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Futility of Style - Page 2

post #16 of 32
Small details are very much a hobby in my opinion. I see it as one. I love crafts and trades and anything that people create that is beautiful.

As far as status goes, I think it depends on your social and professional circle. I live in New York City and it is very easy to get caught up in trends and appearances. However, these trends and appearances are different depending on who you associate with. It is social just like anything else. If you are hanging out with Foo, Manton and John Hitchcock in a Manahattan hotel you feel different kinds of pressure than if you are at a dive bar on the Lower East Side. My personal social circle is very removed from much of the people I associate with on here, which is why I like it. I can live my life, but share nerdy interests somewhere as well.
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montauk View Post
This is true of most worthwhile pursuits.

Well, of course, everything has diminishing marginal returns, but not all things are created equal.
If I had invested the same effort I have invested n style into learning calculus or some other skill, I could argue that the final result would be inherently a tad more worthwhile.
post #18 of 32
Style transcends, fashion is fleeting.
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by godofcoffee View Post
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 The only interesting stuff is the stuff that'll probably end up outdated anyway.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.

Nothing is timeless to everyone, but beauty may by timeless to you or someone particular.

I get what you are saying but think you should have chosen something more visible like cars instead of stamps.

Basically you love something or you don't. If you don't than don't bother trying because it won't make you happy and who cares what others think. And you know you love something when everyone else ridicules it but you only think it gets better looking.

Cars are like that and so are guns, shoes, jewelry whatever. If somebody else also likes what you have than good - but not a big deal if they don't.
post #20 of 32
While there are some users than come and go, I think most longer-term posters are here because clothes and SF participation have become more of a hobby than anything else. It certainly follows the pattern of most hobby groups: internal rules to socially demarcate the group from the rest of the world, cliquey behaviour within different subsets, and of course, a range of the depth of the obsession. It's enjoyable, generally harmless and occasionally - though probably less frequently than we believe - intersects with looking good to others. And like any hobby, it creates an opportunity to learn something about ourselves, which is always worthwhile. In short, I wouldn't worry so much about style or even "timeless style"... but rather on whether you are enjoying the hobby, or not. I do, so I keep posting here.
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holdfast View Post
While there are some users than come and go, I think most longer-term posters are here because clothes and SF participation have become more of a hobby than anything else.

It certainly follows the pattern of most hobby groups: internal rules to socially demarcate the group from the rest of the world, cliquey behaviour within different subsets, and of course, a range of the depth of the obsession. It's enjoyable, generally harmless and occasionally - though probably less frequently than we believe - intersects with looking good to others. And like any hobby, it creates an opportunity to learn something about ourselves, which is always worthwhile.

In short, I wouldn't worry so much about style or even "timeless style"... but rather on whether you are enjoying the hobby, or not. I do, so I keep posting here.

I'm sure a lot of us would post much less if it were for a good dose of an SNRI.
post #22 of 32
Well, I don't think it's quite that serious yet... our collective group therapy should suffice!
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenon View Post
Nothing is timeless to everyone, but beauty may by timeless to you or someone particular.

I get what you are saying but think you should have chosen something more visible like cars instead of stamps.

Basically you love something or you don't. If you don't than don't bother trying because it won't make you happy and who cares what others think. And you know you love something when everyone else ridicules it but you only think it gets better looking.

Cars are like that and so are guns, shoes, jewelry whatever. If somebody else also likes what you have than good - but not a big deal if they don't.


All true, but here's the thing: my own OP-like experience basically prompted me to think that too mush emphasis on *anything* material (e.g. the above examples) is mostly crap and waste of time. And mind you, I'm no darned anti-consumerist hippie by any means, just rationally begin to make the calculation that it is, indeed, not that important. It doesn't mean I won't continue to enjoy all f the above, but the amount of energy and planning invested would drop drastically.

While, as you say, ANY hobby allows you to learn something about yourself, I would argue that there is a pecking order in hobbies and ones that involve pushing yourself and actively learning a new skill are at least marginally superior to hobbies involving more passive experiences such as object accumulation and appreciation.
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holdfast View Post
It certainly follows the pattern of most hobby groups: internal rules to socially demarcate the group from the rest of the world, cliquey behaviour within different subsets, and of course, a range of the depth of the obsession.

How delightfully anthropological.

