Thursday, March 11, 2010

Men and their choice of colors.

It is an interesting topic, what colors do you wear in your style of clothes. For a man, for a woman. Browns, pinks, yellows, tans, blacks? What does that say about you?

It appears there is actual biological testing that shows there are reasons a men/boys might prefer "the blue" color, while women/girls can recognize and see more of "the pink" spectrum. You can read about this gender connection color idea here... {ARTICLE}

It is personal to me, for one reason because I just had a little girl. And we painted her room in a pink/orange mango type color, and most of her outfits, are in that range. The question has to be, why do we do that?

It is also personal because while I lived in the southeast in Tennessee, I had a full collection of pink and yellow, and pastel shirts, and polo shirts. I wore a lot of pink ties, (still do at times) and for the most part, while in college, I enjoyed the thought of being seen as a "pretty boy."

I moved out west a few years back, and with that journey came other discoveries and clothes, and colors. And even at a soul level. I went backpacking, fishing, hunting. I wore camo, instead of a pink polo. I bought my first pair of white Dickies painter pants for my job painting houses. And I started buying my clothes, instead of at the Polo outlet on our way back from the beach of Hilton Head, SC, from Wal-Mart. Part because I was broke, and part because it actually was kind of liberating.

I am down in Florida for my brother in laws wedding this weekend, and I see all these pastel colors around me. Light sea foam greens, purples, yellows, and pinks are everywhere. On men, women, and child. It hit me that maybe our colors match the countours of our landscape and our setting? Light colored clothes are for the beach, reflect heat off, and representing a "beachy" feel. No reason to wear moss green, or chili red, or hunter green when you have 90 degrees of sun up in your grill.

I think that is what makes me ask about the many males today. We have a lot of pastel type clothes dominating many new clothing companies that are meant to reflect the beach feel. Symbols and colors more related to the lifestyle of the coast. Nothing wrong with that. I love the beach, and enjoy our yearly trip to South Carolina. But what I wonder is what is lost in a man, when he just stays in those regional places, in those colors, and those styles? As we look at clothes for our market of college men, I have to wonder why so many guys so easily run to the beach to identify themselves there.

I speak from personal experience. There was a lack of something deeper than just my pastel shirts. It was a connection to a landscape I needed that was not found lying on a beach. It came in a world of men, in the outdoors walking through timber in search of deer and elk. It came underneath a carhood with Earl helping me learn how to change my oil. It came hiking alone through Lost Creek Wilderness, scared out of my mind, with a backpack loaded down with too many "shiny" items, that brought pain, and a sore back.

It came through hard work, and a more blue collar lifestyle of lessons that I did not learn as I proudly wore those pastel shirts.

I think that is why I would say, I proudly wear my Polo and my pink tie, and a pastel here and there, but it is not my whole collection anymore. I have one pink tie, one yellow oxford, and a few shirts from Wal-mart, a few from Polo, and now a few that we are creating from Buffalo & Company. I think we need some diversity, and I hope we offer that as a new choice for men. To experience and explore another side of a man. Out west. Out in mountain ranges. Maybe under a car. Maybe in the woods. But somewhere that can't be found on the east coast beach. We need more diversity, as men, and as a nation, and in our clothes.

I think that is part of why we started this company. Because there are many sides of a man. But maybe for obvious reasons, men who get into fashion, and styles, and clothing companies, are often a bit more on "the pastel/beach" side of life. Nothing wrong with that. We need those parts of a man. But most mechanics, most guys out an elk hunt, dont think about starting a clothing company. Probably because they don't have enough of the other side of a man. They dont appreciate the style, the connection of how that is important. In fact, their wives back home probably would die to see them in some hair gel and cologne, and something beyond those tube socks from 1980.

I think we need both sides. And I hope we can represent the other side of a man, while understanding and respecting style. Just not getting to full of ourselves in it. We need clothes that look good, but a polo shirt you can jump under the hood, and be ok with getting dirty. That is our goal.

This is one of my favorite quotes, and why I think men need to move from pastels and beach loving to the west, even for just a season...

While the classic European coming-of-age story generally featured a provincial boy who moved to the city and was transformed into a refined gentleman, the American tradition had evolved into the opposite. The American boy came of age by leaving civilization and striking out toward the hills. There, he shed his cosmopolitan manners and became a robust and proficient man. Not a gentleman, mind you, but a man.

Elizabeth Gilbert, The Last American Man

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