I have been getting PMs asking me why I am bothering with this. I'm not sure that I have a good answer, but I will tilt at the windmill one last time.
You are probably right in one sense...you would have to go back two generations in my family (and approximately in American culture...might be different in your neck of the woods) to get to men who were unselfconsciously classists, racists, and misogynists. I am hopeful that by the time things have rolled around to me, at least some of that is untrue.
But, there is really no reason to be so generalized. We are talking about something very specific here: hopsack fabric. If you have your cup of morning coffee or tea, and ask yourself, "Would an American public schoolteacher who wore a solid, dark navy bespoke suit telegraph that he is a 'sanitation worker wearing his Sunday best' to his colleagues, wards, and family from the simple fact that it is hopsack?" What would your answer be? The suit is navy. The pattern is solid. It is bespoke. Navy hopsack jackets are widely accepted. And this is America, where the suit is dying a lingering death...I am sure that it is pretty much dead in a New York public school. NYR is not wearing this suit, I imagine, into a blue chip board meeting or cocktails at the Links.
And so, we are left with the dire issue of the trousers being hopsack.
Would you not admit here the possibility that FNB's "class" claim is daft? And that the manner in which the claim was expressed, with its reference to dressing like a sanitation worker, trite yet a bit ugly? I can't really call it biting because it is just so weak and lacking in content. He's simply tarting up a personal bias about a type of cloth as some sort of social commentary, and setting up any disagreement with him on the qualities of the cloth as class blindness. It's unimpressive. It obscures potentially interesting information about merits and problems inherent to different types of suitings.
I'll be direct: I'm upper class, and neither I nor my friends with the same background would view a guy in a dark blue bespoke suit caustically as a sanitation worker unless he introduced himself as one. And if a man did so introduce himself, he would probably be the hit of the party.
What makes the whole thing more funny to me is that I would guess that NYR is relatively comfortable with who he is and what he does...I am not sure that his objective is to convince people via sartorial camoflage that he has Mayflower ancestors, lockjaw accent, and was expelled from Brown with no ill effect.
I will let you in on a dirty little American secret: you could wear the best that Corvato makes, but if you don't have a lineage just so, didn't go to particular schools, don't belong to particular clubs, do not associate with and marry particular people, don't have a particular amount of money, possessed in a particular way, do not give a particular amount of money away, the fabric of your suit does not in any way add or subtract your chances of being accepted as upper class.
Is not the same true where you are?
So, why should anyone worry about it and select fabric from within the range of classic suitings for anything other than what one likes or dislikes?
It was my intention to not be specific.
With FNB there is always a grain of truth in what he says don't you think, even though on occasion he does use a poor example, as may be the case here. He also has an unfortunate tendency to glibness and doesn't fully develop his point, which can lead to histrionics from the literalists and the socially anxious who see class connotations in every remark.
I'm more than aware of 'America's dirty little secret' which was the point of my post.
Anyway, thanks for your considered response..
....Now back to NYR and his Hopsack suit...