable. Let’s get a vibe going here,” Buck said. “There’s a time and a place for sweats, but there’s a specific time and a place for sweats.”
Sophomore Matthew Comi offered a parallel perspective on this trend.
“An important way society interacts is through clothing,” Comi said. “You shouldn’t care about it too much, but there is some value to it.”
Comi noted that interest in men’s fashion has been stereotyped into a sub-classification of homosexuality.
“Ideas about men’s fashion need to change,” Comi said. “Fashion, along with dance and theater, is tied to being an inherently feminine thing, which is a huge misconception.”
For Comi, dressing well and maintaining a personal style is a reflection of who you are. Comi dresses with vintage and traditional-classy tones. Shopping from online European stores, and a few thrift stores, his look is that of a gentleman. Comi compares men’s search of style as that of an illustrator creating a book-cover.
“If you’re going to be spending the money or taking the time to create this illustration, you might as well make it look really nice,” Comi said.
Fashion and trends have also been presented as a disturbance or stumbling block within some Christian circles. Some see it as unnecessary and a means of following worldly ways.
“It’s OK to enjoy a trend, but there’s such a thing as discernment,” Comi said. “To an extent it is kind of vain, but as long as you don’t put too much weight into it, it’s not inherently damaging.”
Plato’s Closet, a unique thrift store in Spokane, presents a fashionable form of gently used clothes. The store carries a majority of women’s styles, but the men’s section provides a variety of styles as well. One of the clothes buyers, Adam Hoffman, said plaids, flannels and a vintage old-school style is coming back in.
“Guy’s fashion is on the rise, and people are starting to realize that now,” Hoffman said. “It’s always been that way for designer stores, but it’s hit everywhere now too. Dressing well is coming back and guys are starting to get a sense of fashion again.”
It’s all about creating your own style and being your own person, Hoffman said.
Buck echoes Hoffman’s favor of a new masculine movement in the fashion world.
“Women spend so much time making themselves look presentable, it’s only fair that we do the same thing,” Buck said.
By Cherise Marron