Musings

Catalyst

This has been a long time coming. I am finally doing it. I’m starting a blog. I am constantly jibber-jabbering to my wife, my friends, my work colleagues about the virtues of quality. Returning to the old school and doing things the proper way. But in Australia most of the public are still enamored with the cheap, the disposable, the transient. So I’m starting this blog to share my interests and the knowledge I have accumulated over the years. It might not be 100% right and certainly there will be experts who know more than me on any given topic. But this is my journey as well. And as I learn and discover, I will put it on this blog so you can learn and discover as well (if anyone bothers to read this haha).

I guess I first became interested in menswear from reading other blogs. Like many I was a male in my twenties and a bit lost. I guess back in the old days, your father would teach you how to dress properly. Coming from an immigrant background, I thought for a long time that it was just me who didn’t have a father who knew how to dress. However as time went on, I realised that most men are actually in the same boat as me. I find in 2017 the majority of men in Australia fall into 2 categories: the ones who couldn’t care less about what they look like and the ones who care but don’t have a clue. I guess I started off in the first group and then ended up in the second. Like most guys, I started out by imitating other guys who I thought looked stylish. It’s a bit like the blind leading the blind! The other problem with this is that you end up just following whatever is “trendy” rather than developing your own sense of style. Every “stylish” guy looks basically the same. In 2017 that guy is one who wears overly-tight clothing with skinny chinos, an undercut hairdo and cheap brown derbies with corrected grain leather, pointy toes, usually with a distorted last giving the toes a peculiar elvish quality. Don’t worry, I too have overly skinny chinos (where it nearly displays moose-knuckle when I sit down) and cheap leather shoes with corrected grain and distorted lasts tucked away in a wardrobe somewhere.

I guess my taste matured towards my late twenties and strangely enough it started not with clothing but a watch. A trip to America in 2014 gave me the opportunity to acquire a watch. Like many men I watched a few of the modern Bond movies and fancied myself an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean. My wife says I have a bit of an obsessive personality so of course before the trip I was obsessively reading every nugget of information on the internet on watches. Mind you, before this I had only the slightest of ideas about what made a good watch. I would see the billboards of Leo wearing this Tag and Daniel Craig with his PO and think “yep that’s an expensive luxury item I’ll probably treat myself with one day”. But the more I read, the more I came to realise that a watch is more than just an expensive luxury item to be worn and shown off. A watch is an outdated relic of a bygone era that is artistic and enduring and romantic and obsolete. Now we are talking about mechanical watches here – intricate pieces of tiny machinery that are based on centuries-old technology. Your iphone, $10 plastic quartz watch, and readout on your microwave will all be more accurate. But in this age of cheap and  disposable, a mechanical watch is an item of quality that can be worn and repaired and serviced and passed on to the next generation. The watch I ended up buying was the Omega Speedmaster Professional, also known as the Moon watch, and that is a story for another day (this watch is deeply rooted in history and worthy of a post all on its own). This experience taught me that not all things in our modern age are cheap and disposable. And I started applying this philosophy to my life.  Nowadays my wife calls me eccentric. I am a dad now (hence the name for this blog) and I’m kind of excited to pass all this knowledge onto my son. Like they used to in the old days.

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