FashionBeans: Men's Fashion & Men's Style Guide
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  1. #1
    Daniel.'s Avatar

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    The Fashionbeans MAN.

    Heeeeeeeeey doooooooooods.

    I apologise if this offends, confuses, or causes widespread panic and re-evaluations of life. It is late. When does the brain function best? When you need to urinate apparently. I don't need to right now.

    Ok, when the forums where first announced, I remember posting a comment on an article saying something along the lines of "I hope it doesn't turn out like the (I'll keep them anonymous).com forums. They have a What are you wearing? thread and they all seem to wear the same sort of style. Uniqlo shirts, dark blue APC Jeans, Nike high tops and varsity jackets."

    I've just come to say, I believe the same thing may be beginning to appear here.

    I will explain the nature of the comment.
    When I lurked over at the ******** forums, I would regularly read their "What are you wearing?" thread for inspiration in branching out my style. It became apparent over a while, that the board members who posted often seemed to adopt a particular 'style' of outfit they deemed "dapper". This style was what they all seemed to strive for in their daily outfits. Nothing changed. It involved pretty much what I stated above. They would all post pictures of themselves wearing the same outfit, just in different colours, and praise each other for it.

    I felt I was missing something. There was something about fashion and style I just wasn't getting. You get the monthly fashion trends for all the people who need to be told what looks good, but I never thought it was the same for people who put more thought into what they bought.

    Then I found Fashionbeans. Life saviour. Exactly what I was looking for, a bunch of guys who knew what they were talking about and knew exactly what style actually meant.

    But after looking around these forums, I feel... I don't know yet. I read through pages of the "What are you wearing" thread here, and it seems apparent there is a sort of style that has developed. All I'll say is that, there may be an abundance of tan brogues.

    Don't get me wrong, brogues are wonderful shoes. But I can't help but feel that the reason people are wearing them is because a website told them to. Not because they look good. I'll give you an example. 2 years ago I bought a pair of cream chinos. My friends got their jokes in and told me they'd never wear something like that. Fast forward to today, and every guy on the street is wearing them. I'm actually sitting in them right now trying to figure out the last time I wore them out. I don't feel right in them anymore because I don't feel like myself. I feel like it's not me shining through the outfit, it's everyone else wearing them.

    Yes, I came to Fashionbeans for tips and advice on clothes. But I didn't come for a quick fix. I came so I could greaten my knowledge of how outfits could be put together, so I could develop my own particular style. I feel a lot of people came here and seen the articles of what the writers of Fashionbeans currently acknowledge, and went out and bought it.

    Where is the originality in all of it? Where is the personal growth? Is this it? High tops are in for the mainstream crowd but Brogues are in for us? What happens in a couple of years? Brogues get over done and we shun them just because they aren't popular in our group anymore?

    I feel that personal style perhaps isn't shining greatly enough in the forum as much as I'd hoped. Or everyone has a skewed version of originality. Or I do. Perhaps I'm just extremely grumpy and picky and hate everyone and everything. Though I really feel that originality isn't being strived for, and that there is a type of style being created, the Fashionbeans style. The Fashionbeans Man.


    I've always said that the reason I love taking an interest into what I wear, is that your outfit is a silent expression of you.

    YOU. Not what the internet expresses. Not what David Beckham expresses. Not what the "What are you wearing" thread expresses.

    YOU.

    It's not what you wear, but how you make what you wear, you.


    If there is one thing I've picked up over these past couple of years about style that I truly believe, it's that you aren't supposed to like someone else's.

    I don't mean that everyone's style should suck compared to yours. I mean that if you truly have developed your own preferences in fashion, regardless of what anyone else thinks, then you couldn't see yourself in someone else's shoes so to speak. They may have fantastic style, one that perfectly expresses their personality and overall presence. But it's not you. It's them. You have your own way you do things that your personality shines through. That person will similarly not be able to see themselves in your shoes, as it is you, not them.


    Anybody can wear a pair of brogues. Nobody can wear your pair.

    I guess that's all I want to say.

    Being as late as it is, I'm not so sure if I meant everything I said here or I just typed whatever was in my head because I had to get this out.

    A late night rambling is always good for the soul. But then again, probably not.


    Merry Christmas and all that.



    I still don't really need to pee that much.
    Last edited by Daniel.; 24-12-2011 at 03:40 AM.
    Sometimes I write my signature really fast when I have to sign for a parcel, because I feel like the delivery man is in a hurry to deliver the next one and I am keeping him waiting. But when I get to write my signature on paper, I take my time with it so the person will think "Wow that is a really great signature".

  2. #2
    Sam

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    Fashion is an inescapable part of style - naturally, there are going to be trends.
    It just so happens that, say, the heritage look is a big hit amongst the forum - which, incidentally, is still quite small!

