Green Style and the Tramp Æsthetic
I missed Earth Day, which would have been the perfect time to write on this subject, but recently caught an article about the greenness of clasic style on Off The Cuff. Chris Hogan argues that quality clothing is environmentally friendly because it can last for decades without going out of style, and usually can be repaired instead of simply discarded. These are great arguments, and are entirely true. I would also theorize that custom-made clothing and shoes have a smaller carbon footprint, though I have absolutely no data to back up that idea.
We should also consider again Lord Whimsy's tramp æsthetic, however, and that most people who dress themselves well do so for only a short time, and their clothing ends up in thrift stores. It can be a hunt, and will rely more on serendipity than the careful planning espoused by Mr. Hogan, but the finds can be glorious treasures. Tweed jackets in interesting patterns and colors, neckwear of all variety (including ascots and knit ties), and interesting footwear have all been mine for a song. Classic braces (suspenders, you know) can cost $60 brand new, but are often found at a thrift store for $3 or less, needing just minor repairs.
Lord Whimsy's approach to style is not for everybody, however, and the tramp æsthete can frequently spend more time among the shabby aisles of Goodwill than a man willing and able to frequently spend a handful of large bills on brand-new high-quality clothing. But for one with time, dedication, and just a bit of good luck, thrift stores and their gems and treasures should not be overlooked.
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