We were not all born the cool, stylish people we are today. We all have skeletons (literally) in our closets, things that we perhaps wouldn’t want our hip denim buddies to know about or see, or maybe you still wear them with pride just not displayed on the internet? Well, I’m willing to come out of the closet on some of my guilty pleasures and share some of the things I have owned and loved in recent times, and some of the things that I still own, which do not fit the mould and are not are not internet approved.
To come out kicking and screaming I will start by saying that my worst ever clothing purchase was a hip length cream jacket by Japanese street wear brand A Bathing Ape. It looked like it was made of some kind of thin plastic, and whilst I thought it made me look like a member of the Dharma Initiative from TV series “Lost”, my wife pointed out that it actually made me look like a creepy Ice Cream man, I wish I still had it in all honesty so I could show you just how bad it was, alas I could not bear to be photographed in it either.
My guilty pleasures mainly revolve around street wear, even today I sometimes find myself idly browsing eBay in search of a reasonably priced Supreme Box Logo hoody, or a Wtaps ALICE pack. I really enjoyed street wear, it reminded me of the fun I had in my youth when it was all about rap music, skate boarding and getting chicks (ladies), simpler times. Supreme made cleverly designed (graphics at least) clothing which often straddled the border between athletic and work wear, Supreme in its day was a fantastic mash up of old time Americana and modern culture, with an anarchistic skater vibe, right up to the point where rich people discovered it and started wearing it to the yacht club disco.
Japanese street wear was slightly different, it had that cool collectors vibe of limited runs and collaborations, the entire concept of basing a clothing range around the movie “Planet Of The Apes” would be completely ridiculous anywhere but Japan, but it really worked and was wildly popular with so many for so long. Bathing Ape (I hate the term Bape), was killed by its own popularity in the end though, too many shots of Kanye West rocking his Bape Stars and too many collaborations with comic and cartoon companies took the brand so far away from what made it cool to begin with that there was no coming back. In the end even Nigo (the founder) has left the company now.
Outside of street wear I used to, and sometimes still do, have a soft spot for Uniqlo. I know it’s high street clothing and I know that much of it is made in China under supposedly ethical conditions but I really think that they offer value for money, I have had some Uniqlo stuff last for years and their Japanese selvedge jeans were one of my gateway products into high end denim. I still keep several Uniqlo shirts and a couple of hoodies for casual wear, along with the rather unusual zip fronted chambray pictured below which I am a fan of.
On my feet it is a shame for me to admit that up until about 7 years ago I would not have entertained the idea of wearing a pair of shoes or boots on a regular basis, I exclusively wore trainers, and owned only cheap pair of shoes just in case I was required to wear formal attire at any point (weddings and funerals only). My favoured footwear brand of the time was Nike, and my favoured style were the first six itineration’s of the classic Air Jordan basketball boot. Moving into my 30’s I made the transition from sneakers to boots, first via Timberland Abington hiking boots, then to Red Wing Gentlemen Travellers and finally onto White’s boots, but I maintain fond memories of my Jordan’s and the rest of my sneaker collection. These days I still own a pair of Bathing Ape Skull Sta’s, which were designed to “ape” the classic Adidas Shell toe, I have wore them quire regularly for 7 years and they still see action, I also own and wear a pair of simple Nike SB Dunks.
Our past clothing choices brought us to where we are today, just as life experiences mould our character and personality so too do our fashion faux pas mould our style, and continue to do so. I am still quite fond of some of my former items, I miss my Wtaps BDU’s and my Supreme Box Logo hoody, but I feel more complete without them, yet I have no idea why?