Vestis Legis

Primogenitus. Curator. Vancouver. Halifax. Lex. Menswear. Coffee. @vestislegis

The Dark Side of the Authentocracy

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There’s a dark side to the authentocracy that is #menswear. It’s a crowded marketplace of ideas, products and brands and everyone’s jostling for position – constantly having their bona fides evaluated. It’s sartorial Darwinism. It’s survival of the crispiest.

Nothing in #menswear is authentic enough, well made enough, or classic enough. Your luggage is not heirloom quality enough, and your shirting is not American-made enough. In short we’re always hungry, always hunting, always searching for something more. This isn’t a bad thing.

The guardians of #menswear, like the students of Socrates, engage in a constant dialogue in pursuit of the ideal form of authenticity. Searching in vain for a physical manifestation of true authenticity, a nebulous concept not easily defined or explained. Traditional, original, genuine – adjectives #menswear enthusiasts aimlessly sprinkle into their Christmas wish-lists and product reviews without a true consensus on what any of it means. I think this is because the disciples of #menswear are romantics by nature, and perhaps historical revisionists to some degree as well, idealizing bygone eras, fashions and techniques.

But get too far down the rabbit hole and you can end up like these geezers, steezed-out in the middle of the wilderness reading books and holding vintage magnifying glasses. Nothing wrong with that really – could be one hell of an afternoon - I just think they’ve taken the pursuit of an “authentic” experience a little too far. They’ve had too much of the #menswear Kool-Aid.

We know the holidays are a time for indulgence – more free time to cruise the Blogosphere, more dinner parties to dress up for, more Internet sales. Even the air is crisp this time of year.

Just remember these two chaps when you’re stuffing your online shopping cart on Boxing Day: too much of the #menswear Kool-Aid and you too could wind up passed out on a log in a misty ravine while your pal in yellow slacks regales you with a passage from his favourite book.

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