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Futility of Style

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Something I've been wondering about is whether style is really as timeless and transcendent as we make it out to be.

I can't say that I've ever really reached the highest echelons of fashion, so maybe I'm missing something here. But I've dabbled: gotten some suits and shirts made, bought RLPL shit, AE shoes, worn cufflinks at inappropriate times.

I can't say it's really paid off. I don't feel any positive difference - if anything, I'm just more worried about stepping in puddles. And (although I know this isn't an end goal) I don't get very much attention for my buck, so there are no Veblen-esque advantages.

A lot of what SFers wear is advertised as somehow "timeless" by menswear blogs. But I feel like the timeless component is the boring, decidedly non-stylish businesswear that you could get at Mark's Work Wearhouse (that's a thing, right?). SF style, with its suppressed waists and exaggerated attention to detail, seems like pointless overkill. The only interesting stuff is the stuff that'll probably end up outdated anyway.

My conclusion is that style is a hobby like stamp collecting: you have to intrinsically enjoy it for it to matter. What's strange is that people put down the un-stylish in a way that nobody puts down non-stamp collectors. I figure this might be a throwback to the days of sumptuary laws, where attire was meant to be an obligatory indicator of status. But that seems like a backward attitude nowadays.

Does anybody else ever feel this way? Or am I just in the wrong forum? Regardless, I think I'll continue trading in my benchmades for layman-indistinguishable Bass Comfort Shoes.
post #2 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by godofcoffee View Post
A lot of what SFers wear is advertised as somehow "timeless" by menswear blogs. But I feel like the timeless component is the boring, decidedly non-stylish businesswear

yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofcoffee View Post
The only interesting stuff is the stuff that'll probably end up outdated anyway.

yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofcoffee View Post
My conclusion is that style is a hobby like stamp collecting: you have to intrinsically enjoy it for it to matter.

absolutely yes.

Good post. The "timeless style" banner is something that needs to be destroyed.
post #3 of 32
Some people still care about their appearances.
post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by godofcoffee View Post
A lot of what SFers wear is advertised as somehow "timeless" by menswear blogs. But I feel like the timeless component is the boring, decidedly non-stylish businesswear that you could get at Mark's Work Wearhouse (that's a thing, right?). SF style, with its suppressed waists and exaggerated attention to detail, seems like pointless overkill. The only interesting stuff is the stuff that'll probably end up outdated anyway.
Life is too short to wear clothes you don't like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofcoffee View Post
My conclusion is that style is a hobby like stamp collecting: you have to intrinsically enjoy it for it to matter. What's strange is that people put down the un-stylish in a way that nobody puts down non-stamp collectors.
We don't have to stare at your crappy stamp collection on the subway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofcoffee View Post
Regardless, I think I'll continue trading in my benchmades for layman-indistinguishable Bass Comfort Shoes.
I think I may be of some assistance...
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbucky View Post
Life is too short to wear clothes you don't like.


We don't have to stare at your crappy stamp collection on the subway.

...



Terrific :-D

That is indeed THE major difference: clothes give an impression to the outside world. I'm not saying that you need to be a dyed in the wool style nut, but it does make a difference whether one dresses nicely or not. And even on a subconscious level people judge others by their appearance. That's just a fact. How much one wants to act based on that knowledge is obviously down to the individual, but the comparison to the stamps doesn't hold up at all in my opionion.

Cheers
Reto
post #6 of 32
This might be the best Reevolving threak that Reevolving didn't create.
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by godofcoffee View Post
Something I've been wondering about is whether style is really as timeless and transcendent as we make it out to be.

I can't say that I've ever really reached the highest echelons of fashion, so maybe I'm missing something here. But I've dabbled: gotten some suits and shirts made, bought RLPL shit, AE shoes, worn cufflinks at inappropriate times.

I can't say it's really paid off. I don't feel any positive difference - if anything, I'm just more worried about stepping in puddles. And (although I know this isn't an end goal) I don't get very much attention for my buck, so there are no Veblen-esque advantages.

A lot of what SFers wear is advertised as somehow "timeless" by menswear blogs. But I feel like the timeless component is the boring, decidedly non-stylish businesswear that you could get at Mark's Work Wearhouse (that's a thing, right?). SF style, with its suppressed waists and exaggerated attention to detail, seems like pointless overkill. The only interesting stuff is the stuff that'll probably end up outdated anyway.

My conclusion is that style is a hobby like stamp collecting: you have to intrinsically enjoy it for it to matter. What's strange is that people put down the un-stylish in a way that nobody puts down non-stamp collectors. I figure this might be a throwback to the days of sumptuary laws, where attire was meant to be an obligatory indicator of status. But that seems like a backward attitude nowadays.

Does anybody else ever feel this way? Or am I just in the wrong forum? Regardless, I think I'll continue trading in my benchmades for layman-indistinguishable Bass Comfort Shoes.


We're all here for different reasons...

Some of us are real tailoring fanatics when others just love clothes for different core reasons...

Some want to dress to impress,to seduce ,to be accepted or admired, to buy a lifestyle,to boost their self-esteem ,to distract themselves from a busy work environment,from boredom...

There is no real typical Sfer but Sfers and even in te obvious circles from uber conservative,preps or more modern ,there is a vast array of people motivated by different stimuli..

