Anniversary- Well Dressed Dad is 5 years old!

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Dear readers and fellow garment gazers,

we have reached an anniversary: a full five years of the Well Dressed Dad blog. No mean feat really, in a world where the only certain thing is that anything that seems utterly spot on and relevant today will be replaced by something entirely new within a surprisingly short time. When I started the blog, blogging was still a kind of cool thing to do and it seemed like anyone with even the slightest interest in anything at all had started a blog. Naturally, an overwhelming percentage of blogs go from “Well, this is my first awkward post that no one will see” to “Last updated three years ago” in very short order. Which means that while I’m properly chuffed at sticking to my keyboard for 5 years, I may not be among the bearded elite that has been at it longer, but I have produced more than 99.9% of everyone else. We pick our victories with care!

Back in early 2013 Instagram was about to explode, and in many ways, it stole the thunder from blogging. It became a platform where the possible adoration was more direct and measurable, where it is much quicker and easier to produce content and share even more. Yet today Instagram is kind of yesterday’s news as well, what with being replaced by Snapchat, which quite frankly was where I lost interest. Hence I concentrate my efforts on the blog and Instagram. And it does take some effort. Running a blog these days is like having a second job. An enjoyable job, mind you, but every little thing takes time. Coming up with ideas, researching and writing, taking photos. Then editing, optimizing for search engines, preparing the social media stuff. Posting to Instagram to promote the blog, or just plain larking around.

It’s been interesting though, discovering stuff. Once you look past the fashion stuff there are lots and lots of stories to write about. Almost everything has an interesting history if you dig a little into it. Some more than others, granted. This was very much brought home to me when I visited the Outer Hebrides to look at Harris Tweed. I’ve written a few posts about the experience now, but still feel I’m getting to know the wider extent of what weaving a wool fabric on old looms has meant for an island community. It gives a depth and importance to topics that might otherwise be thought really quite shallow and even of little interest.

And naturally, once you embrace the world of unfashion, concentrating on the timeless styles and fabrics, made properly, time just slows down. There is no need to obsess about the vagaries of fashion. No need to keep clearing out the wardrobe, contributing to the landfills of last years fashion. Buy decent stuff, wear it for a long time. It’s all good.

And then you get into the ethical and environmental side of things. Full rant ahead! Much has been made of production in low-cost countries, versus the decimation of former industries in developed countries. A discussion that starts with a disappointment in established factories being forced to close down, due to the lack of orders. A workforce no longer required in the name of driving both price of producing and final price down, probably increasing profits and sales, and so forth. At the same time keeping in mind that creating jobs in far-off places may make life more viable there, but only if the workers are not exploited, working conditions are good and so forth. At the end of the day the industry is heading off a cliff though, with the amount of fast fashion being made, the fact that it’s so cheap it’s basically bought and thrown away. And what happens to the clothes that are sent to guilt-reducing recycling? Some of it loops back into charity shops and the like, some is sent bulk to Eastern Europe, and a very large amount is shipped to Africa. So much that they don’t know what the heck to do with it and it’s basically killed off their own garment industry. So they have said stop, no more junk clothes here, thank you very much.

I don’t know about you, but when I get deep into the fuller state of the world thing now, I just get too depressed to even contemplate it.

Hence, do what you can to be good, and apart from that live a good life. Do things that give you pleasure. Take up a hobby, like sewing. I’m not a great sewer or even a very keen sewer, but I do enjoy making things. There is an element of achievement, and with a little practice, you realise that it’s not all that hard. Waistcoats, shirts, trousers, all very doable. I’m not about to tailor my own three-piece suit, though wouldn’t that be totally awesome? There is a lot to be said for at least being able to hem your trousers, repair holes, sew buttons and so forth. Not be totally dependent on people doing simple stuff for you, though most of us appear to embrace the glories of the service industry with lustful eyes. Whatever will we use all this newly spare time for?

So, here we are. 5 years in, a tenth of my life. I don’t want to sound pompous or self-satisfied, but it’s been fun. Hard work, but fun. More fun than a proper job, though it’s the proper job that pays for it.

5 years, currently 513 published articles that have been read 1.257.187 times. That’s actually pretty satisfying. And yet I still don’t own an actual suit.

So, big thanks to everyone that reads and follows, and especially huge thanks to those that have read through the entire backlog (at least 5 of you have).

And if you’re wondering, yes, I am willing to travel to write about stuff, as long as you cover my expenses.

Now, let’s get cracking on the next five, ok?

