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If your wardrobe is too large, you end up looking worse. - Page 8

post #106 of 491
Thread Starter 
Vox (if I may), You made a number of sensible points. Yet even if we set aside the abstract argument from the versatility/number of garments it seems to me that the general point still stands. Crudely put, too large a wardrobe tends to cause (i) extreme neatness (mostly for lack of wear) and (ii) a studied appearance (mostly because people notice that you always wear different clothes), both of which are detrimental to elegance, other things being equal. Take the above picture and look at your briefcase. You have a number of wonderful briefcases. I particularly like the one in bridle with the wrap-around belts. But it's crying to be used and develop a patina, which won't happen anytime soon because you have so many other cases.
post #107 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by radicaldog View Post
Vox (if I may),

You made a number of sensible points. Yet even if we set aside the abstract argument from the versatility/number of garments it seems to me that the general point still stands. Crudely put, too large a wardrobe tends to cause (i) extreme neatness (mostly for lack of wear) and (ii) a studied appearance (mostly because people notice that you always wear different clothes), both of which are detrimental to elegance, other things being equal.

I find it hard to believe that the best dressers who post pictures here, even those who adopt the viewpoint that you describe as their public persona, actually succeed in not having people notice them.

Who exemplifies what you describe more than mafoofan?

Who is more public than mafoofan?

Do you see what I mean?

I agree that if you make you home in the pockets of, say, Europe where things are slower paced, you might affect the baggy look with great success. Can't be done in America...if it could be, I would probably be among the first to know since I come from the world of American tradition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by radicaldog View Post
Take the above picture and look at your briefcase. You have a number of wonderful briefcases. I particularly like the one in bridle with the wrap-around belts. But it's crying to be used and develop a patina, which won't happen anytime soon because you have so many other cases.

Yes, but you think this way because you do not have a dynastic sensibility. For certain types of objects, it does not occur to me that I have to the one to personally "wear things in." And that case is, indeed, new...should one only buy things in their twenties, and then caccoon until death in a sartorial terrarium?

I'm joking. That agree SAB case would look better if it were worn in...but you know, I'm starting and my son can continue. I think that is okay.

You do know that is the essense of the old school, right? Father to son?


- B
post #108 of 491
Can I add that leather goods and tailored clothing are very different things. Shoes and briefcases improve with age in ways that tailored clothing will never challenge. Let's not confuse these things.
post #109 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
Can I add that leather goods and tailored clothing are very different things. Shoes and briefcases improve with age in ways that tailored clothing will never challenge. Let's not confuse these things.

Hemingwayesque. I agree.


- B
post #110 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
Possible, yes--but desirable? I'm less sure. I think it's worth considering the notion that, ultimately, we each have a very little to say stylistically, and we each might be better off learning how to communicate a single message with increasing clarity and persuasiveness than trying to spread other messages. It's interesting that many of the men widely acknowledged to be amongst the world's best dressed appear to possess very narrow aesthetic preferences, as expressed in very eccentric, focused personal styles. Sure, we can look through any man's past to find dalliances and divergences, but, at the end, we still tend to know them for a particular look.

My guess is that diversity and quantity can be excellent methods of experimentation, which may lead to a better end result, but the end result may be neither diverse nor great in quantity.

I'd agree, but I'd point out that it is a very rare individual who can speak more than one language beautifully. I don't know about you, but I have a hard enough time communicating in the one I was born with.

You are the extreme version of this, and I think and have always said that I admire how dapper you are.

But you know, I wouldn't recommend doing things your way as I would not recommend doing things my way. What I recommend that I think is common to both of us is to pursue your personal inclinations in how you dress, and do not subsume them to what others think you should do.

- b
post #111 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by radicaldog View Post
Vox (if I may),

You made a number of sensible points. Yet even if we set aside the abstract argument from the versatility/number of garments it seems to me that the general point still stands. Crudely put, too large a wardrobe tends to cause (i) extreme neatness (mostly for lack of wear) and (ii) a studied appearance (mostly because people notice that you always wear different clothes), both of which are detrimental to elegance, other things being equal.

Take the above picture and look at your briefcase. You have a number of wonderful briefcases. I particularly like the one in bridle with the wrap-around belts. But it's crying to be used and develop a patina, which won't happen anytime soon because you have so many other cases.

