I’ve always been a bit of a worry-bug. Over-worrying is a forte of mine, and a criticism that many around me have offered. Though I have learned to tailor this instinct to more appropriate levels congruent to situation, I also have to simultaneously credit it for being immensely instrumental to many of my accomplishments.
Today, like much of my ideas that sprout into my mind’s eye during mundane tasks like bus rides home or folding clothes, I started to wonder about my own worries, what others worry about, and what this can reveal about someone. What I concluded is that, it’s a blessing to have things to worry about in your life. It indicates that you’re connected and invested in the people, place and stories around you. My career, my growth, my family & family… some of the things I worry about constantly, but I’m also glad that I have a career to worry about, goals I want to reach in life, and people I’m deeply connected to.
Because, there are things I miss getting to worry about; old responsibilities from past hobbies and clubs; shopping for that person’s birthday; if my snowman was going to melt overnight. Some of these are tokens of the past, but other worries I’ve lost privilege to or have not yet attained.
It’s perhaps a bleaker way of looking at life, but it’s a fair question to ask yourself, what are the ideal things you’d like to worry about. Compared to many out there who have to worry about their rent or putting food on their family’s table, I’m lucky. But in some ways I feel a greater somber for the people that have nothing to worry about; no people they’re connected to; no dreams they’d like to accomplish; no real investment into their own lives.
My picturesque life is not one of serenity and silence. It’s attaining all the right worries in my life, so that there’s work to be done tomorrow, and the day after. With no worries, there’s no risk or responsibility, and without those, what purpose is there to live?
What are you worrying about?
Suiting, tailoring and anything sartorial has become one of my favorite avenues in fashion. From the aesthetic form it creates for the male silhouette, to pairings of different colors and fabrics, to the rich history of suit making and tailoring, I believe that suits are the pinnacle of menswear.
In the grand scheme of fashion, the suit has changed very marginally from generation to generation; with emphasis on different details, cuts, colors, textures and fabrics. And it’s the respect for the perfect mold that forces designers, tailors and stylists to be creative in a confined box that is the suit.
There’s something unsaid but illustrated about his respect for art, culture and identity when a man knows how to wear a suit that fits like it’s his, with the perfect pairing of shirt, shoes and accessories. I myself naturally walk different, talk different and certainly feel different with a suit on. It’s somewhat like a super hero costume that allows me to feel like the best version of me.
Me in my first Strellson suit.
We tend to see ourselves and one another in a multifarious number of lenses with an infinitesimal total of combinations. These lenses are usually cultivated through roots like social upbringing, education and culture. A biologist may see people as a living museum that carries millions of years of evolution; a religious individual may see people as the work of a greater power; a business man may view people as working capital; and none of them are wrong or right, though definitely unique in their perspective.
As someone who loves visual art and literature, I happen to view people as houses of stories. The current makeup of every individual is an accumulation of the stories they’ve acquired. So when I meet a person who’s profoundly different than I am or catches my interest, I’m always seeking for the opportunity to hear their stories, especially ones I’ve yet to hear. What I’ve found is that every two individuals – no matter how similar or different at face – will have at least one story that’s near identical, and another that neither of them have heard before. For me, persistently finding that story(ies) that connects me and another individual has been the chief process in allowing me to acquire a wide variety of people into my life. And allowing me to hear their stories has been my blessing.
Beyond individual people, I see stories in everything around me well. I want to know the story of the tree that grew a funny path and that one of the old house that refuses to decay around a new urban neighborhood. When I looked down at Seattle from the Sky View Observatory yesterday, I saw a living web of stories from cars, to every lit up window on the face of skyscrapers; all things, people, places exchanging and acquiring stories.
As someone who wants to “write” my ideal story, I think it’s imperative for me to also be a story collector, which is what pushes me to continuously meet new people, go to new places and try new things. We never lose the stories that we’ve amassed, but we can certainly change them as we add new ones.
It may sound obvious, but sometimes the best way to get the most out of living life is to just live it; let your body take it’s course in extracting the experiences that are right for you. At the beginning of this year, I think I became overzealous in making sure every action of every day had some functional benefit to bettering myself, and as much as that may be a good attitude to carry, it also ironically became a hindrance. I spent too much time reflecting and planning my life, and it became almost robotic and disingenuous at times. A large part of it was due to wanting to come up with a lesson learned to write about on a weekly basis. So I decided to go on auto-pilot for a little bit and focus living life rather than thinking about it.
