Originally Posted by Troilus
...Many people come here not to break the paradigm, but to learn it. There's interest in conformity rather than trend-setting. So I'd argue the observation of narrowing taste is simply a product of increased demand of conformers and increasing interest in the SF "school."
At the same time, I don't think this school development is bad because even trendsetters need a paradigm. It is the only way one can make an educated deviation from the norm (the same way a chef usually starts on the line at a well-established restaurant, or the way Lady Gaga started by studying at NYU's Tisch School). ...
I am a lurker here, reluctant to get involved in discussions about which I know little (this is just my 2nd post I believe). This quote resonates with me, and probably with other lurkers, so I'd like to respond to it.
I found my way to SF, AAAC and other resources because I suddenly developed an interest in dressing better, starting with a rather out-of-the-blue desire to buy a nice pair of shoes for my wedding. To the extent SF is pushing me towards some kind of conformity, it is because SF has shown me ways to create the appearance I was already trying to achieve
; I simply lacked the knowledge to do so on my own. While I'm sure that some of the readership has arrived at a point of life transition which requires a whole new wardrobe, most of us are probably between the ages of 25 and 50, in so-called "white collar" jobs, with several/many years of dressing "professionally" under our belts. We have well-established lives, families, interests and personalities. We do not arrive here seeking to drastically alter our personal appearance. We arrived here via google search on some specific topic, and we quite accidentally find that there are answers to all of the questions we never knew we had. And we end up wearing the SF "uniform" because the entry-level "SF approved" brands provide good, time-tested solutions to our basic style needs at reasonable prices. We upgrade from Aldo to Alden and from Banana to Brooks not because it helps us look like everyone else, but because it helps us look more like ourselves
In Troilus' "two stages", I am certainly in stage one. I may never leave it. Most
lurkers like me will probably never leave it. My style needs/desires may never expand beyond decent leather shoes, trousers made with nice fabrics that fit me well, and dress shirts that I don't swim in. Either way, as Troilus says, one must always begin with the basics - no serious musician has ever managed to skip learning scales, and no serious dresser has ever managed to skip learning not to wear white socks with dress shoes.
So thank you SF for existing and helping men like me learn to dress the way we want to dress.