Under normal circumstances, clothing is the last place to find optimism to get through a global pandemic. Yet, when I slipped on my +j navy sweater in front of my bathroom mirror and took the mandatory ugly stained mirror bathroom fit pic the excitement of owning clothing seeped back into me. JAWNZ BABY!
When the world flipped upside down, I followed the typical lockdown playbook. I cooked more, read a stack of books, re-organized my closet, picked up new hobbies. Even as I was inching towards renaissance man status, I began to lose my fondness for clothing.
Eventually, when you stop purchasing clothes everything else stops as well. There was no longer a need to go deal hunting on Grailed. I stopped visiting the homies at my local retailers. Hell, I even stopped checking Hypebeast and Highsnobiety for industry news. When I did remember to keep tabs, the game felt bland. There were only so many articles one could read about sweatpants, or how to cop the latest Travis Scott collaboration.
The fashion zeitgeist was one of the first things I lost my appetite for. When you have people dropping dead, weekly drops become irrelevant. Clothing was reduced to its bare purpose, functionality. For the first time, the fantasy of clothing was completely stripped away. I only saw clothing for what it physically was. I finally understood clothing from the other side. The mentality of not having a care in the world of what you’re wearing.
We as consumers have gotten too smart. Many of us can tell most fashion collaborations these days are missing one key ingredient, authenticity. This partnership between designer and billion-dollar conglomerate shines because consumers can feel the honesty in the clothing. It’s a designer who wants to reduce clothing down to its bare essence, collaborating with a brand that specializes in basics. This is not your typical let’s just slap a huge logo on a hoodie and sweatpants and call it a collab.
+J achieved legend status because it was an attainable gold standard, which is an oxymoron in the fashion game. I never had the chance to get my hands on any of the original collection (we didn’t have a Uniqlo in Canada at the time), but the line of minimalist leaning collection quickly became menswear internet folklore on almost every menswear forum in 2009. It was revered due to its accessibility, quality, and design during a global recession. Since we are currently in another global catastrophe, we were due for a return of +J.
The fabrics were specifically developed for this collection. This was an attempt by a fast fashion brand to embed longevity into their definition of luxurious clothing. As for the clothes themselves? They give off an “I know what the fuck I’m doing, don’t second guess me” type of energy. When you are given the title of being the old Celine before the old Celine existed you already know these clothes are still worth their price even on the resale market.
Sander has always designed with the future in mind, Since lockdown, a lot of us have focused on what we are currently forced to wear (a lot of sweats and fleece). Pandemics do not last forever. Possessing some +J in your wardrobe is your subtle reminder, In this not so distant future we will need clothing that doesn’t just satisfy our comfort levels again.