Hope everyone is well and welcome to the ClobberCalm blog!
This week we concentrated on the Instagram feed of a stellar fella named Oli aka @olicongress. He answered the 10 questions we threw at him with great interest and enthusiasm which makes for a great read.
He has a deep love for RRL, LVC and Redwing so he fits perfectly into the @clobbercalm blog male spectrum. Also, he is the first dude to be featured on here that I have actually had the pleasure of meeting and what a top bloke he is (two floors next time eh Oli ;))
Back to business…please sit back, relax and enjoy as @olicongress answers the ClobberCalm 10@10
MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Oli Congress aka @olicongress
LOCATION: London, England
OCCUPATION: Small business owner
1. So Why Instagram?
Like most people I joined Instagram to post pictures for my friends and family to see. I actually got bored of it because I was only getting 4-5 likes so didn’t see the point in posting. I then started buying a lot of Levis Vintage Clothing and posting them on my page with the relevant hashtags and noticed I was getting a few more likes and followers. I followed a bunch of people that were liking my pictures and noticed lots of other people were posting pictures of their outfits and I was instantly hooked. It was really inspiring, a lot of the people who inspired me at the beginning I’m now good friends with in “real life.”
2. Why Denim, Boots, Workwear, Ruggedness?
When I was a teenager and early twenties I used to go to Carnaby street a lot to shop. There was a store called “Cinch” on Newburgh street just off Carnaby which was all decked out and resembled an American barn and it specialised in vintage inspired Levis clothing, I couldn’t afford the £200 denim or £80 t shirts but I remember thinking ’One day I will dress like this.’ I used to just go in there and feel the denim and be taken in with the vibe and all that indigo. I never knew anything about raw denim or selvedge denim at that time but I knew that I wanted it. As soon as I had saved enough money I went straight to Cinch and bought a pair of LVC 1947 blue jeans and an orange tab shearling trucker jacket. I’ve been buying workwear/denim ever since.
3. What are your thoughts on the rise in popularity of “Instafashion” and the community it is creating?
It’s a great thing, it’s amazing to inspire people and also be inspired everyday. Instagram has definitely helped me dress better and been a big influence on my personal style. I’ve made some good friends via Instagram, some who I see and go out drinking with regularly. On the other hand I actually used to spend too much time on it. Now I just go on for half an hour before work and not much when I finish, that’s the time I like to chill with my wife and have a phones free zone. I hope we all take it for what it is, a bit of fun and don’t get consumed by it and let it take over our lives 😉
4. Top 3 brands to shop and why?
Obviously RRL is my favourite, I love everything from the design, construction and cuts but most of all the stores. The RRL stores take you to a different world when you enter them which helps encourage you to part with your cash. You can find everything from quality denim, work shirts, jackets and the best suits I’ve ever tried.
LVC would be my second favourite. The Levis 501 started it all and LVC recreate some of the best pieces from the Levis archive. IMO they have the best fitting t-shirts around and the 1947 501 is pretty hard to beat and the jean that everyone is trying to copy. If someone is looking for a new pair of raw denim or maybe a first time buyer I would aways suggest to visit LVC first and try the famous 501
Redwing would be my third choice, like LVC they are pretty much the daddy of workwear boots. I own 2 pairs of Redwings, my wife one pair and we are soon to add more. The Moctoe is a classic Redwing boot and the best starting point for newbies. I wear mine all the time and they look amazing, the Iron Ranger and Blacksmith are also a personal favourite of mine. The price is high but you get what you pay for, so look at these as an investment for a boot that’ll last a lifetime.
5. Where’s your favourite place to shop these brands
Son of a Stag just off Brick Lane, East London. What more needs to be said about this store, it’s a denim enthusiast’s heaven. Rudy the owner is amazing and so knowledgeable, Linda and Scott are also around to give great advice. It’s a very welcoming store and the guys can’t help you enough, they stock loads of rare Japanese brands and some American denim brands. If you go there you won’t leave empty handed, there is something for everyone.
6. When did you decide to voice and share your love for your clobber on social media?
I’ve been posting my outfits properly for about 2 years now, active for around 4 but didn’t take much care of how my page looked or the content. The thing that got me interested in capturing my outfits was @giurz1979 page, I saw how he displayed his daily looks in “outfit grids” and I started to do the same. People would comment that they wanted me to take pics of myself wearing the outfits so that’s when I started asking my wife to take snaps when we were out and about. I always make sure I have done something nice for her before I ask, just so she can’t say no 😉
7. What’s the secret behind your great images; Who takes them? When are they taken? How do you capture the magic your followers enjoy so much?
I don’t think I have any secrets. I’m actually not a good photographer at all, I see other people’s pages and wish I could capture an image like they do.
Usually my wife or my brother, who works with me, takes my pictures, they both get a bit annoyed when I ask but they do it anyway which I’m grateful for. The pictures I post during the week are taken when I’m at work, I just find an area where there are few people around and my brother takes the shot. I hate having my picture taken and get really embarrassed when people are around.
I’ve noticed there are things my followers like more than others, for example when I post an image which has a lot of indigo it’ll usually get lots of likes but if I post a more scenic picture it doesn’t do as well. I also like to interact as much as possible with people on IG too, if someone comments I’ll always reply and I’ll regularly comment on people’s pics
8. What feeds do you like to follow and check in on? Who should we check out?
I always check out the other “RRL GUYS” pages, Mark Large, Julien Landa, Guillo, Dean, Union brotherhood etc we all have a passion for RRL so it’s nice to chat with the guys regularly and see what outfits they are wearing. I tend to mostly go on hashtags and look at random pics, #RRL #DOUBLERL are the ones I’m always on. It’s great to see how different people from all over the world dress up their RRL threads, it’s very inspirational. My absolute favourite person is @giurz1979 he is in my opinion the best dressed out of all of us RRL GUYS and has been the biggest influence on me and my style.
9. What tips would you give new starter on instagram to help them get there feed off the ground and successful?
Find a niche that you are passionate about and just stick to posting pictures of that. Also using the right hashtags can really help your pic be seen by loads of people with the same interest. If the content is good, people will follow.
10. And Lucky Last, You’re going to be stranded on a desert island and you can take 1 outfit (4 items) Only with you.
What would they be? And Why?
Wow thats a tough question! I usually take 3 bags on holiday with me because I’m one of these people who can’t leave anything behind.
As it’s a desert island I’d have to say a pair of RRL olive chinos as they are perfect for the hot weather and go with everything.
My white LVC pocket tee.
My fragrance, Le Labo Santel 33, because I’ll have to smell nice for the beautiful mermaids.
Lastly, my Sperry Topsiders as they are perfect for the beach.
Very boring and practical.
Woah! Thanks Oli. Top Man.
Nice thought regards the mermaid buddy, maybe I would choose flippers now you’ve mentioned it.
Can you get denim flippers?
Anyways rolling on…because next week we have a real treat from a chap named Greg aka @greghouser. Somewhat of a denim expert, his feature is full of knowledge and interesting snippets!
I’m going to leave you with a quick ‘copy and paste’ of his IG bio as I think it says everything you need to know…for now!
Content @altonlane, former Denimhunters.com editor and writer, Rawrdenim.com writer, menswear freelancer.
Guys thanks again for stopping by and don’t forgot to swing by next week as @greghouser answers the ClobberCalm 10@10
Enjoy the weekend folks.