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What happened to simply looking good.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
As I peruse the old threads and read endless pages of preferences and name brands...I can't help but ask...what happened to just looking good? Allow me to explain: It seems like a good amount of the people here are (can I say overly?) concerned with specific name brands. It's quite common to hear Kiton this, Brioni that, Patek this, Rolex that. Don't get me wrong, I also get caught in the game of name brands and such.  Furthermore, I also agree with the notion that prices (sometimes) dictate a level of comfort/look/age item will last.   So here's my question:  where did buying things simply because they look good go?   Everytime brands are mentioned, I think about my good friend, who can put most people (sometimes myself) to shame with his somewhat small wardrobe. He has a good eye and can spot something nice a mile away, usually on sale too. I'd also be willing to bet that I (or this friend of mine) can take 200 pesos ($) and walk into a Banana Republic-esque type store and throw a wrench into everyone's brand-shopping ideals/habits (more expensive is better). Isn't a sense of style and knowledge of how things look on you a little more important than where the piece was purchased. I'd be willing to bet that to the common person (the person that isn't into fashion and clothing like us here) brand names go out the window.  They wouldnt be able to tell the difference between one brand and the other, but could honestly tell you which piece looks "generally" better than the other.   Please understand that I didn't write this to start a huge argument or fight (like classyFreddy)...but more to get an idea as to what others think.  I just feel that sometimes we (myself included) get too carried away with the name brands and thus lose focus on the ultimate desire: to look good.
post #2 of 19
interesting.....I guess that for me, it is really hard to find things that look good AND are actually made well/ made to last. the only brands I know of that meet the requirements are Brioni, Oxxford, Kiton, Purple Label, and similar makes. It just isn't as easy to find jackets that aren't glued together, etc. as it was in the 1930s-1960s. maybe (to paraphrase) a quote "If you look like Cary Grant, shop at Kmart. If you WANT to look like Cary Grant, you'll need to buy better quality clothing."
post #3 of 19
Quote:
t seems like a good amount of the people here are (can I say overly?) concerned with specific name brands.
Perhaps this is true. But you have to consider that, for many on this board, sartorial style is a hobby. Much as I can point out an original Ibanez Universe 7-string from a mile away, these guys can spot a well-made suit or even the specific designer. And, of course, people like discussing the crem de la crem of their hobbies. For instance, if you are a soccer fan, would you rather discuss high school teams or those competing for the World Cup? There have been a few posts like yours in the past--basically saying that the members of this forum spend too much money on clothes. I'll have to assume there wasn't a number of years seperating the time you began reading this forum and the time you registered as a member when I say that I've been here much longer than you have. For many members, the general consensus is to get the best bang for your buck. Often, a gentleman will even post a link to an ebay or other online-sale item which he believes to be a great deal for a great article of clothing. Many are quick to point out to less experienced members better options in their price range; they do not say "Don't bother with that $400 Corneliani you found at the outlet. Buy the $5k Kiton." In fact, many labels are shunned and rarely discussed (Prada comes to mind) because of their high prices and low quality.
Quote:
I'd also be willing to bet that I (or this friend of mine) can take 200 pesos ($) and walk into a Banana Republic-esque type store and throw a wrench into everyone's brand-shopping ideals/habits (more expensive is better).  
This is hard to believe. Have you been to a BR lately? Everything is made for men w/a 1 or 2 inch drop from their chest to waist, cheap fabrics and hardware (learned from experience), and VERY uninspired designs. The majority of low-end clothing is like this. These companies cater to the average individual who cares much less about his appearence than these guys.
Quote:
I'd be willing to bet that to the common person (the person that isn't into fashion and clothing like us here) brand names go out the window.  They wouldnt be able to tell the difference between one brand and the other, but could honestly tell you which piece looks "generally" better than the other.  
Exactly. And the common person wears polyester suits, jeans with a big Fat Albert picture on them, and shirts that are 3 times too big.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
As I peruse the old threads and read endless pages of preferences and name brands...I can't help but ask...what happened to just looking good? Allow me to explain: It seems like a good amount of the people here are (can I say overly?) concerned with specific name brands. It's quite common to hear Kiton this, Brioni that, Patek this, Rolex that. Don't get me wrong, I also get caught in the game of name brands and such.  Furthermore, I also agree with the notion that prices (sometimes) dictate a level of comfort/look/age item will last.   So here's my question:  where did buying things simply because they look good go?   Everytime brands are mentioned, I think about my good friend, who can put most people (sometimes myself) to shame with his somewhat small wardrobe. He has a good eye and can spot something nice a mile away, usually on sale too. I'd also be willing to bet that I (or this friend of mine) can take 200 pesos ($) and walk into a Banana Republic-esque type store and throw a wrench into everyone's brand-shopping ideals/habits (more expensive is better).   Isn't a sense of style and knowledge of how things look on you a little more important than where the piece was purchased. I'd be willing to bet that to the common person (the person that isn't into fashion and clothing like us here) brand names go out the window.  They wouldnt be able to tell the difference between one brand and the other, but could honestly tell you which piece looks "generally" better than the other.   Please understand that I didn't write this to start a huge argument or fight (like classyFreddy)...but more to get an idea as to what others think.  I just feel that sometimes we (myself included) get too carried away with the name brands and thus lose focus on the ultimate desire: to look good.
