I'm vacationing in a small village in central Mexico with my family. It's been a great source of perspective and inspiration for a number of reasons. The most obvious one is gratitude. As you are probably aware, running a street level retail store in 2017 is more of an art than an empire. Travel to an impoverished country is a reality check on how good I have it in Canada, even if it's a struggle at times. I live in a generous nation where we all contribute to health care and good schools, even though we complain about it at times.
For perspective on the other end of the spectrum: we had to travel through America to get to this remote town in Mexico. Sure, it was Florida and one shouldn't judge the USA on Florida alone but man, do these people ever dress badly.
We went to the beach for our layover day and there wasn't a man in sight without a branded, oversized t-shirt and unflattering baggy shorts. Mostly of the cargo variety. If these guys are deliberately trying to look unattractive to the opposite sex then bravo, give them a prize. My toddler was better dressed!
I considered interviewing some of them to ask why they dressed so badly until it dawned on me: this is their only option. This is what American clothing stores have to offer the Average America Man. Even higher end men's stores foster the oversized look with larger than necessary shoulders, massive armholes, baggy legs. That's what is referred to in mens fashion as the "American fit". Like most of their architecture, it is familiar but it is not attractive.
And quite frankly, it cheeses me off to think this dreary look might edge it's way into Canada. We have been inundated by American stores in the past 5 years and if we don't make a concerted effort to resist saggy baggy pants or advertisements disguised as shirts then we are doomed to Porko Floridian style.
I'm not saying don't shop; but make sure if you choose to shop American you stay creative, stay stylish and maintain a savvy international flavour. Now, I must turn my attention back to my family as we wander our way into gorgeous, creative, impoverished but inspirational Guadalajara.