Despite the year being a dumpster fire in many ways, 2021 was a good year for my style.
It felt like the year where I really felt that my tastes had developed and consolidated into a cohesive point of view. Having spent the past couple of years soaking up knowledge every way I could manage, this year I I experimented with a wide range of influences and styles. It was a year where I was able to round out my wardrobe much better than before, and was able to acquire a number of garments that better fit my own approach to silhouette, proportion and overall style.
In previous years, I made do with too many items that weren’t an ideal fit, didn’t have the ideal proportions or design considerations. I spent much of this year culling the pieces that didn’t suit me or my tastes, and did what I could to create a better rounded wardrobe without buying too much. 2021 was the year where I really nailed down my preferences on fundamental details like shirt collar proportions, jacket feature placement, favourite shoe styles and makers, my preferences for ties and favourite types of fabrics for each season.
I realised that pant style and silhouette isn’t a one size fits all deal for me. What I found is that I like a variety of shapes, depending on the outfit I’m creating. I found some chinos that I like, for the first time, and I’ve become quite the chino wearer in the summer. I realised that I don’t like big wide jeans, and prefer a normal straight leg like can easily be found with vintage Levi’s 505s, jeans which I developed a penchant for wearing with tailored jackets. I also tried flared pants, expecting that they’d never work on my frame, but in the end I loved them.
I did a number of design exercises working in the made to measure tailoring industry. I learned much from each item that came to fruition; the summer suits (one brown, one tan check) became instant favourites and have stayed that way, while two that I did in the winter and loved at the time – a corduroy western style suit and a grey flannel with bellows pockets – have become expensive tales of loves lost, as I stopped consuming dairy late in the year and the jackets from both suits are now unalterably big for me*.
The following ten outfits are some favourites of mine from throughout 2021. I believe they make a good showcase of how my style evolves through the cool and warm seasons.
*If you’re wondering how jackets could become so oversized as to be lost causes, it’s because I lost a good two inches from my waistline after halting dairy consumption. This dropped my neck size by around one and a half centimetres; the two suit jackets were already a little large in the collar, and the loss of neck size means both wear with too much collar gap now. If I’m lucky enough to a) find more of the cloths and b) have the ability to finance it, I’ll hopefully remake the jackets.