Trend is a dopamine hit, an understandable one. Who doesn’t like new, the zap you get from a change, a piqued curiosity? Trend serves us in a number of places. The markets (the markets love volatility). Social progress (where a trend leads to a more permanent evolution). Etc.
My least favorite word is trend. There is literally nothing good in my life that has come from catching a wave that wasn’t going all the way to the shore. But that does not make me or any trad person contra-innovation or contra-invention or even contra-next-big-thing. This is what trips us up, the convolution that to reject trend is to embrace get-those-kids-off-my-lawn stodginess. It is what turns young people off about dressing or living trad. That they will not be able to make their own imprint. It is human nature to want to add your name. It is stupidity not to accommodate human nature.
The more you live amongst the classics, the more your privates tingle (not in a good way) when you are exposed to trend. Part of the benefit of living amongst the classics in anything, music, art, clothes, food, literature, anything, is that you develop that tingle. And the better decisions you make.
The trick, folks, is to live in that space where you have curated the tingle by spending enough time in the classics such that you are comfortable improvising and innovating them. This is where that fear of new comes from. The lack of confidence in your own grounding. I am not afraid of new neighbors as I know my own house inside and out. When you are comfortable, you embrace. The classics of anything are not devoid of elasticity, they are the soil it is planted in.
Which is part of why this picture bothers me so much. It was sent by Joshua Bear.
This isn’t political, we don’t do politics here, we don’t bang on each other’s beliefs here (unless you write something stupid like my notes on those sneaker/shoe things was a hatchet job that constitutes the lowest form of journalism – if you write that you deserve a reprimand – it insults me that you would mistake my writing for journalism). But, no ties. Why? To service a trend, right? Instead of respecting the gravitas of the issues that these leaders are supposed to be addressing and carrying the torch of those who went before then who successfully serviced their own agendas, these folks try to make a look-how-hip-we-are statement, and come off getting caught looking at the third strike.
The trend of trying to convey superior confidence and competence with casual dress has backfired, a long time ago. And this is from a guy who is writing this on a workday in shorts and an ocbd. But I don’t convey my work through what I am wearing today, I convey it through what I am writing. I am not, however, posting pictures of me at my desk looking so relaxed in my JFK-at-the-beach attire in order to communicate to you that writing this stuff is easy.
- It isn’t easy at all, not one bit, but
- Even if it was that would be disrespectful to the time you invest reading it
That’s what this picture, and these people not wearing ties, makes me feel like. It makes me feel like they do not have an appropriate respect for the time that people are putting into living lives in countries these sans tie managers manage.
And if things weren’t bad enough, The Amazing Tom sent me this photo of a shoe Brooks is offering.