This is a joke, right? After spending a week on here you have the temerity to make these accusations to the gentlemen on this board who have had the patience and willingness to offer their expert views on the finer points of sartorial culture. Gosh, I think I'll just go out and sew on a Kiton label to a Banana Republic suit...I wouldn't notice the difference, now would I?
post #5 of 19
My personal feeling is that one can be well dressed no matter where they shop. But it is a relative trade-off between effort and money. For example, I believe you can be well dressed by only shopping at Salvation Army or used clothing stores. But it will take an extraordinary amount of effort sifting through the mountains of merchandise in order to find quality, good-looking clothing there. Likely you would have to work there. Spend a little bit more money and you can spend very little time. You can continue this curve until you spend virtually no time but spend a great deal of money (i.e., put yourself into the hands of a highly paid professional) in order to look good. However, to really address your concern -- people typically come to boards such as these to get an education about clothes. Clothes are products and if you're going to spend money on them you'll need to know the relative benefits of one product vs. another. Same would apply if you were buying a car and went to boards targeted towards automotive discussions; you'd want to know about the benefits of Ford Taurus vs. BMW. That's not snobbery -- one couldn't have a discussion fo these makes without using the makes and models. Same goes for clothing. Since it is a product made by companies, you need to understand the relative benefits of these labels to make an educated choice.
post #6 of 19
Everyone has made excellent points but CTGuy hit it right on the spot. I would rephrase what CTGuy said: Money may buy style but that doesn't mean one has style. One person can look like a fool in an outfit while another can look dashing. It's all about the color, cut and fit of clothes. Not just the price and quality. Certains colors work for certain people. Certain styles work for certain people, etc, etc.... Yes, quality may be lacking in the mass marketed stuff but if one has the eye for what looks good on him, it will look good on him regardless of the quality. By that I mean, there has to be certain guidelines. Such as a shirt that cost $15 retail is utterly not worth even a look but a discounted Banana Republic shirt definitely worth considering. That being said, I would take quality over quantity any day. But for pieces that are meant to be worn for a few years(1-3 years I mean), decent quality is highly acceptable. For others, such as shoes and suits, definitely consider spending a bit more for the quality. But that doesn't mean just buying a Brioni, etc. A lower quality but still high quality canvased Canali may have a better fit on the type of build one has. I should also mention spending a bit more for accessories. A high quality tie, silver cufflinks, belts, etc.... do far more for a look then a $500 shirt will ever do for an outfit. On mentioning suits, I have an opinion of mines I would like to mention. If everyone could spend ~$1000 suit, that would be great but a lot can't. This goes to the idea of buying high-end suits at a discount. I, myself can barely fit into a 36S suit(typical short asian guy ) That means I have an extremely difficult time to find these sizes of discounted high end suits. Which means I either have to pay retail or at only slight discounts.(If someone can point me to a where I can find these sizes at deep discounts, I would be damn grateful to this person). This means I need to consider higher quality fused-front suits. I find this perfectly acceptable. Regular quality suits for day to day wear. High quality for special occasions, etc. I guess one would call this a tier system of clothes in one's closet. So my last remarks are: Look for quality. Make sure the fit works on your build(not everyone is blessed with Cary Grant's frame). Look for colors, styles that work on your complextion. All of this must be considered to purchase an item. Without it, even the most expensive ensemble won't look right(You will just look like to have cash to burn) although one will still look a little better I have to admit. As always. debates and comments are more then welcomed. -HitMan009
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello all. First allow me to clarify that I did not post this question in order to stir waters or place an attack on any one's expertise. I highly value and respect the opinions expressed on this board. In fact, I will put the words read here to use as soon as I graudate. I apologize if I came across as disrespectful and offended someones bank of clothing knowledge. And you're right...I have only spent a matter of weeks on the forum. But honestly it doesn't take an engineer to notice how worried we've gotten about brands. On the other hand, I understand that this clothing thing is a hobby (though Im an entry-level participant) to many and realize several brands distinguish themselves more than others. Furthermore, names and brands are the threads that hold this forum together. They are discussed in order to differentiate something good from something better, or worse. And this is why I am here. Not to stir things, but to obtain further knowledge. My original post was perhaps directed at those who tend to follow fashion and style but on a more (how do I say) not-so-lavish level...not as an offense. e p.s. and yes...BR has taken a turn for the worse.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
My original post was perhaps directed at those who tend to follow fashion and style but on a more (how do I say) not-so-lavish level...
