Crazy, right? You’re thinking, how on earth does this guy think he can give fashion tips? You’re doubly shocked if you know me. I’m bearded, tall and am always three years behind the trends. Luckily for you, I won’t be sharing my eau d’pine scented beard oil application tips or my cowboy boots for dummies workshop secrets. I give you the very best – fashion tips from G. Bruce Boyer.
In 1985, Boyer wrote a little book called “Elegance – A guide to quality menswear“. This became the definitive book for men’s fashion that placed an emphasis on style and timeless classics rather than yearly fads.
Boyer emphasizes quality, natural fabrics, and classic styling. Although he includes practical suggestions for buying and caring for apparel, he also devotes considerable attention to the historical development of men’s attire.
In a way, you can draw a lot of similarities with what Boyer did and what I’m trying to do with Raum. Quality over quantity, care for your stuff and some history regarding how the furniture we use today was developed. OK, it’s a stretch, but I’m almost as cool as Boyer.
But moving on to the good stuff..
Boyer’s early success led to a fruitful career at GQ and Esquire that eventually led him to be known as the authority on men’s fashion. I recently read a great article by Christian Barker for MensTopTens that collated Boyer’s top ten rules for men’s fashion. Like in a few previous posts I’ve done, I find inspiration in other blogs and a particular sentence struck a chord with me that led to this post:
Real luxury is the comprehension of quality.
Think about that. This one sentence is the definition of what being a small business owner that manufactures a fine product is up against. Having consumers know the difference in dovetailed joints versus stapled particle board is crucial. Once consumers comprehend quality and begin to look for it and see how it changes their experiences when they interact with their purchases they then can understand real luxury.
I don’t need to elaborate because in some small (or big) way, everyone has splurged and gotten the upgrade. Whether it’s your Prada purse, a nice watch, or a fancy mountain bike, you know and feel the difference immediately. The item then becomes cherished as you comprehend how great it is over the lesser competition.
I’m not saying my furniture is always in that luxury category – but you’ll notice the weight of a real maple bench seat, the feel of a lacquered finish under your fingers and you’ll appreciate the differences over mass produced throw-away furniture.
More Fashion Tips
Another of Boyer’s tips includes him saying that every purchase should be a long term commitment. Think about that – why is it that Herman Miller hasn’t changed the design of the Eames lounge chair in decades. It still looks good in a home. It looks better worn in than new. Commit to your purchases and they will stick with you.
You have to learn and earn style. It doesn’t come from a store display or a fashion blog. The same goes for furniture. You know it when you walk into someone’s carefully curated home. It looks great. With that said, I’d hate to go into a house where every piece was made by Raum. How bland! I think my stuff is great, but it’s even better when complemented by pieces that reflect your style. I personally love my sister’s place – full of treasures carefully arranged from years of travel and discovery. Great stuff.
Fit is a nonsensical concept. Good tailors chase effect and effect is derived from proportion. This blew my mind. You always hear to size your couch for the room it’s in. Big room, big couch, great proportions, better effect. We’re happy to keep that in mind here at Raum. We will be offering (usually) two sizes of each piece to fit large and small spaces. Nail the proportions and nail the effect. Just remember, the couch doesn’t have to be huge..
Look like you live in your clothes. This is a great idea when applied to a room. Our company name, Raum, is the German word for “space”. Like any good German word, it takes on a lot of meanings that are usually deeper than our more ordinary English counterparts. We think of the space as something we occupy with (furniture) that reflects the space. For me, a bad way to create a space is to make it sterile, or not lived in. Sure, you straighten the pillows when company comes over, vacuum in neat little lines, the works. I like to have a little bit more of a lived in space. By that, I mean maybe pillows that don’t match (I have a baby blue velvet one and a white one with line-art birds). I think it looks put together but not sterile. Some of you are probably dying right at what I’m saying as you look around your space. It’s not a concept for everyone but when you nail this one, you will notice and be more comfortable living in your Raum.
Lastly, there are no tricks, only enthusiasms. This is killer. This is the definition of our products. Real wood, surfaces you want to touch, easy to assemble and lots of little details that we hope you never notice. We want our furniture to look complete, for you to miss the trees and see the forest.
We are enthusiastic about building furniture. We hope you are as enthusiastic about creating your space. Your Raum.