A friend of mine introduced me to a new phrase the other day, “gear acquisition excitement”, this is the concept by which the euphoria of getting something new becomes equally if not more important than the thing itself. I simultaneously love and loathe this phrase as whilst it fully encompasses something which I have devoted countless paragraphs to explaining it also gives name to the very thing which most annoys me about the denim and work wear scene. To set this straight, there is nothing wrong with buying new stuff, and there is nothing wrong with taking pleasure from your purchase, it is totally natural and human. The problem arises when the excitement of getting something new and parading it across the internet becomes more important than the continued enjoyment of the purchase. Too many people are effected by this and too many people are not devoting anywhere as much energy and excitement to expressing how totally incredible their gear is in comparison to how awesome it is to have a new shiny toy to show off to strangers. So lets have a look at just how you can start to really enjoy your expensively assembled collection of joy.
Get everything out and look at it
Sounds simple doesn’t it, and it is. Empty your drawers and wardrobe onto your bed or living room floor and really look at what you have. Pick out the things that you love the most and think about why you love them. Is it the cut, the material, the detailing? By equal measure you should also weed out any items that simply don’t bang your gong and move them on to people and places which will appreciate them, no point in leaving them sat idle when someone could be using them and may even pay you for them. Once you have sorted the items that you really, really love leave them out and put everything else away.
Make some outfits
We all have a favourite pair of jeans that goes with a favourite tee or flannel don’t we? Well by doing this exercise you can find even more favourite combinations and save yourself time and effort thinking about what shirt goes with what trousers etc… (edit: I know that last bit sounds like how women get ready, but as men I think we can admit that we do it too these days, still not as bad though). Making outfits from your favourite gear will help you to understand more about cuts, shapes, materials, colours and details and what footwear, hats and accessories go together. From this simple task I absolutely guarantee that you will find something more to love about the things you own. You will probably also discover an unpleasant truth about something that you thought was one of your favourite things, as an example the last time I did this I discovered that my Bounty Hunters don’t look right with most of my jeans and trousers.
Pick some regulars and stick with them
The most simple thing I was ever told about quality clothing is that to fully appreciate it you have to wear it and wear it and wear it. Long term love comes from long term commitment, especially with things made from natural fabrics and skins due to their carapace like nature with the human form. More wear make the item more yours as you lay your stamp onto it through every fade, crease and development of patina. Clothes without wear are just clothes, when you wear them they become yours.
Look after your stuff and respect it
Most of the stuff we buy is not cheap, but it is made to be worn hard and take a beating. There is a school of thought that says you should wear your stuff HARD, it should be beaten into submission and until your jeans look like you’ve wrestled a grizzly you aren’t really wearing them, there is the other side of this which says that everything should be worn in rotation to minimise wear, your should wash them regularly and store them correctly when not in use, I think both of these thought patterns are insane. These things are clothes, you should just wear them not try to wear them, over thinking is the enemy of creativity and enjoyment.
Take notice of how your clothes wear in, how they evolve and how the fit changes over time. This will teach you about materials and how your body effects them, through this you will take a more personal pleasure in your clothing becoming uniquely yours. No one else will put the same wear on your clothes as you do, no one else will look after their clothes as you do, and therefore the pleasure you derive from your clothes will be a very personal one.
Above all I think people should separate the desire to own from the desire to wear, I like to believe that the joy of ownership should be the most important part of any “thing” you own. Other wise what is the point?