‘LEED’ Manshion, aka Green Clothing

In this day in age, everyone’s touting the nearby, eminent demise of the world as we know it. You’ve heard it all before, “reuse, recycle, cars = the devil, take shorter showers, stop using toilet paper, etc.” The last one was meant to be funny, however, some people really do this… I don’t know these people. Anywho, here are a few ways to lessen your environmental impact while still looking good.

1.) Buy some vintage clothes.

Turned off by the idea of vintage? Well, I wouldn’t recommend hand-me-down boxer briefs, but (REAL) vintage t-shirts are always a good idea. The idea of buying “aged” looking t-shirts at full price for the intent of looking like you’re a deeper person is not manshion. (note: I decided against linking to you to such a site, because that’s pretty counterintuitive.)

some ebay finds

2.) Buy Smart

I talk about this time and time again on manshion: buy right the first time. Take those dress shirts apart–unfold, unclip, etc.– and try them on before you leave the store. The only time you should be walking in and out of a store without trying on your purchase is when you are buying from a brand you know and trust to fit you properly. Too often do we end up with clothes that never see the light of day because we buy them without really getting a picture of how they will look on us. When the day comes to actually wear them, we cringe and put them away… hence a wasted purchase.

3.) Tailor Your Clothes.

This is like the backup plan to #2. A tailor should always be on hand when a new suit or blazer is purchased, thats a given– taper the sides and shape up sleeves, no question. In the event that you have clothes that are not making their way out of the closet, don’t throw them away without giving the second chance a tailor provides. Sure its an extra cost, but a shirt that looks good and just won’t fit properly shouldn’t be cast into the trash when $20.00 could make it your newest favorite item.

4.) Invest in some Durable Classic Pieces

The idea of buying throw-away clothing really isn’t manly. A few pieces, perhaps, like the beat up cheap shoes you wear when its raining or the crap-sunglasses you buy because you forgot yours.. fine. But don’t go into a store with the idea of “I’m buying this to wear once” or “let me buy the cheapest thing with no regard for quality.” This will hurt you on a few different fronts. 1.) Anything you are buying knowing damn well it is not worth wearing longterm is probably silly and gimicky (dual popped collars). (note: there’s nothing wrong with John Mayer and this picture is from 2004, when this was generally accepted). 2.) Buying cheap stuff will make you look cheap if you don’t do some serious research first (ie. are these cheap shoes at least made of real leather? does this cheap suit have some % natural material content?) Throw-away clothing isn’t manly because it’ll have you running to the store more than necessary. If you’re in the store more than your out wearing the clothes, you’re putting out the wrong image. In fact I go as far as to avoid being seen shopping at all… I hate the idea of looking like I try to hard. Nobody respects that, women included.

Investing in classics means buying some high quality oxfords. You want a leather sole (that can be replaced and patched up from time to time) and some soft leather material for the shell (this should be cared for after several wears… another post will be dedicated to this… with some kind of oil for treating leather so that it does not wrinkle and crack in ugly ways).

some Cole Haans

Investing in a good quality wool suit–gray suits are very versatile–is a green move in that it can worn weekly for years with regular upkeep and care.

Two-ply dress shirts made of 100% cotton will last much longer than cheap man-made (and thin) alternatives, while maintaining their color and integrity over time.

Note: Having some old standby’s is a good thing. You want to own some clothes that have character–the kind that can’t be bought.

That’s all. E-mail more suggestions to manshionblog@gmail.com, as I’m sure there’s plenty of ideas I haven’t listed here.

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