I get that you prefer the broken-in look. But to equate that as "more elegant" is nonsense. I'm not even certain that "elegance" is the correct term for what you are trying to express.
post #112 of 491
[merkur]

- B
post #113 of 491
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
I find it hard to believe that the best dressers who post pictures here, even those who adopt the viewpoint that you describe as their public persona, actually succeed in not having people notice them. Who exemplifies what you describe more than mafoofan? Who is more public than mafoofan? Do you see what I mean? I agree that if you make you home in the pockets of, say, Europe where things are slower paced, you might affect the baggy look with great success. Can't be done in America...if it could be, I would probably be among the first to know since I come from the world of American tradition.
The problem with Mafoofan is that he arguably errs on the side of caution (or of OCD). People end up noticing that he has a clothing hobby because his clothes are all so similar. But if he threw in a bit more variety (not quantity) and perhaps lost the pocket square he'd be home free. I see the point about American crispness, so to speak. But that only goes to show that, in a way, Europe still has an edge in terms of style That sort of goes with the European stereotype that Americans all behave a bit too much like second hand car dealers: crisp shiny suits, big smiles and all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
Yes, but you think this way because you do not have a dynastic sensibility. For certain types of objects, it does not occur to me that I have to the one to personally "wear things in." And that case is, indeed, new...should one only buy things in their twenties, and then caccoon until death in a sartorial terrarium? I'm joking. That agree SAB case would look better if it were worn in...but you know, I'm starting and my son can continue. I think that is okay. You do know that is the essense of the old school, right? Father to son?
It is the essence of the old school, yes. And I do have that sensibility, which is probably why I've decided to not have kids, but that's a different story. It's also part of the old school sensibility to buy the best quality possible without however being wasteful. I suppose American sensibility could be slightly different on this point, though. I only lived in the States for a year, but it seems to me that Americans really like gorging on stuff. By contrast, think of the scene in The Queen in which Helen Mirren's Land Rover breaks down. Someone (Prince Philip?) suggests that they ought to get a new one, but HM replies: "Why, it is perfectly alright." Also think of the recent discussion here of Charles' patched-up shoes.
post #114 of 491
Vox 1 Radicaldawg 0
post #115 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
I also know that I've had very little time to develop my taste.

You will hopefully have plenty of time to develop your taste, though whether taste develops when one wears only one style of shoe is a question that only time will answer. :-)
post #116 of 491
You guys are missing some of the major points here, though I am enjoying the discussion.
post #117 of 491
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
I am enjoying your comments very much. Forgive me, but I'll address the other ones in a post above tomorrow, but the excerpted segment above makes me nostalgic. Like you, I grew up with live in help until, oh, about just before my teens. My father had a valet, whom we shared. Everything was laid out every morning...I guess that would epitomize not thinking about clothes...unlike the Wodehouse fantasy, however, I'm afraid the valet was terrorized by my father. More recently, we just moved to a new home and it is the first time I can recall having a laundry in the house since I was a child. From freshman year in college until about a year ago, a service would take all our laundry and deliver it...cleaned and pressed...the next day. That's about 26 years of that. I now miss the prefolded underwear. We moved to be more "green" btw. On our roof? Plants. Oh: and in college, all shirts had to be starched. Collar and body. Anything else looked quite stupid. So, you can see there are various norms. - B
Thank you. Just to clarify: I was born in 1980, and I know about my grandparents' domestic arrangements from pictures and family banter. My parents only ever had hourly paid cleaners and nannies (who weren't very good cooks, alas) -- sic transit gloria mundi. I now live alone (in the UK) and struggle to find a proper cleaner, partly because I haven't really settled at all. When I was an undergrad in Italy I used to take all my washing up to the cleaners about once a week. Here it just doesn't feel right to do that -- not sure why (the British middle class is a strange social phenomenon). Anyway, your reminiscences are quite illuminating, in a good way. I suppose one's past experiences can go a long way in terms of explaining and legitimising one's style choices, and your look now makes more sense to me. What I mean is that if people know you and your story, then your way of dress will look much more natural, and better for it. So yes, there are various norms.
post #118 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
You guys are missing some of the major points here, though I am enjoying the discussion.

You can't put lipstick on a pig?
post #119 of 491
I'm certainly not in the sartorial league of the posters here, but I think one point is being overlooked: the joy in wearing fine things. That can be both wonderful and frivolous. I just don't have a problem with Vox and how he wears his large wardrobe. He's got a great attitude and it shows. Actually, while I love Foo's clothing, his one and only one way is the only way to go attitude irks since it takes the joy out of the whole enterprise. I like to see what he wears but I want to look away once he talks about it. Mr. Sam's photo of Foo would be more complete, in Foo's perfect world, if his towering poster looked down upon a nation dressed exactly as he does. I don't sense that with Vox. Vox wears A&S ex-pat, Napoli, Brioni and even SD stuff and, if we could see his face, he would be smiling all the while. If we all spend too much time on this, shouldn't we at least be happy about it.
post #120 of 491
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cary Grant View Post
I get that you prefer the broken-in look. But to equate that as "more elegant" is nonsense. I'm not even certain that "elegance" is the correct term for what you are trying to express.

The idea I'm trying to express is this: it is inelegant to get a new 4x4 just because your trusty old Land Rover has broken down. Repair it. It is inelegant in the same sense in which restraint is the most impressive form of power, as Thucydides said.
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