Garath W. Henry

Posts Tagged ‘style’

Research shows that avoiding logos = success.

In Design, Social Style on August 10, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Today the fashion/style blog Put This On posted a link to a very short, but interesting, New York Times Article about how visible logos affect a customer’s buying habits. 

From the article:

Rather than rely on obvious logos, expensive products use more discreet markers, such as distinctive design or detailing. High-end consumers prefer markers of status that are not decipherable by the mainstream. These signal group identity only to others with the connoisseurship to recognize their insider standing.

Another interesting point the article made was that many people / groups of people will wear very logo heavy clothing to show that they have “made it”, while “high class” people who have “made it” don’t want to show off their success in such obvious ways, such as the material, cut, or stitching of their clothing. 

Example of clothing which communicates wealth with out logos:

Image via: Put This On

I teach high school students, and many of my students often wear very (IMHO ugly as sin) logo intensive clothing.  I’m looking forward to sharing this information with them.


Bold red tie VS subdued gray tie.

In Outfit on August 2, 2010 at 3:41 pm

The set up:

I’m someone who normally wears lots of blacks, grays, whites, and blues.  Until very recently I was someone who stayed away from bold primary colors.  However, recently my girlfriend Mei told told me that if I were to throw in a bold primary color with many of my outfits the result would be double plus good.

The experiment:

Figuring that I really had nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by attempting this small change I gave it a shoot.  To my way of thinking, rather than try a very new outfit, the best thing to do would be to wear an outfit which I normally wear, and add the bold color to it.  Wearing the outfit in the past gives me some data to work with.  Namely: I  know how people respond to the outfit with out the bold color.

So I put together one of my typical outfits.  White dress shirt with matching pants and vest.  Then I grabbed one of my, infrequently used, red ties and threw it into the mix. The result is pictured below.

Red tie by you.

Bold red with white and gray.

The result:

Throughout the day many people made some very nice comments on the outfit in general. In my humble opinion the most flattering comment was that I looked like I could be an extra on the TV show Mad Men.

**Side note: Just in case it was not obvious –I often go for the Roger Sterling look.**

As I stated above, I’ve worn a similar outfit in the past (see picture below) but did not get nearly as many positive comments.

  by you.

Blue, black, and gray.

So as of this writing there is one data point that seems to suggest that the use of a bold color resulted in more people taking notice of my overall outfit.

Things to consider / keep in mind:

Whenever someone changes something about their personal appearance said person’s friends, family, co-workers, and others who see said person often tend to notice and comment on the change.  Due to the fact that I don’t normally wear bold colors, people may just be making comments because they register the change.

In addition to this, in our culture it is social protocol to make positive comments about someone when they change an aspect of their appearance.  It is considered rude to make a negative comment, even when a negative comment is probably justified.

Moral of the story:

I plan to gather some more data about this.  But in the meantime if I ever want to tall attention to myself, or my clothing, I’m going to use more bold colors.  When I want to blend in more I’ll use a more mono-chromatic color scheme.

Words of Wisdom: Ryan Holiday via

In Quote, Social Style on July 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm

via: Ed Yourdon's photostream

Today I was going through some of RSS feeds that I read, and I happened onto a post by Ryan Holiday about rudeness.   The post states…

Try not to get upset by people’s rudeness. Notice: how it never seems to come from someone who has ‘earned’ the right to be rude. In other words, this attitude (or stupidity) has not served them well. It has held them back and punished them. So you pity it, place it properly in context with the costs, or pretend not to care but don’t feel resentment if you can help it. Because they’ve borne more of the burden than you.

I believe there is lots of wisdom in this short but eloquent post.

I’d like to add my own thoughts to this.

(1) Anyone can be rude.  It is part of living in an open society that values free speech.

(2) Anyone can be rude to someone who was rude to them first.

(3) It takes some real class, and dare I say style, to be kind to someone who is rude.

I’m not saying that people should just look the other way whenever someone is rude.  There comes a point when you need to take a stand absurd and inappropriate behavior.

The trick is to take that stand in such a way that you respect the dignity of the rude person while letting them know that you disapprove of, and will not stand for, their rude behavior.  Doing that is showing that you have grace, tact, class, and style.

Put Another Way:

We teach by example all the time.  Even when we don’t intend to do so.

If we stoop to a level of rudeness (even as a response to rudeness) we teach something.

If we elevate our behavior by respecting the dignity of someone who has behaved in a way which is rude we teach a very different something.

One is clearly better.

A few bits of style from around the web

In Links on July 27, 2010 at 4:36 am

I read lots of blogs, I mean LOTS. Several of them are “style” blogs, a few are fashion blogs, but most of them are what I would call “digital culture” blogs. I use Google reader as my RSS reader of choice, and over the past few days as I consume content I’ve been tagging a few posts that I wanted to call attention to here, because IMHO they offer some really great sort of style ideas, opinions, and observations.

So. Without further adieu:

1.The first item is from internet superstar Doc Searls (of “The Cluetrain Manifesto” fame) talking about how he lost some unwanted weight when he went to France and changes many of his behaviors due to the culture there.

Weight chart.

From June 13 to July 21, I lived in France. This was the longest I had been out of the country, ever. And, while I loved just about everything about being there, what I’m liking best at the moment is what I failed to take back with me: about ten pounds of fat.

2. The next item is from the wonderful style blog Beyond Fabric.  It is a few simple, but IMHO very important, tips for men who want to look good at work during the summer months.

Clothes, besides serving the basic purpose of protecting you against the environment, and your private parts from the ever watching critical eye of society (Janet Jackson incident is in order), are a means of expression. Well, at least to a certain extent since that same society we’re a part of, dictates and defines rules, protocols and standards for what’s commonly accepted.

3. The third item comes from the always awesome Put This On blog.  It is a great link to a web based tool that can help you find thrift stores in the area you live in.

If you’re looking for thrift stores in your area, you could do a lot worse than The Thrift Shopper.  They’ve got a pretty comprehensive directory of thrifts, searchable by zip code.  Review a few thrift stores in your area, and help build their database!

4. The fourth item is this amazing image from The Satorialist.  I love this image, but I’m not sure why.

On the Street...via Valfonda, Florence. Via: The Sartorialist.

That’s it.  Hope the links are helpful.

Summer headware: The classic bandana

In Headwear, Uncategorized on July 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm
Green Bandana

Green Bandana: via Spencer C. Curtis' photostream

I’m a guy who has longish wavy hair, which is something that I’m very happy about most of the time. However, during a hot humid summer day when my hair becomes more difficult to difficult to manage there are times where I really think about cutting it all off.

As of this writing I’ve never pulled the trigger on a massive haircut, but I have often turned to using some sort of headwear that will not make me feel any more miserable in the heat and humidity.

My most used headware in the summer is the classic bandana.

A bandana is cheap, and most of the time by spending very little money a person can have several bandanas, in several different colors, which can be matched to damn near any outfit. 

Side note:

Early in June of this year (2010) I did lots of home improvement projects.  One of those projects was putting in a new floor in the main room of my condo.  To put in the floor I had to rip up the (ugly) carpet that was all ready there.  As I was ripping up the carpet I was scared about what the state of the concrete under it might be, but I was very lucky because about 98% of the concrete was in wonderful contedtion.  However, there was a small amount of the concrete was jacked up.  One section in particular had two nails sticking out of it.  At first I thought it was no big deal, and that I could just pull them out.  however the nails were really huge!  It took me damn near an hour to pull the suckers out. 

The result can be seen in the picture below.  Notice how hard core the bandana makes me look! 

Home improvment + nails + bandana = Gorman!