The illustrations are so mesmerizing because they’re the exact opposite of what such sketches typically look like — and symbolize
Illustrations in the context of style are typically the purview of designers at major fashion houses whose sketches are for clothes that are unlikely ever to be worn by anyone who doesn’t stride down a catwalk for a living. Which is probably the biggest reason why I couldn’t stop staring at a recent post on the Male Fashion Advice subreddit highlighting six menswear illustrators who draw sketches of the stuff they and their friends wear — i.e., they’re drawing everyday people and everyday fits, not things only a handful of people will be able to access.
For example, Osamu draws figures that look straight out of a Charlie Brown or Calvin and Hobbes comic but pays adept attention to the stylings of the character’s clothes. In one of his latest illustrations, drawn from a recent outfit he wore to Tokyo Disneyland (he’s from Japan), Osamu’s caricature is wearing a Batten Wear six-panel denim cap, a 1980s reverse weave Champion sweatshirt, Erick Hunter denim shorts, Hungarian military socks and N991 New Balances. Moreover, in a separate illustration, Osamu’s avatar has a Saint James Morlaix stripe shirt underneath his Champion sweatshirt.
He’s even taken the time to illustrate what else he packed for the trip: Hollywood Stretch Market Ranch trunks and Hanes Beefy T-shirts. “His illustrations, while slightly on the simpler side, are very straightforward,” writes redditor/original poster LeBronBryantJames. “He also does his best to translate it into English too, as well as providing information such as links, sizing, etc. Very detailed! His style tends to reflect trendy men in their 30s to 50s in Japan.”
Personally, I really like Japanese illustrator Hayama’s sketches, who has separate accounts for both men’s and women’s clothes. “It generally covers Japanese men’s casual and sometimes business casual, usually trends popular among age groups 20 to 40,” LeBronBryantJames explains. “Half the time, these are illustrations of actual people who are tagged in the pics.”
Of course, not every illustrator’s attention to detail is quite as meticulous. Yeong Han’s focus seems to be more on the general vibe of an outfit. His illustrations have the look of Hayao Miyazaki character if that character was seen waiting in line outside of a Supreme store. The particulars here are mostly in Korean — Han is from Korea — but per LeBronBryantJames, “you can find sizing information, brand information and tags.”
The thing is, the words are kinda irrelevant. Sure, some (or all) of them might be in Japanese or Korean, but they’re speaking far more of a universal language than anyone else doing these kinds of illustrations — whether English is their primary language or not.