I can see where the OP is coming from, but I believe in a slight variation. Style is the visual expression of yourself -- your personality, values, and beliefs -- within the rules (norms) of fashion. That is to say, you'd never wear a shirt as a pair of pants, but what shirt you choose to wear reflects part of who you are. The fit, color, and even seemingly banal things like how well you tucked it in can be indicative things like your attention to detail. Like it or not, your visual presentation is part of how people determine who you are and how to interact with you.

But some people take it to near-fetishistic levels in their pursuit of style. They're always searching for the next best thing to add to their wardrobe, and they have come up with rules for what goes with what and what looks good and precisely how long your pants should be. These are people to whom dressing well goes beyond outward presentation and becomes a lifestyle in and of itself. I treat them with respect because they know far more than I do, but I take their words with a grain of salt because their fashion ideals may not correspond to mine.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamSpade View Post
While, as you say, ANY hobby allows you to learn something about yourself, I would argue that there is a pecking order in hobbies and ones that involve pushing yourself and actively learning a new skill are at least marginally superior to hobbies involving more passive experiences such as object accumulation and appreciation.

I totally agree with this personnally
post #26 of 32
I think that it is just peachy to have a thread in which men can confess that they dress poorly.

Well done.
post #27 of 32
You're completely missing the point. Things are said to be timeless because they are classic and tried. Most times I think it's mentioned that something is timeless because there was a question about it's place in modern fashion. Fortunately men's fashion is banal to the point that most people except for us fanatics and those seriously scrutinizing you will notice a difference between a suit with details and a suit without the details. However when your clothes fit properly and there is nothing to see besides the details and your smiling face then people will be able to appreciate your presence a lot more than they would if you were wearing some off the rack sack suit. Even the layman, regardless of his or her affinity towards fashion or minor details and such will notice that you are well put together, and therefore will have much less friction when they glance at you or interact with you. And to the point that you want to find a positive side of this, or have those around you appreciate what your wearing. Just think if your well dressed, and not being a dandy about it than those who you interact with might even just sit there and wonder what it is about you and not even realize it's just because your suit, shirt, pants, t-shirt or whatever was tailored to fit or given some extra attention to detail.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathaniel72 View Post
And to the point that you want to find a positive side of this, or have those around you appreciate what your wearing. Just think if your well dressed, and not being a dandy about it than those who you interact with might even just sit there and wonder what it is about you and not even realize it's just because your suit, shirt, pants, t-shirt or whatever was tailored to fit or given some extra attention to detail.
I agree, I think the subconscious influence of well-tailored and well-made clothing on people you meet is deeper than most give credit for. Humans generally treat attractive other humans with more respect and kindness, whether male or female. While it is debatable what 'timeless style' is, there is most definitely that which is unstylish and looks bad and unflattering on all people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamSpade View Post
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.
Comfort and mobility are two goals in men's fashion that can take a huge investment of time and money and not have anything to do with outward style. While I think I've found my 'style', i.e. how i want the suit to look on the outside, I am far from getting the suit and shirt as comfortable as I'd like... and I think it's a worthy goal, considering I'll be wearing it for the rest of my life at work, to get it right so I'm not unnecessarily exhausted from my clothing over the next 40 years. Now... being like some of the members on here who get a whole new $4000 suit just because they want different cuff buttons or to try out the latest tweed, that is excessive.
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by alilja View Post
Style is the visual expression of yourself -- your personality, values, and beliefs -- within the rules (norms) of fashion. That is to say, you'd never wear a shirt as a pair of pants, but what shirt you choose to wear reflects part of who you are. The fit, color, and even seemingly banal things like how well you tucked it in can be indicative things like your attention to detail.


Exactly right.

If you're proud of your mind, your personality, your body, you don't want to cloak it beneath shit from the Kohl's discount bin. Style is the art you wear, it represents your ideals, your frame of mind, the way you see the universe and your place in it.

If someone doesn't care, that's fine. G-d knows I've met plenty of great people who couldn't care less about how they dress. In other words, they don't care for sartorial style the way some don't care for opera or collecting antique umbrella stands.
post #30 of 32
I bet your clothing has more impact than you think. I bet you've just gotten inured to the effect of clothing. You're used to yourself now. However, new people who meet you are seeing your style for the first time. I think you've just gotten to a point where there's nothing to SAY, you just do it. Hobby vs. habit. OP does make the important point of YOU being the only one who notices or cares about most of this. Normal people just see that you're wearing jeans vs. pants. Tie or no tie. Beyond that, it's all the same. This is why it's so comical to see people go on about fully canvassed "pinch tests". Dude, if you gotta pinch to tell the difference, the difference ain't worth mentioning.
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