Mantalk: An Introduction

Craig Sutton and Seán Ó Grifín, aka Mantalk

Our brand new style column, for men, by men. I’ll let the boys explain…

Craig Sutton

Alright lads, what’s up?

I’m Craig, final year MINT student here in DCU and I’m hopefully going to be giving you readers an insight into the types of fashion, trends and themes I like to wear around the place (while talking all things of no real importance to anyone).

I suppose I’ll start by giving you a bit of background into where I tend to get my style from. I grew up like most young lads, kitted out by the mother in the traditional Rebel Active gear from head to toe. Hated it. As the money started coming, so did the choices. I started looking into clothes that nobody else was wearing, trying to be unique but restraining to the boundaries of acceptability and social norms. Hailing from Carlow can be good and bad. Bad in the sort of way that if there’s a nice pair of runners in the local Champion, everyone will have them but good in a way that by shopping outside of the local shopping centre, standing out wasn’t really much of an issue. Shops I enjoyed as a younger self included the likes of JD, Schuh and Republic (which has unfortunately closed in Blanchardstown Shopping Centre).

As beer became important and big brands became unaffordable, using colours that people didn’t consider ‘safe’ and matching them with basic colours and good fits is pretty much the route I took. Penneys is great for cheap bits but can be like TK Maxx – a bit dodgy and time consuming! If I had to put a certain label on my style of dress it would probably fall somewhere under Urban – I’m not sure where though. I love a bit of Adidas or McKenzie, just no TN’s!

‘Buys of the week’, ‘Shite Style’ and ways of getting the most bang for your buck clothing wise (not how many drinks it takes to get a young one home) will be on the agenda.

So, that’s it for this week. Just a bit of an introduction to what I will be writing about in the future. So if you want to look a bit urban, keep on reading. It will be humorous and slightly offensive if I see you around campus looking awful but it’s all fun.

Seán Ó Grifín

Holler, Seán Ó Grifín here. I’m currently in final year of Gnó agus Gaeilge and I am hoping to simply humour and entertain you readers. You may pick up on an odd fashion tip or life tip, or maybe a tip for a horse, but I stand by the fact that ‘one can wear whatever one wants’. Unless one is a trend sheep, expect to be crucified.

My interest in fashion stems from when I was a very self conscious teen. Some played sports, some danced, some sang, some hit the gym. I hit the local shopping centre, hard. Each week, I visited religiously, chasing my next bargain. It became addictive (it’s sad that I could relate to middle aged women at the tender age of 12). Through the years my fashion sense has changed somewhat from boot leg jeans to fitted (*cough* skinny) jeans, hoodies to blazers, pocket knives to pocket squares etc. I have always bought quality over logo. I was never interested in emerging teen trends due to the high price tags – I thank my thrifty self each day as I open my wardrobe and see no Abercrombie, Hollister or Jack Wills.

I mostly shop in TK Maxx – it’s a shop that suits me well. There’s a diversity of clothing, brands, quality and value for money. Most importantly, you are guaranteed no one else will be wearing the clothes you’ve bought… well, almost guaranteed (it did go through a spell recently of selling SuperDry). I would very rarely buy when I shop. I tend to shop in sales only so I save my green until end of season. This does entail me to buying nearly a year before I get to wear the clothes.

I shop all year ’round in Zara and it’s where I buy all my basics – tees, shirts etc. I enjoy Zara for its simplicity and good fits. I define my fashion sense in three words – smart, tailored with flare.

For me, fashion is a liberation, a liberation of oneself. I really think anyone who doesn’t seize on the opportunity to demonstrate what they are or those who wear someone else’s name are the unfortunate. Over the next editions I would like to demonstrate and prove that fashion is not about trends, and more about venting one’s artistic flare.

Craig Sutton and Seán Ó Grifín

Image credit: Felicity Neary for Flux.

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