In layman's terms: if you’re going to rock a Swoosh logo crewneck, it’d be wise to build the effect by choosing shoes from another design-driven performance brand. Sperry and Adidas have as much in common as, well… Y-3 and boat shoes. (Note: this only applies to visibly-branded pieces. If the garment is unbranded, just think about the other context lessons and go from there. Ex. one of my favorite techwear fits of all times pulls in a Gap hoodie.)
We’ll cover color palettes and variations in a future post, so for now, just focus on the structural variations above. Keeping these 5 considerations in mind as you assemble outfits will only make the final product that much stronger. While these may seem unnecessary and esoteric, just remember the words of your elementary English teacher: in real life, spelling counts. Details matter; ergo, do the details. Only then will you truly reap the rewards.
Hopefully this post has left you with a more thorough understanding of outfit context, both environmental and internal alike. As opposed to last time’s discussion of fit, this article tended to lean towards the relative while still emphasizing some supposedly-objective rules, especially in the last section. While it may seem contradictory to build a case against hard-coded contexts in one breath only to give you definite rules in the next, I’ll leave you with the following guidance:
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Fashion rules aren’t Newtonian physics – more like generally-accepted suggestions that dictate most behavior surrounding contexts. If you didn’t first learn about material combinations and dress codes, your modifications to these rules would push the envelope too far and face rejection. Instead, armed with knowledge, you’re now able to riff on – rather than shatter - established fashion choices. In other words, tastefully and authentically display your personal style without being dismissed by your peers for doing so. How many parrots can do that?
As always, thank you for reading. If you have comments or feedback, feel free to leave them below or on my Facebook page here. Next time, we'll cover color palettes, and why playing with matches may still burn you. Of course, if you'd like a refresher on the series so far, click here to check out Part I: How Clothing Fits.