I think that most posters here have plenty of things that do not raise to the level of being lavish given that most people have limited resources (recognizing, of course, that even less-than-exorbitant have labels that distinguish themselves). You'll occasionally see threads about more mundane aspects of these products and to the extent people have opinions, I'm sure they won't be able to shut up about them.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
I should also mention spending  a bit more for accessories.  A high quality tie, silver cufflinks, belts, etc.... do far more for a look then a $500 shirt will ever do for an outfit.
I completely agree, and would only add that a good pair of shoes and a good haircut also provide more "bang for the buck."  Most men will make the effort to wear a well-fitting suit.  Unfortunately, many of them will not think twice about pairing said suit with rubber-soled, square-toed monstrosities, and/or a Casio G-shock, thereby ruining what is otherwise a perfectly respectable outfit.
post #10 of 19
Actually this has a lot to do with your definition of looking good.  One's definition is different from another, especially in this time and age.  Some thinks baggy jeans or oversized suit jacket is good --- well, no label naming is needed, and so be it. An average member in this forum is concerned with a more refined looking-good definition, to a point where looking-good is no longer just looking good on the outside, but feeling good on the inside too (both physically and aesthetically).  However, feeling-good takes us into an entirely different discussion, for, if you have never tried a Kiton, BR is heaven compared to Gap or ____ (fill in the blanks).  So when one rants on how good plastic buttons look on shirts, well, you get my point. Besides, I think the wardrobe/maker/label/brand/whatever-you-call-it of any member here is as diverse as a sashimi menu (now I'm hungry).  Alternatively, if it makes you feel any better, I could sew a BR label on my Brioni (the reverse of Thracozaag's idea).  Now you wouldn't know ... or would you?
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
I see where you guys are coming from. The looking-good on this forum goes beyond the 'normal' looking-good most people associate with, Im gathering. The attention to detail, as mentioned, is key...and often goes further than a pricey suit. Thanks guys.
post #12 of 19
To get in at the end of the game, and perhaps summarize some of the points made earlier. Mrprlover: Yes, it is certainly possible to look good at a variety of pricepoints. And it is certainly true that most people cannot tell the difference between a Kiton and a Banana Republic suit. However, it would be a logical error to thereby deduce that there are not real differences between the two suits. The equivalent would be to say that because I don't know an Aston Martin from a Lada (I do, but barely) that there are no differences between the two, or that a Petrus tastes the same as wine in a box (that, I would pick up.) Apart from the premium paid for the name "Patek" or "Kiton" or even "Prada", there is a discernable difference in the quality and style that all but the least astute observer will notice. Cognoscenti of any stripe use shorthand when discussing their knowledge with similar minds, and I think that members of this forum do the same when they use Kiton to exemplify the classical Neapolitan style combined with incredible workmanship. So yes, members of this forum are in general more likely to notice that the lapels on your friend's jacket are slightly stiff, or that stripes in his shirt do not match up exactly, although I don't dispute that he may nevertheless look very good.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Yes, it is certainly possible to look good at a variety of pricepoints.  And it is certainly true that most people cannot tell the difference between a Kiton and a Banana Republic suit.  
While I am in accordance with your basic idea, I beg to differ from the point that most people cannot tell the differences between a Kiton and a BR. Everyone is able to notice the differences, though not everyone is able to IDENTIFY them.  It's parallel to an example when everyone can tell the difference between pop and classical music, though not many could pick out the exact differences.  When you walk on the street, certain people/outfits strike an untrained eye and make his head turn, though he may have no idea why; but there is an apparent difference of a better dressed man and the others.   This noticing/identifying aspect takes place in everything from cars to watches to TV screen to music to food.  You can definitely taste the difference between a neighborhood Chinese take-out and genuine Cantonese cuisine (note: this doesn't apply to Mr. MPS as you already live in HK), though you might not be able to pinpoint --- not unless you are a Chinese.  This is a tremendously important point for the obsessed bunch like us, as we know that even the tiniest detail alters the entire picture, and this forum is here to help us identify those little details. However, I understand your basic idea, and I would rephrase the comparison to a Kiton and Brioni, or BR and FC, instead of extremes like Kiton and BR; although I am sure after going through this forum picking out a Kiton among Brioni's is as simple as picking out a Japanese tourist on Fifth Avenue.  May I suggest a challenge of picking out a Kiton and an Attolini?
post #14 of 19
Point well taken. After re-reading my last post, I realized that I had been rather inconsistent. As for the Kiton/Attolini challenge, I'm not sure that I could do it. Maybe if I had a few hours to go through swatch books... I have noticed that Kiton rtw, at least, tends towards slightly more muted colors. For custom, I'd probably be out of luck.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Apart from the premium paid for the name "Patek" or "Kiton" or even "Prada", there is a discernable difference in the quality and style that all but the least astute observer will notice.  
...and this is why I am here. Any ideas as to where I should start?  Perhaps first some reading, then the shopping.  
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