Sunday, June 1, 2014

Testing Trends - Putting It Into Practice

Incredible photography by the lovely Christine.
As much as possible, when we give advice here on Wide Eyes, Tight Wallets, we like to follow up with a post where we put that same advice into action. You may remember a few weeks back, we wrote a post on budget-conscious trend-testing. While we were speaking to a bigger technique to be applied to any new and semi-risky fashion trends, we applied it specifically to the black/white combo that has been popping up (quite stylishly), especially among streetwear-leaning celebs.

I spent a little time and followed through, picking up some key pieces in very affordable/lower quality 'test' items so that I could see if I could rock the style myself (and not be out big bucks if I failed). Fortunately, I already had a crisp white OCBD (as every man should), so I was off to a solid start with my existing wardrobe. Even if you don't (gasp!), you can pick one up on the cheap from Uniqlo (although you certainly wouldn't be remiss shelling out a bit more on a staple piece like this, which isn't a style risk on it's own at all).
White Slim OCDB | Uniqlo
Even better, I ended up picking up a pair of bright white Converse Jack Purcell's as part of a completely independent project to amp up my summer casual kicks beyond my go-to Sperry Topsiders. Again, though, even if I was purchasing these for trend-testing purposes alone, they only cost $60, and alternatives from brands like Vans are even more affordable.
Jack Purcell | Converse via MR PORTER
So right there, I have the 'white' component of this trend completely covered without spending a risky dime. All I needed to round out the look was a pair of black jeans, which would contrast very strongly between the shirt and the shoes. Now, I could have gone for this pair of Back x Black denim by 3Sixteen that I've been drooling over since I first saw them pop up in GQ or some similar magazine a few months back. However, being my first pair of black jeans, and not being positive if the look is me, I smartly took a much safer route, hitting up my favorite thrift store - eBay. After just a few days of patiently browsing the listings, I managed to pick up a pair of lightly used Levi's 511's for well under $20, shipped. Again (get the trend here?) even if I couldn't score these on eBay, I would have gone with a way affordable option, like these from Levi's that run under $50:

Black Stretch Denim in 511 Fit | Levi's
And there I had it, just a week or two of putting the pieces together, and I had an outfit all ready to test out the trend at hand. Here's the result...

...and I'm pretty damn happy with it! I really dig the contrast, and while say, dark jeans and any light shirt would get a similar effect, this has a bit more of an edge to it. Still, I'm glad I went cheap, as I don't see myself wearing this every day. Who knows, now that I have a taste for black denim, maybe I'll get hooked and end up ponying up for a premium pair down the road, but for now, for the occasional wear, I'm perfectly happy with my budget-ensemble and will funnel my money towards a few other larger purchase I know I'm looking for this season.

What's the latest 'trend' that you've tried out? How did it work?

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