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Maltese Falcon-wear - Page 2

post #16 of 40
I tried to do a Bogie with a nice Aquascutum trench a la Casablanca - but at 5'8" and 220 it wasn't happenin'

remember Bogie was 5'8" but he wore a size 38 from what I've read.....quite different from my 46! Then there is the physical presence and general attitude he had....he just looked great!

however, As I am now at the balding point where no haircut but a short buzz will do, I am ready to buy a hat - I tried one on the other day and it actually looked good on me. And not in the Paul Simonon/Frank Sinatra rakish way I tried to affect in my 30s, but in a more work-a-day Bogie/everyman 1940s manner. I guess age will do that - I no longer look good in the baseball caps and newsboy/Ike caps I could pull off in my 20s.

I actually saw a hat called the 'bogart' the other day...kind of cheesy....but it was okay quality.

btw if you like the bogie look another site you should check out is "The Fedora Lounge"

http://thefedoralounge.net/
post #17 of 40
Another intersting DB style point - in my old photos (which show governmental figures) it appears that many men committed faux pas such as buttoning both BD buttons, or leaving DBs open, etc.

I have come to the conclusion that men occupying the more prestigous posts (Mayor, City Council President, etc) typically dressed better and with more attention to detail, etc. Though a few VIPs were a tad slovenly and some lower level men were quite polished, there is a definite trend there.

I also noticed opting to button their DBs on the lower button seemed to be favored by artsy types (architects, etc.)

I mention, because while seemingly obvious, it dispells any Flusserian myth that everyone outside of a dust bowl farmer was elegant and sophisticated in the 30s and 40s, with a full knowledge of the rules of fine dress, while nowadays the rule book is out the window....
post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday
I'm with you, tiger. I tend to think the DB has suffered its unfortunate fate mostly because of efforts to modernize it. My favorite, by far, is the classic, high-buttoning 6 on 2. As Whoopee suggests, thin down the shoulder, trim up the pants and there you go.

Agreed.
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgoat
Another intersting DB style point - in my old photos (which show governmental figures) it appears that many men committed faux pas such as buttoning both BD buttons, or leaving DBs open, etc...

...I mention, because while seemingly obvious, it dispells any Flusserian myth that everyone outside of a dust bowl farmer was elegant and sophisticated in the 30s and 40s, with a full knowledge of the rules of fine dress, while nowadays the rule book is out the window....


Ive seen suits form the 30s and 40s, there were plenty of rotten tailor made and ready made garments. And their tastes in fabric were somewhat "different". People were thinner back then but not necessarily healthier or cleaner which led to interesting histories built into the artifacts.
post #20 of 40
I have some of the 30's suits and a 30's DB tux. The material on all is not of the type we find acceptable today. The sewing quality varies widely.

Cuff
post #21 of 40
Very heavy 20 ounce type fabrics were in style.
post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
Very heavy 20 ounce type fabrics were in style.

And plenty of people had rotten taste. I saw stats once that demonstrated that cheap neckties were the norm and that though much cheaprer than today, even proportinately, most people didnt make any money back then.

There was in the USA a fondness for shirts in stripes, checks and dark solid colors that would surprise people even in today's shirting kaleidoscope. Probably people wore them 5 days in a row and so they couldnt be white.

People wore things until they rotted off their backs. Remember a lot of the people in the '40s were survivors of the depression (The Naked and The Dead discusses this) and the scars from that era ran more deeply than we remember today.


The tan, gold and toast colored shirt was popular (Not that I mind one of these occasionally). Brown was popular, and not in a good way, in the homespun way, like confederate civil war unis dyed in a drum containing a solution made from coffee, and rusty nails.
post #23 of 40
actually in the photos I mentioned (all BW) the winter suits appear to drape nicely - the fabrics on the summer suits look awful.....

and as these are mostly government figures upwards of 40 yrs old, most are heavyset, or at least soft.

but points well made...

BTW I pulled out a tape of The Big Sleep today - one of my sartorial faves. In addition to cool hats and suits HB wears the Casablanca raincoat and a wool coat when the rain stops. Plus the incongruous western belt and zoot suit key chain......

I knew from previous viewings Bogie wore a number of nice SB suits and a gorgeous dark striped DB when he goes to Eddie Mars' casino - but having just now bothered to check his buttoning - while Bernie the cop buttons his DB on top, Bogie and Eddie Mars do up the lower button. In Bogie's case I assume this was for the added height illusion (his jackets typically strike me as a tad short - and brilliantly tailored thusly to lengthen his leg line); the actor who plays Mars on the other hand is taller and rail thin, and has over-done (wide and tall) shoulder pads - perhaps intentional, to make him look more thuggish? He even buttons his DB overcoat on the lower button!
post #24 of 40
Nice post pgoat, if I may call you pgoat.

One of the points of my article is that the past is done. It is nostalgic, it is beautiful to gaze upon, but it is also set in time. You could dress just like HB in those movies and I imagine a lot of people would think you were a film noir sleuth but I hardly think anyone (well there are a few exceptions of course) wants to wear full blown costumes.

