Updated: Jan 25, 2019
The inspiration for this post comes from a brief, but highly valuable, conversation I recently had with a customer at my retail job. The customer was a well spoken woman who works in web technology, who took me off guard by commenting on how she enjoyed the lack of logowear in our mens department. Among other topics we began discussing the importance of branding oneself, not with logo-ridden products, but instead with clean pieces. In this post I will be discussing the importance of personal branding, the first step to engineering your image.
Too many men wear company logos without thought. Following the great depression the article of clothing that would be called the T-shirt became a menswear staple. Previously this garment was used solely as underwear, making its rise during the depression an expression of the immense poverty of the time. In 1920 the term T-shirt was officially added to Merriam Webster's dictionary and by 1950 its popularity as a standalone piece had grown past the point of returning to its humble origins.
As T-shirts became the dominant piece of menswear many companies realized the invaluable opportunity for advertisement. So the graphic T-shirt was born. Beginning first as a means to advertise, many manufacturers began embellishing this simple garment with pop culture references and advertising their brands with simple logo designs. This trend has endured as the status quo for menswear has continuously fallen, examples today are even being described as "on-trend" based solely on the company represented. Even for those men that are oblivious to trend, logowear infests their closest in the form of sports shirts and antiquated graphic tees.
For the modern gentleman this, the longest enduring trend in menswear, must be sacrificed. Gentlemen, it is time to retire all, yes I said all, logowear. Your value does not come from any piece of clothing, nor should you flaunt your resources through logos, thus you shouldn't be freely representing any companies as you walk about. Doing so distracts from what you have to say as an individual and instead, allows people to categorize you the second you approach them. No, this must end.
As a man what people think about you should be derived of your actions and words. Only by eliminating the logos in your wardrobe can a man walk about and convey that he stands for himself. Should you decide you aren't ready to let your T-shirts go an upgrade is in order. Converting from graphic tees into solid, well-made, and well fitting T-shirts is a must for any gentleman, regardless if they are to be worn as standalone pieces or leveraged only for casual mornings.
From a logo-less base a man can brand himself: well spoken, kind, courteous, and confident. Take every opportunity you can to brand yourself by establishing a well fitting and intentional wardrobe that enhances your attributes and character, not distracts from them.