Wardrobe Story: Joel

Day 2 of the Wardrobe Stories brings you an interview by Lola with her friend Joel. Joel speaks of the influence of living in Italy on his style choices, and the way sharing clothes with friends and passing items onto younger siblings, is an integral part of his relationship with fashion. 

What is your favourite item in your wardrobe?

I don’t think I really have one favourite item. I’m not particularly possessive, but I do love my Jordan 1s purely because they go with most of my clothes, and I like the silhouette. Also, I love trousers. Without a doubt there should be more appreciation for the trouser. Especially for boys who put on a pair of jeans with a big load on top and a pair of shoes, it can be a bit boring. But the trouser is an integral part of the outfit, they shouldn’t be a filler piece. I’ve gone through various stages of looks, like I used to like cargo trousers, but I’m more into straight legged, more fitted trousers now. I despise skinny jeans. There should be no more elaboration necessary.

So, what do you not like then? What wouldn’t you buy?

At the moment I’m trying to sell some clothes on depop that I never wear and are just sitting in my cupboard. I’ve had different phases since I properly got interested in fashion and bothered about how I looked during sixth form. I got really into baggy cargo and oversized everything. But since then, I’ve got a bit smarter since I’ve gone to Italy. I’m trying to be that smart Italian man with loads of summer shirts and nicer fitted pieces. It’s so hot too, so you want lighter fitting clothes. I’ve found moving to a new place has changed my style, but I wanted it to change anyway.

Joel wearing one of his favourite jumpers on his holiday last Autumn in Florence.

How sentimental are you about your wardrobe? Are you happy to part with an item?

I’m not very sentimental. If I don’t wear it anymore, there’s no point holding onto it. A lot of my clothes I borrow anyway from my older brother, and I try to give anything I don’t wear anymore to my younger sister or cousin.

Where do you get your wardrobe inspiration? Recently, you’ve been talking about wanting a pair of white boots, where did this come from?

I’ve never really been into fads, but I do get inspiration from Instagram accounts and fashion pages. I started by copying my older brother a lot when I was younger, but now we have quite similar tastes. The white boot was just something I saw on social media or from seeing people out on the street (well before). And then with several friends, we will talk about fashion. What looks good? Have you thought about this? We discuss clothes together. I’ll borrow clothes from them to see if I like them first rather than ordering them and having to send them back if I’m not sure.

Are you an impulsive buyer?

I’d never just see something and say I’m having it. That’s definitely not me. I have to search and search for months and ask my family and friends for their opinion. I wouldn’t just go into a shop and see something and buy it. It’s usually a long process. I haven’t bought anything in about 6 months, but that’s quite uncommon. I go through periods of buying more than at other times, so it depends. Also, I’d rather buy good quality stuff, so it lasts longer. I like brands like Carhart and Dickies. It’s more important to me to spend more on well-made clothes versus buying something cheaper that’s going to break.

Where do you look for clothes? Is it important to you where you buy from?

The last stuff I bought before I moved to Italy about 6 months ago was from a charity shop, which I’d like to go back to in the future. I haven’t really done any online shopping recently. I’m pretty happy with the clothes I have and don’t really want to spend any money on my clothes. I like to be able to try my stuff on because I’m so indecisive, so I like to try it on with all my clothes first before I buy. Where I live in Italy, there are huge car boot sales, so I think I’ll go there if I want some new clothes.