Red Cowboy Boots, Confidence, and Not Letting Girls Pick Your Clothes: #30folds30days, Cascade Fold, Day 9

There’s an episode of How I Met Your Mother where the main character, Ted Mosby, has a pair of hideous red cowboy boots. But he loves them. Absolutely adores them. All of his friends say they have to go. That they’re hideous, terrible, and should be burned. However, he says he can pull them off. His friends disagree. He wears them anyways. Eventually, he meets some gay guys that approve of his boots and say that he can pull them off.

I say skip the whole damn thing and wear the cowboy boots whether random gay men approve or not.

There’s really something essentially masculine to saying, I don’t care, I do what I want. Now, some guys can say that they agree, don’t care, and so they just wear gym shorts and that college t-shirt that they got at Student Health Week 2008. But that’s a different kind of not caring, on the opposite side of the spectrum.

I’ve talked a lot about trying to look good on this blog. The reason why I got into men’s style is because I enjoy dressing well, and appearing well put together. However, at a certain point, there is little risk or excitement to being able to pair together pleasing combinations. Wearing classic pieces that work well with everything, just gets sort of old. And it’s kind of easy. You know what’s not? Wearing ridiculous patterns together.

Too much? #timsoutfit // @liketoknow.it www.liketk.it/1uYnW #liketkit #palmspringsstyle @palmspringsstyle

A post shared by Tim Melideo (@timmelideo) on

Never too much.

Once I started dressing well, it helped greatly in my personal confidence. And, having always had a flair for the dramatic, I began to become somewhat bolder in my choices, eventually bordering on the absurd. Wooden ties, gold lamay 1970’s length swim trunks, lime green skinny pants, some crazy paisley patterns. I would see a piece and think “that’s cool” even if no one else thought so. But somehow, wearing them knowing that they were ridiculous, but believing I could pull them off, made me feel more confident, rather than less. Because even if my friend, or even significant other, thought what I was wearing was completely ridiculous, in my mind, I was rocking it. And making it work.

Sometimes, the point isn’t to look good. The point, is to prove you can. To take something completely absurd. Totally ridiculous. Absolutely out of left field. And pull it off. Look at Fabulous wearing his grandma’s couch.

Haters gonna hate.

There’s also a tendency to get caught up in what girls think looks good on a man. And that’s great to a point. But I know many men who will simply allow women to pick out everything they wear. Who say, I’m only wearing it to look good to women, so they can pick it. To me, that’s a no-no. Your style is a reflection of who you are, not who the girl (or guy) you’re trying to impress thinks you should be. In my experience, going down that road never works out. Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of women who are incredibly knowledgable about men’s style and clothing, and some great menswear designers that are women. But Ashley from HR who you’ve been trying to impress, probably doesn’t know what the drop is on a suit; fused versus canvas construction; pants that have full break, medium break, or no break; and what it means if your denim is raw, sanforized, and/or selvedge.

In my opinion, every guy should have one piece of clothing that his significant other dislikes, but he wears anyways. Besides, I’ve had so many times where a girl has looked at a piece of clothing that I was planning to wear with a quizzical look, only to tell me that I look nice later. People don’t actually know what they want, you have to show them. And in courtship, since when is doing everything a woman wants exactly how she wants it a good recipe for success?

Like I said, there is a definite streak of men’s style that says: “To hell with what you think, this is me.” And the confidence to do that-to wear red cowboy boots, purple pants, or your grandma’s couch-is infinitely more attractive than any piece of clothing could be.

So, today I’m going to show you what I’m going to call the cascade fold. It’s sort of like a winged puff fold on sterioids. It’s a rather detailed fold, and requires a larger pocket square. I’d reccomend it for fancy parties, weddings, and other parties that call for jacket and tie.

1. Start with a large pocket square.

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2. Fold it in half diagonally.

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3. Then Fold it in half again.

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4. Then fold it in half one more time.

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5. Then take the corners and fold them in to the bottom edge. There should be three folds of fabric.

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6. Grab the inner most fold of fabric at the top, and pull up.

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7. Continue to pull and arrange until you have three distinct levels. It may require some pulling on each of the levels of fabric to get them just so, and to create an aesthetically pleasing look.

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8. Fold in the sides to lock in the fold. This may require some tinkering.

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9. Insert into pocket and arrange as needed. There should be three levels, with the bottommost just peaking out. You can make it larger or smaller as you see fit by pulling or tucking the top fold.

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There you have it. The cascade fold. Any questions or comments: seamus@smkstlye.com

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