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Exchange program with women's style forums - Page 3

post #31 of 86
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The suit is here to stay for a while, but I fear it won't last much longer as the uniform of business.  I would venture to say that the men who enjoy wearing a suit to work every day are vastly outnumbered by those who do not.  The latter category tried hard to kill the suit as the business uniform in the late 90s.  They almost succeeded.  One more boom, and they may well.  The suit does not have enough support to withstand that. After that upheaval, it will still be around, just worn much, much less.  After all, the tailcoat has been around in one form or another for 200 years.  It used to be worn every night in certain circles.  Yet it is almost never worn any more.  The suit will share its fate eventually, possibly very soon.
Reading Manton's posts, I feel like I am at the head of a column of tee-shirt, jeans and sneaker wearing orcs
post #32 of 86
Well, that makes me feel a little better, because of course the orcs lost. Fellow sticklers, raise your swords and say it with me: "For Frodo." And don't worry about getting a little blood on your clothes; just wear something old.
post #33 of 86
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Another point of view. I think that having a larger female presence on the forum will have a moderating effect on some of our, um, dogmatic tendencies, especially on the main forum. Take, for example, the oft repeated contention that bowties are the only correct neckwear for black tie events. Whether that is true or not, the plain truth is that bowties have fallen out of flavour as daywear for a very simple reason, they look like crap compared to a good long tie, on most men. Does this suddenly change when we (men) put on penguin suits In general, I've found that within the industry and without, women tend to be much less fettered by "rules" and the need to be "correct," and are more willing to trust their intuition. On the other hand, the generally conservative nature of many posters on the main forum would act to curb theses sometimes excessive impulses. Not a bad match, I think.
We must hang around really different groups of women, I guess. My initial post was the product of being really sick of hearing silly and arbitrary generalizations like "French cuffs are for sissies," "only grandfathers wear wingtips/captoes," and "you can't wear suits with pleated pants," all of which have been expressed to me numerous times by different girls when trying to discuss clothing with them, which is why I don't do it anymore.
post #34 of 86
One of my favorite exchanges: Her: "Tan suits are hideous." Me: "Really?  Even this one?" Her: "Yes.  In Wisconsin, all the men wear tan suits." Me: "And that makes them hideous because?" Her: "They just look bad." Me: "The men or the suits?" Her: "Both." Me: "Is it possible that you're just thinking of badly dressed guys wearing cheap suits?" Her: "You can't be well dressed in a tan suit." Me [mixture of pride and resentment]: "Even one in tobacco gabardine that fits like a glove?" Her: "Your suit is made from tobacco?" Me: "Oh, look.  Cocktail weenies.  Gotta go."
post #35 of 86
I had a pleasant lady a little older than I am (I'm 33) come up to me and tell me that my single pleat pants were "grandfather-ish" and that I should only wear flat-front pants. Now I own flat-front pants and don't mind them but single-pleats are now the equivalent of fedoras and cardigans? Lucky she didn't see me wearing a french cuff shirt or it would have been all over. On a positive note, I did have two women tell me that a pair of wing tips I was wearing were "darling." Whatever that means. I just find most women to be too entranced with what's fashionable. If I listened to half the stuff that women have told me I'd own monstrosities like jeans with stupid fades and diagonally striped shirts.
post #36 of 86
I have gotten quite a lot of compliments about my clothing lately. Both from men and women. But if I would have listened to some of the women I went shopping with I wouldn't have had a change of buying some 'wrinkly' shirt by some unknown brand (Borrelli). Instead they tried to talk me into some Armani shirts. They're good because they're Armani.
post #37 of 86
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This is because, at least since the Renaissance and perhaps before, women's clothes have been less tradional and "rule bound" than men's.  The three great influences on clothing in the West have been military uniforms, sporting clothes, and court costume -- all of them regularized and even rigid forms of dress.  It is a fact of history (whatever one may think of the justice of that fact) that the first two had almost no impact on women's fashions, at least not until the 20th century, fo the simple reason that women hardly ever wore either.  Also, women's court dress was much less rigid and rule-bound than men's.  It was acceptable for them to "cut loose" in terms of color, pattern, design and details to a much greater extent than men could.
