Fit Talk with Matthew Spade
Being from Blackpool, nostalgic for the 90s, obsessions with Seinfeld, and how to find your style
Welcome Matthew Spade, one of my favoirte content creators on the internet. I like Mat for many reasons. In general, it seems he doesn’t really fuck about what people think; he just does what he wants, and it shows in the way he dresses, what he works on, where he travels, and how he’s built his own home. You can follow Mat on Instagram here or TikTok here.
We covered a lot of fun topics on this one, so dial in and enjoy!
Hello Mat. Tell us a bit about yourself 👋
Hey! I was born and raised in Blackpool, a small seaside town in England. It's a working-class British town, but with the added kitsch draw of it being on the coast and having attractions like rollercoasters, three piers, and the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom. Was ace as a kid, but in my teens and early 20s, I really didn't enjoy what it had to offer. I've mellowed out now, and as I've got older I've become more fond of it.
It's home and it's where we feel happy.
Coming from a smaller city like Blackpool—and especially one not known for its fashion + design—has given me a unique perspective in life, and I think that shows in the work I produce and how I go about things in general.
You grew up in the 90s, which looking back feels like everything we're nostalgic about right now. What did you identify with growing up; things that influenced you over the years? 🎸
Yeah it's weird, the 90s used to get a bad rep, but there's a certain nostalgia around the decade right now.
For me, the 90s were formative years, and it was massive for the emerging skate culture in the UK, along with music influences. I was big into hip hop as a teen, and I also loved pop-punk, metal, and Britpop. Anything that gave two fingers up at “the man!” 🖕🖕
Ultimately, there was a sense of freedom in that era. We were pre-internet. Money wasn't a big deal. It was just about hanging out with your mates, getting up to harmless fun, and being experimental.
It seems like something we want nowadays.
You love Seinfeld, and to this day it feels like the show is as relevant as ever. How is that? 📺
I only discovered Seinfeld 6-7 years ago, since it wasn't much of a thing here in the UK. It's not that the humor didn't resonate; it's more than it didn't travel enough and often for people to appreciate it.
Over time, it’s grown to be more popular here. The writing is clever, as with many shows, but it hits on a level many of us can relate to (George really is the king of relatable one-liners)—failed attempts at relationships, the complexities of social norms, and covering topics we rarely see discussed in a sitcom setting like abortion, sexism, and race.
Doesn't sound like a comedy, right? Somehow, they made it happen in a way that’s self-aware and relevant today.
The wardrobe in Seinfeld is on another level too; not a week that goes by without me seeing another Seinfeld meme. Too many good moments.
You've traveled all over the place. If you had to say, what city gets off the best fits? And where do you like visiting the most? ✈️
The obvious answer would be NYC, but I'm not sure I've spent enough time there to say it's my 100% favorite.
In general, I'd love to explore more cities across the States.
Places like Savannah, Georgia are beautiful, but I have to say, Lisbon is by far the city with the most natural charm and beauty that I've ever visited. So much personality. But then a sleeper city would have to be Malaga in Spain; it felt very idyllic.
I think the crown goes to Copenhagen for me in terms of style. Denmark’s understanding of design and craft is instilled in people from a young age, and it shows in the way people dress. Very inspiring.
You were part of the WordPress + Tumblr days, came up through 2010s menswear into the rise of Instagram, and now you're on TikTok.
How has menswear changed through those mediums? 🧢
The psychology behind the way people dress has always fascinated me. Nothing is stagnant. Trends always come back around. Things have gone from very skinny in the late 00s / early 10s to now where everything’s looser.
It makes sense, we all swap styles eventually. It happens every decade; there's always a group that starts to rebel against what we see, then when sometimes becomes fully commercial (I'm talking when you see people who aren't into fashion, wearing those things due to that style being in shops), that's when things can seem dated quickly.
You know when someone has "it," usually it's down to confidence, the way they hold themselves and their attitude. That's what I enjoy seeing. Maybe it's a teenager offering a different take, or just an old geezer waiting for a bus, when you have the confidence it's a special thing.
You were writing about loose-fitting clothes before they had another moment in the sun. What is it about looser fitted stuff and what does it say about your personal style? 👖
Honestly, it's the comfort factor.
But also I feel, I'm quite self-conscious when it comes to my body, and always have been. Sounds sad, but it's just the way my brain works. Also, I'm in my mid 30s, I feel wearing anything too slim fitting isn't a good way to go.
I've always been interested in Japanese fashion and personal style, so I'd say I take a lot from they way they took Americana and made it their own. It all points to comfort.
How do you describe your own taste and preferences? 💅
I've become more relaxed in my style and approach over the years. To me, the most valuable thing would be to figure out what works best for your body type and skin colouring. That will help you set a foundation for your own style.
Personally, I love traditional sportswear details, mixing fabrics and applications, but generally quite simple stuff.
I've always taken a keen interest in style through the decades, and one which resonates is the 50s. The open collar shirts with the white tee, higher waist trousers, ball caps, varsity jackets, washed out printed tees.
It's all great inspiration for what feels comfortable to me.
You're conscious of price, but you also invest in quality pieces from brands with good stories to tell. How do you think about the balance of investing in good stuff without being flippant with how much you spend? 💸
One rule for me is to hold off buying something for a while to know if it's something you really want. Waiting to see it in person, on someone else, or being able to try things on is great too.
Body types change over time so I try to consider how something will look if I put on or lose a few pounds. Also, being considered with item colours and how they will fit into the rest of your wardrobe is important too.
To me, something isn't expensive if you believe it’s worth buying and you get joy from it (and you can afford it within your means).
Hit us with some of your favorite brands or pieces 👀
Some of my fav brands right now… Another Aspect, 3sixteen, Adsum, Drake's, Cherry LA, Sunflower.
If I had to pick a set of clothing I could wear year-round: navy blue nylon shorts, worn in pair of straight-fit Levi's, long sleeve white pocket tee, short sleeve boxy fitting camp collar shirt, washed out a baseball cap.
Two pairs of shoes: pair of New Balance 993 or Vans Anaheim, and a pair of Keen Uneek. And because of the British climate, you'll always need a waterproof jacket, I've got a lightweight two-way beige one from andWander.