But overall, these few months I’ve been allowing myself to go on auto-pilot and putting all my focus into my work and passions, playing hard when my schedule permitted it, and by the time I hit my bed it’s lights out until morning. This approach really allowed a natural sense of growth other than a synthetic one, and I think the next step for me is finding the sweet spot: the balance of living that puts the right amount of steer into my life where I’m able to carve out a clear road for where I want to go without blocking out the humanizing moments that keep me grounded and curious about the world.
They say suits are like lingerie for men, and that’s been double-confirmed ever since I started working at a luxury menswear company that’s deeply rooted in men’s suiting. I’ve always been drawn not only to the aesthetics for suits but also the tradition and culture that it holds throughout history. Suits have always been emblematic of attention to detail in self presentation, and when you develop a deeper knowledge of suits, you also begin to understand that you’re not just putting on a piece of clothing on your body.
This day, I didn’t quite wear a suit, but an tailored Strellson sports jacket with some matching socks instead.
The black threaded texture and slight luster is really interesting in this one. One of the most important components of a good looking suit is fit, and most people are going to be slightly off the ready-to-wear sizes. Investing a little more and having the right alterations is the final and most crucial step in making it yours.
Challenged myself to see how many looks I could put together with one sweater. Took a lot longer than I expected but it was really fun to put everything that I’ve learned to the test.
Each outfit is loosely inspired by a week of the day, but I’ll let you decide which is for which day.
I – like most people – tend to fall into the same cycle of wearing outfits that I know already work, when there are many more combinations that just haven’t been tried yet with my existing closet. You don’t need to keep buying new clothes to make a new look.
This is pretty close to what I’d wear on a normal or “lazy” day; just the typical baseball look with a little something extra.
When all the elements like fit, color story and details align, even something simple can look like more than it is in my opinion. Ever see that one person that just looks spectacular in a white t-shirt, jeans and sneakers? Yeah.
Also turning 22 today. Not sure how I’m feelin’ bout that.
Went with the classic American leather-and-denim combo for this a bit of a twist. To me, it’s always about taking inspiration from different eras and cultures and refurnishing into something of your own.
Bought theses suede Chelsea boots a few months ago and I’ve been wearing them with everything because it really adds an essence of uniqueness to any outfit whether if its street style or more formal.
Starting this segment with something simple and clean. The classic leather jacket with one of my favorite printed shirts.
The shirt is from Uniqlo, part of the Keith Haring collection. Uniqlo’s t-shirts are some of the most comfortable cotton I’ve ever worn. They’ve stayed soft and free of pilling or any discoloration of prints after many washes. Plus, I love the idea of trademarking amazing artist’s work , as Keith Haring’s one of my favorite artists.
I’ve probably run in to failure more frequently than the average person, primarily because failure and success are such subjective lines and the standards I’ve assigned to myself has always been decidedly high. I’ll save you the headache of preachy idioms and cliche lessons on how to deal with failure because we’ve heard them all and I’m personally not that optimistic. But, I have garnered some pragmatic perspectives and experiences I’d like to share from the failures I’ve strung up in the last few years of my life.
1) Enduring failure is a strength. The way I see it, the quality that unifies the most successful people isn’t talent, intelligence or even uniqueness, but their willingness to fail. We’re accustomed to only take chances that are guaranteed. And that fear of failure hinders our own abilities more than anything else. When I look at someone I consider to be the best in their craft or most successful, I don’t judge them by their merits; rather, the weight of their burdens and failures they must have endured. Being able to withstand failure is a decisive quality of an individual when it comes to success.
2) Fail the right way. I sort all failures into two categories, the ones where you’ve given your 100%, and anything less than that. I’ve had plenty of failed attempts but the only ones that have been truly paralyzing were the ones where my failure was a result of me not doing enough. The trauma of those losses has kept me failing the right way moving forward.
3) Failure has its silver-linings. My attitude towards failure has also brought upon tangible opportunities in my life. Up until now, I hadn’t realized that my willingness to fail could translate to traits like gumption, vigor, ambitiousness and charisma in the eyes of others. And I find that those are the characteristics that people find me most appealing for. In personal life, it’s earned me respect and strength in relationships. And professionally, people are often willing to take a chance on me despite my lack of experience or qualifications for the position.
4) Willingness to fail unlocks your full potential. Not being afraid to fall has lifted many weights off my back and walls that previously hindered both my abilities and growth. Now I spend my time not calculating which action possesses the highest probability of evading failure, but what’s most creative, true to myself and beneficial for advancement. After all, I sleep better failing as myself than succeeding as a character.
Hopefully this gives you some fresh ideas on a generally very unfavorable outcome.