Regarding the possible demise of the suit, what were the historical, economic, and other factors that led to the development of more formal clothes during and after the Renaissance?  In other words, were clothes more simple ("casual") prior to the Renaissance, and if so, why did that change?  If the suit were to become archaic, and casual wear were to carry the day, would circumstances ever arise that might reverse that trend?  Maybe in a few hundred years, Dockers will be seen as the loinclothes of the 21st century...
post #38 of 86
Clothes were arguably more formal, not less, before the suit. At least for the upper classes. But the bifurcation between the haves and the have-nots back then was much greater than it is now. Basically, anything beyond rags was out of reach to all but royalty, large landowners, and successful merchants. The suit was homogenizing. It was so successful as a concept that eventually royalty was persuaded to adopt it, rather than everyone else taking their cues from the royals. Suits certainly are less formal than ermine-lined capes.
post #39 of 86
Quote:
Clothes were arguably more formal, not less, before the suit.  At least for the upper classes.  But the bifurcation between the haves and the have-nots back then was much greater than it is now.  Basically, anything beyond rags was out of reach to all but royalty, large landowners, and successful merchants. The suit was homogenizing.  It was so successful as a concept that eventually royalty was persuaded to adopt it, rather than everyone else taking their cues from the royals.  Suits certainly are less formal than ermine-lined capes.
So it was the beloved suit that actually opened the door, albeit very slowly, to casual Fridays, then casual summers, then casual everything?.?  I guess when you look at it that way, the slide towards flip flops at board room meetings started a very long time ago...
post #40 of 86
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Quote:
(LA Guy @ June 06 2005,11:19) Another point of view. I think that having a larger female presence on the forum will have a moderating effect on some of our, um, dogmatic tendencies, especially on the main forum.  Take, for example, the oft repeated contention that bowties are the only correct neckwear for black tie events.  Whether that is true or not, the plain truth is that bowties have fallen out of flavour as daywear for a very simple reason, they look like crap compared to a good long tie, on most men.  Does this suddenly change when we (men) put on penguin suits   In general, I've found that within the industry and without, women tend to be much less fettered by "rules" and the need to be "correct," and are more willing to trust their intuition.  On the other hand, the generally conservative nature of many posters on the main forum would act to curb theses sometimes excessive impulses.  Not a bad match, I think.
We must hang around really different groups of women, I guess.  My initial post was the product of being really sick of hearing silly and arbitrary generalizations like "French cuffs are for sissies," "only grandfathers wear wingtips/captoes," and "you can't wear suits with pleated pants," all of which have been expressed to me numerous times by different girls when trying to discuss clothing with them, which is why I don't do it anymore.
Most women have uneducated tastes, but so do most men. If this forum were populated by such men, we'd probably have a forum not unlike the GQ forum. The women who would have sufficient interest in clothing, especially men's to post on forums like this would likely be fairly knowledgeable about clothing. Granted, I think that many of them would probably be more interested in, say, discussing the latest Prada collection (or slamming it) than in discussing levels of fusing in a suit, speaking of which, I agree with the AAAC defenders on that thread that we focus too much on the subject here. Thankfully, nobody has started a "Which brand of suit has more handiwork?" thread for a while.
post #41 of 86
i say we have a contest with a women's fashion/style forum. we let them dress up a man and a woman, and we'll dress up a man and a woman, and then we'll have a vote to see who did a better job.
post #42 of 86
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So it was the beloved suit that actually opened the door, albeit very slowly, to casual Fridays, then casual summers, then casual everything?.?
I don't think so.  Clothing has always been "ornamental" and not just practical.  Part of the imepetus behind the suit was that it was more comfortable than what it replaced, but only a small part.  Other factors were more important. "Casual Friday" and "business causal" are driven much more by a desire to shuck off all restraint, formality, and form.  The prior clothing revolutions not only stopped well short of that; the people who drove them would have rejected the very idea.  Whether the ideas they did push nonetheless contain the seed of something they hated is a hard question.  I'm not sure which side I would come out on.  Perhaps a qualified "yes."
post #43 of 86
Quote:
i say we have a contest with a women's fashion/style forum. we let them dress up a man and a woman, and we'll dress up a man and a woman, and then we'll have a vote to see who did a better job.
While this would be fun, I have a feeling that voters would be as divided as the American electorate, and the result of the vote as meaningful.
post #44 of 86
It would also cost a lot of money.
post #45 of 86
An interesting discussion. In the legal field in the Midwest, while casual Friday has crept into other days of the week, if you're meeting clients it's still suits (or at least a coat/trousers). Since most men would rather not coordinate a coat/trousers beyond the blue blazer/tan realm, they default to suits. Ditto for the bankers and insurance people I know. While I recognize that even the above paragraph represents a slide toward casual clothes from the near past, I have a hard time believing that the death of the suit is imminent in the midwest. Having said that, I hear that in California that's not the case, and that even bankers and lawyers are casual all the time. I read somewhere that Hollywood types are turned off by pitches delivered by men in suits (it apparently confirms the suit-wearer is an outsider). The question is whether the silent majority will follow California.
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