    I'm not sure I agree that there is a lack of individuality - I mean, my ideal shoe is the Chelsea boot, and Pins is known to own orange Nike hi tops for example - but for what it's worth I'll say that I'm not sure that that's a bad thing, or that it signifies something bad. Of course personal identity is of tremendous importance, but perhaps we're a very like minded bunch of people! As a fashion website we're bound to associate ourselves with trends and fashions, and it's a specific type of person that joins an online men's fashion forum. A certain amount of general consensus is only natural.

    You can also add to that the consideration of those whose personal styles haven't been fully realised. It's very difficult to teach somebody their own individual style, so when people come on the forums asking for advice, we can help them look great, but only they can get themselves looking like themselves. To do that takes confidence and conviction in the clothes you're wearing. If that means we have a lot of members lacking that - which, by the way, I'm not saying we do - then fantastic! It means that people who are new to men's style are joining the forum and sticking around.

    There's some weight to what you're saying but equally it can be no bad thing that the forum is developing its own identity.
    Then again... perhaps every post you've read is from Jay? He's quite prolific

    So yes, Merry Christmas and all that!

  3. #3
    Jay's Avatar
    Jay

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post

    There's some weight to what you're saying but equally it can be no bad thing that the forum is developing its own identity.
    Then again... perhaps every post you've read is from Jay? He's quite prolific

    So yes, Merry Christmas and all that!
    And, umm, just to prove Sam's point, Hello.

    I think it's the other way around (or at least more of a synergy between the site and the forum than the OP suggests). The articles in the main site are representing the tastes in the forum as much as the forum apes the main site. And why wouldn't the main site represent the forum? It's the best piece of market research into wat it's readers might want than anything else out there. I've seen countless items that first appeared on the forums and then have made their way into articles on the main site.

    I also think that as the forum widens up (and it is slowly beginning to), diversity will naturally follow. At the moment the likes of myself, Pins and Sam represent a large share of the posts, but that will change over time as the forum grows and individual voices won't seem as loud (which is a good thing).

    Or there's a winder synergy between fashion, the site and forum users. The heritage look, for example (something I've championed on here and the site has featured - although not hugely), is part of a much wider trend that encompasses designers, retailers, the wider fashion media and and fashion conscious consumers. It's not just something that fashionbeans invented and forum users copied.

    I have to say that I barely read the articles at the moment as I find the main site fairly diverse and most articled haven't been to my taste lately, are full of things we've discussed on the forum already (like winter layering, wool/tweed trousers), or are about basics (which to me seem obvious, although I can see from comments that many people find useful). Occasionally, there's an article that stands out and makes me want to dip into a trend. The velvet blazer article is a great example of that. And I've enjoyed the rockabilly articles, but, although I sport a quiff, that's about as far as I'm ever likely to go with that trend as I just couldn't see it being me at all.

    So, no confusion, no widespread panic, no deep introspective re-evaluations of life, the universe and everything. I still love tweed, brogues and brogue boots, tailoring, chunky cable and waffle knits, my indigo skinnies, Paul Smith suits, pocket squares, fair isle and nordic influences (some of it because of fashion and trends, but all of it because of personal style - they aren't mutually exclusive, yaknow) whether or not fashionsbeans or the forum tells me it's OK or not to.

  4. #4

    Fashionisto
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    I like what I feel comfortable in - essentially anything slim or skinny fit. I am a super-tight skinny jeans aficionado, and love the brands nobody has heard of. And whereas I would love to own tan brogues, to add to the collection, I own no tan brogues :c For me? Most days it's a pair of custom converse or a pair of black military/engineer boots.

    There is an abundant reflection of styles on here yes, but there are some rather different ones!
    But yes, I certainly see where you are coming from, and all that talk about peeing has made me need the loo. Oh dear.

  5. #5
    WinterShorts's Avatar

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    Well, you raise a problem with fashion general, one that I have struggled with personally. How much of it wearing something to associate or dissociate with certain groups and how much is artistic expression? Regardless of what you are wearing, my mother's words seem to always ring true: "All fashion seems to be is wearing crap and acting snobby." I think it is a really true criticism, shows something I would like to reject, but getting dressed brings me too much childish delight for me not to always be moving on to something new, for better or for worse.

  6. #6
    Nath6644's Avatar

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    I think it seems a bit daft to say that because you see an abudence of brogues on this forum that posters are encouraging a lack of individuality.
    For a start, there's a very small number of people on here relatively and they are very fashionably minded individuals. Yes, I wear brogues, blazers and oxford shirts. But its still very rare that I see people on the highstreet doing the same. I feel my individuality shines through just for not wearing dropcrotch jeans where I come from.

