A custom blend of high-grade narcotics and psychedelics.
Seriously though, if you really want to know the scary inner workings of my mind... as I was getting ready, I realised I haven't worn this shirt for ages so figured I'd wear it today. It's a suit-y sort of shirt, and from experience I know it plays a little better with navy than grey, hence a navy suit. But again, from experience I know it goes slightly better with solids than pinstripes, and as I'd worn my worsted solid navy already this week, I decided to wear the worsted flannel one instead. As for a tie, I needed something dark, and probably navy-grounded. I also knew I needed something quite slick/suit-y to complement the sharp suit and city-esque shirt, so that narrowed down my choices instantly to a small handful, and since I hadn't worn this one in ages, I decided to wear it. The fact that it has a large-scale pattern (so wouldn't clash much with the shirt) and has a little red on it (echoing the shirt) both helped the selection. As for the square, I know the tie is striking so needed something lacking too much of a pattern of its own, while echoing some of the colours and also being something of a shiny silk to match the tie's slickness. Even before going through my squares, I had mentally narrowed down my choice to three potential options, with this one being the most likely to work. A quick glance at the other two choices confirmed this (one was too dark a red, and the other was thematically too different to the tie to be a good companion (medusae and pheasant don't get on; the snake hair would scare the birds). The last point sounds crazy, I know, and it is admittedly written tongue-in-cheek. But actually makes sense given that if you want to put things together, might as well be thematically consistent. Navy suit=black shoes for me unless I have an overriding need to chose otherwise, so that part was instinctive. You can't see the socks but they're actually a red/tan small-scale houndstooth; a frivolous match for a frivolous tie. And they were at the top of my sock drawer, which helped. The other theme with this outfit is that I felt unconsciously empowered to match colours far more than I would normally do, precisely because it is inherently something of a cheesy, wide-boy, slick look, and matchiness is not a negative in that context.
Because I know my own wardrobe pretty well, the above process from putting the shirt on to being fully dressed took about five minutes, tops.
Warning: Smart Words Said! (Click to show)
This is like saying there's only one kind of infinity. I don't agree at all, largely because there is significant variation in defining a good outfit and the best outfits include an element of working within an individual's sociocultural context, which is an element we can't really see here at all. Moreover, even if we are to narrow the context to, say, SF (and feel free to substitute any supposedly Wise Men you like) I am not one to instinctively accept the idea that just because a consensus exists, it represents any sort of fundamental truth.
I would change your statement to "if you both enjoy your outfit and it meets your day's needs, that's a good outfit". Naturally, as one's level of knowledge rises or degree of subsumption in a collective's values increases, or indeed one's role and self-image in life evolves, the kinds of outfit you enjoy will change. For example, there are many outfits I've worn in the past that I would not wear today. Does that really make them bad outfits, given that I enjoyed them at the time and they were either neutral or positive in terms of what I did that day? I can't bring myself to say that they were, as I think that would actually be a very weird, and very artificial, definition of good. It wouldn't have any meaningful relevance
Another example would be this week's Friday Challenge. There are some outfits there that I like, but as a overall look/aesthetic I'm not a fan at all. The whole Italian business aesthetic (at least, as filtered by modern style gurus, and especially so once sprezzatura is invoked) revolves around men taking their clothes exceptionally seriously, wanting to appear very grown-up & worthwhile individuals, all the while simultaneously pretending that they are relaxed and confident about both.
I find this is quite a silly balancing act to want to perform; it has a vaguely childish & insecure quality to it. A kind of narcissistic inauthenticity that is only magnified when seen in large amounts together (as you do in Italy, when you frequently see throngs of young-ish businessmen all wearing similar navy suits, blue shirts and navy ties). It only has a chance of succeeding when the wearer is irrefutably successful by the typical bourgeois standard being aimed for by the wearers, and so they can unassailabily project a sense of self-satisfaction that can convince the viewer that any lurking insecurity is not actually there.
But as an individual outfit taken in isolation, I find it perfectly fine and can look very good indeed. It's the sociocultural context that makes me dislike the look. So, coming back to my earlier point, I really don't think it's as simple as saying a good look is one that looks good.
I really want to hang out with you in real life.
I'm not nearly as smart in person. I can touch-type but still, the extra time it takes to type something out compared to talking makes a very big differece in terms of being able to marshal concepts and lay things out clearly.
What can I say, I'm a product of my cultural upbringing. Plus, I have a natural talent for self-deprecating charm (hiding arrogance), pervasive cynicism (hiding laziness) and an aridly dry sense of humour (to make up for antisociality), so there's no other country in the world I'd be more at home in.
If doraemon didn't make it, I fear gorgons have a steep hill to climb.
Edited by Holdfast - 3/14/14 at 3:44pm