Fashion Icons: James Dean and the Regression of His Infamous Bad Boy Style

28 Apr

Continuing the series of fashion icons, of which I’ve started with James Dean, I want to talk about how many of the great fashion trends have regressed over time.

James Dean inspired the “bad boy” look; jeans a t-shirt and the leather jacket. There have been many positive variations over the years, but there have also been too many negative ones just the same. I think the demise of the well-dressed man happened in the late 1970’s early 1980’s. Before then most men valued the notion of having several suits and very few jeans and casual wear. Men took more pride in the way they looked, what they wore, and the way that they carried themselves. I really don’t know how/what we should blame for this; the influx of the more hardcore drugs after the Vietnam War, Rap music, or both. Being born in the early 80’s, I witnessed a lot of the transgressions from the late 80’s onward from both ends.

I am disheartened to say that many of the negatives come from those of my generation that have taken fashion and destroyed it for many years to come. I must admit that in my younger years that I partook in some of these outlandish dressing manners, but they were never to the extreme that some of my peers have taken them to. I understand that we should all be able to dress as we see fit, but honestly some of these fads should be truly illegal and at least defined under the indecent proposal statute of the law.

Fellas, first off it is 2013 and why are you all wearing these too little or oversized clothing? You look ridiculous. It’s not self-respecting and extremely disrespectful to women and elders. Grow up. How can you constantly complain about being stereotyped when you epitomize it? Have you ever just stopped and looked at yourself to see how your dress is really affecting your life? You may be idealizing the rappers of today but they have the money to disregard the stereotypes and live a life that doesn’t require them to answer to anyone. You, on the other hand, have to get out and get a real job. You have to abide by someone else’s rules to make a life for you and your family. I don’t want to go off on a full tirade, but let’s be clear: Men, step your fashion game up. Retire the saggy jeans and dress your age, dress for the man you know yourself to be, and dress as the man you are preparing yourself to become. I don’t care if you’re 20 in college and still trying to find yourself, let your style of dress be one thing you are not confused about.

Make your wardrobe grow up, please!

This was considered the badboy style of that era. It was still very tamed though.

This was considered the bad boy style of that era. It was still very tamed though.

And this is what the bad boy style has "devolved" to. It's ridiculously clownish to walk around like this.

Fellas, it’s okay to have that air of danger about yourself but do it some other kind of way. Become a politically brazen outspoken guy who fights adversity through words and beating all stereotypes. Be the man you want your son to be. That old saying we say to our kids, “Don’t be like me, be better than me”, is a good one but at the same time we have to look at all of the potential role models of men whom we consider better than ourselves and ask the question do we really want our sons to go into that direction. If yes then, you should begin to change your ways to reflect that person as well. If they aren’t positive influences, then you need to really start working to transform yourself into someone your son can be legitimately proud of. We have to be the change we want to see in the world.

Okay, I did go off on a little tangent but back to the main focus of the theme here. The bad boy style wasn’t meant to turn men into complete wastes of societal space but a mere look of standing out from the societal norms every now and then. Even James Dean wore the hell out of his suits when he did dress up.

 Get it together, men!

Just one of ‘fatboyfavs’

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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Fashion Icons


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