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Dress codes,. written and otherwise - Page 7

post #91 of 104
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I wouldn't suggest that your intelligence is inferior for suggesting that a lack of dress sense indicates inferior intelligence. I would suggest that you are wrong, in some cases at least, and dreadfully wrong in extreme cases (the fact that you can write fundamentally sound sentences proves that you are of at least above average intelligence).
From one 34-year old culturally conservative libertarian to another I thank you for the compliment but I may damage my own case with this reply. If I gave the impression that I believed those who dressed poorly tended to have inferior intelligence then I was clearly not communicating my thoughts on the matter very well. The sentences may be fundimentally sound but apparently they didn't convey what I actually meant. My only point was that no professional should be excused from dressing like an adult. It may be because of some ingrained and unfair bias but if someone comes up to me dressed like a homeless man -- and I know he earns more than the average person -- I (and I would submit many people) take him less seriously then someone who made a minimal effort to look presentable. Is it fair? Of course not but that's the way I am. Holding a doctorate is no licence to ignore minimal standards of appearance. My opinion only.
post #92 of 104
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Let's not mistake something as silly and superficial as an Ivy League (of the past) look with something as profound (one hopes) as political philosophy (or less profound) political orientation. A roster those who shop at Brooks, Stuart, Press, Eljo's et al would I'm sure not reveal a "hardcore" or even "conservative" bias.
When you read the trad threads on AA, questions are often along the lines of "is this trad?". As a consequence somebody trying hard to be trad will always reproduce the same kind of results (whether this is actually an "Ivy League" trad is of little importance here). Trad is therefore focused on the past and it cannot evolve. It's somewhat frozen. In decades they would still wear the same particular clothing. Since they do not allow themselves individual choice (apart from the tie which may be red or burgundy) they just follow rules. When someone aks "is this trad?" it makes me think of somebody asking a rabbi "is this kosher?". The question is not "am I well dressed?" or "does this flatter my figure?", the question is all about obedience. If somebody looks his best in a button down shirt, sack suit, repp tie and cordovan Alden loafers, then he should go for this. But how many men look their best in this outfit? Those who do are not trad, they are just clever in the way they dress. Those who do not look their best in a trad outfit are the real trad people: they don't want to look good, they want to belong. Doing something because others have done it and in order to do/be like them is (a form of) conservatism. Whether all forms of conservatism are correlated is a different issue (and I don't think that anybody is always or never conservative.) Mathieu
post #93 of 104
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Doing something because others have done it and in order to do/be like them is (a form of) conservatism.
Eh? I've done extensive writing on the philosophical basis of traditional conservatism and I have to argue that's an extreme simplification of the doctrine of tradition in the conservative movement...at least in the Russell Kirk version of conservatism. Tradition, one way to define the statement I quoted above, is important for conservatism but not primarily to be or do like others. Old school conservatism is unfriendly to change because it believes that societal change (or sartorial change I suppose) should be demonstrated to have positive effects before it is undertaken because the unintended/unforseen effects can wipe out any positive ones. Traditions, even if we don't remember the origins, exist because they have been demonstrated to work. How that relates to clothing and the AmTrad tradition I'll leave others to address as I'm clearly a blithering idiot at 2:00am, if not generally.
post #94 of 104
Gorgekko, nice job clarifying your point. And nice job pulling out Russell Kirk.
post #95 of 104
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Originally Posted by rootless,June 17 2005,12:23
Now, if your post is meant as a gentle jibe at the mores of northeasterners (given its brevity and ambiguity it is hard to know what you meant)... well, please disregard my post .
(1) conservatism -> trad (2) radicalism -> hard core (1) & (2) -> hard core trad
So if JS Mill and a slightly Americanized Edmund Burke had a child, what would he wear? What if they were militants ? (not that I am a militant- anything but, really). When I use the terms conservatism and liberalism (and I'm an adherent of either position, depending on the circumstances- an explanation would be long and tedious), I'm not referring to the modern notions of conservatism and liberalism- if I have to choose between Tom DeLay and Ted Kennedy, I'll abstain. Your explanation is interesting though- the trad thing is most closely associated with Massachusetts, I think. It is one of the most consistently "liberal" states in the union (I'm pretty familiar with Mass, and trad culture in Mass- think duck motifs). The real trad adherents there are quite conservative in another sense- they are rather jealous of their position as old families, and they live in a world where the new families have a _lot_ more money (and wear Italian suits). Trad seems to me to be mostly a signalling mechanism (edit: but then again, most nameable styles are, and I don't see anything wrong with that). So things get complicated. Understanding the social distinctions of the northeastern US really requires that you have spent some time there (When is a 14 year old Volvo a mark of social distinction? What items can be ostentatious, and what items can't? Why the ducks? Under what circumstances is it appropriate to wear an item of L.L. Bean clothing to a wedding? Which item should it be? Why does a rich man's house look like a poor man's house with a few extra rooms, and a lot more land? The list goes on... [haircuts?- let's not go there]). Whatever my conservatism is, it is certainly not the conservatism of old Mass and upstate New York families. Whatever my liberalism is, it is certainly not the liberalism of old Mass and upstate New York families. I do get holiday invitations from a few though , which is why I sort of understand them (you can't really understand them unless you were born into a reserved slot at Andover). So I feel free to grab what I think is attractive in their garb. To some extent I think that the way I dress marks me as _some_ sort of conservative. Even when I am _very_ dressed down, and I often am, just 'cause other people would uncomfortable if I were wearing a jacket and tie, I think that decent clothes mark me as a bit conservative (which is why I own a few awful "clubbing" shirts- think Ungaro and Robert Graham Powell- waste of money though, as I can't bring myself to wear them. If they were just ugly I might, but ugly shirts made of cheap material are painful). In that sense I think even the most bleeding heart liberal on this board is conservative when it comes to dress. The modern man has little need for a suit, or even a jacket. I love wearing suits, but I sometimes feel like a time traveller in them. That's part of the appeal, for me. I guess this is a long-winded way of saying that the correlation between politics and dress, these days, is not that strong. Though liking Italian makers who have been influenced by the Brit tradition might reveal some things about me .
