NTB - love the site and your insultingly offense, yet still accurate style advice. I have a more general question. I currently work in finance, and while it's a good living, I just don't enjoy it. Menswear is what I truly dig. How can I get started in menswear with no related education or experience? I'm not opposed to interning and starting out at the bottom, although I'd like to avoid providing sexual favors, but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.
That’s great, but before you go ahead and swallow that red pill and continue down the rabbit-hole, you really need to sit down and identify some skills that would translate to success in “menswear.” I don’t know—are you a strong writer? Can you shoot video? Edit photos? Predict trends? Sell water to a well? I need to pause you here, because I know what you are thinking, but: having the ability to take it longer and harder in the ass than 99.9% of the rest of your peers is not a skill, nor is ogling over beautiful clothing on the internet.
If you’re still with me, I need you to understand another thing, and this is a dual concept so try to keep up: you are NOT better than everyone else and shit’s not all rainbows and glitter out there. Shit’s real. Too many bankers, lawyers and other well-paid young professionals have this insane sense of self-entitlement and -confidence which usually manifests its ugly head when they reach a tipping-point of misery which has caused them to question their career choices up until that certain point. If this is you, you need to back the fuck up and understand that wherever you end up you will most likely be the least talented and dynamic person in the building. Real talk. Corporate types usually don’t do all too well in foreign waters.
If you are humbled by this, go forth and work some connections—hustle, grind, repeat. There’s no real magic to any of this, just work it out. Shit, knock up Anna Wintour’s daughter if you must. I don’t care.
And finally, study some other dudes’ non-traditional paths for inspiration. For starters, Justin Bridges is definitely the right man for this. Good luck, brah.
Hey Bro, Thanks for keeping it real when so many others are not. I have A Life Question. I'm about to finish undergrad with a B.A in economics & another major you would make fun of me for, and have decided to leave the dreary unemployed and uninspired Pacific Northwest to the frigid and unemployed and inspired NYC. As someone who seems to know what's up, what advice do you have for that first job and life after school considering these frankly frightening economic times?
For starters, you clearly have your head screwed on tightly—America has seen better days, you are definitely right about that one. And kudos to you for putting down the pipe and abandoning your hippie west coast brethren. Most people consider born-and-bred New Yorkers to be tough and street smart. While that may be true, I don’t think we New Yorkers give enough return credit to those twenty-somethings who come out here with no money and no connections and truly make something of their lives. Now that’s ballsy, and I have great appreciation for y’all.
As per your situation, I believe you are missing the forest for the trees. Don’t worry too much about where you will be working right-now/tomorrow. Instead, use the rest of your youth to meet people, try new things and figure out what it is you would like to do for the rest of your life.
Too many times we see some of our best and brightest get caught up in the moment and decide to take the easy route (e.g., go to law school, get a job in finance and make a shit ton of money while losing your soul in the process or work a shitty corporate gig for 10 years until management has no choice but to promote you to some senior VP of something or other). Don’t be like that. Keep your life experiences high and your professional expectations low throughout the rest of your twenties and if you haven’t figured it all out by your thirties, well, maybe you’ll figure it out by the time you hit your forties. And in the meantime, if the pressure gets too thick (e.g., you knock up some Starbucks barista or something like that), the devil’s a wealthy dude and is always down to take your soul in exchange for some greenbacks and a cubicle in midtown.