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EXCLUSIVE: Discover accessible luxury menswear from this online boutique

EXCLUSIVE: Discover accessible luxury menswear from this online boutique

Hardly Ever Found founders talk about their style and curation for the brand 

It takes guts, a lot of effort, and patience to find one’s true style. For some, it takes years in the changing room to finally figure out what works for their body type, what style speaks to them the most, and how they translate their personalities through clothes. 

Discovering what your personal style is one story, finding the right clothes is another. This is one of the issues the founders of fashion brand Hardly Ever Found (HEF) met in building each of their wardrobe. Co-founders Aaron Chan, Tristan Ramirez, Aurelio Icasiano III, and Kevin Yapjoco struggled to find the pieces they wanted locally or worth the price. Agreeing to come together, the HEF team assembled a brand that makes luxury menswear more accessible to everyone.

Through HEF, one can find classic European shoes, Italian ties, shirts, and fine fabrics, all essential to building one’s sartorial wardrobe. The curation caters to people who have timeless style or to a community who’s into the “nonchalant Italian sprezzatura philosophy.”

In this exclusive, we caught up with the founders of HEF to find how they discovered their personal styles, what makes up their wardrobe, and what can we uncover from Hardly Ever Found. 

How would you describe your personal style and how were you able to discover it?

Aaron: Classic formal and smart casual. 

Kevin: I have a wide range from Americana (denim jackets, jeans, and boots) to Ivy/Prep (madras shirts, seersucker trousers, oxford button downs) to military (M65 jackets, military pants) to sartorial (3pc suits, navy blazer). It’s something that I’ve discovered over the last 15 years of being into menswear.

Aurelio: Urban safari. I like tailored, utilitarian pieces, such as safari jackets, matched with lots of leather/fabric accessories like field bags and scarves. One of my favorite accessories is a Cambodian krama, which I use in place of a tie. You can put it around your neck in a bunch of different ways, making it incredibly versatile. As for discovering my personal style, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to try different things because of my work. But basically, it was a lot of trial and error.

Do you personally curate the pieces from the shop? 

Kevin: Everything in the store is curated by the entire team. We choose items that are of quality, prefer handmade over machine made and sturdy enough to last for many years. We want our customers to get the same value as a full-priced item.

What makes Hardly Ever Found unique from other online luxury boutiques?

Kevin: We offer fantastic value to our clients especially when it comes to discontinued fabrics and also our unique point of view when it comes to how clothes should be worn.

If you could give one must-have from Hardly Ever Found, what would it be?

Kevin: It would be this olive necktie.

Olive is such an underrated color in menswear. It works perfectly with navy, gray, or brown suits and/or jackets.

Aurelio: For me, it’s this one:

This shirt pairs with almost anything casual, it’s got a spread collar that slips under your jacket, and the fabric is comfortable, too. Plus, it’s made in Naples, whose tailors have a distinctive style. 

What makes up a good men’s wardrobe? What are the essentials?

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Kevin: Many would often say a navy jacket but I believe a great pair of trousers can be a good foundation for a good wardrobe. Something in a mid gray wool can be dressed up or down. It can be worn with dress shoes and sneakers.

Aurelio: Comfort, and not just in terms of how a garment feels or fits. I think a good wardrobe is something that’s been built to match you, not the other way around. You have to be comfortable with what you’re wearing, because it’s going to show in how you move, how you present yourself. As for the essentials, I think a light casual jacket (like a teba or a safari) would fit the bill, especially since we’re in the tropics. It’s something you can wear most of the time. You can dress it down or you can upstyle it when you need to.

What advice can you give to men who are still trying to find their personal style?

Kevin: Don’t buy too many things at the same time. You’ll likely end up with a lot of items you will never use. Enjoy the process of having things tailored as there is nothing quite like having clothes made just for you.

Aurelio: Have a roadmap. You can start by imagining what you want to look like, and consider if you’d like it for the long run. Then you can think about expanding the look or even branching out entirely. Classic menswear is a long game. The stuff you buy now will still end up being useful in the future, so don’t be afraid to spend on quality. It’s better to have a smaller wardrobe that’s versatile than having a whole lot of pieces that only work on certain occasions.

What can we expect from your brand in the near future?

Kevin: Expect a ready-to-wear collection as well as one of our additional categories.

Aurelio: We’re going to start rolling out content over the next few months. It’s mostly going to be articles about classic menswear and how-tos for people who are only getting started now.  We’re hoping to build a community with HEF, people who want to get their foot in the door.

Photos courtesy of Hardly Ever Found

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