post #96 of 104
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(alchimiste @ June 17 2005,01:53) Doing something because others have done it and in order to do/be like them is (a form of) conservatism.
Eh? I've done extensive writing on the philosophical basis of traditional conservatism and I have to argue that's an extreme simplification of the doctrine of tradition in the conservative movement...at least in the Russell Kirk version of conservatism. Tradition, one way to define the statement I quoted above, is important for conservatism but not primarily to be or do like others. Old school conservatism is unfriendly to change because it believes that societal change (or sartorial change I suppose) should be demonstrated to have positive effects before it is undertaken because the unintended/unforseen effects can wipe out any positive ones. Traditions, even if we don't remember the origins, exist because they have been demonstrated to work. How that relates to clothing and the AmTrad tradition I'll leave others to address as I'm clearly a blithering idiot at 2:00am, if not generally.
I once had lunch with Russell Kirk when I was a grad student. It was another fellow, who was a political activist and friend of Kirk's, myself and Kirk. I regret to report that it was rather disappointing. He was one of those individuals who was a much better writer than he was a conversationalist. I have known both kinds of men in the field of communication--brilliant, witty raconteurs with a superb command of the spoken language who were no more than mediocre writers and excellent writers like Kirk who were not particularly scintillating conversationalists.
post #97 of 104
Poor Manton, I´m not sure this kind of dispute will be too useful for his article....but I can be wrong.
post #98 of 104
Thread Starter 
There was some good stuff at the beginning.
post #99 of 104
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There was some good stuff at the beginning.
Yes, and for someone like me very interesting....fortunately the same debate on AAAC didn´t turn this direction...my opinion.
post #100 of 104
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There was some good stuff at the beginning.
My apologies for whatever role I have played in hijacking this thread. I remain extremely grateful for all the wisdom and lore you have dispensed to me personally and to the fora in general, Manton.
post #101 of 104
Well I for one am interested in the most recent turn to speculation about correlations between political bent and personal taste. Though maybe a new thread should be devoted to the topic. I'd say that for us culturally radical, atheist, socialist types, a kind of eclecticism makes the most sense. Kiton one day, Southwick the next. Whatever does it for you, baby.
post #102 of 104
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Gorgekko, nice job clarifying your point. And nice job pulling out Russell Kirk.
You are far too kind sir. Thank you.
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I once had lunch with Russell Kirk when I was a grad student. It was another fellow, who was a political activist and friend of Kirk's, myself and Kirk. I regret to report that it was rather disappointing. He was one of those individuals who was a much better writer than he was a conversationalist. I have known both kinds of men in the field of communication--brilliant, witty raconteurs with a superb command of the spoken language who were no more than mediocre writers and excellent writers like Kirk who were not particularly scintillating conversationalists.
Wow, I'm envious despite the fact that Kirk was less than thrilling to listen to. Just sitting with one of the intellectual giants of the conservative movement would have been a fair trade off. At least you didn't eat lunch with Ayn Rand or something. She would have told you what to order. Salads are subjective pleasures.
post #103 of 104
If I had had a chance for a private luncheon with Ayn Rand, I might well have passed on it...I was such a young prig back then. Had I done so, I certainly would have rued it today. It definitely would have been a memorable experience.
post #104 of 104
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If I had had a chance for a private luncheon with Ayn Rand, I might well have passed on it...I was such a young prig back then. Had I done so, I certainly would have rued it today. It definitely would have been a memorable experience.
Someone wrote a memoir and mentioned her sexual voraciousness. edit: to relate it back to clothing (or lack thereof): her favorite color was allegedly aquamarine. I can't stand her writings but have read almost all of them.
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