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On the Street in NYC....Trad or Thom Browne?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Trad or Thom Browne? at The Sartorialist http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/
post #2 of 27
Now you're just picking fights Trad is more about the idea of what people wore in the '50s than what they actually worse. Same as 'classics' is more about the idea of what people wore in the '30s than what they actually wore. I love that most of your shots are of what guys wear *now* rather than what they think people wore a century ago.

I don't know if I missed the thread, but the dude in the pink sweater and cargo pants looks fantastic.

Tom
post #3 of 27
1) Slim is not trad, and ill-fitting is not slim
2) The jacket is not short, it seems to bisect his clothed body evenly, which is just the right length
3) There is a big difference between no trouser break and what TB does
4) The other things you mentioned, the things that TB does have in common with trad, are not what people are complaining about when they say TB is outlandish

So anyway, I don't think of TB when I se this guy. That said, please do keep up the good work.
post #4 of 27
I just think his jacket sleeves are too short. He doesn't really remind me of Thom Browne's aesthetic.
post #5 of 27
Very cool shot, Sartorialist. I can see the Thom Browne comparison.

Keep 'em coming!
post #6 of 27
I really don't see much comparison b/t the subject of this photo and the typical TB.

This guy is dressed rather Trad -- I like it that certain folks still make an effort to dress well.

But both looks have a place.
post #7 of 27
Let review the elements
- Slim, shorter jacket
- At or above the ankle pant hem
- Plenty of shirt cuff showing
- Buttondown Oxford shirt . . . .


The photo is, as noted, a one time event. Catching a well dressed gentleman at a moment when it appears at first glance that the above statements are accurate. In this case, his movements and posture cause several elements of his atire to appear to be different than the actual look if he was standing errect and at ease.

The jacket is probably moderately slim, except that the length seems to be darned good to me - certainly not the Browne length that stops above a man's belt. Note that the man is bent forward, causing the back to seem short.

My guess is that the trouser length is right at shoe top level - shakin, not breakin - and covers the ankles fully, nothing like the short pedal pushers that Browne promotes. Further, note the slight flap of the fabric on the forward striding leg - that would never happen on the pegged leg Browne trousers.

And, finally, as to showing shirt cuff, the gentleman's jacket sleeve seems to have been rubbed upward by contact with his hip by his swinging arm. So that it appears that the sleeve is much shorter than it is actually tailored to be. Note the difference in cuff showing at the back of the sleeve and the front.

No wonder it has taken so long to find the shot for what you are trying to illustrate.
post #8 of 27
Trousers with a nary a break are still seen often in New England. Especially amongst those of the Ivy League style.

Tiger-- would you say more about this notion of the idea of what one wore vs. what one actually wore?
post #9 of 27
I'll try Horace. I've hinted at it before but never really fleshed it out.

The 1930s are the easiest example. This was (in popular opinion, maybe there’s something I don’t know) the low point of American economic strength. Yet, the styles are held up as the high point of American tailoring and taste. There’s an intellectual clash here that gets brushed off all too easily. Men—common men that is, not movie stars and not the Rockefellers—may have worn suits, but probably didn’t own more than one, and certainly didn’t spend a month’s salary or more on it. Here’s a good picture from my home state (NJ)



The 1950s are trickier. There was unquestionably an Ivy League style, but it was equally unquestionably constrained to the Ivy League students (10,000 or so at any one time) and their families/social circles. Thisthread has great examples of what the lower classes looked for in their style icons, mostly thanks to Get Smart’s efforts. The looks are closer to Ivy League style than many like to admit—short jackets and pants, short dual vents. The rockers just went more extreme in colors and cuts. I can’t find a good screenshot of Michael Pitt from The Dreamers but he wore a lot of slim, flat-front chinos cut short (and white socks ) and short tweed jackets. When he was wearing clothes at all, that is There’s just no evidence that the large majority of Americans had any interest in yellow pants with ducks or madras jackets.

It’s an interesting cultural phenomena, this desire to dress as people did in the past. I think it’s fairly new—the reason leisure suits became popular in the early parts of the 20th century was precisely that people didn’t want to dress as they had in the past, in frock coats and spats. There are some changing appeals to romantic and satiric authority here but I haven’t sat down and worked them out yet. It will end up looking something like, people are strengthening their identification with satiric authority (we were better in the past and are struggling to get back there, but never can) because of changes to public perception and values as presented in clothing choices.

I’m interested in the more intellectual stuff that Scott shoots. It’s asking, ‘what do unique individuals wear on the street,’ rather than who best follows the rules.

Tom
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Charley
first of all i meant it only half seriously

secondly, it only took a while to get the shot because i have seen this comparison a lot but i don't always have a camera

thirdly, all my comparisons are accurate

I watched this guy for half a crosstown block and it is not the photo that makes his clothes look that way - I'm not that desperate to make a point.
His jacket was short, he did show a lot of sleeve and his pants were much shorter than what i would expect from a Trad. All the same he is very Trad but also within the realm of comparison to Thom Browne.

I just thought it was an interesting visual comparison but don't worry I'm not trying to convert anyone
post #11 of 27
Well from what I've seen, the sleeves on TB jackets are the proper length...
post #12 of 27
There is no comparison. The guy is in stride and if he was standing with straightened sleeve cuffs, he wouldn't look anything like TB.

Now if TB was walking like that, we would probably see his knee and elbows.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger02
<...> Men"”common men that is, not movie stars and not the Rockefellers"”may have worn suits, but probably didn't own more than one, and certainly didn't spend a month's salary or more on it. Here's a good picture from my home state (NJ)

<...>Tom

The Walker Evans photograph you showed is not from NJ, it depicts a family of tenant farmers in rural Alabama; the poorest of the poor. Not quite "the common man" of the '30s.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by howbah
The Walker Evans photograph you showed is not from NJ, it depicts a family of tenant farmers in rural Alabama; the poorest of the poor. Not quite "the common man" of the '30s.
OK. So what?
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger02
The 1950s are trickier. There was unquestionably an Ivy League style, but it was equally unquestionably constrained to the Ivy League students (10,000 or so at any one time) and their families/social circles
I clipped your post -- so the qualification after that isn't included above, but one suggestion: I'm guessing that the Ivy League style had also migrated outside of the Ivy League by this time. It would be present at all the "Campus" shops at universities in the mid-west. It would be at CCNY -- the "Harvard" for those shut out by quotas or not enough money, etc. (There were campus shops near the CCNY campuses during the 50's and these were Trad shops). Also -- there was a post on AAAC a few years back concerning a study made in the 50's by MIT student publication and the published article attempted to describe the clothing found on universities across the U.S. Most of those styles were consistently "Ivy League" outside of the actual seven schools. So I'd guess that the Ivy League style wasn't as constrained as you'd think. Also: let's not forget that by the mid-1950's Miles Davis and many others were wearing the Ivy League style. Also: others on here will know better than I do, but there's also in the 50's guys in England copying or importing the Ivy League style. And perhaps by this time, on the Continent too, they are wearing the style. In both cases, probably influenced mostly by Jazz, I'd reckon. So, in sum, I'd wager that at this point, we've gone past the 10,000 students and their immediate circle.
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