By Kyle Jones
Kyle Jones is an east coast transplant who has been living in the LA area since 2007.
So I have to admit something; I'm not much of a shopper, but when it comes to my clothes, I have a bit of an obsession with J. Crew. To me, it's the ultimate clothing store for guys that are stylish, yet completely uninterested in fashion. I have carefully culled my entire wardrobe from the preppy mecca over many years and countless trips. I've even thought about getting the credit card, which I should really get because the rewards I would rack up would be CRAZY.
It all started in high school. Growing up in the Northeast and going to a boarding school (aka prep central) outside of Philadelphia (seriously, J. Crew and Vineyard Vines could have sponsored many of my classmates), I was drawn to the classic yet formal look of the prepsters. And as a typical guy, I picked a style that I liked, allowing myself to almost never have to think about what I was going to wear. The mental energy spent picking out an outfit is significantly reduced when you only have to decide between a polo or button down.
Friends and family have tried in earnest to break me of this habit. When shopping for clothes in high school, my mom would ask, "don't you want to try something different?" As always, my answer was a resounding "NO THANKS."
It sounds cliché, but I'm not ashamed to admit that shopping with my girlfriend has opened me up to more wardrobe diversity. I came to a significant realization when I picked out a button down (from J. Crew, naturally) and she immediately pointed out, "It looks like everything else you own." All of a sudden I saw it. It was true-- I had dozens of button downs with only slight variations in the color schemes and patterns. So I made a concerted effort to be more open to others' suggestions. Instead of my usual blue striped button down (which always look amazing, by the way), I started looking at shirts that incorporated plaids, more graphic patterns, and colors other than blue. Though I stayed within the purview of J.Crew, I discovered that they actually have quite a variety. Who knew? Their henley shirt, which initially seemed a little bit outside of my comfort zone, has quickly become one of my favorites. This discovery lead me to buy a henley shirt from Vince (not J. Crew). My wardrobe has even expanded to include skinnyish gray pants from Calvin Klein and army green suede boots from Bloomingdales.
Though these are baby steps, they're steps towards a slightly more diverse wardrobe. Slightly.