All the best,

Nick

 

 

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13 Comments

  • Michael Johnson 24/02/2018 at 20:49

    Well Done Nick.
    I’ll raise a glass in your honour down the pub tonight.
    Looking smart.
    MJ

    Reply
    • nick 24/02/2018 at 21:45

      Thank you, Michael, much appreciated!

      Reply
  • John 24/02/2018 at 21:42

    Congratulations and well done.

    Reply
    • nick 24/02/2018 at 21:46

      Thanks, John! Appreciate it!

      Reply
  • Brian in Alberta 25/02/2018 at 00:23

    Congrats Nick! Because I’m one of those people who like to brag that they found the cool stuff before anyone else I had to dig back through your archives and find my first comment; which was in 10/2013. It sure dosn’t seem that long ago!

    Reply
    • nick 25/02/2018 at 07:48

      Thanks Brian, it’s good to hear from you! Indeed, you have been following the proceedings for a long time now 🙂 It is strange to think it’s been 5 years, it doesn’t seem that long at all, and no way am I really as old as my last Birthday cake tried to make out either! 😉

      Reply
  • Kevin Millsip 25/02/2018 at 03:07

    Great work, I’ve been appreciating the blog since I came across it about a year ago. I enjoy your articles and posts and I feel like I learn as I follow your explorations. So, thank you for what you’re doing!

    Reply
    • nick 25/02/2018 at 07:49

      Thanks, Kevin, the support from readers like you as what makes it worthwhile! 🙂 There’s more to come yet!

      Reply
  • Lizzie 25/02/2018 at 11:14

    I’ve only recently found your blog but your views on fashion and good quality clothing are right up my street. I am sitting here in almost completely charity shop clothing, partly from necessity i.e. not much money, but also because I can get better quality clothes for a fraction of the price than if I bought new. I also make my own. But part of the reason I can clothe myself almost entirely from charity shops, at least for everyday wear, is that other people are buying so much and giving away so much before they’ve hardly worn it.

    I appreciate what you say about the big effort required in writing a blog, and keeping going. I’ve been going for about 2 1/2 years and have recently got to the stage of thinking “do I want to do this any more?”………and “Is it of any use to anybody?” Yours is becoming one of the ones where I see a new post in my emails and think “Oh goody!”

    Reply
    • nick 25/02/2018 at 12:00

      Thanks for the kind support, Lizzie! The feedback from readers is a large part of keeping up the motivation, in addition to the fact that I can see I am having a little influence on some small things (I imagine Dr Martens customer support has a dartboard with my face on it). It’s taken a long time to get here though, and in the greater scheme of things, I’m still small fry. Middle-aged blokes aren’t the hottest market segment to aim at, though it does mean there is less competition! Here in Norway, we have an expression “pink bloggers”, basically young girls writing about make-up and nonsense about their thrilling lives, and making a lot of money doing it. Hence I tend not to mention I blog that much, as the jokes just keep on coming 🙂

      The way the garment industry is going is very sad though and it will be interesting if the fact that Africa will no longer accept the tons and tons of castoffs will make any change, or whether it just means another country will take on the role of becoming the garment landfill.

      Reply
  • Jonathan 26/02/2018 at 11:30

    Happy anniversary Nick! I’m a relative newcomer to WDD, though I would occasionally stumble across your blog in the past when trawling the internet to satisfy my coat and knitwear obsessions. I’m not quite as ethically sound with my wardrobe purchases (2 young children have rather tied the purse strings up in a few knots these days!) but I definitely seek to buy more ‘homegrown’ items than I used to. I should really take more of an interest in my footwear and trouserage, as that’s an area I tend to fall down in (as in showing an interest, not trousers falling down. Ok, I’ll start a blog myself: Bad Joke Dad.)
    But I find your blog very interesting, and admire your dedication as much as your clothes. Looking forward to reading plenty more posts in years to come!

    Reply
    • nick 28/02/2018 at 08:03

      Thanks for the kind support, Jonathan!

      Reply
  • Alexander S.-Telin 04/03/2018 at 12:00

    Gratulerer med dagen, if I may! I’ve been following you on Instagram for quite some time but as I now have focused on developing my own blog/website, I spend more time at a proper desktop screen, which means I can enjoy blogs like yours also more properly and at a quieter pace!

    I am turning 40 this year and I think that over the last few years I have finally come to terms with the style that’s right for me. Still some fine-tuning to do, of course, but I, too, am very tired of fast fashion (or just fashion, for that matter), let alone all of the social implications it breeds.

    Anyway, look forward to another 5 years, man!

    Reply

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