As some of you may know, I have been much more active on my tumblr recently as I struggle to keep awake and work and blog while surviving the birth of my second son. The sleep deprivation is well known to those of you who are parents, especially of newborns. I enjoy tumblr because, much like Twitter, it allows you to glimpse at content quickly and it is perfect for the current “younger” generations that are beyond ADD and parents like myself that have minutes, if not seconds, to mindlessly enjoy a distraction such as the Internet before inevitably having to focus on preventing a toddler from burning down the house (I also get extra points for typing this post with one hand).
I have for the most part stuck to tumblr’s about men’s style since that is the content I like to discuss here and on The Dapper Dad tumblr. Understand that tumblr is really not meant for a thirty-something, married with children guy like myself (or The Daddy Complex, who I believe is the only other Dad with the guts to try out tumblr), so it is an anthropological exercise for me to see what is on the mind of the free spirited and care free twenty-something’s. Most of the popular tumblr’s are single guys in their twenty’s who fit in skinny jeans and suits that I could never fit into because my body is not a temple, but rather a pantry.
On tumblr you can ask the bloggers questions and for the most part these very stylish chaps actually know their sartorial stuff despite being young ‘uns. They are a bit too obsessed with “sprezzatura”, Park & Bonds, Nickelson Wooster, Boglioli, double monks and as of late Michael Bastian, but their passion is praiseworthy especially as I see more and more young men dress horrifically on their way to work and even worse on weekends (lucky baseball cap from college, fleece, khakis and sockless loafers – good grief). I do hope that these tumblr “menswear” crusaders prevail on their peers to dress in a way becoming of a man no matter what the occasion. There is no “art” to dressing like a man, but only the tinniest bit of effort put forth to have on hand clothes that you can grab and throw on without looking like a train wreck and that actually fit you properly.
Even as I struggle each morning to survive a toddler (i.e. PB&J) and a newborn (i.e. spit up), I can still manage a shirt, pants and shoes that are not sneakers or Crocs on my way out. One way to see if you are dressed appropriately is to say to yourself: “Would I have dressed like this in High School or College?” and if the answer is yes then go back inside and change. You may not be Gianni Agnelli or Marcello Mastrioanni, but simple and clean will go a long way in making you feel and look great.
Since most of you are in my situation and have already sewn your wild oats and settled down to a family life, I wanted to share my three favorite style tumblr’s with you. I think you will find the first very informative, the second inspirational (and probably aspirational to many) and the third just makes me laugh when my I am having a crappy day.
Curated by Jesse Thorn and Adam Lisagor out of Los Angeles, Put This On is (outside of the various men’s style forums) one of the most informative sites for men to find advice and information regarding men’s clothing and style from A to Z. They know their brands, their bespoke, their fit, their maintenance and cleaning, their eBay, their fabrics and much more. They are also one of the few places where you do not have to be a slim and trim college kid to ask about what might fit best for your body type. They also have a great web video series that will soon enter its second season and talks about different aspects of menswear such as the history of specific garments (e.g., denim) or how real leather shoes are made (e.g, all leather insole). There is no glamour or glitz to this site and that is what makes it special. They are down to earth and realistic. This is dressing well for real men. It is a great place to start even if you just want to up the ante a bit on your next business trip or date night with your wife.
A.k.a. Guido Wongolini who’s real name shares the same initials, but here he has playfully turned Italian which is one of his favorite sartorial schools. GW has quite a wardrobe. Carefully built using mainly bespoke tailors, his “guardaroba” fits him perfectly and is quite stunning. His almost daily self-portraits are a look book in and of themselves and yet he is not in the fashion industry. With his equally stylish sister (http://stoneleighgallery.tumblr.com/) often snapping pictures of various suit or pocket square details, his blog offers a look at how ideally (and with quite a bit of liquidity) you should dress on a daily basis and for various occasions. This is one of the most fun tumblrs I have come across because it reminds me of the days I used to travel frequently for work in Europe from my home base of Rome, Italy. Those days are long gone, but GW who jet sets for work throughout the Asia Pacific region of the world with a home base of Sydney, Australia allows me to reminisce. I don’t think I could live that that life now (travelling for work these days is, in fact, not as fun), I lived it to the fullest and enjoyed it at the right time in my life. I am not big on reality shows, but this is one that I enjoy checking in on from time to time.
I would have to guess that he is one of the young whippersnappers that I mentioned earlier, but NTB is just too funny. He spares no one and pokes fun at anyone who crosses the line in the fashion world. Answering questions and doling out some good advice along the way (he actually knows his stuff – sartorially speaking), he can be self-deprecating and quite amusing with his comments. It’s refreshing to see him call out some of the silliness that is out there. Equally amusing is how offended some people get by his snark, proving that they take themselves way too seriously. This is someone I would have (and probably still today, if I had the time) enjoyed hanging out with back in the days of carefree bachelorhood and pre-parenthood. At the end of a long day when all sorts of crap has piled up, I do enjoy popping in on his tumblr for a laugh or two.
There is so much great content on men’s style out on the Internet and these are a few of the guys that when I get a few minutes of silence I gladly check to see what they have been up to. Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think. Maybe you’ll find a nugget of info or maybe you’ll get in a good laugh. Either way I am sure they can give you a bit of reprieve from the daily grind of kids, work and whatever else is on your mind.
Yūgen is a Japanese word pertaining to a profound awareness of the universe which evokes feelings that are inexplicably deep and too mysterious for words. The word itself is like an extension of awareness, the aesthetic perception which allows us to conceive of the vastness of the universe- but carries it beyond into an inconceivably mysterious realm. The feeling of Awareness is induced by confrontation to the brevity of life, and yugen is initiated from the awareness that even ‘aware’ itself is an ephemeral thing. Zeami Motokiyo’s description portrays a medium through which one may experience the unspeakably deep, stirring, feeling of yugen; “To watch the sun sink behind a flower clad hill. To wander on in a huge forest without thought of return. To stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands. To contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds.”