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If your wardrobe is too large, you end up looking worse. - Page 11

post #151 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolo View Post
Hoarding and compulsive <fill in the blank> is of great interest to me, but outside the scope of this thread. I'd love to participate in a good thread about compulsive <insert topic of message board> but such usually is met with quite a bit of hostility from the local compulsives.
Please do, this is a very interesting subject that should elicit a lively discussion. General chat may be the best (and least contentious) place for it.
post #152 of 491
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
Fine. I think Radicaldog has it wrong, but is looking in the right direction. It isn't the fact that something is well worn that makes for good style, though it is a look that I like myself. What makes for good style is that the person who is wearing the piece owns it. It matters only a little that it is of the best quality, or that it is a well chose fabric, or that this stitch or that is put in by an elfin master using a hand forged gold thimble. I think he makes the observation that many things posted here don't looked owned by their wearer, but it has little to do with how often they are worn, and everything to do with how they are worn.

I think this is a good angle from which to look at the issue -- thank you. Would you agree that having too many things makes it more difficult to own them?
post #153 of 491
This thread remains interesting. I think it's becoming apparent that the focus of the discussion shouldn't so much be on the size of your wardrobe in terms of pure number, but on its cohesion (or otherwise). While it's not necessarily true, for most of us, cohesion is easier with fewer items than with more.

The exchange between Vox and Mafoofan quoted below is very interesting. In light of my comment above, I feel Vox puts himself in an awkard position when he asserts that lack of variety is the primary problem in fits here whilst agreeing that following your personal inclinations in how you dress is the most important point. My own personal inclinations in how I dress do not involve a great deal of variety, as my WAYWRN posts attest. Mafoofan is a more extreme example of this and I can easily think of more examples of this both inside the forum and in the outside world. Are all these people less well dressed than their counterparts with more variety?

Personally, I feel variety (and scale) is more likely to be a danger than a help. While there are exceptions, the posters I admire the most here are the most consistent ones; because they dress in their own style, not just stylishly.


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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
Thanks Bill, and I generally agree. However, I have one qualification: I believe it's a lot easier to do what I do than what you do. WAWRN is riddled with examples of variety and quantity gone wrong. You are very unique in your ability to wear so many different things so well. For those of us less sartorially gifted, sticking to a simple, proven formula may be the best bet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
Again, I think the fact of the matter is the people have insufficient variety, not an abundance.
post #154 of 491
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0b5cur1ty View Post
This thread remains interesting. I think it's becoming apparent that the focus of the discussion shouldn't so much be on the size of your wardrobe in terms of pure number, but on its cohesion (or otherwise). While it's not necessarily true, for most of us, cohesion is easier with fewer items than with more.
Yes, I sort of agree. I would add that a smaller wardrobe also helps to have clothes that are lived in, or (as Iammatt put it) owned. I would also say that if one can achieve the same cohesiveness, complete range of appropriateness, and ownership with a smaller wardrobe, then (i) they understand dressing better, and (ii) they have no reason to acquire more items, as that would be wasteful. Decorum is the word that springs to mind here. Yet, of course, there are pockets of legitimate indulgence. For instance, nobody needs a smoking jacket, but I see nothing wrong with wanting to add one to one's already complete wardrobe.
post #155 of 491

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Edited by merkur - 7/29/11 at 5:38am
post #156 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diavolo View Post
This topic is too subjective for there to be a right and a wrong.
Agreed.

Even though our wardrobes are of a different size ... it seems we share some common feelings about them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diavolo View Post
I feel I have enough combinations to wear something different every day for the rest of my life.
I could say the same about my wardrobe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diavolo View Post
It's not a big wardrobe (but it is by my friends' standards) but it can be made to look interesting and different all the time.
From what I've heard said, my wardrobe is a rather extensive by Style Forum standards (but it isn't by my friends' standards) and it too can be made to look interesting and different all the time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diavolo View Post
All the suits and coats are about eight years old and I don't need any more. Same for shoes...
My suits and shoes range in age from 30+ years to quite recent ... and I, as you, feel I don't need any more.

About your wardrobe, you say...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diavolo View Post
There is this option or there is the option of actually having something different every day rather than just appearing to.
Mine is likely closer to the latter ... although I would not say I'm actually there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diavolo View Post
I don't know quite where I fit in this discussion...
I had a clue as to where I fit in ... but thought it worth asking anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diavolo View Post
...I'm content with what I have. I could also easily get by with less, but would probably be uneasy with more.
I'm not at all uncomfortable with what I have. Like you more would make me uncomfortable ... and I too could easily manage with less. I know this for a fact as I now purchase far less than I discard ... so I'm certainly moving in the direction of less. Where will I end up in terms of quantity? I haven't a clue. That will take scrutiny over time.
post #157 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by radicaldog View Post
I think this is a good angle from which to look at the issue -- thank you. Would you agree that having too many things makes it more difficult to own them?
I think so, especially if it is not built over a very long time period.
post #158 of 491
I think a lot of ideas put forth in this thread boil down to one thing: the need for 'authenticity' - to be a man who wears his clothes, not vice versa. But no one has actually explained why this should be an ideal in the first place. Then again, it could just be a load of bull: a massive, messy attempt at justification/intellectualisation of wardrobe choices/size coupled with a desperate (unrealised) need to have these choices be acknowledged by others as the 'right' ones.
post #159 of 491
The authenticity-ownership thing is important, but I think WAYWN also suffers from epidemically poor technical execution. Patterns, colors, textures, etc., just don't go together. You can 'own' a look and still look terrible (Lapo Elkann gomes to mind).

