Originally Posted by DocHolliday
Yes, I would assert that, assuming the clothes are not babied too much. It's not that hard to spot a crisp, new suit. But it's not so much about the state of an individual item as the state of the overall wardrobe. Sure, you might not be able to tell if I've worn a sportcoat five times or ten, but it will look much "newer" if paired with perfectly creased trou and barely creased shoes. There's such a thing as being too put together, and it's unseemly. Clothes needn't look worn out to look well loved -- they just need to have lost the sheen of newness and be worn indifferently.
I don't, really. I like things to look nice and fit reasonably well. But I also mix tatty sportcoats from the '60s (one has a ripped-out pocket that's been crudely stitched) with trou I bought off B&S two weeks ago. I don't think anyone who saw me in that getup would accuse me of looking too crisp or too put together.
Perhaps it's like what you've said about bespoke -- pictures don't capture all the full effect. Next time I post my suede chelseas, check out the state of 'em.
Patina, perhaps, but the notion that clothes shouldn't look too new goes way, way back.
"Sheen of newness?" I think that is a fiction, made up on the Internet and gotten from books. One of the reasons why one pursues high quality cloth for the making of bespoke suits is to ensure the maximal preservation of its original form and appearence. There is less concern for this in RTW since very little of it is made with longevity as a premise.
Let me show you pic with which my grandfather would have been comfortable:
Notice the slight fraying at the shirt cuff.
Unlike nearly everyone on this forum, I wear old stuff. That shirt above is probably twelve years old or older...as are nearly all my dress shirts. The suit is fifteen. The links? Maybe eighty years old. Also, unlike most on this forum who wear old stuff, the old stuff is (mostly) mine and not thrifted, stuff that I bought back in the day. Here's the suit again:
I've used the version with George's head this time. Now, is that suit lived in or not? If my suit were fraying, rather than just my shirt cuff, or if it was not pressed, guess what? My grandfather would have hated it (and he would have hated it anyway because it is a European suit.) And my father? The shoes are not nearly shiny enough.
I invite contrary opinions, but one of the reasons why you look great in nearly every photograph you post of yourself is precisely that everything is studied and chosen with thought. This is why on the rare occasions that someone doesn't like what you wear (e.g., Manton and your double patterning), you are able to explain why you decided to do something a certain way. That is thought devoted to clothing, not a dÃ©gagÃ© approach at all (please forgive me!)
I am adament on this point for the following reason: this thread addresses something quite directly that I see (and I might be a minority of one) as the biggest problem common in WAYWRN. It is not garishness. It is not false economies and variety. It is the opposite.
Not enough spent. Not enough depth. Not enough variety. A vocabularly of pronouns and adjectives with seldom a full sentence written.
Modern male dress does not require further loosening. It requires tightening, winching, corsetting. A bit of pain.