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Timeless Style vs Fashion. Which is best for you?

You’re most likely a fashion guy and don’t know it.

Every man is either in the timeless style camp or the fashion camp. It’s one or the other. You may be thinking, ‘I’m not in the fashion camp,’ but most likely you are. Only a small percentage of men are disciplined enough for timeless style.

Timeless Style Camp

Timeless style got its name because it cannot be grouped into a certain time period. Timeless style carries on a tradition established hundreds of years ago. Timeless style honors men from the past and it will be embraced by men in the future. We define timeless style as dark-colored pants, lighter-colored shirts, solid colors, and natural fabrics – the way men have dressed successfully for generations.

Timeless style has a DNA that doesn’t change. It’s rooted in classic colors and natural fabrics, and therefore sends neutral income and class signals. Every generation puts its unique stamp on timeless style by changing the proportions and fits slightly. Regardless of how one generation changes it, the DNA remains pure.

Men who choose timeless style do so with intent and purpose, they swim against the currents of popular culture.

Fashion Camp

Fashion is a popular look at a moment in time, also described as trends. Fashion is always changing. Its fun for people – fashion gets compliments and attention. And most importantly, it’s a way of identifying with a certain group; known within fashion as tribes.

For example, you may know someone who dresses in cargo shorts, plaid short-sleeve button-down shirts, and Teva’s (the Patagonia tribe). You may not associate him with fashion at all, but he chooses fashion. This look is, or was, a trend of the moment and sends societal signals. It’s not timeless, it’s fashion.

In addition, you may know someone who dresses in colorful pants, a striped polo shirt with a whale on it – and may think he dresses timeless. He’s actually wearing a fashion trend; a striped polo with a logo that expresses his desired class…the preppy tribe. It’s not timeless.

Many men who choose fashion do so without great intent. It’s nearly subconscious, passively influenced by others, e.g., what other parents at school wear, or what popular stores sell. Trends are served up to them. Guys who choose fashion swim with the current.

Who Chooses Timeless Style

Men who choose timeless style are independent thinkers. In other words, they’re not looking to identify with a tribe and generally eschew tribe mentality. Instead they possess empathy and curiosity towards others, and they choose timeless style because it avoids pretension and class signals.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow was best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health, with optimal health being achieved at the pinnacle need: self-actualization. Maslow wrote of the self-actualized man, “he usually behaves in a conventional fashion simply because no great issues are involved or because he knows people will be hurt or embarrassed by any other kind of behavior.”

Men who choose timeless style react positively to these words: structure, predictability, consistency, clarity, dependable, strategy, discipline, peace of mind.

Who Chooses Fashion

Men who consciously choose fashion find comfort in the acceptance of a tribe. Above all, they want to identify with a certain worldview or class, their tribe. They use clothing to send signals that reinforce their commitment to the tribe – while at the same time create separation from other tribes.  

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, just under the pinnacle need of self-actualization is the esteem need. Esteem needs encompass confidence, strength, self-belief, personal and social acceptance, and respect from others. Fashion can be helpful to men in achieving esteem needs.

Men who choose fashion react positively to these words: new, bold, flare, perfect, best, famous, popular, fun.

If you have thoughts on timeless style vs fashion, we’d love to hear from you – regardless of which you’ve chosen and why. Please reach out to us at support@toddshelton.com.