It is the reason why I'm still coming...To love and sometimes to hate.
post #8 of 32
I don't think much of us here are deceived into thinking that there is some concept of timeless style. Nothing stays the same, things come and go. I would also say that many MC posters are just having fun wearing what they wear, and those that aren't are either doing it to look good in a business/formal environment in which clothes are best when attractive but conservative, or are just boring people. For example, Spoo's wristbands aren't "timeless", nor are 2 inch cuffs, breakless pants, db suits, hats of any sort, narrow or wide lapel widths etc. etc. I am half-and-half MC & SW&D; I love old-skool Raf Simons, and I dress like Richey Edwards (google him) half the time (esp. when on stage), but I also love suede shoes, classic loafers, and I love tailored blazers more than anything. One day I'll wear an a blazer with wide lapels, a nipped waist and a classic length, and the next I'll wear all white with a crinkly blue scarf and a wild haircut. I certainly don't spend my days in more unusual or "trendy" outfits thinking "oh gosh, I hope this doesn't look silly in a photo in 20 to 70 years time."
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
So it seems like a lot of people disagree with my premises. bigbucky and retozimmerman DO think that clothes are an obligatory indicator of status. lasbar regards it as a hobby to some extent, but also argues Veblen-esque benefits to SF style (I didn't elaborate on this, but I can think of much more cost-effective ways of conveying consumptive power than buying practically brandless but very expensive tailored suits). It's cool and understandable that most people disagree with me. This is a weird place for me to be voicing this opinion, but as a pretty style-conscious person, I've just worried lately that I'm spending time on something that really doesn't matter.
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hendrix View Post
Good post. The "timeless style" banner is something that needs to be destroyed.

Rock on, man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMaysHere! View Post
I don't think much of us here are deceived into thinking that there is some concept of timeless style. Nothing stays the same, things come and go.

I would also say that many MC posters are just having fun wearing what they wear, and those that aren't are either doing it to look good in a business/formal environment in which clothes are best when attractive but conservative, or are just boring people. For example, Spoo's wristbands aren't "timeless", nor are 2 inch cuffs, breakless pants, db suits, hats of any sort, narrow or wide lapel widths etc. etc.

I am half-and-half MC & SW&D; I love old-skool Raf Simons, and I dress like Richey Edwards (google him) half the time (esp. when on stage), but I also love suede shoes, classic loafers, and I love tailored blazers more than anything. One day I'll wear an a blazer with wide lapels, a nipped waist and a classic length, and the next I'll wear all white with a crinkly blue scarf and a wild haircut. I certainly don't spend my days in more unusual or "trendy" outfits thinking "oh gosh, I hope this doesn't look silly in a photo in 20 to 70 years time."

That's a pretty enlightened attitude. I guess we just shouldn't take ourselves too seriously.
post #11 of 32
I will say one thing. Out of all the hobbies I am involved in, from motorcycles to watches, to cars to shotguns to playing guitar......NONE of these bring out the level of hate, snark and just pure meanspiritedness that something as mundane as clothing brings out. I am not quite sure why people seem so compelled to go for the jugular when examining someone's outfit, but it has been proven to me by sites like FNB, and to a much lesser extent, here (most people here offer good criticism, without malice...but it does exist). Clothes really seem to bring out the worst in people.

For me, it is about having fun. I could dress like the countless others in my profession, but I really like clothes and I like things that are different and interesting. So, for me it is very much a hobby. I often get accused of wearing an affected outfit, or a "costume," or whatnot. But, really, I could care less. I wear what I like and enjoy looking the way I do. Style is purely personal, IMHO.

Mike
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMaysHere! View Post
I dress like Richey Edwards (google him) half the time

"oh gosh, I hope this doesn't look silly in a photo in 20 to 70 years time."

I'm picturing Billy Mays dressed like this right now:

post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by godofcoffee View Post
Something I've been wondering about is whether style is really as timeless and transcendent as we make it out to be. I can't say that I've ever really reached the highest echelons of fashion, so maybe I'm missing something here. But I've dabbled: gotten some suits and shirts made, bought RLPL shit, AE shoes, worn cufflinks at inappropriate times. I can't say it's really paid off. I don't feel any positive difference - if anything, I'm just more worried about stepping in puddles. And (although I know this isn't an end goal) I don't get very much attention for my buck, so there are no Veblen-esque advantages. A lot of what SFers wear is advertised as somehow "timeless" by menswear blogs. But I feel like the timeless component is the boring, decidedly non-stylish businesswear that you could get at Mark's Work Wearhouse (that's a thing, right?). SF style, with its suppressed waists and exaggerated attention to detail, seems like pointless overkill. The only interesting stuff is the stuff that'll probably end up outdated anyway. My conclusion is that style is a hobby like stamp collecting: you have to intrinsically enjoy it for it to matter. What's strange is that people put down the un-stylish in a way that nobody puts down non-stamp collectors. I figure this might be a throwback to the days of sumptuary laws, where attire was meant to be an obligatory indicator of status. But that seems like a backward attitude nowadays. Does anybody else ever feel this way? Or am I just in the wrong forum? Regardless, I think I'll continue trading in my benchmades for layman-indistinguishable Bass Comfort Shoes.
You're clearly dressing as a means to an end. It has to be an end in itself to be enjoyable. Go forth and find your passion. Perhaps jewelry?
post #14 of 32
I generally echo the sentiment of the OP. I love nice tailored stuff as much as the next SFer, but after a few years of paying too much attention to this stuff, I do realize that it is easy to devote too much energy, attention, and $$$ to something that doesn't matter that much. I've dramatically scaled down my expenditures, and wear imperfect stuff a lot more often. Once you get the worst offenses out of the way, it just seems pointless to invest so much energy, thought and resources for very marginal improvements in a look and feel. Basically it's very nice, but the cost/benefit ratio (broadly defined) is not very favorable.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamSpade View Post
the cost/benefit ratio (broadly defined) is not very favorable.

This is true of most worthwhile pursuits.
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