In that light, I maintain that accumulating too quickly and too fervently tends to reduce output quality. I get the sense that a lot of people buy ties and pocket squares just to get a fix. The result? Lots of ugly, mismatched ties and pocket squares.
post #160 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
The authenticity-ownership thing is important, but I think WAYWN also suffers from epidemically poor technical execution. Patterns, colors, textures, etc., just don't go together. You can 'own' a look and still look terrible (Lapo Elkann gomes to mind). In that light, I maintain that accumulating too quickly and too fervently tends to reduce output quality. I get the sense that a lot of people buy pocket squares and ties just to get a fix, and it shows.
I would contend that the general zeitgeist of SF - where with few exceptions*, experimentation is apparently prized over conventionalism/repetition - has a lot to do with the content on WAYWRN. I very much doubt that all the more outre posters on WAYWRN wear what they appear to do, day in day out. In that sense, it's a form of escapism. *: when your wardrobe is bespoke/expensive and tailored in a 'romantic' country that evokes an inexpl;cable sense of sentimentalism; when you are a member with enough posts or an enviable lifestyle to warrant 'default' goodwill; etc...
post #161 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
I get the sense that a lot of people buy ties and pocket squares just to get a fix.
And the fix is ever so fleeting.
post #162 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post
I very much doubt that all the more outre posters on WAYWRN wear what they appear to do, day in day out.

In that sense, it's a form of escapism.

I've never seriously considered this possibility. It's hard for me to fathom people getting dressed up just to take grainy, headless photos for an internet forum--but then, people do many stranger things.

However, I suspect that escapism does come into play, just less explicitly. My guess is that the vast majority of people who post in WAYWRN actually wear their outifts outside of the house, but their preferences are crafted more by fantasy and aspirations to costume than by an interest in dressing well. It's like Dungeons & Dragons for vain grown-ups.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSS View Post
And the fix is ever so fleeting.

With a long, bitter after taste.
post #163 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
With a long, bitter after taste.
And ... it's much worse when it's a suit. I have several that are now throw pillows.
post #164 of 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
Fine. I think Radicaldog has it wrong, but is looking in the right direction. It isn't the fact that something is well worn that makes for good style, though it is a look that I like myself. What makes for good style is that the person who is wearing the piece owns it. It matters only a little that it is of the best quality, or that it is a well chose fabric, or that this stitch or that is put in by an elfin master using a hand forged gold thimble. I think he makes the observation that many things posted here don't looked owned by their wearer, but it has little to do with how often they are worn, and everything to do with how they are worn.

This thread is eliciting so many thoughtful replies that I can't get to all the ones that merit comment.

So let me just start with Mattypoo's excellent point.

I think that it would be impossible to disagree fundamentally with this goal, the goal of "owning" a way of dressing. It sounds nice. Sartorial terroir.

But we live in a rather swirly world today, do we not? Whether the rush of the waters is a circling of the drain or the adventure of the high seas, who can say?

Chinese men wear Italian slip-ons and photograph themselves with Germen lenses drinking French wines. Americans dress like lethargic and picky Neapolitan aristocrats. Californian men are in skirts. High JASPS of the UWS trod about in Japanese denim. Descendants of the Mayflower and the cannibal feasts of the South Seas get English tailors to make Fabergé eggs out of simple buttonholes. Topsy turvy. Glorious?

Inglorious?

It is simply the way things have become.

And then when you jump out of the plane from this high altitude view and parachute deep into the clothing Interwebz and things like WAYRN threads, you also have the following going on: quests for information, change and self improvement; validation and conformity on the fly; vanity.

Unless one equates "ownership" of dress with manifest, demonstrable uniformity of dress, I think that it would hard to go much further than that in such an environment to determine who owns what look...particular among a bunch of strangers.

Chew on that.

- B
post #165 of 491
For me, it comes down to an issue of space and favorites. I don't keep anything not worn in a season. For spending (since I refuse to buy on credit), I have set numbered limits on any given item. 25 shirts, 10 suits, 10 pairs of shoes, 5 odd coats & trousers. I have a box where I store ties and once it overflows I start giving stuff away.
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