Subtlety Be Thy Name.

Posted on August 3, 2009 in Fit Lesson, Shirts, Style, Style Theory.

I wanted this post to be a tantrum against Ed Hardy clothing, but I realized that’s like beating a dead, cliche, and ugly horse. So, instead I decided to target the fundamental aspect of what makes Ed Hardy-like clothes so unattractive – inauthenticity (unless, you’re a huge meathead with spiky bleached hair, cause I really think it looks good on you, but only if the shirt is 2 sizes too small).

For me, whenever a mass-market brand tries to do something “edgy” it just reeks of inauthenticity. You don’t see body artists sporting Ed Hardy or actual surfers wearing Hollister surf shop tshirts. It’s obviously a farce and horribly unoriginal.

My ire recently got directed towards Express Men. I went there as part of a PG shopping excursion, and consistently found some decently cool things, but when I flipped them around they had horrible graphics on them. Take the vest in #1. Front the front it looks great and of decent quality, but when I turned it around (#2) *boom*, hideously ugly “exclusive graphic art” smacks you in the face. Apparently, the purpose is to make a “clean break from the status quo.” The only clean break this is making is from Nondoucheland.


Photo credit: Express.

Photo credit: Express.


Photo credit: Express.

Photo credit: Express.

There are a whole host of other examples, from flashy embroidered shirts to rhinestone emblazoned clothing, like the obviously over-the-top #3. Good style is such a tenuous line to traverse, that even something as well-meaning as the graphical text in #1, is enough to ruin the entire garment.


Photo credit: The Buckle.

Photo credit: The Buckle.

The bottom line is that a man should dress simply, yet still retain a decidedly masculine edge. He should rely upon his personality to add that extra dash of something that these types of clothing are attempting to elicit.

2 Responses to “Subtlety Be Thy Name.”

  1. sara says:

    Sooooo glad you wrote about this awful attempt at a fashion statement. I literally want to grab these douche bags and rip the shirts off their backs because my eyes bleed when I see this.
    Thank you, this made my day because one of my friends actually told a guy that approached her at a bar to never wear a shirt with silver design or studs if he ever wants to get a girl. He guy said he would get rid of his collection. Awesome!

  2. Ward says:

    Yeah, that shit’s ugly and tacky. Can’t believe peopel buy it…

What do you think?