  7. #7
    Daniel.'s Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    I also think that as the forum widens up (and it is slowly beginning to), diversity will naturally follow. At the moment the likes of myself, Pins and Sam represent a large share of the posts, but that will change over time as the forum grows and individual voices won't seem as loud (which is a good thing).

    Hey Jay, thank you for replying.

    I am very sure it will too, and I would just like to point out that I didn't say it actually HAD happened yet, I just feel that I may have seen some warnings signs.

    What I'm scared of is that, if the forum regularly brings in newcomers next year and blossoms into a huge thriving community, it may be taken over by the people just looking for the quick fix I mentioned before. Don't get me wrong, I would very much rather the forum be as big as possible with many like-minded individuals. I just don't want this place to turn into somewhere where we all believe we actually know what fashion is. Because that's the beauty of it, something the forum AND the articles reflect here, that there are no actual facts in this industry.
    Oh, and Jay, if you do ever feel like your voice isn't loud enough in the forums, I HEAR CAPITAL LETTERS CAN REMEDY THIS!

    I think it seems a bit daft to say that because you see an abudence of brogues on this forum that posters are encouraging a lack of individuality.
    Hey Nath.

    Not that the posters are encouraging it, but are not doing anything to stop it.

    But you know, maybe it is just me. Over this past year, a major part of my personality has become apparent to me; if I'm not doing something myself, I'm cheating. This personality trait has its goods and bads. It helps me come to my own conclusions and get a better understanding of many ideas and topics, but it also means I make myself go through everything, the thought pattern, the mistakes and the milestones by myself, even if someone had already learned from their own experiences and taught others already what is right and wrong.
    If I don't take the high road and feel every mistake and success, I don't feel I've truly learned anything from an experience.

    I feel the same way about this place. I've actually stopped reading a lot of the articles on the front page; all I do is look at the pictures and items of clothing for inspiration. I feel like if I don't come to the same conclusion the writers did by myself, then I can't fully understand where they are coming from and why what they write makes sense.

    But maybe I go a little overboard with this whole thing, and perhaps over reacted to a lack of individuality and self-experimentation only I feel necessary to actually develop personal style.

    Thanks for repling everyone, I have to go for that pee now so I can't talk to everyone I wanted to.

    Hope you all had a lovely christmas.
    Sometimes I write my signature really fast when I have to sign for a parcel, because I feel like the delivery man is in a hurry to deliver the next one and I am keeping him waiting. But when I get to write my signature on paper, I take my time with it so the person will think "Wow that is a really great signature".

  8. #8
    Sam

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    You seem to have come to a point where you can define what works for you and bend the rules to suit that. That's fantastic.
    But you mustn't forget how you reached that point; many readers can't. You're right that there's no certainties in fashion, but there can surely be stated some basic guidelines on looking good - and looking good is a different skill. With those in hand anybody can develop a solid personal identity and that's what the site and forum should (and do) aim to help out with.

  9. #9

    Fashionisto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel. View Post
    But you know, maybe it is just me. Over this past year, a major part of my personality has become apparent to me; if I'm not doing something myself, I'm cheating. This personality trait has its goods and bads. It helps me come to my own conclusions and get a better understanding of many ideas and topics, but it also means I make myself go through everything, the thought pattern, the mistakes and the milestones by myself, even if someone had already learned from their own experiences and taught others already what is right and wrong.
    If I don't take the high road and feel every mistake and success, I don't feel I've truly learned anything from an experience.
    I've got to a similar point, so these days I pretty much go out and buy what I want without asking for opinions. So in that respect, you're in little need of forums anymore.

    As Sam said, though, there are plenty of people who do want advice, and there are several reasons why items such as brogues get suggested all the time. Firstly, they're in fashion at the moment, so they're readily available. It's hard to recommend something that isn't trending because it may not be available. Secondly, as some of the readers giving advice wear them, they suggest them because they already know how to work with them. This starts off a chain reaction, as the people who took their advice then suggest them to other people, and you've got a lot of people buying them.

    I personally feel these forums are actually quite varied in style. Yes, perhaps there are a few items like brogues that are popping up a lot, but there are still some users who prefer worker and military boots to brogues, and I've actually seen a reasonable amount of talk about sports brands in here too. It's mostly down to the brogues being favoured by the more active users here. Which brings me on to a final point: if you feel so strongly about the prevalence of brogues in these forums, then you could be the one to suggest alternative footwear to people asking for advice. Part of the problem (and this happens in just about any forums covering any topics) is that there are regular users, and what they suggest will be seen the most if no one else inputs anything. In popular forums it can even go as far as the users with the highest post count are the most trusted, so it certainly helps if you can get a wide variety of active users from the start of a forum's life.

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