Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tip-of-the-Day: Leave the labels on the tags

A stylish man's clothes should not have symbols on them. No Ponies, No Alligators, No "D&G"s, nothing. Just clothes that fit properly and are put together in a unique and creative (and reasonable) way.

A button-up shirt, whether it be a spread collar "tie-shirt" or a laid back button-down-collar oxford, looks goofy when it has a symbol - especially when worn with a tie. Symbols take away from your look, they do not add to it. The attention is inevitably taken away from your outfit, however unique or stylish, and is put on the commonality of the brand you are accidentally showing-off.

You want people to say "he always dresses well...I wonder where he shops", rather than "oh, he's just wearing another same-old insert-brand-here shirt". You already paid for the shirt, you didn't sign a contract to advertise for the company too.

Come to think of it, most high-end designers don't even put symbols on their clothing. Instead, they let the clothing speak for itself...and let you speak with them by putting them together in creative and unique ways.

While I think a blank chest is better in any occasion, the only piece of clothing that is symbol-acceptable is a polo shirt - which may or may not be due to a lack of a really good clean-chested polo brand. Nevertheless, men have a large selection of summer chest ornaments to choose from - from Brooks Brothers' suspended sheep, to Ralph Lauren's little horse-riding-polo-player, to John Varvatos' two-finger piece sing, to Hickie's cannabis plant...just to name of few.

Interestingly, each symbol has its own unique "image" that subconsciously "says something" about you when people see it on your chest...(post coming soon on logo symbolism).

Thanks for reading. Keep it clean chested, Style Blogger.


Jim said...

Good post! (other than the redundancy about "symbol symbolism"... I'll let that slide!) Unfortunately, you're right about the lack of bare chests on polo shirts. it actually seems that it's backward from the rest, and that only the lower-quality polos are symbol-less, while the more expensive ones have insignias. kind of interesting.

Jason said...

While the vast majority of polos I own regrettably do have a logo of some sort, there are some brands with good, logo-free polo options -- though, admittedly, none of which are necessarily known for their polos, but I digress.

Theory makes some nice polos without logos, in both jersey/cotton stretch and pique varieties. Ditto Hugo Boss' Black Label, and some of Prada's piques are minimalist in their logos (a small, half-inch wordmark on the lower-left hem). And for a less-expensive option, Express Men makes a cotton stretch polo, sans logo, for only 35 bucks.

AthensStyle said...

From a marketing perspective, Polos is an area that perhaps a brand can make a statement by using its logo. It would have been akward in the expensive lines to have the brand name or logo in a visible position. On the hand its the perfect outfit for a brand to create brand awarness, In Greece at least LaMartina has create a tremendous brand awareness mainly if not solely by the polo line with the extreme logos

Concerned Reader said...

I'm feeling disappointed. I think I've read this post nine times now...