ON A PERSONAL NOTE | ‘IT’S REAL SIMPLE, BE SIMPLE’ BY PATRICK DOSS
Editor’s Note: This is the first of a new series on The Sig Other, “On A Personal Note”, where men of all ages write about their thoughts —good, bad, ugly, humorous or otherwise—on their personal style. Feel free to contact me about it if you’d like to contribute.
It’s real simple, be simple.
When I first got into the clothing business there was this flashy false identity that I thought was necessary to emulate. Then I met someone who changed all of that. He was in his thirties, drank too much coffee and smoked for release on his infrequent breaks. He wore generally the same thing every day. Monday to Saturday his style never changed because he never changed. You knew him from the moment you met him, a genius who wore a deep navy wool fresco suit complete with torn lining. There were patches on the elbows where he had worn them thin making everyone happy. His shirts were never bold. There was never a morning he gave tying his tie more than one try, it fell how it was supposed to.
Over time, I grew to want to be that man. My failure to be my perceived ideal allowed me to pour myself into beginning to discover who I was, although it was a shock to me that it wasn’t self-evident. He taught me how to work and live. Moderation was now what I sought out. I would ask him for advice on style and he would reply by asking me what my passions were. The point was that style goes beyond clothing. You have to know yourself before you can ever know your style, so you cannot have someone else’s style.
I would ask him for advice on style and he would reply by asking me what my passions were. The point was that style goes beyond clothing. You have to know yourself before you can ever know your style, so you cannot have someone else’s style.
In the months following I began to make more decisions that were consequential to me. The more that this happened, the more my style changed. Thrift stores held more value to me than specialty men’s shops. Patterns in my selection of clothing became clearer as more of who I am came out. It seemed that everyday more of the superfluous was eliminated.
My style is not influenced by the perceived ideal of style you see so frequently in popularity today, but rather a cultivation of my person on an instinctual level. It is who I aspire to be. Always be inspired to learn. Learn from those who are simple and humble, the men of habit. Learn who you are and listen to yourself. Put yourself in the situations necessary to make choices consequential to yourself. Having style is a reflection of your past and your posterity. It is an ageless lesson that you can impart to others as the years pass and your voice goes quiet. Remember style always leaves a legacy. Make yours profound and wear it always with love.
Patrick Doss is a veteran of Sid Mashburn, works at Suitsupply in New York City and doesn’t have an account on tumblr.