When I first began this journey, I was enthused by the fact that brands would actually pay a blogger to write, post, and wear their products, so I began on my journey down the rabbit hole. It was fun and I had a lot of good times. However, even back then the process seemed like a struggle at times. Even though the accessibility is easy enough, it often becomes more about how many times you are posting, than the quality of the posts. Bloggers being lauded for style while we sit back and admire their clothes and seemingly ignore their lack of grammar was something that never sat well with me. I found myself many times wondering over that last sentence.
However, I foraged on and became more knowledgable and soon realized that there was another problem. Quantity was again first in the scene as bloggers and other platforms advocated the sheer items in their closet over those trusty items that would last a lot longer. If you weren't throwing forth a new set of shoes, tie, or jacket everyday you became boring. Yes, we live in a material world, but the excess in this industry is something that, to be completely honest, went a little too deep into my wallet as I found myself buying things I didn't need, and wearing things I didn't need, and advocating things I didn't like simply so I could get to the next one.
However, as much as those problems plagued me, these next two reasons were/are the dominating factors.
When I first began my journey, I was a sales associate at Brooks Brothers where it is required to dress a certain way each day, and simply for that reason my posting was made easier, because I was simply shooting what I was actually wearing. However, as that season of life ended, I moved on and was involved briefly with Kiel James Patrick and also as a landscaper. Even though the one afforded me the freedom of dress, the other was, by necessity not so forgiving. I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty, but wearing a suit and tie while weeding and pulling out trees is stupid. In dealing with what I thought was the adversity, I would wake up and change into my "real" outfit of sartorial perfection, go to work and change into my landscaping clothes. The time lost wasn't ideal and the shuffle seemed inane, but I was doing it so I could build upon what I had already done and make a name for myself in something that I thought I wanted to do. However, as that season of my life changed, I packed up my things and moved to NYC.
The only things I had applied for in my move were menswear-related jobs and so dressing well was still easy enough because I was doing what I wanted to do. However, long before a single retailer called me back, I met the owner of a restaurant on a subway car and was promptly offered a job. Dismissing this a fall-back option, I took the number to my phone and let the words go in one ear and out of the other.
However, as it so easily does in NYC bills became routine and rent was almost immediately due. In response to my current unemployment, I gave the restauranteur a call and began working. The new restaurant that I was set to work at was just opening and there was no dress code, so I could again wear what I wanted.
As another month passed, I got a job with the NYC-based designer Ernest Alexander. As a fan of the brand, my passion showed, and I loved it. Even though my main responsibility was in retail, I was given many opportunities beyond that and I embraced them all with the passion that initially caused my sudden move to the city.
However, as time passed, I became irreversibly involved with the restaurant and my passion for the industry grew. It was during this time that I was forced to make a choice between my rom at the restaurant and with the designer, and as God would have it planned, my choice was made easier by an unknown scheduling conflict, that I was not aware of.
With that scheduling conflict clearing up time for me, I now devoted myself to my craft at the restaurant. As even more time passed we were given a dress code of all black and so with my Hanes crew neck, Bonobos chinos and fresh Nike's on I started to give up what I liked (my summersinnewport-menswear persona) for something that I loved in the restaurant industry.
It wasn't all bad. I found out that I liked my uniform and I went back to my first love in my sneakers. Even though some may consider my current state of dress to be slacking, I have a job that I love and I won't give that up.
With all that said, I was still holding on to my blog, and it became unnecessarily tiresome. Waking up early to walk about town in what I knew bloggers wanted to see, shooting and posting on that set of dress and then quickly changing into my work get-up was unnecessary and a waste of valuable time.
Since I moved to this city, I have averaged 60+ hours a week and I love it. I love working hard and being rewarded for it. I have progressed in my current occupation and have become successful. Hard work pays off.
In wondering what to write next, I think I will talk about where I am going next.
In all that, do not get confused. I did not burn my closet. I sold a lot of clothes, gave away some more, and probably still will continue to do so, until I have atoned for the waste of money that was simply buying for the wrong reasons.
I still wear suits and still enjoy dressing well. However, life isn't all about that and the over-compulsion to please people I don't know, and brands I don't like so I could get something out of it is over. I love my job.
From now on, if I chose to post, it will be about things I like. I'm not doing it for you, I'm doing it for me. If I post, I promise you this- it's something I like. Hopefully if you've followed me for any amount of time, you'll know my devotion to this industry and even though I may be more streetwear now than prep, days off will still come and we will see what happens. Don't worry, I'll still never wear a pair of drop-crotch pants.