Crafting a Unique Style: Bespoke and the Battle Against Body-Shaming for Men
In the quest to overcome external judgments about our appearance, we face a choice: do we conceal our imperfections with carefully chosen attire or bravely confront societal standards and transform them into advantages?
When the term “bespoke” comes to mind, you might associate it with words like “high price” and “luxury fashion.” However, that’s just a tiny fraction of what bespoke truly represents. In this article, we’ll delve into bespoke from a fresh perspective, exploring the psychological aspects and liberating men from outdated notions of fashion.
What is Bespoke?
The term “bespoke” originates from English and means “ordered in advance.” In the realm of fashion, bespoke refers to the creation of entirely personalized products, crafted to meet the specific requests of each customer. Each bespoke item is unique, emphasizing the importance of a perfect fit and reflecting the individual style of the wearer.
Bespoke is a fusion of personal consultation, detailed measurements, premium materials, and artisanal craftsmanship. These fashion pieces are distinctive, tailored to the unique style of each wearer.
Bespoke goes beyond merely ordering a tailored garment; it is an experience that involves self-expression through the artistry of fashion. It’s a journey of creating and showcasing one’s identity through the medium of clothing.
Elevating the Psyche: The Impact of Bespoke on the Male Psyche
Apparel has long been proven to influence the mind, behavior, and conduct of individuals. Yet, when engaging in the bespoke tailoring process, we unearth new discoveries about ourselves, uncovering the deepest insecurities we hide beneath the surface.
Bespoke and haute couture stand as the high temples of tailoring craftsmanship. Both are handcrafted with premium materials, but their revered status is attributed to different reasons. The first lies in the magical ability of skilled artisans to shape and contour the body, creating illusions that conceal imperfections.
Simultaneously, they generate a “placebo effect,” boosting confidence for the wearer’s psyche. For instance, to address the self-consciousness about short legs – long torso, bespoke tailoring might incorporate high-waisted trousers, clever pleating, precise pant length, and ankle detailing to create an elongating effect. However, the perfect balance of how much length is enough and how high the waist should be is an art mastered only by seasoned craftsmen.
Moreover, bespoke attires serve as a testament to the concept of “quiet luxury” sought after by many. Some may argue that bespoke looks no different from an ordinary suit. However, it earns its place in quiet luxury due to the discerning taste required to appreciate its expensive craftsmanship. Only true connoisseurs can recognize the fabric quality with a mere glimpse, or discern the artistry behind the seams by inspecting the lining.
Consider, for instance, bespoke suits crafted from the world’s most expensive Vicuña wool. At first glance, it’s challenging to fathom their exorbitant prices. However, upon closer inspection, the unmatched softness and lightness become apparent, distinguishing it from even other premium fabrics like cashmere. These subtle nuances may not boast loudly, but they carry enough weight to instill confidence in the wearer and exude a refined taste.
Lastly, bespoke demands a self-cultivation process. It adheres to the principle: “manners maketh man.” It not only enhances your outward appearance but also immediately positions you as someone who understands the nuances of proper conduct, akin to a gentleman. A bespoke ensemble acts as a stern “guardian,” shaping not only the aesthetic appeal but also molding the wearer into an individual who knows the art of refined behavior in the world.
Rules and Men’s Need for Body Liberation
When we talk about a bespoke ensemble, we’re delving into a list of rules, encompassing both the crafting and wearing of such attire. However, it’s essential to understand that the rules of bespoke serve two criteria: first, comfort, and second, suitability for the places we adorn them.
Take, for instance, the materials used in bespoke clothing – they are often breathable and lightweight, with the higher-end options offering enhanced comfort. Skilled artisans, during the tailoring process, consider how to make a formal outfit feel comfortable and flexible when you stand or sit. At a glance, bespoke may seem demanding, but in reality, it is meticulously tailored for the wearer’s comfort. This prompts us to question whether men’s other clothing is always as comfortable, straightforward, and easygoing.
Women have long fought for the freedom of expression through clothing. Yet, rules about dressing and discomfort can apply to both genders. Have you ever witnessed an image of a man uncomfortably squeezed into a dress shirt or struggling with how to hide his belly or thighs in tailored trousers? Women’s wardrobes offer a variety of silhouettes, from skirts to dresses, allowing adjustments for breathability. However, men’s wardrobes often lack such options.
When it comes to changing a man’s wardrobe, the focus tends to be on clothing sizes or colors rather than exploring new styles. For example, if a woman has large arms, she can add a bit of lace to create a visually pleasing effect while concealing imperfections. But for men with oversized arms or stomachs, the only solution seems to be buying larger garments. Some even jest that the only way for men to liberate their bodies is by going shirtless. However, this article only addresses the practical aspects of clothing, leaving the discussion about the right to bare it all for both genders for another time.
Over a century ago, Gabrielle Chanel liberated women by lowering waistlines and discarding corsets, simplifying their attire. Since then, women have had countless new clothing styles and campaigns advocating for diversity in their wardrobes. However, for men to seek comfort, they still need to adhere to traditional societal expectations. Even though today there is a growing trend of men wearing crop tops, skirts, or slit garments, it remains somewhat limited to celebrities and fashion-forward individuals.
Bespoke helps find the right places to adjust, don’t just cover up!
Men facing body-shaming is not uncommon, but it’s seldom discussed seriously. Men fear judgment and scrutinize their body measurements. Even in the realm of bespoke tailoring, one needs a bit of courage when entering the fitting room. It’s a journey from excitement to reality when hearing the tailor read out your measurements. Yet, skilled tailors know how to turn unfavorable measurements into advantages rather than dismissing them.
Men often hold misconceptions about their appearance and body flaws. In reality, men’s clothing is about seeking suitability rather than just fit. Some individuals prefer hastily concealing their flaws without considering alternative approaches to face them and transform weaknesses into strengths. Not every attempt to hide imperfections involves opting for loose, oversized, or bulky styles to deceive the visual perception. Such fashion trends and clothing choices may temporarily mask insecurities. However, in the long run, addressing flaws through tailored techniques is more sustainable.
It’s not always about choosing baggy clothes when wanting to conceal imperfections. Instead, it’s about finding the right “hotspot” and elevating it. Mr. Bao suggests that instead of seeking a perfectly fitted outfit, one should aim for a suitably fitting ensemble. Perfect fit doesn’t always equate to aesthetic appeal. For example, if someone has wide legs, choosing snug-fitting pants might make them appear shorter. Instead, opting for wide-leg trousers and adjusting the waistline can create a more balanced look.