Thats why I believed there was a body of readers who might want to incorporate elements of the attitude and not copy the outfits verbatim. That wouldnt beg much imagination for an update. I couldve mocked up dummies to sport exact replicas of the movie costumes in lighter weights, and I might do so for a few future reviews. However, although some of my heart and imagination may live in the past I recognize that I dont actually live in the past.
post #25 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Film_Noir_Buff
Thats why I believed there was a body of readers who might want to incorporate elements of the attitude and not copy the outfits verbatim. That wouldnt beg much imagination for an update. I couldve mocked up dummies to sport exact replicas of the movie costumes in lighter weights, and I might do so for a few future reviews. However, although some of my heart and imagination may live in the past I recognize that I dont actually live in the past.
Yeah weve come full circle now, the point of my original post was to ask whether the DB is on its way to the spat level of costumery, and whether updating the Sneed look automatically involves breast reduction, which, according to most of the posts on this thread, it does not
post #26 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by m@T
Yeah weve come full circle now, the point of my original post was to ask whether the DB is on its way to the spat level of costumery, and whether updating the Sneed look automatically involves breast reduction, which, according to most of the posts on this thread, it does not

M@t,

The DB is definitely not costume and is not anywhere near as antiquated as spats. Spats are comic.

I love DB suits but they are, at the moment, the purview of the custom or MTM customer. Again, i was trying to appeal to a broader base and demonstrate some thoughts for them.
post #27 of 40
Thread Starter 
yes, but is it "on its way"? certainly it appears none of the younger guys on the forum own one (including myself as much as I like the pic) is it something we will come to appreciate when we outgrow our hoodies, or will we stick to our SBs because that is what we know, gradually declining the popularity of the suits further to the point where more and more manufacturers wont make them, and relegating them to being one of those cute olden day things? indeed 10 yrs ago, when i was selling suits during college in Australia's largest department store chain, there was only 2 manufacturers selling DBs that we stocked, Anthony Squires had one, and the store's own brand had a poly blend DB sold as separates. This never seemed to be a problem for the vast majority of customers, who simply werent interested in them. Can make a good case that says 99% of ppl dress abysmally, and therefore couldnt appreciate a good DB, but isnt this exactly what will self perpetuate to kill them?
post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by m@T
yes, but is it "on its way"?

certainly it appears none of the younger guys on the forum own one (including myself as much as I like the pic)

is it something we will come to appreciate when we outgrow our hoodies, or will we stick to our SBs because that is what we know, gradually declining the popularity of the suits further to the point where more and more manufacturers wont make them, and relegating them to being one of those cute olden day things?


Well, i was at a fashion party recently and most of the guys, irrespective of age wore DBs. I havent given it a lot of thought mind you, but I think DB will remain at the top bc it denotes "custom" it will simply get lighter in weight and more functional. I should investigate that a little more it would make a fascinating subject and not just in MY own thoughts and words. A good idea actually.

I would imagine as long as style leaders wear DBs, they will remain. That goes for the suit as well. As long as the suit is worn by newscasters and politicians, its continued existence is assured.

The DB may yet disappear but not for the reasons spats did. Spats disappeared for a variety of social reasons.
post #29 of 40
Can't speak for all the young guys but I'm 20 and I own two with more to come.
post #30 of 40
M@t brings up a very interesting point. He says that 99% or a supermajority of people dress very badly and wont that serve to kill the DB? The answer is

1. The majority of people also dressed badly when the suit was prevalent, although more people dressed in suits because it was the prevailing ethos and you did have more well dressed persons. Maybe there were some exceptions in the USA but men dressed back then out of a sense of propriety and wanting to be taken for quality. That doesnt really exist today, although I thing it may be swinging back a bit.

A. Wearing a suit in the 20s-60s was just the every day thing to wear. You didnt run home and change to go to the movies with you friends. It wasnt a source of interest for most, it was just clothes.

B. We do learn to dress by observing others and there were more well dressed people back then by default because there was really only one prevailing style and more wore it. Therefore the natty dressers were concentrated within one look. This is the nostalgia many of the various forum members appear to long for. Not a time where everyone was well dressed but rather a time when everyone was dressed in the same vein and a good dresser of that ilk would both stand out AND be looked up to.


2. In the USA the suit isnt going anywhere for a while. There are too many things that buoy it, they are social and they are invisible class factors that make the suit a useful item whether people like it or not.

3. A double breasted suit really isnt that different in the minds of the general population from a single breasted one. Letterman wears one and no one notices. It is probably more of a manufacturing concern.

4. As the SB becomes more popular in the middle, the DB will be chosen by the custom set at the top and the counterculture (even wealthy countercultures) element at the bottom of the dressing ladder.

5. The DB suit is just too handsome to go out of style completely. It was never in style completely. Even in its theoretical hey-day it didnt account for more than a third of all suit sales. It just so happens that at the top of the dressing ladder it may have accounted for say two thirds of all suit sales. It thus was more visible to posterity through newsreels and photographs where either the intelligentsia or those who aped their habits were portrayed.

6. African Americans like the DB both conservative ones and the sports and entertainment wing of the community and my theory is that whatever the S&E wing likes, white kids like and copy. That keeps it in the mainstream.

7. The DB represents not having to take orders from anyone, it has a maverick, or non-conformist dandy/commando kind of appeal. People who have power and style and dont have to pander to the herd's taste will continue to like these suits.

8. The main complaint about wearing a suit is that it isnt comfy. The Neapolitan style counter revolution may be addressing that with its emphasis on both formality and comfort.

I dont think people dressing badly will touch on the DB itself disappearing. WHat may happen is that the cues of how to dress are handed down by people who dont know which will result in a more insipid, homogeneous style. Or the concept of style will change completely, tieless shirts under suits, sweaters under suits etc... The suit itself will survive, it makes too much sense, like trousers themselves, invented by the Scythians and Persians thousands of years ago. Trousers havent given way to skirts yet.
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