The Joys of the Men’s Department: My Brothers and Me

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The Joys of the Men’s Department: My Brothers and Me

The majority of my childhood was spent fending off the shenanigans of my two older brothers. I was teased by them and was frequently reminded of my baby-like status, as they were four and five years older than me. I was often employed as a source of amusement in my position as the household target for mockery—and their playful arrows never missed the bull’s eye.

My struggle for being recognized as a person was furthered as both parties when we all got older and overcame the age gap. At this point in time, I was around the awkward age of fifteen, they allowed me to tag along in their retail experiences. It was here that I discovered the fashion-forwardness of both of my siblings as well as the spark of interest that I retained for men’s fashion.

I found myself enjoying just existing between the racks of endless plaid, striped, and solidly patterned button-downs and the classically colored non-pleated chinos. I felt incredibly comfortable in this environment—the simplicity of the items around me was my own source of amusement. The smaller men’s section in the otherwise heavily woman-centered department store was rejuvenating.

I assisted my brothers in their decisions of work and leisure attire. I grew into some kind of men’s fashion voice of reason for my brothers, a role that I thoroughly enjoyed assuming.

Here are a few tips I picked up on my trips to men’s clothing section:

  1. The little details matter: look for hints of pattern in places such as shirt collars and the interior of pants pockets.
  2. Watches are essential—leather bands are appropriately casual.
  3. There are risks in the little things—skinny ties and even the presence of a pocket square are important decisions.

The men’s department never fails to disappoint, all should take a look around.


-Karis Stephen

Images courtesy of Bonobos and Brooks Brothers.

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